Month: June 2014

A Blog Hiatus…

Blog Hiatus 1

 

Greetings folks … By the time you read this post, I will have embarked on a fairly extensive round of travels: In addition to some regular Court circuits, I have a week-long Jury Trial, a Conference, and then… VACATION. Naturally, I will be largely precluded from writing any posts (or doing any cooking) during that period and, after considerable thought, I have decided that, upon my return, I will continue my absence from the blogosphere and take an extended hiatus of sorts…

 

Over the past 2 and a half years, I have been devoting somewhere between 10 and 20 hours of each week to doing the various things associated with creating blog posts and, since starting my Chinese language posts some 4 months ago, that weekly average has increased quite considerably. This has been no end of fun, I will admit, but it has left me precious little time to do much else and, for a little while at least, it would be nice to… well, NOT spend 20 or more hours writing blog posts each and every week.

 

Anyway, I shall pretty much be going off-line for the next little while… I will actually still be doing restaurant reviews periodically (that’s how Sybaritica originally got started), but the regular weekly round of cooking and posting recipes will be on hold at least until the end of the summer. During that time, I will be giving thought to what I want to do with the blog after I return, and I will also be undertaking some culinary projects that should make for some interesting reading when I do return .

 

Please, everyone, keep following the blog so that you know when I am back and… Enjoy your summer!

Agedashi Tofu

Agedashi Tofu 1

An Agemono dish in Japanese cuisine is one in which the main ingredient is deep-fried. Age dofu (or tofu) is any preparation of deep-fried tofu, while today’s dish, Agedashi Tofu, is cubes if the fried bean curd served in a dashi based sauce. Our sauce today is essentially a Kakejiru (or dashi, soy, mirin blend) and we will be using a pre-prepared quantity of it in our recipe here…  Continue reading “Agedashi Tofu”

Chicken with Broccoli and Mushrooms

Moo Goo Gai Pan 1

Today’s dish is a pretty good example of what often used to appear on westernized Chinese restaurant menus as ‘Moo Goo Gai Pan’. That name, or some variant on the spelling, is a rendering of the Cantonese words for ‘Button Mushrooms with Chicken Slices’. Generally, the mushrooms in most restaurants would be the canned variety and the basic ingredients would almost always be ‘bulked out’ with one or more additional vegetables. Today, I am also going to use canned mushrooms but I am limiting the ‘bulk’ to just a little broccoli…  Continue reading “Chicken with Broccoli and Mushrooms”

Chimichurri Baked Chicken

Chimichurri Chicken 1

In my post about the Argentinian Chimichurri sauce for grilled meats, I noted that the preparation is also used as baste and marinade during the cooking process. Chimichurri is probably most closely associated with beef but the tangy-herbaceous notes also work very nicely with chicken. Today’s recipe would be terrific on the barbecue but, this not being the season in these parts, I am going to bake in the oven instead…  Continue reading “Chimichurri Baked Chicken”

Steamed Pork Patty with Dried Squid

Steamed Pork with Dried Squid 1

When I was a law student, I shared an apartment with two other students, one of whom had recently moved to Canada from Hong Kong. Like many Chinese immigrants, he adopted a Western name for himself but his choice, which was Gordon, was rather a poor one as he couldn’t pronounce it. Accordingly, my other room-mate and I re-dubbed him ‘G’…

G. was not a particularly accomplished cook but he had learned a few basic dishes from his mother and, one of these, which he cooked on a regular basis, is the one I am preparing for you today. This preparation represents my earliest introduction to dried squid as a culinary ingredient and I have loved it ever since…  Continue reading “Steamed Pork Patty with Dried Squid”

Culinary Chinese 101: Traditional ain’t Simple…

CC Traditional-Simple 1

Well, I REALLY, REALLY hate to do this to you… We were progressing so well in our culinary Chinese lessons and, now, I have to introduce a nasty new complication that is going to make our job that much harder…

Take a look at the two noodles bowls in the picture above. We encountered the left-most Chinese character a few weeks back and identified it as ‘miàn’, meaning the wheat-flour noodle of the ‘Chow Mein’ type. Well, as it turns out, the character on the bowl on the right is also ‘miàn’. In fact, it is the actually same character.

Well, sort of … Unfortunately, I now have to break the news to you that there are, in fact, two parallel systems of Chinese characters. We’ll take a look at the actual details of that in a moment but, first, you need to know a bit about the story behind the situation…  Continue reading “Culinary Chinese 101: Traditional ain’t Simple…”

Banchan: Spicy Dried Squid

Banchan- Spicy Dried Squid 1

This Korean Banchan, or small-plate/side dish, uses dried squid and chili paste. There are many variations and quite a lot use the dried squid that is purchased pre-cut into fine shreds. This one, however, starts with a whole dried squid and the result is not just spicy and delicious but good and chewy as well…  Continue reading “Banchan: Spicy Dried Squid”

Chimitaki Beef

Chimitaki Beef 1

The name of today’s production may sound like a Japanese classic but, actually, it is something I made up myself. This little appetizer combines lean beef grilled in the Japanese ‘Tataki’ style, which is then served with a slightly modified version of the Argentine sauce known as Chimichurri. The fusion of culinary forms is thus mirrored in the name-fusion, ‘Chimi’ plus ‘taki’ …  Continue reading “Chimitaki Beef”