This Daring Baker challenge was a wonderful one! I was seriously hoping it wasn’t a sweet one, as I’m still battling the last few holiday pounds. Our lovely hostesses, Breadchick Mary of Sour Dough and Sara of I Like to Cook chose bread… and just […]
Month: February 2008
Yeah, I know, cheesy title! I really did use my wok, though. :) This is an easy recipe, because it uses basic ingredients, things I usually have on hand, other than a few extra veggies. Its also very quick cooking. Start your rice when you start chopping veggies. By the time you’re finished stir-frying, the rice is cooked and ready to go. You’re eating in 20 minutes!
I have to tell you… I’m uber excited about my weekend because its the South Beach Wine and Food Festival… and yours truly is going to the Grand Tasting!!!! The Forge, Touch, and Blue Door in the Delano (where my hubby proposed) are among some of the amazing South Florida restaurants who will be offering samples of their wares. There will also be many chefs including Masaharu Morimoto, (AKA The Iron Chef) Bobby Flay and Tyler Florence from the Food Network that will be there for seminars and book signings. I am just beside myself with excitement! Thank goodness I have my own personal paparazzi with me (isn’t it great to marry a photographer?) so I’ll have photos to post next week.
I would love to go to all the events, especially the Interactive Cooking Lunch with Ming Tsai (big sigh…) but everything sold out quickly. I have been a huge fan of his for many years. When I was in Culinary School, we had to write about who we looked up to in the industry. I chose him because at the time, he had a show called East meets West. What a coincidence, that’s what I am… Japanese and American… get it? Anyway, in writing this story, I decided to send Ming an email and ask a few questions. Honestly, I never expected to hear back from him. One day… maybe a month after I had written him the email, I came home to a message on my voice mail. It was MING TSAI! Not his assistant, not the assistant to his assistant, but the real deal. He left me a very long message thanking me for the email and answering my questions. Embarrassing confession: I kept that voice mail for at least 2 years, and played it back often. I’m such a dork, I know.
On Valentines Day, I have recently started to prefer staying at home and cooking Stephan a nice dinner instead of battling the crowds in restaurants. I went all out this year, and made uber-fancy lobster risotto. Can we say decadent? I’ve had lobster risotto in restaurants many times, but since I was making this at home, it was more like lobster with a bit of risotto mixed in. In the end, I probably spent more moolah than had we just gone out, but it was totally and completely worth it! We also opened up a fabulous bottle of German Ice Wine that we’ve been holding onto for quite a while.
To be honest, this is the first time I’ve cooked lobster at home. The last time I did cook lobster was in culinary school. I had this chef instructor who insisted we kill the lobsters before boiling them. This really bothered me, and that is the main reason I’ve been lobster shy for the past 8 years! This time, I tried not to look the lobster in the eye, and simply placed them into the boiling water. Not sure if that is humane either, but its better than a knife through the noggin, right? :)
I made it just like I always make my risotto, but omitted the Parmesan cheese at the end. As usual, I like to eat with my eyes first, so I added a small handful of diced red and orange bell pepper more for color than flavor. I also painstakingly cracked the claws and kept the claw meat intact for garnishing. In addition, I made a lobster stock with the shells, but you can always use chicken stock. I ended up using half lobster stock and half chicken stock so the final product wouldn’t be overly lobstery (yes, that is a word!)
For those that are confused, today is the first day of the Chinese New Year. The Chinese New Year starts with the New Moon on the first day of the new year and ends on the full moon 15 days later. The 15th day of the new year is the Lantern Festival, which is celebrated at night with lantern displays and children carrying lanterns in a parade.
While flipping through the South Florida Sun Sentinellast week, these Yin-Yang cookies caught my eye. In Chinese philosophy, yin and yang represent the two primal cosmic forces in the universe… plus its pretty! I decided not to use recipe in the paper, but used the one from my checkerboard cookies from this past Christmas. Its actually much easier than the checkerboard cookies and takes less time. The result is really cool!