October 17, 2015

Obsessed with Sichuan

I'm becoming increasingly obsessed with Sichuan food. You can see here and here and here....Last week I had some of the usual suspects over for a night of cooking Sichuan dishes. Without planning to do so, must of us references Fuschia Dunlop's works in preparing these dishes. I did not make all of these dishes, it was a team effort, but here is a snippet of what we did. Above is boiled, fiery and spicy beef. Wicked hot, and the brisket achieved a level of tenderness I wouldn't have thought possible with this preparation. Awesome.
Husband and wife beef slices. A classic dish, traditionally made with lung and organ meats, but ours was brisket. Less spicy than the previous dish with added complexity from the peanuts and greens to round things out. Great dish.

A pretty standard riff on dry-fry green beans, though I never seem to get this dish quite right.
Poached white fish doused in chilis (fresh and pickled). This was perhaps the dish of the night. Be brave and feel the burn. Thanks to this guy for making this tasty dish. And it looks kick ass, too.
Spicy chicken pot. Fun little number. We managed to each crank out some tasty dishes taking turn manning the stove in my wish-it-was-a-heeluvalot-bigger galley kitchen.
With all the spice, you need wines that carry some residual sugar, like the Riesling and Gewurztraminer from legendary Alsatian producer Zind-Humbrecht.
These Rieslings were pretty good as well. And they can be found at Le Caveau in Chamblee if you are local and looking.

October 5, 2015

Recent Cooking Exploits

A quick update on some recent cooking exploits. As the weather finally cool off a bit, it's time to get back to some heartier dishes. The lasagna bolognese is as decadent a lasagna as you could possibly want to eat. It's filling, and a fun splurge. The recipe comes from Kenji, and like many of his successful recipes, he does the research to create the best possible final product. This lasagna requires you make an all-day bolognese, so plan ahead. It also a features an uber-rich  besciamella sauce that the entire thing bathes in. Did I say it was decadent?
As I said above, cooler weather brings out some of my favorite recipes like the David Chang's take on ramen. I had been making Ivan Orkin's seafood stock-based ramen last year, but went back to the traditional tonkotsu with Chang's recipe. The rich stock topped with pork belly, pork butt, soft-boiled egg, some nori and scallion will make you happy. I'm not really a student of ramen, I've probably had my own as often as I've had others. That being said, I was quite happy again with the results.

The key here is simmering five pounds of pork neck bones, along with some smoked hocks, for about 7 hours. There's nothing like the richness of a fatty-all-day pork broth.