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Sichuan Banquet at Home [Apr. 6th, 2013|09:40 pm]
Trey is up visiting and we had a big cook-fest last night. Wow, it was fun! And enough leftovers for several days..

Trey did a terrific hot and sour soup from scratch. A wealth of ingredients. It's the perfect chance to use dried mushroom mixes and a host of items. Trey picked up dried lily buds, an item I'd not used before, and it adds a mildly sweet, fragrant note.

Sichuanese udon. The noodles are prepared separately and then finished in a rich chili sauce. This was our one almost-authentically spicy dish. :) Two tablespoons of sichuan peppercorns toasted and then tossed in oil with about 8 dried chilis and several cloves of garlic. Then add onions, soy sauce, minced ginger, and a cup or so of chicken stock. Good stuff!

Complemented and cooled by a bean sprout and cucumber salad. A bell pepper, basil, carrot, and lemon juice too. Simple dressing of soy, vinegar, and a touch of sugar. Having multiple smaller dishes of vegetable items like this would be more common in authentic, informal cooking.

Long beans and tofu in oyster sauce. A bit of sichuan pepper and chicken stock in the sauce, too. Water chestnuts for crunch.

Fresh mango chicken! My favorite dish but also the most labor-intensive of the meal. Chicken is cut, marinated, dredged, and fried separately ahead of time. The Whole Foods by work had a sale on these ripe and sweet mangos -- 10 for $5! Since I'm rather fond of ripe mango, I had to grab some. Stir fried up with a few additions for a sweet and tangy sauce, this was a winner.

[User Picture]From: nevermint
2013-04-07 12:09 pm (UTC)
All of those look very delicious!
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[User Picture]From: porsupah
2013-04-07 03:32 pm (UTC)
It's just as well I'm not feeling especially hungry at the moment, I suppose. ^_^

Ooh, that reminds me - I need to pick up some Sichuan peppercorns. I've got some powdered, but it's rather wimpy by comparison. Perhaps a pepper mill, too, given it's a bit of a faff to go crushing them, though arguably still simpler than crushing cardamom seeds. Both highly worthwhile, though. =:9

What does your spice rack/shelf look like, I wonder? (Maybe I should pose that as a meme in a future entry..)

Think I'm going to go with something with mashed potato today.. perhaps the frozen sausage & mash (not great "naked", but very cheap, and a versatile launching point), augmented with some beef strips in oyster sauce and pink peppercorns, alongside Spring greens and carrots.

Mango! Mm, I should pick one up sometime, and recreate a dish I had at a local Indian restaurant, one of their specials: garlic mango chicken. The sauce is yoghurt-based, and the amount of garlic's quite contained, so as to lend its influence, without clashing with the mango. It's not a combination I'd've thought would work so well!
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[User Picture]From: nicodemusrat
2013-04-12 02:44 am (UTC)

For the peppercorns we got a second small-size pepper mill for them. Yes, much more convenient.

What does my spice collection look like? Well, I can take a picture and post if you really want, I guess. :)
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From: endmouse
2013-04-07 04:02 pm (UTC)


Wow! It's amazing what you guys can produce in a short time! When are you going to create your wonders in my kitchen again? I always do my part by pointing out where to find utensils, pans, etc. To each his own gifts . . .
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[User Picture]From: baccala_30
2013-04-07 04:06 pm (UTC)
I have always loved your food posts. :)
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