Food & Drink
Welcome to the year 4701 in the Chinese calendar this is the year of the monkey and time to celebrate a better year ahead.This ancient holiday is steeped in tradition and celebrated with gusto all around the world. Chinese New Year and the new moon mark the start of spring and a time of new beginnings. Traditional preparations include settling disputes, clearing up old debts, and cleaning house (always sweeping from the front door to the back symbolically bringing in good luck and leaving the bad behind.) Symbolic dishes are shared and traditions observed, setting the stage for good luck and abundance in the New Year.This holiday is so big it takes three days to celebrate. The first day is one of rest and family. Meat is traditionally avoided all day long and after midnight families make offerings at the temple and pray for a prosperous year together.The second day is filled with celebration and feasting. Drums pound the beat of the dragon and lion dances, and the air is filled with celebration. This is the day to visit friends, and married children come home for a big family feast. Its also time to share ly-see lucky red envelopes filled with cash for the unmarried!On the third day, most folks relax, some say its best to stay home and avoid conflict after all the excitement. Its also a good time to finish all the delicious leftover foods and treats!Rich with tradition, history and exotic flavor, Chinese culture and cuisine offer an important ingredient to our melting pot of a country. Its the diversity of peoples and cultures that make the United States so special and a little understanding goes a long way.Its Chinese New Year and time to party like its 4701. Why not share the spirit with our Chinese brothers and sisters and try your hand at cooking Chinese this week? Kung Hey Fat Choy! Chef Mick Rosacci, Tonys Meats & Specialty FoodsPork Ribs with Asian Plum SauceEast meets West in this tasty sauce thats delicious with all sorts of grilled meats. 3-4 lbs. country-style pork ribsteriyaki sauce (optional)Asian Plum Sauce: 1 cup plum jam1⁄4 cup minced green onion1⁄4 cup fresh lemon juice2 TBS hoisin sauce1 TBS grated fresh gingerroot1 TBS dry mustardMarinate ribs in teriyaki sauce for at least one hour to overnight (optional). Grill ribs over indirect medium heat, or roast at 350 degrees F. for 1 hour. Combine sauce ingredients in mini-chopper or food processor. Process until nearly smooth; reserve half of sauce to serve with finished ribs. Brush remaining sauce on ribs; grill or roast for an additional 30 minutes, until ribs are tender and meat pulls from the bone. Heat reserved sauce and serve with ribs. Serves 6 to 8. *To grill with indirect heat, bank hot coals on one side or in a ring around the perimeter of the fire grate. For gas grills, pre-heat and then turn off any burners directly below where the food will go. Place ribs on the grill so they are not directly over any coals or gas burners and close grill hood.Chinese Wonton Potstickers1 clove garlic1⁄4 cup celery, minced1⁄4 cup carrots, minced1⁄4 cup green onions, minced2 TBS ginger, minced1 cup mushrooms, minced1⁄2 lb. ground pork or turkey1 tsp. concentrated chicken stock2 TBS Shao Xing (Chinese Cooking Wine)pinches of salt, white pepper, and sugarwonton wrapperscanola oilwater or stockChop veggies finely and combine in a bowl. In a second bowl, combine ground meat, stock, Shao Xing, salt, pepper, and sugar and mix well. Combine meat and veggies.Use to fill wonton wrappers, wetting edges and sealing tightly into triangles, purses or half moons.Heat a heavy pan over medium high heat, add a drizzle of cooking oil and fill with wontons, not touching. Cook until brown then add a generous splash of water or stock and cover, steaming until done 3-4 minutes. Serve with dipping sauces of your choice.Chinese Meatball with Stir Fry Napa1⁄2 lb. ground pork, chicken, or turkey11⁄2 TBS minced water chestnut11⁄2 tsp. soy sauce2 tsp. Shao Xing (Chinese Rice Wine)1⁄8 tsp. each salt, sugar & white pepper1 TBS cornstarch1 tsp. oil 1⁄4 tsp. grated garlic1⁄4 tsp. grated ginger6 cups Napa, chopped1⁄2 cup stockShiitake mushrooms1 TBS oyster sauce Mix by hand well and form into meatballs. Saut in 1 tsp. oil, remove and reserve.Heat oil, add garlic and ginger and cook for 30 second. Add chopped Napa and stir fry until it begins to wilt. Add stock, cover and simmer for 5 minutes. Remove lid and add shiitake, meatballs and oyster sauce. Cover and boil over medium heat a few minutes longer. Blend 1-2 tsp. water into 1 TBSP cornstarch and stir into wok, simmering uncovered to thicken. Leung Shui YingChinese Style Asparagus11⁄2 lbs. asparagus1 TBS Soy Sauce1 tsp. sesame oilAsian Red Chili OilToasted sesame seeds1) Toast sesame seeds in a dry pan over medium heat, shaking every few minutes until aromatic and toasted. Set aside.2) Bring a medium pot of water to a boil. Break tough ends off of asparagus and cut into 2 inch pieces at a diagonal. Add to pot and boil until tender ⁄ crisp and bright green. Remove from hot water and immediately plunge into cold water to cool. Transfer to paper towels and pat completely dry.3) Whisk together soy sauce, sesame oil and red chili oil. Toss with asparagus in a serving bowl, sprinkle with sesame seeds and serve.Beef with Mango1⁄4 cup orange juice1 tsp. sugar1 tsp. cornstarch1⁄2 tsp. salt1⁄8 tsp. white pepper1 lb. sirloin, flank or skirt steak sliced into thin strips2 TBS Mango Chutney1 TBS Chinese plum sauce2 ripe mangoes1 TBS oilCombine 2 TBSP orange juice with sugar, cornstarch, salt, and pepper. Mix with meat and let stand 15 minutes.Mix remaining orange juice with chutney and plum sauce. Chop half of the mango and add to the sauce. Heat oil in a wok. Add beef and stir-fry until browned. Add mango-plum sauce and stir-fry until glazed and heated through. Place beef mixture in the center of a serving plate, surround with remaining mango slices. Serves 4.Chinese Hot PotThis is a fun social dish! Similar to fondue, ingredients are cooked in simmering stock and enjoyed with dipping sauces, and the remainder is turned into a soup.10 cups rich seafood or chicken stock*1 TBS ginger, minced 1 TBS garlic, minced6 green onions, chopped finely 4 oz. dried bean noodles1⁄2 lb. leafy greens, such as spinach, bok choy, or Napa8 sea scallops, sliced1 lb. shrimp, peeled & deveined1 package tofu, drained and cut into 1-inch cubes12 clams or mussels, cleaned and soaked in salt water8 shucked oystersDipping Sauces: soy sauce, hot pepper oil, hoisin sauce, sweet & sour sauce, Chinese mustardPlace the stock, ginger, garlic and green onions in a large pot; bring to a boil. Reduce the heat, cover, and simmer for 30 minutes. Soak the noodles in warm water until softened; drain and cut into smaller pieces. Cut the greens into bite-size pieces. Cut the scallops into thin slices. Clean the shrimp. Scrub the mussels or clams and soak in cold water with plenty of Kosher or sea salt (to purge sand). Cut the tofu into cubes. Arrange the noodles, seafood, vegetables and tofu on a large platter. Set a Mongolian hot pot or electric wok filled with stock in the center of a table and adjust heat to a gentle simmer. The guests use chopsticks or Chinese wire strainers to cook the seafood, vegetables and tofu slices in the boiling water and then dip into the sauce of their choice.When all of the seafood is gone, add the remaining greens and noodles to the pot, simmering to make a soup to share. *Note: the success of this dish depends on starting with a full-flavored stock or broth.** Variations: this can be made with any stock and any quick cooking meats or veggies you wish its also great with wontons and Chinese meatballs.Ma Po TofuSpicy meat sauce with bean curd a Chinese classic!1 tsp. oil1⁄2 tsp. minced ginger1⁄2 tsp. minced garlic1 tsp. minced onion or shallot1⁄2 lb. ground porkAdd ginger, garlic and onion to oil. Crumble meat, chopping finely and stir fry. When meat is done, add the following ingredients in the order listed, one by one, seasoning with white pepper and Chiu Chow to taste.1 TBS Shao Xing1⁄2 cup stock2 tsp. black bean paste2 tsp. soy sauce1 lb. soft tofu, 1-inch cubes1⁄4 tsp. white pepper1⁄2 1 tsp. Chiu Chow (Hot pepper oil)2 tsp cornstarch dissolved in 1 TBSP waterCover and simmer two to three minutes to thicken lightly. Stir in green onion and serve. Serves 3-4. -Leung Shui Ying
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