All Ears in NYC
All Ears in NYCOctober 12, 2012
One of the newest spots to open in New York’s East Village is the diminutive Duck’s Eatery, a space that barely accommodates 40 inside. Influenced by his grandmothers (one owned a Jewish delicatessen and the other was a trained French chef) Chef William Horowitz got his first job in a restaurant at the age of 14. After culinary school, he hit the road, focusing on and studying the cuisines of the Southern United States, followed by traveling abroad to India, Nepal, Thailand, and Tibet.
On the menu at Duck's, the flavors of Southeast Asia and those of Southeastern America are combined in a way that honors both traditions with such dishes as housemade jerky marinated in squid sauce and cherrystone clams in kaffir lime granita.
Another prime example of this culinary fusion are Horowitz's version of crispy fried pig ears. “We were inspired by a recipe by Sean Brock (of Husk, in Charleston, SC), which, I think, is a bit more of a palatable entryway for normal people to start trying the ears,” he explains. “At Duck's, we serve them in lettuce wraps with a little house fermented kimchi, some beautiful smoked sesame seeds from Kyoto, and on local hydroponic bib lettuce.”
Chef William Horowitz’ Crispy Pig Ears in Lettuce Wraps
6 cleaned pig ears
8 cups pork stock
4 pods of star anise
2 tbsp. black soy sauce
2 tbsp fermented squid sauce
3 sticks of Cinnamon or cassia
10 dried or 4 fresh green peppercorn
6 kaffir lime leaves
4 smashed cloves garlic
4 fresh red Thai chilies
3 oz. palm sugar
2 dried plums
1/4 cup Lingham’s hot sauce
Mix the pork stock, anise, black soy sauce, squid sauce, cinnamon, kaffir, palm sugar, dried plums, juice from 2 limes, Thai chilies and green peppercorn into a medium saucepan. Place pig ears in same pan, bring up to boil then cover and turn heat to medium low. Braise for 3 1/2 to 4 hours or until cartilage is fork tender.
Cool down pig ears. Once cold, clean off congealed fat and julienne into approximately 1/2" wide batons. The batons can then be deep fried in any high temp oil. We like to use soybean or grapeseed oil. Deep fry for approximately 3-5 minutes, depending on how crispy you like them.
Emulsify the lime juice from the last two limes with a 1/4 cup of the Lingham's sauce. Take the crispy pig ear batons out of the fryer and toss them in the new hot sauce mixture. Place on a piece of Bibb lettuce and top with kimchi.
“Ducks Eatery, is my first real passion project and a way for me to really share the often spicy, smoky, briny style of cooking that we've really fallen in love with over the years,” says William Horowitz, co-partner in Duck’s and the brains and brawn in the kitchen. “The idea of bringing food to the table that tells a real history of older trade routes, traditions and terroir of the world and nature is something very near to my heart. As well as, turning people on to odder ingredients like pig ears and our dancing shrimp that have sort of become our comfort foods from living abroad."