There are certain activities that help keep me sane—such as walking, reading, taking photos, writing—and during the pandemic, I have been trying to make them a priority. One of these activities has always been creative cooking—me, in the kitchen, experimenting away. This blog was born purely so I could blend cooking, photography and writing all together.
I feel freest when I know I have the kitchen to myself for several hours and am free to make a complete mess as I create. Because of the lack of other spaces and places for everyone to be right now, it’s been harder to get a block of time in the kitchen lately. Well, yesterday, I finally had energy, time and a free kitchen. So this is what I made.
I have been wanting to roast a duck for a while now, so when I saw them on sale (and knew I would have the kitchen to myself), I had to buy one. I used this high-heat roasting method, rubbing the outside with just salt and pepper. While the duck was cooking, I made the sides. I made jasmine rice, adding chopped garlic to the cooking water. I made two sauces to go with the duck—a cream sauce with black pepper and caramelized onions and a marmalade sauce spiked with chili flakes and ground sichuan pepper. To round out the plate, I made my current favourite vegetable, whole green onions pan-fried in butter.
The meal was fabulous. The marmalade sauce was as good as I imagined it would be when I first thought of it a couple of months ago, and it went beautifully with the duck. The onion cream sauce was addictive (I only made it because I had leftover heavy cream to use up rather than because I thought it would go, but it was indeed a happy result).
Now my fridge is full of neatly stacked containers of leftovers for me to work my way through. And, most importantly, I got to play in the kitchen.