It’s time for the return of the famous and creepy looking mock duck. Mock duck and I don’t see one another very often, but it was about time that little can of wonders made an appearance back in my kitch. I have to admit that I’ve never eaten actual duck, so I have no idea what it tastes like. I sorta like that though, because now in my mind, mock duck is what duck tastes like and me and all my mallards out there are just fine with that.
What puts a person who has never eaten duck in the mood for mock duck? Well, I saw something on Food Network about duck and how it paired well with fruit and things and I thought that sounded like a fun cooking adventure…..or misadventure….because sometimes you think you’re making the greatest recipe on Earth and then shit gets cray cray. Even though strawberries are not in season, I still keep seeing them at the farmer’s market and my own strawberry plants are producing berries now as well. I don’t know, sometimes produce in California gets confused and shows up when you least expect it. So, I decided to get some strawberries and create a sauce for the duck. I have also been wanting to try my hand at making vegan cheeze again. I’ve done it a couple of times and had some pretty good results.
Brie that wasn't Brie.
Smokey Gouda-ish Cheeze.
The first cheeze was supposed to be a vegan brie. Alas, it was nothing at all like brie. It was savory and tasted very good, but not brie at all. The closest faux brie I’ve had was in an amazing wine and cheeze workshop with the Spork Sisters. The Sporkie’s version was creamy and had a touch of that sweetness reminiscent of brie. The next cheeze I tried to do was a smoked Gouda, by adapting a recipe from The Uncheese Cookbook. I ended up using the smokey cheeze in a Quattro Formaggio Mac n’ Cheeze that was pretty tasty. I always wanted to try my hand at making a cultured cheeze, like Dr. Cow. I had some probiotic powder in my fridge that I had been saving for just such an occasion, so I decided to make a cultured macadamia nut cheeze. Let me just say, it was a good choice. This cheeze was very rich, creamy and insanely good, albeit a little decadent. After tasting the cheeze, I knew it would be a perfect addition to my mock duck sammies.
Cultured Macadamia Nut Cheeze, Rolled in Fresh Herbs
I’ll admit that originally I wanted to bread and lightly fry medallions of this cheeze and then add them to the sandwich. After some careful deliberation, I decided that was a delicious sounding idea and in all likelihood would turn out delicious, but ultimately make me nauseated and sorry I ate fried cheeze. I can really only handle very small amounts of fried foods without becoming totally green and sick. I just get a general feeling of hot nauseous-ness and feel like I am sweating out grease and oil…ugh. Enough of that. This is food blog and I just said gross things. But, moving on into what isn’t gross, is the sandwich that was born out of all of this. I decided on this: Strawberry Glazed “Duck” Sandwiches Served on Toasted Rosemary Olive Oil Bread with Macadamia Nut Cheeze Spread & Mixed Greens. (now that’s mouthful) I’m going to include the duck recipe, but I’m saving the cheeze recipe for myself for now. You can substitute Dr. Cow or make your own cheezey spread or sauce to recreate the flavor.
Strawberry Glazed “Duck”
2 cans Mock Duck (found at asian grocery stores–should only have 3 ingredients or so
*If your mock duck is in large pieces, go ahead and do your best to slice the pieces or just cut them into strips
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 medium shallot, sliced
1/3 cup pinot noir
A couple of dried figs, chopped
1 1/2 cups fresh strawberries, chopped
1 cup No-Chicken Broth plus 2 tbsp–set the 2 tbsp aside (Imagine Brand, Better Than Bouillon, Edward & Sons)
1 tablespoon white balsamic vinegar
1/2 teaspoon salt or to taste
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper or to taste
1 teaspoon cornstarch
Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add shallot and cook, stirring, until beginning to soften, about 1 minute. Add pinot noir and figs and cook, stirring, 1 minute. Add strawberries, broth, vinegar, salt and pepper; bring to a boil. Add your mock duck.Reduce heat to a simmer and cook, stirring occasionally, until the strawberries are very soft and broken down and the sauce has reduced slightly, about 15 minutes.
Combine the remaining 2 tablespoons broth and cornstarch in a small bowl. Add to the sauce and continue to cook for about another 5 minutes or so.
Now you can eat this on its own or create a sandwich sensation.