Hi Folks,

I'm a newbie on MDA, and I like to cook. So I'm offering my recipe for the lunch I made today, roast duck and bok choy - simple fast, minimal cooking skills.

Ingredients:
(2-3) lbs or more baby or big bok choy, organinc is better
(1) Roast Duck (go to your local chinese market or deli, hope you have one!) and get one roast duck with the fat still dripping (don't get a dry one). They're usually hanging in a hot case and the very nice folks will cut them up for you into bite size pieces. Cost should be 15-18 bucks.

Prep for 1 hungry dude serving:
1. Melt a couple tablespoons duck or bacon fat or lard or seasame oil in a wok or covered sautee pan
2. Chop as much bok choy as you want to eat and throw the white parts into the pan for 2 or 3 minutes, stir a little until they start to soften (note: bok choy reduces down when cooked by about 1/2 in volume)
3. Use a 1/3 to 1/2 of the duck pieces and add to pan along with the chopped green tops, stir and cover.
4. Stir a couple times while the white parts get soft, and the green parts turn bright and the duck just heats up. (Don't cook the duck, it's already cooked. You want to heat it up but not dry out the juice and oil. If the duck is still hot from the deli, put it in in the last minute or 2 to blend flavors)
5. Eat.
Total prep time: 15 minutes. Total cost: about 20 bucks and you can get 2 or 3 big-man servings.

Extensions:
This is a nice base dish technique with plenty of potential, you can dress it up for friends by adding ingredients, and bring down the cost by making soup from the bones and left overs. For example:

a. Add or substitute gai lan, or chinese brocolli for the bok choy. Or use whatever combination of green leafy sautee-able vegetables are in season.

b. For restaurant elegance, add shitake mushrooms along with the bok choy. Pick up a 12-16oz pkg of dried shitakes for 10 bucks in the same place your got the duck. Good quality murshrooms look beautiful, with a bright white star on top of the cap. The next grade down look dusty like they've been sitting in a burlap sack for too long. Reconstitute by soaking in hot water until they are soft and easily slicable, you can use the water as the base for soup, you may want to strain through a cheese cloth if a lot of sediment sank to the bottom). Slice 'em how you like 'em and toss into the pan at the beginning. Shitakes are addictive.

c. Make soup. Throw the bones into the mushroom water instead of the trash, including the duck head, connective tissues and any stray organ bits clinging to the ribs. Add 1/2 lb of sliced pork belly (same store as the duck and shrooms!), add chicken stock or water to cover and simmer for 20 or 30 minutes on med-low, add vegetables (more bok choy, shrooms of different varieties, or anything you like), simmer 5 minutes or so, adjust seasonings and serve.

d. Spice it up. Lots of possibilites here, I'm thinking piles of match stick ginger, handfuls of chopped scallions, a sprinkle of dried currants or cranberries or dried star fruit, oyster or enoki mushrooms....

e. Can't find duck? Use 6-12 chicken thighs (about half the cost of duck, but no where near as oily)
- Chop a good strip of meat off each side of the bone, leaving some on the bone, then cut each strip and each bone in halves or thirds (use that big cleaver).
- Get the chicken lightly seared in ghee or some kind of fat, then stir in 1 tsp sea salt and 3/4 tsp white pepper (or to taste).
- Add the mushrooms, the white part of the bok choy, 1 cup of chicken stock, and let it simmer just until the chicken is cooked and the bok choy is tender. Adjust seasonings here, maybe a little more salt/pepper
- Last, add the chopped green bok choy tops, stir and cover. When they turn bright green you're ready

Last, the Chinese deli amy very well use MSG, sugar and red dye 2 on the skin of that duck. That's not really traditional, but people take a lot of short cuts now-a-days. As soon as I figure out how to roast my own duck like grandma did I'll post and let you know.

Meanwhile, may you be filled and nourished!

Robin Ku
In Colorado