I feel like there’s a lot of mystery surrounding the preparation of Peking duck.
At most good Chinese restaurants you have to order it at least a day ahead if there’s any hope of getting it on your table. This has to do with the fact that there is a very narrow bridge of time in which the duck can be enjoyed as intended–that is, with supremely crispy skin and liquid fat.
So Chinese restaurants aren’t trying to annoy you when they ask exactly what time you will be enjoying your duck, they’re trying to protect your eating experience, which I think is great. No self-respecting Chinese cook would ever leave Peking duck just sitting around. In fact my mother had this spasm of annoyance with me when I interrupted her process to take these pictures. So if the photographs are not up to their usual standard, blame the perfectionism of an exquisite cook. Continue reading
Posted in All Posts, International Food, Meat, Seafood, Sides, Soups & Stews
Tagged Chinese BBQ, Chinese food, cucumbers, fish stew, inferiority complex, peking duck, whole shrimp
I find that out of misery often comes… pretty things.
My computer broke this week. I thought it was gone for good. Luckily, my roommate Alan was on hand to reign in the situation. I’m now blessedly typing this from my very own computer, which despite being a little worse for the wear, runs great. Anyway, my point is, out of anxiety for my computer (and all the files on my hard drive, including not-yet-published photos for this blog,) was born this dish: sea bass with sauteed spinach, watercress, radishes, poached potatoes, and a salmon roe garnish. Not having my computer, and the distractions it brings, freed up my time to do whatever else I wanted. And I always want to cook.
One other happy accident made this possible–the discovery of a gigantic Korean supermarket, H-Mart, in Niles. I’m speaking now directly to my neighbors in Evanston: if you have a car, stop shopping at Whole Foods and Jewel Osco. They’re ripping you off. I got all the ingredients for three servings of this, plus enough meat and produce to last me for the next two weeks (and…for the record, it was a whole lot of meat and produce), for 35 bucks. Continue reading