Pleat Me and Treat Me
Ah, kanom jeeb – you have officially earned platinum status in the dumpling ranks. You are a mere morsel of goodness, a two-bite treasure, and I thank you for gracing me with your presence. Jam from the wonderful food blog “Thai Cooking with Jam” explains that your name is derived from the thai words for “pleated snack”, but I posit that you legally change your name to the thai words for “pleated awesomeness”. Awesomeness indeed.
I know that you are a textural delight with your essential combination of crunchy carrots and water chestnuts carefully blended with tender shrimp and pork. You are also a luxurious treat with your delicate topper of lump crab. And yet, you don’t mind dressing yourself down on certain days with a crispy shallot or two. You are similiar to your Chinese brother, shu mai, and yet your combo of sweet and savory taste worlds away at times. Continue reading Kanom Jeeb (Steamed Thai Dumplings)
Time is On Your Side. Yes, it is.
My grandmother (Vo, if you’ve not pieced that bit of info together yet) makes a lasagna that takes a good two days to cook. San Marzano tomatoes are gently simmered with tender cuts of pork, italian sausage and homemade meatballs. My family has been know to ration portions of the dish for fear that it’ll be months (nay, full years) before they’ll be in the right place at the right time and lucky enough to snag a bite. Men have been known to stab each other with forks for a helping. Continue reading Weekday Lasagna
Kitty Yum Yum’s Dumpling Emporium
I admit that I’m a bit of a fussy pants about collecting the best version of a recipe possible, to the point of years of trial and error to get things just right. I believe in a specific set of credos of the kitchen, and won’t accept any substitutions for particular dishes that my palette is craving a certain way. Was it Anthony Bourdain that said that people that refuse to peel garlic (by way of pre-chopped jarred garlic) don’t deserve to eat it? I watch Sandra Lee cook out of seasoning packets and processed piles of ingredients, and it reminds me of why I enjoy spending a little extra time in the kitchen getting things just right. It’s so worth it when the stars align and the recipe you’re working from just works. Continue reading Jiao Zi (Boiled Pork Dumplings)
“Pass the Southern Comfort, baby. It’s been a long day.”
And by that I mean spend some time getting a little déclassé and whip up some potatoes and veg for this super light and moist meatloaf. I know, I know. You want elegance and style. You want strings and harps, and saucers of champagne. But occasionally, you have to trailer-park-trash it up a bit and enjoy some straight up comfort food. I know what you are thinking – Angela, aren’t you the self-proclaimed ingredient snob? Truthfully, my deal is that everything be as tasty as possible, which is absolutely not elitist. There’s room for truffles and tater tots alike in my mind. Though maybe not in the same dish. Anyways, the whole point is to put aside your preconceived TV dinner notions and tuck into Mama Angelina’s Bomb Meatloaf…yes, that’s literally what it’s called. And it’s “bomb” for “it’s the bomb”. Continue reading Classic Meatloaf
Love is Bacon and Eggs for Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
I come from a long line of women who cook with such confidence, it borders on defiance in following a recipe. I can’t say that I don’t follow recipes, as I most certainly do. But I have to admit that my favorite times in the kitchen are those when I am cooking the dishes that I know so intrinsically, using the recipe would only cause me to second guess myself. This dish, a comforting amalgamation of fatty bacon and oozy eggs and cheese, is one I always love the best when made without a recipe. I just know it’s going to be good by the feel of working with the ingredients that are in front of me.
Carbonara, for me, isn’t determined by the standard laundry list of ingredients (pasta, eggs, pancetta, parmasean, and a healthy dose of black pepper) so much as the proportions. I like mine as gloriously lux as possible – comfort food at its finest – which means that I’ll be a bit of an ingredient snob in order to get it just right. Ironically enough, this dish still manages to be one that I seem to be able to make at any time – I always have the ingredients lying around the fridge. Maybe that’s the appeal – so easy to make, but insanely full of panache and class. All cooking should have results such as these. Continue reading Pasta Carbonara