chinese new year dinner

i haven’t really celebrated chinese new year since i’ve been in hawaii, but i’ve been cooking a lot of chinese food the past few months, so this year i decided to cook a nice chinese dinner to celebrate the year of the rabbit 🙂

mostly, i’ve been trying a lot of good recipes from fuschia dunlop’s two books, land of plenty and revolutionary chinese cookbook:
land of plentyrevolutionary chinese cookbook

land of plenty has recipes from her travels and time at a famous cooking school in sichuan. revolutionary chinese cookbook focuses on hunanese food. i really like her recipes… they’re detailed, well-written, and have delicious results. she also writes a lot of interesting side notes and stories about her experiences.

here’s the meal:

marci and craig brought the chinese chicken salad and dessert 🙂

蔥 姜 鸡 cold ginger chicken:
ginger chicken

香干肉丝 chicken with pressed tofu, bamboo, and chives
chicken tofu

鱼香茄子 fish-fragrant pork slivers with black ear fungus and bamboo

彭家豆腐 peng’s home-style bean curd w/ black beans and pork

土豆煨牛肉 slow-braised beef with potatoes (spicy)

渔家炒虾球 fisherman’s shrimp with chinese chives and hot peppers

菜心 choi sum with garlic. cooked in the pot after the shrimp.

芥兰 steamed chinese broccoli (gai lan)

干煸四季豆 dry-fried green beans with ground pork and tianjin preserved vegetable.

overall, all the dishes went pretty well. it seems like i can only buy gai lan in chinatown. gai lan’s my favorite though, so it can’t be helped. i found one place with some frozen pressed tofu, but this brand isn’t that good. next time i gotta find a better brand. it seems like the favorites were the shrimp, beef and potatoes, and the green beans. this is the first large dinner i’ve cooked since starting culinary school. i think the planning and execution went way better. hooray! no disaster! happy chinese new year!

intermediate cookery: saute, sandwich/appetizer, grill stations

behind as usual… this class ended a while ago, but i figure i’d post these pictures before i forget what we cooked in this class.

for saute, we took care of the chicken, calamari steak, vegetables, sauces, and plating for most of the entrees.

under there somewhere, is chicken and polenta (tomato cream vodka sauce)…

calamari steak was quite good, served with a ginger beurre blanc sauce and roasted garlic kale yukon gold mashed potatoes

under there somewhere is sirloin steak with wild mushrooms demi glaze and roasted garlic kale yukon gold mashed potatoes

grilled salmon with a miso butter sauce served with okinawan sweet potato mash, sauteed snap peas, and a sesame honey ginger slaw. never had an okinawan mash before. it is quite good and goes well with the salmon.

for grill, we handled the salmon, lamb chops, steak for entree, steak for the steak sandwich, and chicken for the chicken sandwich.

the lamb was my 2nd favorite dish (1st was the snapper). never heard of poha berries before, but the poha berry chutney was delicious.

for sandwich, there’s the assembly of the steak sandwich, maple bourbon chicken sandwich, turkey club, and burger. appetizers were the mussels casino and barbecue chicken quesadilla (forgot to take pictures).

steak sandwich was very good. this one and the veg panini were my favorites. the steak goes nicely with that watercress salad on the grilled bun.
steak sandwich

chicken sandwich has a sweet and spicy apple chutney and those fried onions. nice textures in this sandwich. gotta make sure the onions don’t clump when you fry them.
chicken sandwich

a pretty good traditional club.

the patty we made for this was interesting; it had some cajun spice, garlic, and basil. a lot of people like this burger. i just like ground chuck with salt and pepper though, so not my favorite.

anyway, intermediate was a very fun class. we got to work at all the different stations, make good food, and learn. i’m glad i decided to take it 🙂