Friday, January 8, 2010

Scallion (or Sesame) Pancake Roll-Ups

This recipe is another one of my favorite quick and easy weeknight meals.  I got the idea from a place down by NYU called Kati Roll.  At Kati Roll they serve a variety of different meats rolled up in Indian flat bread (aka paratha).  My favorite roll is the Unda Chicken, in which they put marinated chicken, a thin layer of scrambled egg, various herbs, red onion, and some hot sauce upon request.  It is delicious.  Since I don't have paratha at hand, but I often have frozen scallion pancakes in the freezer, I have made a more Chinese version of the my favorite Unda Chicken kati roll.

Generally I use whatever leftover meats I have at hand, although sometimes I whip up some five spice duck breasts to throw in there.  Those are probably my favorite, although some leftover skirt or flank steak is fabulous too.  I also make a vegetarian version with scallions, cilantro and thinly sliced red onion from time to time.  The one I made today was vegetarian because the fridge is rather empty at the moment.  This recipe is incredibly easy to customize because the only real requirements are the frozen scallion or sesame pancakes and an egg or two.  You can by frozen scallion pancakes at almost any Asian market, although I don't see the sesame ones quite as often.  I actually prefer the scallion pancakes, but since the sesame ones were on sale the last time I picked up one of those too.

As a side dish I served a lazy knock off of the apple kimchi they serve at Momofuku Ssam.  I have the recipe in the cookbook, but I am too lazy to cook up bacon and whip up maple labne on a regular basis.  As a side dish, this works just as well and takes no time. 

Recipes after the jump!

Scallion Pancake Roll-Ups with Five Spice Duck Breast

2 small duck breasts
4 tsp Chinese five-spice powder
2 tbsp clear honey
6 tbsp soy sauce
4 frozen scallion pancakes
4 eggs, lightly beaten 
1/4 cup finely chopped cilantro
3 tbsp thinly sliced scallions

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.  Using a sharp knife, score the fat of the duck in a cross-hatch pattern.  Sprinkle skin-side of duck breasts with five spice, s&p.  Rub seasonings in.  Heat a cast iron skillet (or any heavy, oven-safe skillet will do) over medium-high heat.  Place duck breasts skin side down in skillet.  Note that you will not need oil in the pan.  The duck breasts will release a ton of fat.  Season the other side of the duck breasts with remainder of five spice, s&p.  Cook about 3 minutes, or until most of the fat has rendered and the skin is nice and golden.  Turn duck breasts over.  Cook 1-2 minutes.  Place skillet in oven to allow duck to finish cooking, 3-5 minutes.  This will give you lovely medium-rare duck.  If you prefer your duck to be medium or medium-well, leave it in the oven for a few more minutes.  Remove duck from oven.  Allow duck to cool for 10 minutes while you prepare the sauce and cook the scallion pancakes.  After duck has cooled, slice thinly (about 1/2 inch thickness at most).

To make the sauce, warm honey and soy together in a small pan.  Bring to a boil.  Allow to boil for 1-2 minutes to reduce.  Once sauce has reduced, turn heat off and allow to cool.  You want the sauce to be almost syrup-like in consistency.

Heat an 8 inch skillet over medium-high heat.  Sometimes the scallion pancakes will stick, so I tend to use a nonstick skillet, but it's not totally necessary.  Add 1 tsp vegetable oil.  Once oil is hot, add frozen scallion pancake.  There may be some oil spattering if the scallion pancakes have any ice on them.  Allow to cook for approximately 2 minutes, or until golden.  Flip pancake over.  Allow to cook 1 minute.  Using spatula or tongs, lift pancake up and pour 1 lightly beaten egg into the pan.  Wait until egg starts to firm, about 30 seconds, and then place scallion pancake on top.  Allow to cook 30 seconds more and then remove from pan, placing scallion pancake egg-side-up on a plate.  Cook all 4 pancakes this way.

Top each pancake with sliced duck breast, scallions and cilantro.  Drizzle with sauce.  Roll pancakes up and stick with toothpick, if necessary, to hold the shape.  Serve immediately.

Lazy Honeycrisp Apple Kimchi

1 honeycrisp apple (Fuji apples will also work if you don't have honeycrisps)
1 1/2 tbsp fresh lime juice
1 tbsp honey 
1/4 cup kimchi, chopped into bite size pieces
2 cups arugula
1/4 cup finely chopped cilantro

Core apple and cut into thin slices.  Top with lime juice to prevent the apples from browning.  Add honey and kimchi.  Stir to mix well.  Allow to sit for 5 minutes so the apples pick up some of the kimchi flavor.  Add arugula and cilantro.  Stir to mix.

Serve immediately.

*If you want your apple kimchi to be spicier, you can add some sriracha.

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