If cooking is a language, I want my dishes to flirt with the palates. This is a place I'd like to share my culinary experiences -- gastronomical and psychological. Bon Appetit!
Chocolate Pistachio Cookies
The finished product -- isn't it cute?
The cross-section: outer layer is a hard bittersweet chocolate coat; in the middle are two layers of pistachio cookies sandwiching a creamy sweet chocolate filling. (I was too hungry to use a knife for a clean cut. I just bit off half of it and ate it. It was gooood!)
This is one of my favorite dishes at cantonese restaurants -- cooked iceberg lettuce with oyster sauce! It is super easy to make at home too. Boil a huge pot of salty water and blanch the iceberg lettuce for 30 seconds to a minute -- just enough to wilt the lettuce. Drain it. Toss a little bit and press down on them to squeeze out extra water. Saute some minced garlic in vegetable oil (I think lard would be better) in a small pan. Add a few tablespoons of oyster sauce, a tablespoon of soy sauce, and a tablespoon of sugar. Whisk to combine really well and let it thicken a little. Pour it over the cooked lettuce and serve!
Most of my friends would agree that NYC is severely behind the West Coast in terms of its share of good authentic Chinese restaurants. There's nothing wrong with it -- there are simply more Asian immigrants on the West Coast. But one very obvious missing piece in NYC (well, let's mainly focus on Manhattan) is Hong Kong-nese dessert shops (糖水!). There used to be a Sweet and Tart on Mott St., but it closed a long time ago. There are several tea houses that serve Taiwanese bubble teas. But there aren't any places that serve the good old fashioned walnut soup, sesame soup, snow wood-ear soup with lotus seeds, etc. (Anyone please correct me if I am wrong. I would love to be corrected in this case!) And one of the newer desserts coming out of Hong Kong in the last decade (according to my friend Erica) is a soup made with mango, pomelo, tapioca, and milk/cream/coconut milk. This dessert is a perfect blend of sweet, tart, tanginess, and a mixture of tropical flavors. Since I coul…
Perhaps it is related to my mild OCD, but there is something extremely satisfying for me to make perfectly square sandwich bread. I bought these loaf pans -- usually called Pullman Loaf pans -- from Amazon but have been too lazy to calculate the exact dough size and recipe for it until this weekend. It makes a nice 4"x4"x13" loaf. I have been baking bread off and on for the last year or so. So far the use of water roux starter (Tang-Zhong, 湯種) is by far the best way to make pillow-like soft bread that stay soft for days while using only a small amount of butter. This is a method very popular in Japan and Taiwan, and probably pacific Asia in general. It probably has something to do with the fact that very few traditional Western recipes feature doughs made with hot water, while many traditional Chinese recipes called for the use of hot water in dough making. (Actually the only Western recipe I can think of is Pate a Choux) The hot water gelatinizes the starch molecules …