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DOS HERMANOS: GO EVERYWHERE, EAT EVERYTHING

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Saturday, March 18, 2006




IF YOU DON'T LIKE DUCK. YOU'RE RATHER STUCK

After such a leisurely day last Saturday, today was quite the opposite. But, for all that, just as enjoyable.

Up at 6am for my session with my trainer, Adam who amongst other things, insisted on stretching my limbs past the limits of normal human endurance. I am ashamed to say, I may have whimpered like a small girl at some point.

Then, after a shower and a shave of the noggin, off to the dentist to have them do some scrapey, whiney, buzzy things and charging me the national debt of Brazil for the pleasure.

Then to Chinatown. All this by 10am.

The visit to the West End was to pick up some extra bits and pieces for supper tonight where my very dearest M was to be the guest. I had a hankering to make a crispy duck with pancakes and plum sauce. So, last night I prepared the duck by pouring a couple of kettles of boiling water over the skin, pricking the skin all over and then preparing a marinade of five spice, ginger, garlic, chilli paste and rice wine.

As a little appetiser, a crude but entirely tasty attempt to make some spring rolls. The filling was a mince made of shrimp, ginger, garlic, chilli and Hon-shimenji mushrooms. As I say, not something Ken Holm would have been proud to put on the table, but they tasted pretty good and M liked them which is all that matters.

The duck skin got a little burned in places, but was crispy and delicious. As accomplishments go, making a plum sauce is not up there with splitting the atom or crossing the Andes naked on one leg while whistling La Cucaracha. However, I was jolly pleased with the way it turned out. Just cooking off some diced plums in sugar syrup with some green chilli, ginger and five spice. Whizzing up with a handheld blender and then then passing through a sieve. Just enough spice to compliment the duck without being too fiery. I normally try and make my own pancakes but, quite frankly, could not be arsed. So I bought some from Chinatown. Perfectly acceptable.

Mag's brought a lovely Gewurtz from New Zealand which suited the dish down to the ground.

For pudding, something as far from the Chinesy theme of the evening so far as it is possible to get. That most British of desserts, Eton Mess. Whipped cream mixed through with broken meringue and chopped up strawberries soaked in port. Innordinately rich and a little goes a long way.

Unfortunately, I ate a lot and it is still debating with my intestinal tract which way it is heading.

We ended the evening by watching A Life Aquatic which was, appropriately enough, unfathomable. A prize for anyone who can tell me what the hell it was about.
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