Bang, Bang, Biang: Amazing Chinese Noodles

  Bang, bang. Biang. Do you hear that? It's the sound of of handmade noodles. They're knocking on your door, telling you to get off your lazy butt. That they're as easy to make as they are get at a restaurant—and that's only an option if you live in one of the few parts of the world where there is a Shaanxi restaurant. Biang. That's the sound of your jaw hitting the floor. Give me an hour, and I'll give you the best bowl of noodles you've ever made at home. The texture alone of these noodles sings a siren song from the province of Shaanxi, broad swaths of bouncy dough, a canvas … [Read more...]

Ten Things I Was Scolded for While Making Pierogi

Originally posted on Food Riot, which has since shut down. There wasn’t much ceremony to volunteering to make pierogi at Seattle’s Polish Home Association for their upcoming bazaar. Everyone else spoke Polish and was there out of love for their community. My friends and I, none of us Polish by anything other than remote heritage, were there out of a different kind of love: that of dumplings. I’m not saying I can’t be altruistic at times, but I’ll be honest: I volunteered because I wanted to watch these Eastern European dumpling masters and learn their trade secrets. I just had no idea what … [Read more...]

A Salad for Salad Haters: Radicchio with Anchovy Dressing

Thanksgiving's over and holiday parties are getting started. With all that heavy food (not to mention the cocktails), even those who are not the biggest salad fans need to try to sneak in a vegetable or two. Not saying I hate salad personally, just that I'd rather eat stuffing than salad. I might rather eat stuffing than about anything, though. For those who share my preferences, this is the go-to salad. Strong flavors from the anchovy, the garlic, and the bitter radicchio punch you in the palate like a prizefighter. The wallop makes up for the fact that you're eating rabbit food. The … [Read more...]

Halloween Food: Piggy Coffins!

I'm a little competitive. Or, you know, a lot. Like to the point that when I meet another competitive person, I sometimes get really defensive that I'm the more competitive person. And that's probably happened more times than I'd like to count. So where am I going with this? Our office Halloween party is also a potluck with awards for best tasting and most creative food. Clearly, I need to win with the best Halloween food idea. Preferably both categories with a single dish. So I came up with what I'm calling Piggy Coffins. What they actually are is my Holy Shit Pork Cheeks, wrapped in puff … [Read more...]

Simple Summer Suppers: Broccoli and Bagna Cauda

Nobody ever believes me when I tell them the rain doesn't start until my birthday (October 7th). Summer ends at Labor Day, they insist. Nope, it's not true. As the center of the universe--or, my universe, anyway--summer doesn't end until I turn another year older. So until that happens, I will continue to make the kind of simple summer suppers that are easily eaten outdoors, even if it's getting dark at before dinner time. I'll let the green in my vegetables, the yellow in my egg yolks, the bright flavors in my olive oil, light up the night. One of the cardinal rules of a summer … [Read more...]

What My Gall Bladder has to do with Paula Deen (and Healthful Edamame Dip)

Two weeks into my gall bladder being on the fritz, I decided to go all Paula Deen on it. If I simply refrained from eating fat or consuming alcohol, I prevented the attacks, which were more painful than a lifetime sentenced to eating Kwanzaa Cake. But I was hosting book club that night. And we were reading Shark's Fin and Sichuan Pepper, one of my favorite books. An array of home-cooked Chinese dishes peppered the table, wowing me with the skill of my friends: beef tongue, celery, and pig ear from Tiffany, egg tarts from Snacking in the Kitchen, and dan-dan noodles from me, among others … [Read more...]

Cauliflower Bread

A flat bread made out of Romesco cauliflower struck me as really cool. It struck my mother as something a starving peasant would do during the Thirty Years' War. That's the difference between us, I suppose. Inspired by something I found on Pinterest, which, by the way, I'm obsessed with, I set out to create my own version of Cauliflower Bread. It turns out to be is a lovely snack or side dish. The first thing that struck me was that it would make an excellent gluten-free Thanksgiving side dish--I can imagine it only gets better when dipped in gravy or cranberry sauce. If you happen to be … [Read more...]

Little Nibbles: Chef Nordo, Mushroom Hunting and Pie. Plus Pie.

A quick round up of all things delicious, in my kitchen, in my city and around the world… Cafe Nordo Returns Savor Tomorrow is the latest dinner theater production by the folks behind Chef Nordo. They've abandoned the current time zone and boarded a plane in 1962, heading for Seattle for the World's Fair. In keeping with the Mad Men/Pan-Am trend in cocktails today, we were served a variety of delightful cocktails and 1962's 'futuristic' food. The show is interesting and as the plot unfolds the subtle digs at the food industry get better. There's nothing about theater that I don't find … [Read more...]

Bacon and Sour Cream Stuffed Potato Puffs

  The wheels in my head go round and round...round and round. The Taro Puffs on the dim sum cart go round and round...round and round. Using the recipe from Asian Dumplings, I became drunk on success  after my first attempt at Taro Puffs, those lacy, crisp bundles of soft starch that envelop pockets of pork, roaming about the dim sum world. What if...I thought. What if, I replaced taro with a more versatile starch, one that could be blank canvas for all my evil amazing plans. I tried to research if the lacy crunch that defines the taro puff would translate to a potato. Andrea … [Read more...]

Best Recipes for Fall Seasonal Cooking

Last week, Seattle sweated through an 80 degree day--not something we have to do often. Three days later, we looked out on grey horizons, at that point where the slate sky meets the silver waters, through a screen of incessant raindrops.  The rain was typical Seattle--not hard enough to get your shirt wet, but leaving puddles and clumps of fragrant leaves strewn about. It smelled like fall. The season was here and it had a woodsy aroma--smokey, yet fresh. Cuddled into a cowl neck sweater, my mind wandered to the wonders of fall foods. Like a kid picking pumpkins from a patch, I selected a few … [Read more...]