August 11, 2010

Chilled green soup

a.k.a. Fridge cleaning before the veggies go bad.

It is the middle of another goddamn Houston summer so most nights I want the coldest, simplest food possible. Inspired by this NPR article on the subject, I set out to salvage a few items of produce that were getting kind of old:

1. 2 zucchini
2. 1 bunch parsley
3. 1 head roasted garlic

Shown here still in the pot, cuz I'm lazy. With lazy chunks of homemade bread.

Chunked everything up and boiled directly (adding parsley at the very end of cooking), didn't brown the veggies or use lemon as per the article's directives.
Once cooked, the pot of boiled veggies actually sat in my fridge for a few days before I got around to blending and seasoning...I waited to add salt until after I'd tasted the cold version, as cold tends to blunt flavors and you typically need more seasoning to get your point across. Also added a touch of half-and-half (aka remnants of cream and a glug of milk) while blending to round out the salt+green flavor.

It tastes really fresh (huge bunch of parsley). And cold. mmmm.

August 9, 2010

Shrimp and Garlic Chive Flowers

Had leftover shrimp from making spring rolls and bought chive flowers at the market.


marinate in chopped garlic, grated ginger, a little salt and about a tablespoon or two of corn starch. I also added the bottoms of the chive flowers chopped up fine and a tablespoon of chinese cooking wine and a little white pepper. mix together, should be a little ooblicky. Basically this sits around while you cook the chive flowers or whatever veggies you're having that day. Stir fry for about 7 minutes or until pink on the outside.

Chive flowers:

Chop into manageable strips - 2 inches? um. Stir fry all but the tops. salt. pepper. uhhh until tender. 5...minutes? add tops and cook about two minutes more. om nom.

August 8, 2010

Nostalgia Dinner

Apparently I get the urge to make Hong Shao Rou about once a year. This time I fried up the pork belly in caramelized sugar and oil and it really brought out the color and sweetness I remembered.

So along with the pot of porky coronary failure are the little side dishes.

Chinese broccoli. Steamed for about five minutes with a little garlic and then topped with oyster sauce. They have delicious crunchy stems and well. Sometimes you need veggies.

Braised eggs. Softboil eggs, peel carefully, and then tuck into the braising liquid of the pork. They get all brown and porky and delicious, and if you keep the braising temperature low enough, they don't get all chalky in the middle.

Bao! Because sometimes you need something to dip into the pork belly sauce or make a pork belly sammich.

I think the recipe I used was

1/2 c warm water
1 packet's equivalent of yeast
about a tablespoon of lump sugar
3/4 c milk
1 T butter
3 c flour (or enough flour to make a smooth dough)

combine warm water, yeast, sugar milk and butter. Let sit for 10 minutes. Mix in flour. Knead until smooth. Let rest for an hour and a half. Punch down. Let rise another hour. Form into little buns. place in steamer. Let proof for 15 minutes. Steam for 10 minutes. Eat.

I lay down moist paper towel and spray with pam in the steamer. Helps with the release. traditionally napa cabbage is used, but I didn't have any on hand.

Now have lunch for a few days, a little vat of cooking fat, and HI I THINK WE'RE BACK.