Showing posts from August, 2006

Two Lamb Meals 一羊兩吃

Dinner leftovers usually just end up as my next-day lunch. I think it is not very appetizing to eat the same things for dinner two days in a row. With a little twist, however, leftovers can get a little beauty makeover. For example, I grilled several boneless chicken thighs marinated in a coconut milk-fish sauce-garlic-cilantro sauce for dinner one night. The leftover thighs ended up in an instant "ragu" in which I also added some cucumbers and canned tomatoes. I served this with plain omelets.

In the first picture, I grilled a butterflied leg of lamb, marinated in a herb yogurt sauce. The meat was sliced thin and served with a couscous salad (recipe from Ina Garten's book). The juice that accumulated around the meat during resting was the perfect sauce for it. The next night, I chopped up the rest of the lamb, and fried them up with a little oil, cumin, and black pepper. I also made a yogurt sauce by simply adding sliced cucumber, minced garlic and mint to greek yogurt. …

Iceberg Lettuce with Oyster Sauce 蠔油生菜

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!

Macerated Cling Peaches with Iced Chamomile Milk

New York Times is getting really stingy with their online content. First they made all the good Op/Ed columns subscription only. Then they limited all the contents more than 7 days old also by subscription. I used to be able to get around this by using Google's "cache" page. Now that won't work anymore either. WTF? BBC is free all the way!

Anyway, the point is, I was going to hyperlink the recipe of this dessert to NYT's own article. Now since I can't do that I have to type it myself. I guess there isn't copyright issues with recipes. (You can chime in anytime Charles) because I see them reproduced all the time. I'm not making money from posting it, so it should be alright.

This dessert was of the cooling nature too. The iced milk doesn't linger and lather the tongue like ice cream. The chamomile is so fragrant. Its mintiness adds another cooling effect. I used fairly ripe peaches and I didn't use any additional sugar or lemon juice. I also skip…

A Light Chinese Summer Supper

Left:Nine Veggie Delight; Far right: Shredded Chicken with Wide Mung Bean Noodles in Sesame Dressing; front: Poached Park with Garlic Sauce
One of my fondest memories of summer was my family’s afternoon naps when I was still in the elementary school. We lived in a small apartment, and it was expensive to have the AC on all the time. My parents would lay down a straw mat on the floor in the living room for the three of us to nap on. The afternoon golden sun rays trickled into the room through gaps between the vertical shades, making wobbly light and shadowy patterns. The warm afternoon breeze traveled through the back balcony, past the kitchen, kissed our faces, and then made the shades clap against each other gently as it exited the front balcony. The picture in my head makes me want to take a nap right now. After the nap, my mom may start to prepare for dinner. It is hard for me to remember what we ate back then. But the dishes must have been cooling, for the summer heat in Taiwan was…

New kitchen!

Apartment hunting in a popular city is an agonizing experience. There are too many renters chasing after a trickling supply of vacant properties. Mike and I spent pretty much the entire month of June to find a place. I will spare you the details, but we pretty much went through all the possible worst scenarios: stood up by agents; incompetent agents who have no keys, no knowledge of the apartment, and no idea of the ADDRESS of the building; flaky agents who try to force bad properties down our throats; sleazy agent who reminds me of the devil's advocate; scary neighboods; freaky landlords; and bait-and-switch Craig's List ads. In the end, we did find the gem we looked for. The bitter process made the sweet ending ever so satisfying.

Honestly, I had little expectations for the kitchen during our search. When we went into an apartment, I paid attention to closet size, storage space, floor condition, layout, and lighting. Most landlords sacrifice the kitchen space to make room fo…