Tuesday, February 09, 2010

Not Bread Alone: Recipes for foods that make you remember the good old days -- even if they weren't so good

My column this week is about the aromatic, intoxicating and often, seductively simple foods that make us flash back to the past -- our "madeleine moment" foods, if you will. 

Given the subject of this column, I'd be remiss if I didn't include recipes to go along with the dishes mentioned above, and fortunately, the people I spoke with were delighted to share the ways to prepare their favorite feasts. That includes my son Hudson, who not only contributed his own Pumpkin-Cranberry Bread recipe below, but also this hilarious step-by-step video on how to make it. (Okay, so, I helped him a little with the video.)

Hudson Yang's Pumpkin Cranberry Bread
Says Hudson: It's tasty and nutritious! Make sure you have plenty of "all-porpoise flour" and "pumpkin bread stuff" before you start!

Watch the Video: 

2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice (SUBSTITUTION: 2 tablespoons cinnamon)
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
2 cups white sugar
1 (15 ounce) can pumpkin puree
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 cup dried cranberries
1/4 cup canned cranberry sauce
1 cup chopped walnuts (OPTIONAL)

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease and flour 2 9x5 inch loaf pans (or 4 mini loaf pans).
2. In a mixing bowl, combine flour, pumpkin pie spice, baking powder and salt.
3. Combine eggs, sugar, pumpkin and oil in small mixing bowl, beat until just blended. Stir the wet mixture into the dry with a wooden spoon until batter is just moistened. Fold the cranberries and walnuts into the batter. Spoon the batter into the prepared loaf pans.
4. Bake in preheated oven for 50 to 60 minutes. (If using mini loaf pans, begin checking bread after 25 minutes.)

Serves: 14

Andrea Nguyen's Trout and Orange Peel Simmered in Caramel Sauce
Andrew Lam swears by Andrea Nguyen's cookbooks and website, and notes that this dish, while it uses trout, is very similar to the catfish in caramel dish that he grew up with; simply substitute the latter fish for the former.

1 (1 1/2 to 1 3/4 pound) whole catfish, trimmed of fins and cut into 1-inch steaks (keep or discard the head)
1/2 teaspoon black peppercorns
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons Caramel Sauce
1 1/2 tablespoons fish sauce
Peel of 1/2 orange or tangelo, cut into 1/4-inch-wide, 2-inch-long strips
2 tablespoons canola oil
1/2 small yellow onion, thinly sliced

1. In a saucepan, combine the fish with the peppercorns, salt, caramel sauce and fish sauce, coating the fish well. Set aside for 15 minutes to marinate.
2. Add the peel, oil, and onion to the saucepan. Gently stir thing so that these seasonings are well distributed.
3. Bring to a simmer over medium high heat. Cover, reduce the heat to simmer gently, and cook for 10 minutes to allow the flavors to combine. Uncover, add water to just cover the fish. Replace the lid and simmer for 30 minutes. Uncover and adjust the heat, as necessary, to maintain a gentle simmer for about 15 minutes, or until the liquid level has reduced by half.
4. Turn off the heat, taste, and make any flavor adjustments before serving. When making in advance, partially cover with the lid, and allow to cool completely before refrigerating. Reheat over medium or medium-low heat, adding a little water to facilitate things, as necessary. Enjoy with lots of rice.

Serves: 4-6 along with 2 or 3 other dishes

Mother-in-Law's Spicy Kimchi Tacos
While this dish is hardly a traditional one, it's a recipe that Lauryn Chun points to as evidence of kimchi's incredible versatility. Check it out!

1 lb. pork loin
Sauce for pork:
1/2 cup of olive oil
1 tbsp. soy sauce
2 tbsp. mirin
3 peeled garlic cloves
1 tbsp. whole grain mustard
1/2 cup of chopped Mother-in-Law Kimchi
2 tbsp. diced jalapeno
fresh cilantro
lime wedges
Soft corn tortillas


1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
2. Combine ingredients for sauce and pork loin in an ovenproof pot (e.g., Le Creuset)
3. Roast pork in oven covered for 1 1/2 hours.
4. Remove pork and chop into bite size pieces, suitable for tacos.
5. Heat soft corn tortillas in skillet over medium heat.
6. Plate taco with chopped pork, Mother-in-Law Kimchi and other garnishes.

Wendy Chan's Lohan Jai
(This Lohan Jai recipe has become a generational link for Chan's family; after she moved to the U.S., she missed the dish so much that she had her father send her the recipe, and she still treasures the handwritten original. Since then, she's shared the dish and the recipe with her daughters, who never met their maternal grandfather. It's one of the things that led her daughter Veronica to explore cuisine for herself—she's even launched a terrific blog, worldtotable.com.

2 ozs. dried black wood ear mushrooms (rehydrate by soaking in water for one hour)
2 ozs. dried lily flowers (rehydrate by soaking in water for one hour or more until soft)
3 ozs. dried shitake mushrooms (soak until soft)
1 oz. dried black moss (soak for 1/2 hour)
2 ozs. gingko nuts (canned or fresh, shelled)
2 ozs. bamboo shoot tips
3 sticks of fried bean curd stick (soak until soft)
1 medium Chinese cabbage (long and narrow variety)
2 cubes of red fermented tofu (or marinated preserved bean curd cubes)
2 tsp. fermented tofu sauce (from jar)
2 tsp. peanut oil (or other vegetable oil)
8 pieces of Japanese dried premium grade oysters (soak in water for one hour until soft -- omit this ingredient if you wish to keep the dish vegetarian. If using, save the water!)

1. Rinse lily flowers and remove hard tips.
2. Rinse and remove stems of shitake mushrooms, then slice into smaller pieces if desired.
3. Cut hard tips off of wood ear mushrooms.
4. Chop long cabbage into one-inch cylinders. Shake the leaves loose in a colander, wash and drain.
5. Cut rehydrated bean curd sticks to about 1 inch in length.
6. Drain gingko nuts, set aside.
7. Blanch bamboo shoot tips, drain and set aside.
8. In a hot deep pot, add peanut oil, add fermented tofu and stir, breaking the cubes into a paste.
9. Add dried lily flowers, black wood ear mushrooms, shitake mushrooms, moss, oysters, gingko nuts, bamboo shoot tips. Mix well.
10. Turn heat down and add the fermented tofu sauce (from the jar containing the red fermented tofu), and about 1/2 cup of water.
11. Stir regularly to make sure the vegetables are not sticking to the bottom of the pot.
12. If using oysters, strain the saved oyster water to remove any impurities. Add to the pot of cooking vegetables.
13. In a separate wok, heat and saute the Chinese cabbage until soft.
14. After cooking the vegetables for 20 minutes, add the fried bean stick pieces and the cooked Chinese cabbage to the pot.
15. Keep cooking over low heat for another 30 minutes.

Serves: 6-8 people, when eaten with steamed rice. 


Posted via email from OriginalSpin


Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home