Wednesday, November 27

Chinese broccoli (kailan; 芥藍)

Soak in a large container, then rinse all the dirt off.Cut off the tough thick bottom "trunks" and discard.
Cut the large leaves off the "trunks", then cut the stems off those leaves, then cut the top leafy part off.
  • Cut the bottom "trunks" at a 25°-30° angle, so pieces are about 1" long
  • Cut the leaf stems about 1" long
  • Cut the leaves into sections about 1" long
Pour a little oil in a frying pan, then put in the cut stems and "trunk" pieces and stir fry for about a minute. Add the chopped leaves, gently stir-frying for another three minutes or so. (It's important not to overcook the broccoli.) Sprinkle with salt.

I like it much more than broccoli.

Chicken with shiitake mushrooms

  • 1 lb. boned chicken thighs 
  • 1 T Chinese rice wine
  • 1 T soy sauce
  • 2-3 minced garlic cloves
  • 1 T hot broad bean paste (辣豆瓣醬)
  • 15-20 shiitake mushrooms
  • 1 cup fresh cilantro, washed and drained
  • salt to taste
  • 1 t sesame oil
Remove the fat from boned chicken thighs, and cut into small 1/2-1" pieces. Steep in a little Chinese rice wine and sesame oil for 1/2-1 hr.
Wash 15-20 mushrooms, cut off and discard stems, cube caps into 1/2 pieces.
Heat oil in frying pan, drop in minced garlic cloves, then add hot broad bean paste, stir-fry briefly, then add chicken and stir-fry until nearly cooked through, then remove from pan, leaving the liquid.
Dump in mushrooms, stir, then cover for a few minutes (they'll suck up the liquid at first, then soften), then add chicken and when almost done, sprinkle with salt and add cilantro and sesame oil.

Tuesday, November 26

Roast duck

I just got one at the Ranch 99 Supermarket. They all looked a little pale and sure enough, they hadn't been roasted until the skin was really crispy. What a disappointment. I'll take the rest and heat it up (or roast a little) in the toaster oven. I'll have the leftovers for Thanksgiving.

Tongho (茼蒿, aka Garland Chrysanthemum, Chop Suey Green)

She used her thumbnail to make sure the leaves or stems she pinched off were tender enough.
Stir-fry until they're wilted--they'll cook down a lot--add a little salt.

Shiitake mushrooms with mung bean sprouts

Wash 7 or 8 mushrooms, cut off and discard stems, cut caps into ¼ strips, stir-fry in oil about a minute then add the washed and drained sprouts (12 oz. package), continue frying, then add a splash of balsamic vinegar and a sprinkle of salt and stir fry for 7 or 8 minutes until the mushroom flesh is no longer white but the sprouts aren't soft.

Sunday, November 24

A couple of things from Take A Girl Like You (Kingsley Amis).

It's set in the 1950s, and the narrator makes several references to his car as an old "110", and at one point he tells someone it's a "Sunbeam Talbot". An article from London Magazine claims that "the car referred to can only have been a 1935 Talbot". An author from Motor sport argues that it "by inference must be a very tatty 34-litre Roesch Talbot". Maybe so, but any kind of Talbot looks pretty snazzy now.

And what do the writers of Weeds think of the Obama Economy?

From Season 3 Episode 10:
Celia Hodes: I can't wait for money to come in. I need it now.

Nancy Botwin: Jesus. Why are you in such bad shape?

Celia: I've been spending on my cash on coke and man whores....Why the hell do you think? I work a middle-class job in the Bush economy.
I don't know whether this was Jenji Kohan, Victoria Morrow, or someone else, but it's so Hollywood.

Oxtails stewed in red wine

  • oxtails (2-3 lbs.)
  • olive oil (enough to sauté the onions )
  • 2-3 large onions, chopped
  • 2-3 large tomatoes, chopped
  • 3 slices of ginger
  • other vegetables as you wish (carrots, mushrooms, etc.)
  • hot pepper (if you like it spicy)
  • salt to taste
  • pepper to taste
  • red wine
Place oxtails in pot, cover with cold water, and bring to a boil for 10 minutes. Discard the water, rinse the oxtails, and set aside.
In the stewpot, pour in a little olive oil, and sauté the ginger and onions until soft
Add tomatoes, continue to sauté for 1-2 minutes
Add the oxtails and any other vegetables
Pour in enough red wine to cover everything
Bring to a boil, then turn down to a simmer
Continue simmering for at least 3 hours, until the meat is almost falling off the bones
At this point, you can remove the meat from the bones, or leave it on for the diners

It's now ready to serve, but you can also refrigerate it and serve it the next day or the day after and it will taste even better.

Serve over pasta (rotini) or rice

Baby bok choy (上海白菜、青江菜)

Break the leaves off and soak in a large container, then rinse all the dirt off.
Cut the leaves from the stems, then cut the larger stems in half, then chop into sections about ⅓ of an inch wide. Cut the leaves into strips about the same size.

Pour a little oil in a frying pan, then put in the cut stems and stir fry for about a minute.
Add the chopped leaves, gently stir-frying for another three minutes or so. (It's important not to overcook the choy.) Sprinkle with salt.

Edamame, carrot, and potato

  • 2 cups edamame (毛豆; green soybeans out of the pod; available frozen in asian grocery stores)
  • 2-3 carrots
  • 1 medium potato
  • oil for frying
  • salt to taste
Cut the carrots and potato into small cubes no large than ¼ inch.
Pour a little oil into a frying pan, dump in the cubed carrots and potato, then add the edamame/soybeans. Cover, stirring occasionally (the potatoes may stick to the pan), and cook for 15 minutes or so. Salt to taste.

Tomatoes with tofu

  • 1 tomato (not really "tomatoes", is it?)
  • 1 lb. medium tofu
  • 1 scallion
  • oil for frying
  • soy sauce to taste
  • salt to taste
  • black pepper to taste

Cut tofu into ¼ inch cubes, chop tomato into small pieces. Cut scallion into thin slices.
Pour a little oil into skillet, add the tomato and tofu and a splash of soy sauce, then cover, stirring occasionally (make sure tofu doesn't stick).
After 10-15 minutes, sprinkle with salt and pepper, then drop in the scallion, mix together, then shut off the heat and leave covered for a few minutes.