Week of 7 July 2008

Food-wise, a quite eventful week — a nice way to kick off this blog. A barbeque with the fam provided the perfect occasion for me to debut my balsamic and olive oil-marinated, inside-out cheeseburgers with sundried tomatoes, onion, and basil. I came up with the sumptious idea while lounging on the beach with a friend a few days before, and I could literally feel my stomach gnawing away inside me at the thought of them. I used Monterey Jack for my inside-out cheese, and the spiciness of the cheese cut through the burger and definitely added a pleasant kick to all the beefiness. Speaking of beef, these were ginormous burgers, though unfortunately, I failed to capture the girth of these bad boys. Here was mine, in all it’s glory:

I grilled some ciabatta for the carbs, and the bread complemented the burger well — I loved the crunch and the overall bready goodness. In addition, I also made a zucchini tort, the recipe for which I found in a Mexican cookbook. A relatively simple dish: just zucchini and onions seasoned and baked with some eggs and a bit of flour to provide the “tort” aspect. A dash of Mexican chili powder gave the dish some kick, although taste-wise, I was a bit disappointed with the results.

Dad also baked some sausages and served them with an Asian peppers and onions sauce on some whole wheat tortillas, but they all disappeared while I was manning the grill, so I didn’t get any shots of them (not a taste either).

The next day, a friend of my mom’s stopped by for the express purpose of teaching me how to make my favorite dim sum dish: loh bahk goh (turnip cake). i absolutely adore this dish — every time I go to the dim sum place where my uncle works, he always makes sure to grab me at least 2 or 3 plates of these suckers. The ingredient list went as follows: cured pork, a couple Chinese sausages, dried shrimp, shredded turnips, scallions, and the binding ingredient, which was something that literally translates into “wet flour,” though I was told that you must buy this ingredient and cannot just make it by combining water + flour. After chopping, shredding, stirring, and seasoning with some soy sauce, oyster sauce, and salt, we steamed the resulting product to achieve this:

I previously thought turnip cakes were relatively healthy, but as you probably guessed, they really aren’t. I’m not entirely sure what inspired such a thought in the first place. Regardless, I don’t think that will stop me from gorging on them when I get the chance. I suppose I could always try to make my own healthy version, but that would just ruin all the fun, wouldn’t it?

Mom’s friend and I also made some wonton and dumplings, which came out super delicious. Nothing but some ground pork, mushrooms, chive-like greens, and a handful of water chestnuts. Here’s a shot of our filling:

Our wonton, pre-boiled:

Dumplings, post-boiled:

Dumpling innards, cooked:

She also brought over a traditional Chinese dessert with which we ended the meal, a heavenly coconut milk-spiked cross between a custard and jello.


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