Friday, October 07, 2005

Layers of love

Roast a duck and then strip the meat from the bones. Usually I stick a skinned orange and an onion in the carcass while it cooks. Afterwards I remove these and puree them in a processor or blender along with the drippings to start a sauce.

We almost never settle for just a gravy or bechamel of some sort. Because really, it's just too easy to knock things up to a simple veloute. But that is quite beside the point. A jar of salsa will do as well as a nifty duck l'orange veloute here.

Stuff the shreds of succulent oily duck meat between various tortillas: green spinach flour tortillas, bright orange tomato tortillas, and plain white flour ones. Layer in some spinach leaves or other young greens, some sauce, shredded Jack or cheddar of choice (the sharper the better, as I like my cheese the way I like my women, that is to say SHARP) and whatever you like for color and spice.

Roasted red peppers are so nice. Or artichokes. You can stack the layers too. More layers, more love. Warm to melt the cheese.

Divide. Cut each as you would a pie or pizza, after having been chilled, and serve as finger foods. Arranged in their different tortilla colors around a festive plate, with a bowl for the sauce, makes a stunner.

Duck quesadillas. When Vincent's on Camelback started serving things like this here, the French-Southwest fusion movement was born. Things happened then. Those were the days. It has since gotten only better.

Phoenix is the best food town on the entire planet. We even have the best pizza. No kidding.

Dip the quesadillas in the veloute or other sauce you have fashioned from the lovely pan drippings. Or save the drippings for your dog, who will then love you beyond forever.

It works with enchiladas, too, so well it will scare you. You can soak the corn tortillas in a white sauce or duck gravy instead of the traditional red/salsa type and go way fusion with it.

When you think of "American" food, what comes to mind? Burgers? Pizza? Obvious European derivatives.

But alas, the tortilla was here before Eric the Red. When you think "American," you had better be thinking tortilla or good old-fashioned mammoth-meat. And you can't get that anymore, not even at Vincent's.

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