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Duck... We're having Tacos for Dinner

We have been working on the redesign of our backyard and what better way to show it off to our neighbors than to have a taco party. And what a great way to break in our new grill and rotisserie than with a couple of fresh ducks marinated with Andrew's wonderful family recipe.


The first secret of fabulous tacos is to create a marinade for the duck. Andrew used his family recipe of garlic and lemon grass nicely pummeled in the pestle and combined with a little oyster and fish sauce. Of course now that I have told you the recipe it is no longer a secret but fabulous none-the-less. Rub it all over and inside those bad girls and let them rest in the fridge for a few hours before trussing them on the rotisserie rod. And when Andrew isn't looking, kick the flavor up a notch with some finely chopped serrano chilies... just enough to add balance to the champaign bubbles don't you know.

Shopping list (cheap is as cheap does)

  • Fresh duck - young, fat, blue eyes (optional)
  • Fresh spring onions to grill to chop fresh and grill
  • Fresh cilantro
  • Sour Cream
  • Tom at os
  • Avocado
  • Young Asparagus
  • Serrano Chilies or other chili of choice
  • Fresh lime
  • Lemon Grass (fresh)
  • Lots of fresh garlic
  • Classic fish sauce (anchovy base)
  • Oyster sauce (any Asian market)
  • Mushrooms, common white or cremini
  • Mango, fresh - tart is better for salsa
  • Corn Tortillas, fresh pressed
  • Veuve Clicquot (google it)

Get Busy (lazy is as lazy does)

The marinated duck gets tied nicely to the spit rod so it holds together through the nearly 2 hours on the rotisserie and is reasonably well balanced. The ducks we bought had particularly long necks which we folded around so it looked like they were sleeping. Most Americans don't want to cook ducks with the head, neck and feet still attached like we did - totally a choice, but consider this... all nice and sanitary in the plastic package you might be paying big bucks for a chicken in disguise. Since ducks are fatty and there will be lots of drippings be sure to fashion a drip pan out of aluminum foil or use a sheet pan. Ducks should turn on the rotisserie in a counter-clockwise rotation on the west coast and clockwise rotation in the east. People in the mid west should eat beef. It would be infinitely easier than ciphering the coaxial and transaxial rotations required for optimal duck roasting.

While your little silent quackers are browning up on the grill prep your vegetables for roasting. Most of them you will grill whole and cut them up afterwards. Be sure to shave your asparagus if it is thick and woody - that part of the asparagus has the best flavor once you shave the thick skin off.

Ducks are Done

When their skin is a dazzling brown and the drip tray is loaded chances are your ducks are done. A wise consideration is that you can always grill the duck a bit more if it is red inside but you can never add back the juicy goodness once you cremate it. Plan about 1.5 - 2 hours at medium rotisserie heat - take them off the spit rod and let them rest about 20 minutes while you grill your vegetables. The grilled spring onions need to be well roasted to max their flavors and if your mushrooms should happen to fall into the duck drippings just before you grill them.... what a wonderful accident. Peppers, even the hot ones, become more flavorful with a good grilling.

Putting it all Together

Grill your corn tortillas for a few minutes so they are hot but not stiff...Cut up the duck and the vegetables so they fit nicely in the corn tortillas - each guest can fashion their own - some will like more of this and less of that... the mango salsa you made has diced mango, onion, cilantro, peppers and fresh lime juice and makes a great addition. Then add a small dollop of sour cream which combines with the roasted spring onion and grilled mushrooms amazingly.

Serve your duck tacos with chips and guacamole or mac and cheese, anything but mashed potatos unless you don't mind if people point at you.

Experiment, enjoy... it doesn't say Julia Childs on my apron and the only hard rule is to make them as yummy as possible.

Updated: October 11, 2012 21:23




Dark Shadows - The Review
Dark Shadows - May 2012'Dark Shadows' Released in May 2012.

Johnny Depp certainly joined interesting forces with Tim Burton in the creation of this pseudo dark comedy which we did enjoy watching despite its considerable derivation from the 1960’s Dan Curtis classic. Johnny was delightfully maniacal as the 18th century lord turned vampire as he came to grips with life in the 1970s while attempting to restore Collinwood to its former glory. Willie Loomis, Barnabas’ beloved right hand, came and went with little notice Eva Green was laudable as the witch Angelique but her character was so consumed with the 21st century stereotypical female lead that her need to dominate the male sex overpowered any real sense that her motivation was love for Barnabas. Michelle Pfeiffer was competent yet uneventful as the matriarch Elizabeth Collins-Stoddard until the end of the movie when she grabbed a shotgun and decided to take care of Collins business. Whomever it was that played Roger Collins was so dull that his value to the production was imperceptible. Helena Bohnam Carter, who we adore as a favorite character actor, played Dr. Julia Hoffmann. In the Dan Curtis world Julia befriended Barnabas first out of scientific curiosity and then as an endearing spirit who secretly lusted for his love. In this spoof Julia was drunk and lethargic most of the time and for the few scenes where she tried to work Barnabas we were distracted by the plasmapheresis device in her laboratory where silly strawberry cool-aide circulated. There were a couple of favorite moments like when Barnabas tried to invoke the ‘tiny sorceress’ from the television set and when Barnabas and Angelique destroyed her office in some kind of a bizarre sex act. We had heard that some of the original cast had cameo appearances in the movie and strained to find them. We did see Jonathan Frid and Katherine Lee Scott for a few brief seconds entering Collinwood for the big party but Lara parker and David Selby, who were listed in the credits, escaped us. Guess we’ll have to by the DVD when it comes out. I doubt that staunch Dark Shadows fans will appreciate the twists and turns that Burton and Depp produced unless perhaps they are equally staunch Johnny Depp fans.

We remember with great fondness Jonathan Frid who died shortly before the movie was released... may he return in 200 years.

Check out the cast and all the details...



Just in case our 2012 election year doesn't provide a saturation of buffoonery, 20th Century Fox will attempt yet another cinematic take on my favorite morons this side of Washington...... the trailer looks interesting - check it out.

Marriage Equality - Slowly Sweeping AmericaHRC

Kudos to the dedicated legions who worked tirelessly to pry the fence posts out of the butts of the New York legislature... a social behavior sure to sweep the nation over the next many years. OK so it may take a little longer for those nose picking rednecks in the bible belt to get over their selfish ways but it looks like marriage equality will become an American anthem. Weddings are revenue generators for the state, keep countless people employed and provide fodder for the now burgeoning world of divorce law.

Too bad the GLBT community didn't aspire to something better than 'traditional marriage.' The divorce rate for same sex couples is as dismal as it is for the STR8's... no surprise there. We should have engaged our collective energy for something better. Marriage is a state sanctioned 'certificate' not a decree by which you expect to live your life. The love that binds two people into a monogamous relationship is not by virtue of a state 'license', but rather the elusive mystery of cupid and of course millennia old tradition and religious rite. Marriage, the legal version, provides only one real value... ownership versus inheritance, most everything else weighs on the negative side. The notion that in the 21st century you must be a legal relative to establish hospital visitation rights is absurd. And married or not, without a living will your desires may well be ignored for the greater good.

No, marriage should be a 10 year contract. You want to reap the benefits you have to work at it and not take the current 'lifetime' commitment for granted. At the end of the 10 years both parties celebrate another marriage contract or elect to divide assets and part company much like a traditional divorce but without the expensive legal wrangling. Married in the eyes of God... current divorce statistics suggest God is no longer the binding factor but how wonderful to have a third or fourth wedding ceremony with the same partner... long white dress included.

World in Shock Over the Casey Anthony Verdict?Casey

July 5, 2011 - after 11 hours of deliberation the jury in the Casey Anthony trial acquitted Casey of the crime of murdering her daughter but found her guilty of lying to the cops and 'misleading justice.' For this the people of Florida spent a million plus and supported a media frenzy that was nearly as annoying as the Jonbenet Ramsey case. Neither brought justice for their young victims but certainly made a boat load of money for the news media and all those that have and will profit from such public attention in what will surely become at the very least, a Hallmark movie of the week.

Shocked at the verdict? Can't imagine why... the prosecution's evidence was virtually all circumstantial and the forensics largely hypothetical. To top that off, Marcia Clark, who's stunning prosecution of OJ Simpson, was also 'shocked' by the acquittal. Thanks to the non-stop media hype, which was intended to elicit just this kind of national response, people will talk about this for weeks to come, at least until another story of equal heartbreak hits the front page. But then Obama may save us all from the tabloids when he announces the next war he wants to be commander-in-chief of.