05 June 2012

Chile Lime Yuba, Jiaozi, Others

Since the last post, I've intended to do more cooking with chemicals. It hasn't happened, really. One experiment in making some form of ice cream (hemp milk, xantham, versawhip) was met with success but  that isn't exactly impressive; ice cream is fairly trivial to make (though it is nice to not need a machine to do it). In the mean time, most of my meals have been simple ingredients with involving preps. For instance, I made a yuba stir-fry that involved making steamed buns, cleaning a rather lot of mushrooms and snap peas, carmelizing onions, and using a mortar to grind a sauce from jalapeno and basil. Yet the end result was just interesting; maybe something to work on, but nothing extraordinary. In fact, what I've described is basically the recipe if you add some lime to the sauce and some soy sauce to the stir fry.
For recipes that I can give, there were some definitely delicious dishes cooked in the past weeks. For instance, this mujaddara from food52 was phenomenal and simple. Cooking the rice in the oven was something I had never considered though it now makes perfect sense. The trick to really good sushi rice is ensuring it cooks by steaming, not boiling. Putting it in the oven is like the too-lazy-to-buy-a-rice-cooker man's solution to this problem. We topped it with oven-roasted carrots and broccoli, a dish that E has been knocking out of the park lately.
Another is a repeat iteration of "peas with horseradish", from Momofuku. That is it, really. Oh, it is from Momofuku so you have to add some butter. But, yeah, that is it. Heat some butter in a cast iron. Add some sugar peas, or snap peas, or really any pea that cooks quickly until you think it is done. When it is, sprinkle on some salt, shave some fresh horseradish on, toss it, plate it, and shave a little more horseradish. Consume, quickly. The flavor on this one diminishes quickly.
And, finally, a glorious dish: jiaozi (or, chinese dumplings). E kicked ass on this one, basing the recipe on the first hit on Google (note for later: searching for ethnic food recipes by their ethnic names yields better dishes). We subbed "Gimme Lean"-brand vegan ground beef substitute for the real thing and used store-bought wrappers. It took a while, considering how cramped my steamer became. One batch was boiled; I wouldn't recommend that - steam these puppies. They are awesome.

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