Archive for the ‘asian cuisine’ tag
One more Mardi Gras in Dayton without Pazcki. King Cake just won’t cut it, and a custard-filled donut from Tim Horton’s (which may look like a close enough facsimile on paper) really just doesn’t cut it either.
Ceilidh was this past weekend, which is always a fun event. This year it ended up being smaller then usual, as there was a competing event that ended up drawing off some of the potential (rapier, at least) attendees. Which was actually a pretty good thing, as the space we had for the event this year was a lot smaller then it was in previous years. If we had too many more fencers then we did show up, we would have been seriously overcrowded. As it was, I think that we hit the “sweet spot”… enough people (or enough variety of skill levels) came to make the fighting interesting, but not so many that there were long waits for bouts.
I ended up running the list table so that John could fight (we co-ran the fencing portion of the event) as I was just a couple of days out from yet another dental incident, and wasn’t really feeling like fighting.
(The dental incident was getting the abutment and temporary placed… the best way of describing how it felt is to say that it was like there was a headache in my mouth.)
After the event was over, we went to Nanking Inn for take-out. As far as John and I have been able to find so far, Nanking Inn is only one good Chinese restaurant in Dayton. One of their signature dishes, Nanking Beef, is just about the tastiest variation of sesame beef that I have ever tasted. I spent some time last summer experimenting to see if I could replicate the dish. This recipe, which I found on FoodNetwork.com came the closest, but even with a lot of tinkering, just couldn’t get the sauce to come out right. It never tasted quite sweet enough. Unfortunately, Nanking Inn is going to close on March 31. Albert, the owner (and the cook, maître d‘ , head waiter, and almost everything else), is almost 80 and has decided that he would like to retire. I can’t say that I really blame him. So meanwhile, we are eating there as often as possible, while we still can.
I have made this for dinner before. I think that it is a pretty quick and easy meal.
You will need:
- 2-3 chicken breasts (2 big ones or 3 small ones)
- 1 eggplant
- fish sauce
- soy sauce
- kosher salt
- peanut oil
Take 3/4 of a cup of rice (white or brown) and cook it, then set it aside.
Mix 1 teaspoon sugar, 1 tablespoon of the fish sauce, and 2 tablespoons of the soy sauce…and then set it aside.
Peel and dice the eggplant. You will need to “sweat” it for about 20 minutes. This draws out some of the water and makes it easier to stir-fry. I do this by putting the diced eggplant in a colander, and then the colander in a large mixing bowl. Then generously cover the eggplant in kosher salt. Then… set it aside. For 20 minutes.
Dice the chicken. You want smallish pieces.
Peel a couple of cloves of garlic. I like to use 4-5. Peel some ginger root. Toss both in a blender and chop them up together. Or you can just get the little jars of diced garlic and diced ginger at the store and use a tablespoon of each. Either way works.
Take a wok, and heat it on the stove. When it sizzles when you flick some drops of water in it, its ready. Add 2 tablespoons of peanut oil, and let the oil heat.
Add the ginger and garlic, and stir fry them until the garlic starts to brown. Watch out for oil spatter! For some reason, minced ginger really really gets the hot oil going.
Add the chicken and stir fry it until it is browned and cooked through. You don’t have to stir it constantly… you want the chicken to get that caramelized look. You will know the chicken is done when you can easily split one of the chicken pieces with the spatula.
When the chicken is done, remove it and… set it aside. (There is a lot of “setting it aside” in this recipe.)
The eggplant should be all sweated now, so take the colander out of the mixing bowl, shake off some of the excess salt, and add it to the wok. Add more peanut oil if needed. Stir fry the eggplant until is is browned all over and almost done. (Almost done = mostly, but not quite all of the way, soft.)
At that point, re-add the chicken, and stir in the fish sauce, soy sauce, and sugar. Mix it all up.
Add 1/4 cup water, turn the heat down to medium, cover the wok, and steam it for 15 minutes. You will know it is done when the eggplant is soft all of the way through.
Stir in the rice.