Monday, January 21, 2013

Essential Chinese Cooking

A cleaver, a steamer and a sushi making kit. These are three tools that I added to my kitchen recently.

The Chinese New Year is fast approaching and I’ve decided to cook some dishes I haven’t made before. Diving in is the fastest way I know to learn a new dish and my only kitchen advice: Be Fearless.

I love that the Chinese believe that the heart of the family is in the kitchen and they always put food offerings in front of a little altar that they have right by the stove. I’m going to build mine tomorrow. People in China regard the God of Kitchen as the most important immortal appointed by the Emperor of Heaven to supervise virtues and vices. As my kitchen has dished out more vices than virtues this past year, stay tuned.

I shop at Woks n Things at 2234 S Wentworth in Chinatown when I want to add a Chinese gadget to my kitchen. They have the best selection and you simply can’t find better prices.

I also love the owners who helped me select this beautiful Chinese cleaver. They also turned me on to a set of stunning wooden chop sticks. Price? Can’t even tell you how inexpensive this place is.

As always in Chinatown, I also stocked up on groceries and carried a huge bag of sauces and rice back to my suburban kitchen.

I’ll be cooking a lot of Chinese now that it’s really cold outside. Nothing like a whole lot of hot and spicy to warm you up.

Bon Appetit!

My friend Andrew made these wings the other day and we could not get enough of them. We raided the plate the minute they came off the grill and honestly, I wished that I could have stayed around for the feast they were that good.

He threw them on the grill and then poured the sauce over them.

Claiming this as my new favorite wing recipe. Have to tell you that I really loved the recipe and really would not change up the ingredients it was that good.

Bon Appetit!

Gam Poongi Korean Style Hot Wings
12 oz dark soy

12 oz cane sugar cola
1 tablespoon spicy fermented soybean paste

1 head garlic and equal amounts ginger, minced finely (or pressed)

24 tablespoons dark brown sugar

5 tablespoons honey

Crushed red peppers to taste

2 stalks green onion, cut into 0.5in lengths

Combine liquid ingredients, bring to a simmer. Add rest of ingredients, let simmer on low for 1.5 hrs, or until mixture starts caramelizing. You will be able to tell when you should remove it when bubbles are very small.
Remove from heat, let come to room temperature. Add green onions.
Cook wings on the grill and turn the wings every 3 to 4 minutes until done. About 30 minutes.
Pour the sauce over the wings.
Chocolate and Beer

Chocolate beer is hardly new since the ancient Aztecs and Mayans used cocoa beans to create alcoholic beverages hundreds of years ago.

In the new age of great brews, the combination of beer and chocolate is right up my taste arena and was the Gold Medal Winner at the Brewing industry International Awards in 2000, and received the Silver Medal in 2002.

I embraced the taste of Young’s Double Chocolate Stout with a shot of Kahlua and piled high with whipped cream.

Whoever thought that beer would be the perfect after dinner drink?

Bon Appetit!

Young’s Double Chocolate Stout After Dinner Drink

8 oz. Young’s Double Chocolate Stout
1 shot Kahlua
Whipped Cream

Mix stout and Kahlua. Top with Whipped Cream.

S’more Cookie

Make your favorite chocolate chip cookie. When cool, add a dab of marshmallow creme and a flat, thin chocolate on top.

Place in microwave for a few seconds until melted.


Bon Appetit!

Grilled Lamb Chops

How do I cook a lamb chop? In my unfailing cast iron grill pan. I love cooking steaks and chops this way and I have yet to have a failure.

The lamb chop should be taken out of the oven well below the desired degree of doneness. Carryover cooking will continue to cook the lamb while it rests. The thicker the cut of meat and the higher the cooking temperature, the more the temperature of the meat will continue to rise – from 5 – 10 degrees over the 5-15 minutes of resting time.

If you like rare Lamb like I do, pull this out of the oven when it reaches 115 – 120 degrees so final serving temperature will be 125 degrees.

Bon Appetit!

2 Lamb Chops
Crushed Garlic
1 Tablespoon Olive Oil

Salt and pepper the lamb chops.

In a grill pan, get olive oil hot, add garlic (to taste) and grill one side for 2 minutes to sear, then turn over the chops and place the pan in a 500 degree oven for 5 – 6 minutes - or I used a thermometer.