Sunday, April 17, 2005

dim sum, cookies, and dinner

So, as we do every Sunday, we went for dim sum at the Kam Fung. And I hate to say it, but I think that the food at KF is actually getting better. Today was special as we had our biggest table ever, 9 ppl. Me, Sean, Kylie, Dilliana, Nantha, Stephan, and 3 of Stephan's friends. Sorry girls, I'm horrible with names. Eveything was really good. The fried stuffed taro (wu gok) was especially good; crispy, fresh, the mashed taro being light and the filling as savory as always. Also of note was the bbq pork in rice paper (char siu cheong ?). Ususally the have the beef, and the shrimp, and the doughnut stuffed rice paper.. but rarely the bbq pork. The sweetness of the bbq pork goes nicely with the sweet soy sauce.. but let's face it, I've eaten the cheong fan stuffed with little more than a few coriander leaves and have still ooed and awed over it. Something about the texture of freshly cooked rice noodle just does it for me. It's the same with fresh rice noodles in Bun Bo Hue, they are toothsome in a way that nothing else, except I guess fresh pasta, can be. Doughnut stuffed cheong fan is great too because of the textural diffrence between the fried dough stick an the flacid rice sheet.
Apart fron that the sweet tofu (do fu fa) was great as well. Nice and fresh and hot. This remains an all time favourite.
The deep fried squid was good too, a little bit over fried, but I would rather over fried than have soggy batter. This is the fried squid paradox, getting the batter crispy without overcooking the squid.
So all in all a lovely dim sum, with many people and lots of new friends.

Two days ago I made some really nice cookies. I never, ever, make cookies but I get the feeling that I should as these were so good and were so easy. The basis of this recipe comes from the Dolores Casella book 'A World of Baking', p.146. I give you a modified version.
2 1/2 c sifted flour
2 tsp baking soda
3/4 c butter, softened
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup dried coconut
1 cup chocolate pistoles cut into bits (or chocolate chips)
1 cup roasted almond butter
2 large eggs
1/4 cup hot water
2 pinches salt
option extra ingredient

Cream the butter and add the sugars. Cream together until light and fluffy and add the eggs. Mix well until fluffy again, then add the nut butter and mix well. Mix the flour, soda, salt and coconut together. Add the flour mixture, alternating with the water. Stir in the choicolate at the end.
Shape into table spoon sized balls on a non stick cookie sheet, flatten with a fork and bake for 10 - 12 minutes at 350. Makes about 4-5 dozen cookies.
optional other ingredients would be nuts, extra nut butter, or 3-4 grams of finely ground high grade pot.
These cookies are quite good. I would even say very good for the cookies of someone who is not really a baker and who never makes cookies. But then again what would I know, as I never make cookies.

Dinner tonight was a quick noodle stir fry. I've been wanting to make more recipes from the Fuschia Dunlop book, and was thinking of the Yu Hsing chicken (I don't know why.. probably because it's one of the only recipes I remembered.. and for no apparent reason). SO I bought some chicken breast, and some ginger, and spaghetti (?), and nappa cabbage (?).. and decided to make something entirely diffrent.
2 chicken breasts thinly sliced
1 T chinese rice wine
2 tsp cornstarch
1/2 T honey
1 T soy sauce
1/2 to 3/4 a pkg of spaghetti cooked al dente, rinsed under cold water an drained well.
5-6 leaves nappa cappage. hard part sliced thinly, leaves cut roughly
1 med onion sliced
6 cloves garlic chopped finely
3 coins ginger chopped finely
2 T tian jin preserved veg chopped finely
extra soy, black or balsamic viengar

mix the chook breast with the next 3 ingredients and let sit 30 mins or so. heat some oil and fry 1/3 of the garlic/ginger and all of the tianjin for a few seconds then add the chicken and cook, until it is just cooked.. do not cook for 10 minutes.. cook for more like 2-3 minutes max. remove.
heat pan, add some oil and fry another 3rd of the ginger/garlic and then add the onion and the hard part of the nappa cabbage. stir fry and season with a bit of salt and sugar as it is cooking. Put it with the chicken.
Heat more oil and add the final 3rd of the gg. Add the noodles and toss well. seson with soy. Add back the chook and cabbage. toss with some hot sauce and serve.
If I had a wok I could do this in 4 minutes tops... but domestic woks do not cut it for noodles.
BTW the hot sauce I used above was:
heat 3 T oil, add 1 tsp shrimp paste and fry for 30 secs, add 4 cloves garlic roughly chopped, add some Bengali scotch bonnet sauce, and cook out a bit. Add some honey and a few T ketchup and som water and cook out for 5 minutes until it reaches the desired consistency.

ooooo this tires me out all this writing. An BTW, if you ever womder about the 1/4 cup of water in the cookie recipe, and why so many cookie recipe have these little bits of hot water hanging around, see Matt Thorne's article "The Toll House Cookie" about Ruth Graves Wakefield.. fascinating stuff.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Um, who is Matt Thorne and where would that article be found? And what have you cooked from Fuschia Dunlop's cookbook?

3:34 p.m.  

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