March 16, 2015

Ladies and Gentlemen: Light Your Charcoal, the 2015 BBQ Season is On

The Results are in--the ribs are good
Smoking well seasoned ribs over fragrant hickory wood removes the soul destroying taint of Minnesota winter. 

Below is the official theme song of the 2015 BBQ season, which will be played during the initial pouring of the ceremonial libations until the inevitable freeze returns.

March 12, 2015

Who Do You Love?

Yes who do you love? Charlotte Rampling or Penelope Cruz. Quickly now you're going to have to say yes to one and let the other one ride. 
Okay, take a moment to decide while you listen to this:

March 11, 2015

Lamb Dumplings AKA Gyoza, Potstickers, Guotie etc.

A fusion of Japanese and Chinese, usually made with pork. These crisp yet mochi-mochi wrappers contain a soft filling of 1/2 ground lamb-1/2 grated cabbage, scallions, garlic and a little salt. These demonically addictive little pillows of joy cry out for cold Czech beer. Impossible to ignore their mellifluous siren song.
You can't, you won't and you don't stop.

March 4, 2015

Going big with Crab Benedict brunch

Had some leftover king crab (taraba gani) so decided to to make a sort of crab Benedict, perfectly poached eggs on a toasted whole-wheat English muffin topped with luscious king crab and a buttery smooth Hollandaise sauce flavored with white wine, vinegar, lime juice and fines herbes. The effect was rich and delicious, but not overly complicated. The slight acidity of the sauce kept the dish from being too rich or too much. Every sublime fork-full lingers clearly in my usually faulty memory.

March 3, 2015

Enjoy every sandwich. The comfort of mussels and French fries.

David Letterman, the late night talk show host asked Warren Zevon (musician, singer, song writer) about what he had learned from his struggle with terminal mesothelioma. "Enjoy every sandwich," was Zevon's reply.

This simple bowl of mussels steamed with white wine, shallots and saffron brought to mind Zevon's quote because I enjoyed this meal so damn much. The Prince Edward Island mussels were sweet and briny and such a perfect match with the saffron. The French fries were made from organic potatoes fried twice to a perfect crispness.

Met almost by accident and scrutinized fleetingly, this sort of food is a comfort that means so much.

February 15, 2015

The Beef Chow Fun is Deep

Beef gan chow ho fun fried rice noodles

75 g (dry weight) wide rice noodles (sen yai)
2 tsp oyster sauce
2 tsp fermented black bean sauce
2 tsp soy sauce
1 tsp rice vinegar
3 Tbsp water
30 g nira garlic chives cut into 7-cm lengths
1 bunch green onions cut in 7-cm lengths
1 clove garlic crushed
100 g beef cut into 7-mm by 3-cm strips
Vegetable oil for frying as needed

1 Tbsp soy sauce
1Tbsp Shaoxing rice wine (shokoshu)
1 tsp cornstarch

Coriander leaves for garnish

Pour very hot water (90C) about over the noodles and let soften for 10 minutes, remove from water and drain. 

Pour soy sauce and rice wine over meat, sprinkle with cornstarch and let marinate for about 20 minutes.

Mix oyster sauce, black bean sauce, soy sauce, vinegar and water and set aside. 

Sear the meat in 2 Tbsp oil in a smoking hot wok, quickly remove. 

Clean wok, heat again add 2 Tbsp oil for frying, stir fry garlic, nira and onions for about 15 seconds, add noodles and stir fry vigorously over high heat until well softened (2 or 3 min.) 

Stir in enough sauce to lightly coat the noodles and mix well for about 30 seconds. Add meat and mix well. 

To serve; garnish with coriander leaves.