Duck Duck Goose. You’re it! Or rather I’m it, because I got my hands on a bottle of Cherry Chipotle ‘Not Ketchup’. It’s a new product from my friend Erika Kerekes of In Erika’s Kitchen. So if you don’t mind, I’m going to take a few words to explain how these Cherry Chipotle Duck Skewers came to be.
Let’s start with the the ‘Not Ketchup’ part of the story. I knew that my friend Erika was working on bringing a product to market. I knew that it was ‘ketchup’ and I knew that it wasn’t ‘ketchup’. The rest I figured was top secret and I let it go at that. Then presto boom bang, I heard she’d found some distribution of this new ‘Not Ketchup’ ketchup and one of the places that carried this new sauce was Artisan Cheese Gallery in Studio City. 4.63 miles from my house.
4.63 miles is what I consider geographically friendly. I don’t mind driving 4.63 miles. Good thing it wasn’t further away, or these Cherry Chipotle Duck Skewers might never have been. Friendship is one thing, but LA traffic is quite another. Anyway friendship won out and off I went to the cheese store.
Once I arrived I saw the object of my desire. Erika’s ‘Not Ketchup’ was prominently displayed on the shelf. I hadn’t realized that it came in three flavors. I mean, ketchup is ketchup, right? Well, no. ‘Not Ketchup’ is not ketchup, that is if you stick to the strictest definition that requires ketchup to contain tomato. Well that’s a stupid rule and I’m happy Erika broke it.
2010 Celler de Capcanes Mas Donis Barrica
Pairs well with lamb, chicken, pork, sausage, pizza, pasta; rice, vegetable (mussaka, ratatouille), cheese
Contemplating my decision, I turned my attention to the sandwich board. It was nearly noon and all these food choices were making me hungry. The very first sandwich I gazed upon was Duck Confit with Fig Jam. Well. Yum.
While I was waiting in line to order the sandwich I started thinking about duck. I’d grown up eating duck. I was a kid with a rather sophisticated palate. I have my mother to thank for that. So when I see duck on the menu my mind always turns to my mom.
The 1970’s were when my own awareness of food began to develop. My mother was a fantastic cook. She probably learned most of her skills during this same period and I’d bet that Julia Child, Simone Beck and the whole Mastering the Art of French Cooking craze were her primary sources of inspiration. While other kids were scarfing down “Tuna Twist”, “Mug-O-Lunch” and “Shake-A-Puddin”, my mom was serving us Bouillabaisse, Mousse de Foies de Volaille and Magret de Canard aux Cerises. Which means fish soup, chopped liver and duck breast in cherry sauce.
Cherry sauce. Cherry Chipotle Duck Skewers. How could I not?
Cherry Chipotle Duck Skewers
Erika’s version may be called ‘Not Ketchup’. But it’s a classic sauce when paired with duck. I think my mother would have liked the kick in the ass that comes from chipotle, and I would have loved to see her try to eat meat off a stick. Decision made. I changed my sandwich order from duck confit to curried chicken (I like duck, but not twice in one day). With the sandwich and a bottle of Cherry Chipotle ‘Not Ketchup’ in hand I headed to the market for some duck breasts of my own, and Cherry Chipotle Duck Skewers were born. GREG