Recipes from Marche, Italy

For this entry, I made two recipes. Neither of them were especially good, but I don't blame the people who posted the original recipes or any of the traditions they came from, I blame myself and my propensity for Googling things that might kill me.

Recipes from Marche, Italy: Brodetto

A seafood stew with mussels and clams, minus the Vibrio.

Recipes from Marche, Italy: Filone Casereccio

An Italian bread that will come out much better than mine did if you use fresh brewer's yeast and steam.

Recipes from Malta

This is actually the third time I’ve cooked a meal from Malta. The first time, I cooked the meal and then just did not write the blog post. Years went by.

Recipes from Malta: Imqarrun

Imquarrum (also called Imqarrun il-forn) is descended from a dish served in Sicily, but the Maltese have adopted it as a traditional staple. The key to making this dish is to be patient.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Recipes from The Czech Republic (Revisited)

OK, I know I said that I was going to do Iran this week, but I have this other entry I have to squeeze in first and I didn't have time to write two of them.

Every now and then I get a message from someone who lives in or is from one of the countries on my list. I love it when this happens, because to be honest I feel woefully inadequate sometimes, especially when I have to depend on the internet to find recipes. Which is most of the time.

The internet is not always a great place to find recipes. Sometimes it is ... Food blogs provide the best, most authentic international recipes, but not every nation has a dedicated blogger whose goal it so to bring her homeland's favorite recipes to the world. Other times the only recipes I find are from dubious sources--recipe wikis, travel websites or "I got this recipe from my uncle who once knew a guy from such and such a place" type sources.

Most of the time I think I do a pretty good job, but sometimes I get it wrong, and when I do I want to be told about it. Politely. Because I really do try, and I don't actually enjoy emails written by irate senders who accuse me of giving their beloved country a bad name, and I especially don't like it when some one parachutes in and goes "you did that wrong" but then leaves without actually telling me how to do it right.

 Prague, Czech Republic. Photo by Flickr user szeke.

So I appreciated the message I got from Iva, a Czech who saw my Czech Republic entry and thought maybe I could do a better job. I am always happy to oblige a polite request for a do-over, because I really think the very best sources for recipes are living, breathing people who live in or come from the countries on my list.

Iva sent me three recipes from the Czech Republic, and here they are:

Sour White Soup
  • 1 /2 lb potatoes, peeled and diced
  • 2 cups water
  • salt
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1-2 tbs all-purpose flour
  • 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tbsp fresh dill, finely chopped

Pork with carrot
  • 1 lb pork rump or shoulder, diced
  • 2 lbs carrots, peeled and sliced
  • 1-2 onions, chopped
  • butter (or sunflower oil or lard)
  • salt
  • pepper
  • pork or vegetable stock

Buns with wine custard
  • 6 tbsp + 2 tsp warm milk
  • 1 tbs sugar
  • 7 tsp active dry yeast4 cups all-purpose flour
  • pinch of salt
  • 7 tbsp butter (room temperature)
  • 1 egg
  • 7 /8 cup yogurt
  • 1 cup white wine
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 tbs sugar
  • vanilla

So I happily did the Czech Republic over again, with great results. Here's the rundown, starting with the buns:

Proof the yeast with the sugar and milk until frothy (about five minutes). Now mix the dry ingredients together with the butter, egg and yogurt, then add the yeast mixture. Mix until you get a smooth, elastic dough (this worked great in my bread machine). Cover and move to a warm place. Let rise for an hour or so, or until doubled in bulk.

Now preheat your oven to 400 degrees and grease a cookie sheet with melted butter. In a bowl, melt another half stick of butter or so. Divide the dough into four pieces and roll them out into long, thin strips. Cut into small pieces, roughly a half inch wide. Now, mine were bigger than that, partly due to laziness and partly due to ... OK let's face it, laziness.

Now dip each piece of dough in the butter and place the little dough pieces on the cookie sheet. You want then to be right next to each other, which is why you're covering them with butter--that way they'll come apart easily. When you're finished, brush a little more butter on top of the buns, just for good measure.

Bake the buns in the preheated oven until golden. In my oven this took about 25 minutes, but don't use that as a guide because my oven is possessed.

Meanwhile, make the custard. Mix the ingredients together and cook over low heat until the mixture thickens. Confession: I just used a premade custard because using raw eggs in anything terrifies me. I'm sure it would have been fine, but I spent Boxing Day this year on the floor of my bathroom because I ate some cake batter with raw eggs in it. So I'm not ready to go back there yet.

Now either put the custard on the bottom of a serving bowl and put the buns on top, or vice-versa. I did vice-versa, because it looks better in a picture.

 So while the dough is rising, start on the pork. First fry the onions in a pat of butter.

Add the meat and a little salt and pepper. Cook until the pork browns and the onions are golden. Now add the stock and simmer until the pork is nearly cooked. Add the carrots and keep cooking until soft. Serve with boiled or mashed potatoes and garnish with parsley.

Now while the pork is cooking you can make the appetizer, which takes a little less time.

Boil the potatoes in the water for 10 or 15 minutes, but don't drain them. Now whisk together the milk, sour cream and flour until smooth.

Add to the potatoes and bring to a gentle boil. Cook for another five minutes. If you like a thinner soup, you can add a little bit of extra milk. Stir in the vinegar, salt and pepper and dill. Serve!

My favorite part of this meal was that soup. It was reminiscent of the dill potato salad that I often make for summer potlucks, but this was kind of its winter counterpart. I loved the sour cream flavor and the dill. I could have gobbled up a whole pot of this stuff, and no I didn't share it with my kids, who really wouldn't have appreciated it anyway.

The pork was a nice, basic dish and the carrots weren't awful. If you read this blog you know that I really am not a huge carrot fan, and when I was eating this meal I pushed them all to the side of my plate and left them there like a picky four year old. Martin talked me into trying one and I didn't hate it. But I didn't eat all if them either.

My family, ever the bread and custard lovers, gobbled up the buns and custard and then ran wildly around the house and collapsed into a sugar coma. No, it doesn't take much for my children, because the buns weren't sweet at all and the custard was the only sugary part of this dessert. They loved it though. My kids are always keen to try new things, as long as it's dessert.

So thank you to Iva for bringing me up to Czech standards with this meal, which replaces the one I did last year. And if you're still on the fence about whether or not to send me authentic recipes from your homeland, please do (I'm going to redo one of my recipes from Barbados next week, too). Just, you know, be polite. :)

Next week: Iran (this time for sure)

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Recipes from Iceland

This week we’re eating hákarl. To prepare, I buried a poisonous shark in my gravel driveway and then let it sit there for several weeks, putrefying in its own juices. Then I dug it up and hung it in a shed to dry in the bitterly cold California winds. Then I chopped it up into surprisingly delicious-looking cubes and passed it out to people who bother me.

I’m just kidding, and now I feel like I have to apologize to any Icelanders who may be reading this. I’m just really sorry, I can’t get my mind around hákarl.

This meal does not include hákarl.

Yes, hákarl is a real thing. Icelanders like to eat putrefied shark, or at the very least, they like to give it to people who bother them. I like to think it’s mostly the latter, because that’s the only option that makes sense in my otherwise tiny mind.

I am not making hákarl. I’ll do fresh meat of almost any kind, but once you add the word “putrefied” to the mix, well, I’m just not going there.

This is hakarl. It looks quite benign, doesn't it?
I've heard it tastes like ammonia and has a blubbery texture. Yum!
Photo Credit: Flickr user RtotheJ.

Iceland actually has a special place in my heart, because one of my favorite kinds of horses hails from there: the aptly named Icelandic Horse. Not to be confused with ponies of any kind, despite their small stature. Don’t ever call them ponies. They have short-horse complexes.

Icelandic horses are cool because they are gaited, shaggy and seriously cute. They’re on my top 10 list of horses I’d like to own one day, which is silly really since I don’t actually ride either of the two horses I actually do own.

See what I mean? Photo Credit: Flickr user Stuck in Customs.

More about Iceland: it’s cold, it’s the most sparsely-populated nation in Europe, it has glaciers, volcanoes, and a language that you can’t actually speak unless your tongue is very acrobatically inclined. By at least one account, Iceland has the second highest quality of life in the world, which I suppose doesn’t take hákarl or the temperature into account. Iceland has one of the highest concentrations of geysers in the world, in fact the word “geyser” actually comes from the Icelandic verb “geysa,” meaning “to gush.” It is also home to the world’s largest bird breeding ground, which hosts millions of puffins, gannets, guillemots and razorbills. Imagine the guano.

Sulfur pools in Iceland. Photo Credit: Flickr user Stuck in Customs.

Icelandic cuisine is quite what you would expect—lots of meat, which you can raise pretty easily in a cold climate, and very few herbs or spices, which you cannot easily raise in a cold climate. Seafood is also popular, and so is puffin. I couldn’t get puffin, so I chose a seafood-based menu for my culinary trip to Iceland. Here it is:

Fiskibollur (Fish Balls in Pink Sauce)
(from Jo's Icelandic Recipes)
  • 1 large fillet boneless cod or haddock  
  • 1 medium onion 
  • 2/3 cup flour 
  • 1/5 cup potato starch or cornstarch 
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt 
  • 2 eggs 
  • milk, as needed 
  • 1 cup water 
  • 1 1/2 tbs. flour 
  • 1/3 cup milk 
  • 1 tsp fish stock powder 
  • 2 tbsp ketchup

Icelandic Brown Bread
(from the Icelandic National League of North America)
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar 
  • 1/2 cup molasses 
  • 2 1/2 tbsp shortening 
  • 1 tsp salt 
  • 1 cup boiling water 
  • 1 cup cold water 
  • 1/2 cup powdered milk
  • 1/2 cup wheat germ 
  • 4 1/2 cups whole wheat flour 
And for dessert:

Döðluterta með karamellusósu (Date cake with caramel sauce)
(also from Jo's Icelandic Recipes)

For the cake:
  • 8 oz pitted dates
  • 1 tsp baking soda 
  • 4 oz butter, softened
  • 5 tbsp sugar 
  • 2 eggs 
  • 1 1/4 cup flour 
  • 1/2 tsp salt 
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla 
  • 1 1/3 tsp baking powder 
For the sauce:
  • 7 tbsp butter
  • 1 /2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 cup cream
To make the bread, pour the two cups of boiling water over the brown sugar and molasses, shortening and salt. Let the shortening melt, then give it a good stir. Now add the cold water, then the powdered milk, wheat germ and 2 1/2 cups of the flour. Add the yeast, mixing well. Gradually add the rest of the flour.

Let rise in a warm place until doubled in bulk (an hour or so). Divide into two loaves and transfer to pans. Let rise for another 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, preheat your oven to 400 degrees. When ready to bake, turn the oven down to 350 degrees and put the pans inside. Let bake for one hour.

Now make the dough for the fish balls: 

Put the fish and the onion in a food processor and pulse until you get the equivalent of a fine chop. Mine actually made it to the paste stage.

Now mix in the dry ingredients, stirring until well-incorporated. Finally, add the eggs and milk. The dough should stick together, but should not be overly-thick.

Shape the dough into balls about the size of ping-pong balls. Melt some butter in a large pan and fry the balls on all sides until golden and cooked through.

Now make the sauce: move the balls over to one side of the pan and add a little bit of water. In a small cup, mix the flour with the milk. When the water in the pan reaches the boiling point, add the milk and flour, whisking quickly to prevent lumps. Now add the fish stock and the ketchup. Cook for another five minutes or until thickened. Serve with boiled potatoes.

Finally, the cake:

Start by putting the dates in a pan with just enough water to cover. Bring to a boil, then remove from heat and let stand for three or four minutes. Add the baking soda and mash up the dates with a potato masher or a fork. Now I don't know if these dates would have become such a nice paste without the baking soda, but they sure did become a nice paste. That's what you want.

Next, cream the butter and sugar until fluffy, then add the eggs, one at a time. Beat slowly so they don't curdle. Mix in the dry ingredients and the vanilla extract, then stir in the dates.

Butter a springform pan and pour in the batter.

Bake at 350 degrees for 30 to 40. Injures, or until golden and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. 
Let cool slightly, then release from pan.

While the cake is cooling, make the sauce: just mix together all the ingredients and cook over low heat, stirring constantly. When the sauce browns a little it's ready. Slice the cake, pour over and serve.

The fish balls we're good, but of course I couldn't get my kids to eat them because the only fish they will eat is battered, deep fried and previously frozen. The sauce was a nice addition, needed I think because the balls themselves didn't have a ton if flavor. 

My bread was sadly doughy. Totally my fault, because I think I used too much water and then I didn't bake it long enough. I really feel like I want to make this bread again, because the flavor was really nice. But we couldn't eat the whole loaf because it was just dough.

But the cake ... Mmmmmmmm it was seriously good. The date flavor was delicious and the caramel sauce was really buttery and yummy, and I'm afraid I got caught hiding in the kitchen and eating it with a spoon. It was good. I would happily make this cake again.

So sadly, no hakarl graced our plates this time, nor will it ever, even if someone hides it in a date cake and mails it to me. But I have to say I was pleased with Iceland (if mainly for the dessert) and I didn't even need to putrefy anything.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Recipes from Hungary

Hungarian food is rich, heavy and loaded with spices. This week I'm making a new version of an old favorite--Hungarian pork stew, also known as "goulash." I'm also going to try making Hungarian egg barley, a type of grated paste.

It’s amazing how infrequently I actually arrive at a nation where I’m already somewhat familiar with the food. That just goes to show you that for all of our Chinese, Mexican, Italian, Indian and Japanese restaurants we Americans really have a very limited idea about what they eat in other nations.

But alas, this week we’re going to make some food from a nation that already occupies a corner of my family cookbook, albeit a small one. In fact one of Martin’s favorite meals comes from this place, and there’s my dilemma. Is it cheating if I just cook, you know, that?

Anyway the nation is Hungary, and I’m going to refrain from making any “Hungry Hungary” jokes because that would be stupid.

Hungary is a central European nation, bordered by Slovakia, Romania, Ukraine, Serbia, Croatia, Slovenia and Austria. That’s a lot of “ias.” It’s one of those countries that everyone wanted to occupy at some point or another, I guess because of the lovely climate, which really doesn’t sound all that lovely with its 107 degree summers and –31 degree winters.

Hungary has a few claims to fame: the Rubik’s cube, for one, which you remember if you were born in the olden-days like I was. A Hungarian also invented the ballpoint pen, the carburetor, the electric motor and the plasma television. Oh, and the atom bomb was also hypothesized in Hungary, and so was the hydrogen bomb.

Budapest, Hungary. Photo by Flickr user szeke.

Food is an important part of Hungarian culture, and is famous for being heavy on the paprika—which was also a Hungarian innovation. You’re probably already familiar with some of Hungary’s most famous dishes, namely Hungarian Goulash and chicken paprikash, both of which I’ve made and enjoyed. I also make cabbage noodles (usually to go with the Goulash), another Hungarian recipe.

So I thought maybe I could just do more authentic versions of these recipes, though I’m pretty sure the ones in my cookbook are already pretty close to being authentic. I ultimately decided to go with a completely different sort of goulash, though, and I didn’t do cabbage noodles either, opting instead for something I’d never tried. Really, it just seemed a little too much like cheating to try to duplicate something I’ve already done.

So here’s what I did end up picking:

Hungarian Pork Stew (Goulash)
(from The Hungarian Cook)
  • 1 1/4 lb pork, cubed
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1/2 tomato, sliced
  • 1/4 green pepper, chopped
  • 1/4 cup dry white wine
  • 1 tbsp cooking oil
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 to 2 tbsp sweet Hungarian paprika

Fried Egg Barley
(from Eastern European Food at
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 large eggs
note: I used 2   ½ cups flour and 4  eggs

And on the side:

Cucumber Salad
  • 1 tsp mustard
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 1/2 tsp vinegar
  • 1 tbsp dried dill
  • 1 tbsp garlic
  • 1 tbsp oil
First let’s make the egg barley.

OK, so here's the thing about Hungarian egg barley ... It isn't actually barley. I know this because I nearly went to the store and bought pearl barley, thinking it would be a substitute. Egg barley is actually a kind of pasta, and it's super simple to make. Here's how:

Technically, you'll want to do this a few hours in advance so the barley will have a chance to dry, but I did it the same day and then dried it at a low temperature in my oven.

First combine the flour and salt, then add the eggs and mix until you get what my source called a "shaggy dough." If you've done it right, it should stick into a ball in your hand. If it doesn't do that, you might have to add another egg, or part of an egg. (I ended up adding two more, and I didn't use as much flour, either.)

When the dough looks about right divide it into fist-sized balls. Cover it loosely and let it sit for 15 minutes or so, then get out your cheese grater. Using the largest holes in the grater, grate the dough. Make sure you spread out the grated bits evenly so that they don't stick together, because they will. Now let dry for three or four hours.

To cook this stuff, heat up some cooking oil and fry, stirring constantly. Add salt and enough water to cover the bottom of the pan. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer, covered, for 5 to 8 minutes. Lift the lid and stir, then turn off the heat. Replace the lid and let sit for about 30 minutes.

Next let’s do the pork:

Sauté the onion and garlic in the oil until the onion is translucent. Now add the meat and brown on all sides. Reduce heat and cover, and let the meat cook for 45 minutes, adding water if it gets too dry.

Add the tomatoes and peppers, then season with salt, pepper and cumin. Add the white wine. Cover and let stew for another 30 minutes.

Finally, add the paprika and stir to incorporate, then cover and let cook for another 10 minutes. Serve with boiled potatoes and the fried egg barley.

Finally, here’s how to make the salad: 

Peel and slice the cucumbers and transfer to a large bowl. Meanwhile, mix the rest of the ingredients together and pour over the cucumbers. Done!

Here's what we thought: Martin wanted to know why there wasn't any paprika in the goulash. Which either means that his tastebuds are going, or he hasn't had enough sweet Hungarian paprika to be able to recognize it as actual paprika (vs. the stuff you get at the grocery store). The stew was good, but neither of us really liked it as much as the goulash I usually make, which I confess I do usually serve with garden-variety paprika. That makes it less authentic, I'm sure, but it's what we're used to. The egg barley ... Well, it clumped together and wasn't really dry enough when I cooked it, so maybe that was the problem. It seemed more like a heavy dumpling than a pasta. It was fine, but I don't think I did it right. Maybe I added too much egg after all. I did like the cucumbers, though in small doses as it was a bit too much dill for my tastes.

This was pretty good but I do have to say the next time I make Hungarian food it will probably be my old standby goulash recipe with cabbage noodles. 

Next week: Iceland

For printable versions of this week's recipes:

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Recipes from Anhui Province, China (Huangshan Mountains)

“Anhui” is one of the Eight Culinary Traditions of China, with roots in the Huangshan Mountains region. This is the home of Peking Duck, but many of the other traditional Anhui recipes, like braised turtle with ham, may not be familiar to you. That’s because Anhui cuisine is dependent on ingredients native to the mountain regions of China. Which of course, means challenges for American cooks.

I was not at all unhappy to be doing another meal from China this week, until I went to research it. Dang.

There is a reason why you don’t see a lot of Anhui-inspired meals on American Chinese menus. It’s because Anhui cuisine is exotic. Li Hongzhang Hodge-Podge—one of the most popular dishes from the region—contains sea cucumber. What the what? I’ve never seen that at Safeway. Sanhe shrimp is made from a small white variety of shrimp found locally, and I don’t think you can get away with substituting, you know, salad shrimp. Wushan Imperial Goose apparently has a secret recipe because I couldn’t find it even when searching in Chinese, and Stinky Tofu just doesn’t, um, sound that good.

The Huangshan Mountains, Anhui Province. Photo by Flickr user bfxu.

So in the midst of all the frustration I did actually manage to learn something about the Anhui Provence, particularly the Huangshan Mountains. This is the part of China depicted in all those Chinese paintings. You know, the ones that feature amazing scenery. Because that’s what this region is known for—pine trees, aerial views, and granite peaks that formed in an ancient sea, were uplifted during the Mesozoic era and carved by glaciers during the Quaternary.

The culinary traditions of the Huangshan Mountains are really very simple, if you live in the Anhui Provence and have access to all those local ingredients. The food tends to be salty and braising/stewing is far more popular than frying or stir frying. Though funnily enough, two of my three recipes were fried/stir fried, but there you go. Still, my almost-never-fails method of looking for recipes in the local language didn’t help me much, and I was only able to find a few things to choose from. For my main course, I had to rely on English sources instead. Fortunately I found a good one: Carolyn J. Phillips, a Chinese food enthusiast who blogs at Madame Huang's Kitchen. I got my main course from her site, and here it is:

Spicy Walnut Pork
  • About 20 fresh walnut halves
  • Boiling water to cover
  • Peanut oil
  • 4 oz pork loin, sliced into thin 2”x1” strips
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • 2 tbsp cornstarch
  • 4 oz water chestnuts, sliced*
  • 3 red jalapeno peppers, or 1 small red bell pepper, seeded and sliced
  • 4 green onions, cut into 1-inch lengths
  • 2 tbsp light soy sauce
  • 4 tbsp good dark vinegar
  • 6 tbsp sugar
  • 3 tbsp rice wine
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
The other two recipes came from sites I found through Google Translate. Here they are:

Fried Shrimp
  • 1 1/2 lbs shrimp 
  • 1 tsp peanut oil
  • 1/4  tsp ginger
  • 4 tsp finely-chopped onion
  • 1 tbsp rice wine
  • 1/2  tsp soy sauce
  • Dash Accent*
  • 1/4 tsp white sugar
  • 1/4 tsp sesame oil
Farm Egg Dumplings
  • 4 oz ground pork
  • 4 eggs, beaten
  • 1 tsp ginger
  • 1 spring onion, minced
  • 2 tsp soy sauce
I made the dumplings first, since they can be prepared ahead of time and then steamed just before serving. Here’s how:

Mix the ground pork with the ginger, green onion, salt, chicken, and 1 tbsp of the soy sauce. Let marinate for at least 5 minutes.

Now heat a pan and pour a very thin layer of the egg onto the pan. Traditionally, this is done by heating up a ladle and then pouring the egg into the ladle to cook, giving it a nice round shape. This sounded way too complicated for me so I decided I could live with the odd shape.

Let the egg cook on one side, then drop a tablespoon or so of the pork filling onto one half.

Fold the other half over the top of the filling. The egg should still be runny when you do this—if you let it set, the two halves of the dumpling won’t stick together.

Now remove from the pan and set aside until the rest of the dumplings are finished.
Refrigerate or transfer to a steamer. Steam for 10 minutes or until the pork is cooked all the way through.

I used an electric steamer lined with wax paper to prevent
sticking, though I don't think they would have.

Serve with soy sauce for dipping.


Peel and devien the shrimp (I left the tails on mine). Saute quickly in peanut oil just until they turn pink, then drain and set aside. In the same pot add a little more peanut oil, the onion, ginger, soy sauce, sugar, wine and Accent. Cook until the onions are translucent, then return the shrimp to the pan and heat through. Pour a little sesame oil on top and serve.

Now for the pork, which is the most difficult of the three recipes:

Heat some water to boiling, then remove from heat. Add the walnut halves and let sit for 10 minutes. Drain, rinse and pat dry.

Now heat about a cup of oil in a wok, if you have one. I don’t, so I just used a small pot. The oil is ready when bubbles rise around the end of a wooden spoon. Now add the walnuts and let fry for a few minutes. When they are a golden brown color, they’re finished. Remove from the oil with a slotted spoon and let drain on paper towels. Reserve the cooking oil in the pot.

 Deep fried walnuts. Who woulda thunk?

Sprinkle a little bit of salt on the pork strips. Now place a walnut half on one end, roll up and secure with a toothpick. Repeat with all the strips and walnuts.

Mix the beaten egg with the cornstarch. Now heat the oil again until it passes the wooden spoon test. Coat the pork and walnut pieces in the batter (shaking off the excess) and drop into the hot oil.

Let fry until the batter is golden. Discard the toothpicks and keep warm.

Using about 2 tbsp of the frying oil, cook the water chestnuts, peppers and green onions for a few minutes until tender-crisp. Add the pork and the soy sauce, vinegar, sugar and rice wine. Let the sauce reduce down, then remove from the heat. Toss with the sesame oil and serve.

Here’s what we thought: delicious. I loved those little walnut-stuffed bits of pork. The fried walnuts gave it a nice crunch and the sauce was sour with a little bit of sweet. I served mine over rice with the shrimp on the side. The shrimp was also good, although not very unusual. At least not sea cucumber or stinky tofu unusual. The egg dumplings were very good, too. They made me think of a fried rice only without, you know, the rice. My favorite fried rice is always really heavy on egg and I tend to over-soy it, so I got along really well with this dish. My kids liked it, too. Natalie even ate some shrimp. Hailey of course moaned about most of it but she did eat the pork. If there’s something in the meal for each of the Robins kids, I consider that a winner.

Next week: Hungary

For printable versions of this week's recipes:

Copyright 2023 Becki Robins and Palfrey Media.. Powered by Blogger.

Blog Flux

Blog Directory