More than anything else in the world, my mother hates waste. In particular, it kills the woman to throw out food. Ideally I think she would go to the grocery store once a week, armed a menu for all the meals of the week. But we all know that making a week’s worth of menus is frequently futile. The minute you get back from the grocery store late Monday morning, your daughter will call and say she’d like to come home that weekend; Wednesday afternoon your best gal-pal will drop by and come bearing sandwiches; Friday your husband will tell you his boss wants to take his project group out to dinner so you’re left to cook for one and not two. Life happens.
You can tell when my mother is at her edge food-wise. She’ll start suggesting pairings that frequently literally make no sense, just so you can use more pre-existing ingredients. At the same time, every once in a while her pairings create a winner. This was the case the other night.
It all started when she went to a once-a-week local fresh market. She picked up a jar of this:
If this is the kind of food that is up your alley, you can purchase all products on the following etsy page. Anyway, my parents and I sampled this during the week with some wine and cheeses. I immediately thought “I need to put this on a sandwich.” It just seemed perfect. I could see it: red wine jelly, lamb, arugula….
But life got in the way. We didn’t have to opportunity to make sandwiches until Sunday–almost five days after initial purchase of the gelee. To make matters worse, at the same fresh market my mother had bought half a duck, which also hadn’t made it to our table. She was pressuring me to use the duck on the sandwich instead of lamb. I knew she was doing this just to prevent freezing or throwing out the duck (which honestly makes sense at the cost per pound), but I also knew she had hit gold. Lamb would not have worked. It would have competed with the jelly. Duck was perfect. Mom ftw.
This was quite possibly one of the best sandwiches I’ve had. Ever. That good. Of course, the ingredients are expensive as hell, so this definitely is a “sometimes food.” But if you really want to impress someone, or if you really want to treat yourself…make this. It’s phenomenal.
DUCK AND WINE JELLY SANDWICH
- Handful of arugula
- Half a duck
- Jar of red wine jelly
- Goat cheese
- Bread (I like hearty loaves like ciabatta or a good Cuban…)
- Roast the duck. To do that: season him with salt, place him in a roasting pan that has at least an inch of water at the bottom (steam really helps duck), and place in a preheated 375*F oven for approximately 45 minutes (depending on the size of your half-duck).
- When the duck has cooled, get as much of the meat off as you can (you can either slice or chop it). Save some of the duck fat and skin separately.
- The insides of the sandwiches should have goat cheese and the jelly. Place the duck against the side with the jelly.
- Place arugula on top of the goat cheese, and “seal” the sandwiches.
- In a skillet, head up the duck fat and skin.
- Cook the sandwiches in the duck fat, flipping once. Serve immediately.