On The Road
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Eating through a long weekend

Food, sleep, sunshine, movies, sleep

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This long weekend was a bit of an anti climax for me. While it was great to have that extra day to recharge the batteries and get away from Sydney, in the back of my mind I was counting down the days (June 22nd) until my knee reconstruction. I’m not even worried about the operation, I’m more worried about the prospect of not being able to push myself to the limits in sport again. I can’t wait until rehab, it’s a strange feeling. It’ll also mean I will take two weeks off from work, I’ll be spending most my time on the couch catching up on many seasons of tv series which I have neglected for the past few years.

But it wasn’t just about me, I was with 7 other people who wanted to get away from the trials and tribulations of their day jobs and relax, bum around, watch a few movies and eat until their hearts content. We booked a beachside house down south at Kiama and the weather was absolutely perfect all long weekend. We didn’t cook up any elaborate meals, all the food was quite random in hindsight.

We watched a few movies on both ends of the genre spectrum. We tried to scare the daylights out of each other by watching Halloween and Ju-on, had a few laughs by watching the classics Dodgeball and Hercules Returns and got a bit more serious by watching Lucky Number Sleven.

Brunch

The last 2 days consisted of awesome sleep-ins and then waking up to cook a big breakfast. The balcony looked over the beach and was the perfect scene for cooking and eating. Nothing beats a hearty serving of bacon and eggs washed down with a freshly brewed coffee while looking into the ocean on a sunny day. I wish I could do this regularly, it is a stark contrast to eating muesli and toast at my office desk every morning.

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Bacon & eggs, mushrooms, grilled tomato

Dinners

The last thing we wanted to do on a long weekend was spend all weekend cooking. Somehow, we ended up making things harder for ourselves by trying to make our own peking duck. It’s something I have maybe once  a year if I’m lucky, not to mention it is usually ridiculously expensive. After making it ourselves, I would never pay to eat peking duck at a restaurant again.

Saturday night

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Firstly, we had to make the peking duck pancakes. The pancakes are actually very easy to make. All that is needed is plain flour and water.

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Stacks of pancakes

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Rest assured, these taste better than they look. I wouldn’t serve them at a banquet, but they did the job.

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Cucumbers & spring onion

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roast duck

We actually bought a normal chinese roast duck from the chinese bbq store. To get the skin crispy like they have at the restaurants, we poured boiling hot oil over the duck just before serving time. This method is apparently quite common in chinese restaurants according to the bloke who owns the bbq store we regularly buy from. He sells his ducks to restaurants all over Sydney so I guess he knows a thing or two about peking duck.

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Crispy & tender carved duck

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Roast duck & char siu

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Crispy skin roast pork

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Stir fried egg noodles with char siu & bok choy

Sunday night

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Potato salad

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Hand cut fries fried in duck fat

The man at the bbq store kindly gave us a bag of duck fat per our request. We had to render the duck fat in a pot and then drain the oil from the pot. We had never used duck fat before, so we decided to make some hot chips to go with our snags and salad. Firstly, the chips were quickly fried in the duck fat and then were left to cool down. When ready we then fried the chips as per normal at a higher temperature. The result was the most perfect chips I have tasted in a while, they were crunchy on the outside and soft and fluffy on the inside. They were also not greasy at all which was a surprise.

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Chorizo & lean beef sausages

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Mixed leaf salad with grilled haloumi and mushrooms

Apart from eating, we visited the blowhole at Kiama which was a bit of a let down due to the low tide. Kiama is a nice little town which seems to triple in population during long weekends and holidays. It was great to have that extra day off, we need more public holidays that’s for sure.

Comments

  1. billy@ATFT says:

    You have inspired me to make my own peking duck now… looks simple enough. What does the chips taste like fried in duck fat? Wouldn’t it bit gamey taste? I am intrigued…..

    and good luck with the surgery man….

    billy@ATFT’s last blog post..Rosebud – Rozelle, NSW

  2. Helen says:

    “We didn’t cook up any elaborate meals”… and yet I spy homemade Peking duck and pancakes made from scratch? And chips twice-fried in duck fat? lol. Looks like you guys had a non-stop delicious feast!

    And as for the knee post-op, think of how much blogging you can catch up on! :)

    Helen’s last blog post..Lowenbrau Keller, The Rocks

  3. Y says:

    Well it certainly sounds like quite a gastronomic weekend, despite being unplanned. Those night shots are fantastic!

    Y’s last blog post..Sweet weekendings

  4. Steph says:

    Oh my, twice fried duck fat chips!!! It’s far too early in the morning for them but I am still salivating at the thought! Everything tastes amazing with duck fat. Your roast pork and duck looks so crispy too, yum. Envious!

    Steph’s last blog post..Gingerbread Scones

  5. Lovely photos over the sea! Well done making your own Peking Duck too, it’s brave to try something so famous, and it sounds like it turned out really well.

    Arwen from Hoglet K’s last blog post..Kopi Luwak

  6. shez says:

    how funny are you with your “we’re just going to chill and drink custard and do nothing” and then BAM! home made peking duck and super duck fat fried chips!

    the view from your holiday place is fantastic btw. so. chilled out.

    shez’s last blog post..profiteroles

  7. flapflap says:

    Oooh, can you give me the peking duck pancake recipe? We’ve tried really complicated ones before without success so it’d be great to have an easy one that works :) Good luck with the knee recon, I had an ACL reconstruction last year and went indoor rock climbing for the first time since on the long weekend :)

    flapflap’s last blog post..the changing face of regent place, city

  8. looks like a great long weekend. crispy duck looks awesomely yummy.

    Simon Food Favourites’s last blog post..Poached Egg: Attempt #4 (8 June 2009)

  9. Ellie says:

    the peking duck looks amazing! thanks for sharing the simple method to transform roast duck to peking duck. must try, must try! hehe… you decided not to make the beer bread? :p

    Ellie’s last blog post..Malaysian Pisang Goreng (Fried Banana Fritters)

  10. Reemski says:

    looks like gorgeous food and a gorgeous weekend…

    Reemski’s last blog post..Forty One, Sydney

  11. Alex from Iya Valley, Minshuku says:

    Your photos are stunning Howard.

    I put on weight just looking at your reviews, keep up this very excellent work!

    Are you thinking of an iPhone App for eatshowandtell?

  12. lesley says:

    Hi,
    I enjoyed reading your blog! It reminds me of the holidays in Oz, sooo laid back. I will try pouring the boiling water over the duck next time we cook it, I’ve done it with pork, it shrinks the skin (Pre cooked state only)…Great photo’s ;0)

    lesley’s last blog post..Italian Dessert-Crostata di frutta- Fruit Tart.

  13. Howard says:

    @Billy : Chips taste great, no gamey taste at all. The only part which got me was the duck fat cooking process, it made my house stink.

    @Helen : It looked more elaborate that it was! Duck was prepurchased and chips are just chips. And yes, I look forward to catching up on movies and eventually blogging :)

    @Y : It took me 20 shots to get down to those 2.

    @Steph : Surely duck fat can’t be good for us, but we only live once!

    @Arwen : This is the second dish which I will now only eat at home! The first being chilli mud crab, they both are so easy.

    @shez : It was very chilled, shame it was too cold to swim.

    @flapflap : Peking duck post on the way! How long did it take you to recover ? I can’t wait until rehab.

    @Simon : Duck is your favourite too eh ? :)

    @Ellie : I was going to make the beer bread, but my mates went shopping and we ended up with too much bread! next time.

    @Reemski : Too bad the weekend was too short :/

    @Alex : Thanks, very flattering. I am going to setup the iPhone plugin for WordPress very soon … just need to get around to it.

    @Lesley : Boiling water should work as well! You should come back for another visit to Oz, but not now though it is freezing cold in Sydney.

  14. Bubz says:

    Howie now this is just mean. I’m starving. Everything looks amazing! I wish I were a better cook :(

    … I think I say these same things every time I comment on EST entries :P

  15. Nogz says:

    That sort of food on the long weekend was quite something. All the dishes were near perfect says my tastebuds.

    Eating duck chips and leftover roast pork as midnight snack watching movies was surreal.

    Sign me up for round 2.. and 3… and 4…!!

  16. Yumm! Great idea making the skin crispy. We often buy the roast duck in an asian butchers in Wollongong and never thought to make that delicious fat into even more delicious crackle! Do you think the crispy skin would last an hour travelling? Or does it really need to be done just before serving?
    .-= Vanessa Pike-Russell´s last blog ..Travelling around Tasmania =-.

  17. [...] our way down to Kiama for the long weekend, we stopped by Thirroul to check out the ‘Princess’ Pashley bike [...]