23 December 2010

goodness gracious, great bowls of fire!

my camera had a close encounter with flaming sugar loaf this week. i almost lost it to holiday cheer in the form of Feuerzangenbowle, or "fire tongs punch"...


thank goodness it didn't, because then i wouldn't be able to share with you lushes and pyromaniacs this hazardous, yet deliciously comforting german christmastide drink; instead, i'd probably be in hospital with a camera fused to my hands.

to make your own Feuerzangenbowle, you'll need one of each of the following :

- a sugarloaf (zuckerhut)
- dish on which you can douse the zuckerhut with rum so you don't leave a mess
- pot* of mulled wine omitting the sugar (about a 2L box worth)
- bottle of overproof rum (54% or higher**)
- metal grate/tongs thing (die Zange) that sits over the pot
- fire-lighting device (matches, lighter, bbq lighter)
- fire-proof ladle/spoon to douse the zuckerhut
- fire-proof tray to catch dripping sugar or fire under the pot of wine (optional)
- brave soul willing to risk singing his eyebrows (you can hire dr. andy to do this because he no longer has eyebrows, being a seasoned Feuerzangenbowle-maker.)

and then...

1. prepare your unsweetened mulled wine. don't drink it all. cheat using this:

[i don't know where you'd get that here, but it's basically coriander, cloves, nutmeg, but use what you feel like]
2. turn heat down to low. or, optionally remove from heat and set the pot of mulled wine on the tray, and set the metal grate/tongs over the pot.

3. place sugar loaf in dish and pour enough overproof rum over it to soak it through, and then place it on the metal grate/tongs.

[dr. andy in action!]
4. carefully, light the sugar loaf on fire.

[now you know what rum-soaked sugar looks like on fire!]
5. dim lights for effect. make oooh-ing sounds while the flames lick.

6. occasionally, spoon more rum over the sugar loaf as it melts into the pot of mulled wine. be very careful as it will flare. shhhpoosh!

[potentially, the last photo my camera took. potentially...]

IMPORTANT: ensure you have sufficient flaring space (e.g. under a rangehood, or high ceilings) and the lid at hand to smother flames if required.

7. when the sugar loaf is melted, extinguish any remaining flames by smothering it (not with hugs -- with a metal lid).

8. reheat mulled wine if required.

9. ladle into mugs and drink with fervour and holiday cheer.

[dr. andy serving up his concoction]

ta-dah! prost to baby jesus! and thanks to dr. andy for making this and risking what's left of his own eyebrows.

* if you have a Feuerzangenbowle, by all means use it.
** dr. andy says it has to be over 54% or it won't properly light. he's a scientist so listen to him.

16 December 2010

'tis the season to get groggy!

it's december: the season for embarrassing office holiday parties and to get your drink on.

speaking of drinks, there's a carboy full of apple juice that's been sitting around fermenting, taking up space and getting old in my house for the last 3 months, like a disenchanted teen at the last birthday party for a senior citizen. it's about time it get its arse in gear and be delicious apfelwein. 

[apfelwein day 1: the yeast has just begun!]

apfelwein is a german version of apple cider that isn't as sweet and definitely more tart, and sometimes served warmed with spices like a toddy. this one will be consumed like an apfelwein should -- straight up like a giraffe sinking in quicksand!

[apfelwein day 4: the yeast, post-juice binging]

the apple wine is now bottled and aging more and should be ready for consumption shortly. i'll let you know when it's been getrunken...

(i would have taken more photos of that stuff aging but murky brown liquid reminiscent of swamp water makes terrible blog material. in fact, nearly 99% of stuff that makes it into blogs in general doesn't need to be on the internets; this is true because the internets told me it was.)

25 November 2010

q-tastier noodle!

...cause sometimes you'll buy a package of noodles* that will also double as an ironically funny asian version of a bazooka joe comic (cause the original bazooka joes were, by no means, funny).
[click to enlarge]

[know to cooking a q-tasty noodles!]

these noodle soup is delicious, polystyrene packaging and sometimes is it, it still!

*(how the farts do they know how to use photoshop and not know how to use a dictionary?**)

**(taiwan's estimated population is at about 23 million, and china's is at over 1.3 billion. i find it hard-pressed to believe that there is not one person at the noodle factory who does not know that "Q-tastier" is not a real word.)

10 November 2010

squirrel gardening

i'm hiring squirrels next growing season cause look what they grew in my garden this season!


[peanuts! big and small!] 

[peanut plant!]

unfortunately the growing season isn't long enough in this region but thanks to my bushy-tailed rodent friends, i got about 6 peanuts off one plant i pulled out (there were a number of plants scattered throughout the garden).

(there must be a lot of squirrels in china -- it's the world's largest peanut producer, producing an estimated 14 million metric tonnes in 2008 of these fart-facilitating seeds, almost half of the world's supply. that's a heckuva lot of peanut sauce).

01 November 2010

mr. ng's downhome chinese duck

verdun is, for chinese people, apparently fast becoming what parc-ex was for greeks in the 1970s. and it can't be a bad thing for this traditionally blue-collar-y hood. for one, it means close(r)-knit community. for two, it means good home-style food, as is the case for le lotus bleu.

i have a strong suspicion this is one of the only authentic central/northern chinese restaurants in montreal (and pretty tasty, to boot). in fact, it felt like being transported into a restaurant in china, complete with buzzy fluorescent lighting, self-serve water coolers and mismatched decor!*

our goal was to savour this fat noodle lamb soup, of which henk's brother had raved about:

[magic fat noodle lamb soup, the divineness of which we could only imagine until we tasted it!] 

henk and i arrived late and a little hungry, so he started digging into the condiments.

[yes, he did regret it the following day.]

mr. ng** (武先生), the proprietor and chef, however helped settle our hunger quickly with his fantastic boiled leek and pork dumplings to rival those from qing hua.

[leek and pork soup dumplings]

[special szechuan pepper marinated duck necks]

mr. ng beams from ear-to-ear when he tells us that his family's famous daoko chicken is a signature of henan cooking.

[daoko chicken wowko!]

we beam from ear-to-ear when we ate it!

the chicken is basted in honey water, deep fried, and then braised with magic spices and served at room temperature or cooler (something, i think, most westerners are not used to, like cantonese white cut chicken (白切雞)). most meat dishes from the henan region are served slightly chilled, including the fragrant duck necks that henk and i polish off (and which kind of freaked g. out cause she's scared of ducks, especially anatomized ones).

until next time, zài jiàn!

restaurant lotus bleu
4847 rue de verdun

*...among other restaurant staples in china which will not be mentioned here. you can message me if you want to know.

**wu in mandarin. so if you're a traitor, you would call him mr. wu.

20 October 2010

fat auntie cooks up a storm!

this is fat auntie in her kitchen about to cook up a storm.

actually i think this is her yelling at me to stop taking pictures of her while she's cooking.

fat auntie grew up in the area outside of guangzhou, cn called pun-yue (番禺區) where apparently everyone knows how to concoct magnificent feasts for supper, of which fat auntie is perfect specimen (more on that later).

pun-yue's notable for delicious dishes like deep fried water buffalo milk (keung-tsup tsoong lai), stuffed and fried dace (tseen-yeung leung yu), and a bazillion great pork and seafood dishes.

(she's so short that she sometimes has to use a giant box of pocky as a booster seat).

(photo via flickr, volcanologist)

can't wait to see fat auntie again so she can cook me some tasty meals!  

(also, a note to the jerks giving me flack for "improper" romanization of cantonese words can suck my balzacs. i'm a writer and i know how to romanize better than outdated stuffy bureaucrats.)

04 October 2010

try this: ox-tongue (minus the tongue)

sometimes i wonder whether or not it is out of sheer spite that the chinese create ridiculous and cryptic names for dishes and foods to turn them off from eating them.

one of my favourites in that category is the puffy, slightly chewy, slightly sweet and fun-to-eat ovular deep-fried treats called ox-tongue pastries, or 牛脷酥 (in cantonese, gnau-lei so).

[it's the one on the right! one in the back is a sesame ball and one in the foreground, i forget but it wasn't as tasty as the oxtongue.] 

there's no ox nor any ox-tongue in it, perfect for vegetarian/pretendatarian/omnivores alike! its namesake stems from its shape which resembles the tongues of our bovine friend (pretty ugly if you ask me).

often eaten to complement congee or with just fresh soy milk, these and other types of chinese pastries are often found in fast-foody type, street food carts, or dim sum houses (though finding them in the latter is kind of rare, at least in north america, but you might luck out).

i guarantee some smiles once you bite into one (hopefully not fake ones)!

29 September 2010

salty cat bones

oh, on the marmite note again, they're so nuts in the uk about marmite, they dip cat bones in it, bag them, and sell them to un-witting consumers under the cutesy name of twiglets.

not sure salty cat bones would fly well here, judging by little jb's reaction.

23 September 2010

mid-autumn yum yum: mooncakes

yesterday marked the day of mid-autumn festival, or jung chau-jit (中秋節) in cantonese.

this festival used to be akin to a teenage after-prom party for farmers — they would party like it's 1999 after working their buttocks off during the growing season and harvesting the last of your wares on the harvest moon.

now, it's about getting time off work and getting fat by eating mooncakes and pomelos.

pomelos don't have a particularly interesting flavour (read: borderline gross), but one should not pass up mooncake when they are in season. (tip: after the festival, they are discounted!)

so after my indian lunch, i went out bought a big one and a little one. then ate the little one like a chihuahua with a severe napoleon complex pounces on a ladybug. note that there's a huge difference between prepackaged ones (in the fancy tins and boxes) and ones made fresh at the bakery: price and flavour. forego the prepackaged ones when you can.

stuffed to the brim with lotus seed paste and often baked with whole salted duck egg yolks in the middle, mooncakes do not make good snacks:
  • they are dense. 
  • they are sweet. 
  • they are meant for sharing and giving away.

(you have been warned).

[my lunch: top notch palak paneer, lamb curry, bhindi, and chicken mughlai from beau village]

p.s. if you haven't already, check out a food lover's journey instructions on making as many mooncakes as your gluttonous heart desires!

20 September 2010

greeks do it fest

every year, smack dab in the middle of august, the greeks in the greek-centric neighbourhood of montreal put on a grand little street festival, complete with rides, dancing, hellenic music, and (most importantly) greek food.

there's no shortage of souvlaki, spit-roasted pork, and other dead meats, grilled octopus, greek salad with fantastic feta, and these: loukoumades (greek honey balls).

[i ate 6 of these loukoumades in one sitting. that's $3 worth of deep fried delectableness. i also now have recurring dreams about riding loukoumades balls down a waterfall made of honey and sandbanks made of cinnamon dust, except i can't swim so it's kind of scary.]

[everyone's favourite yiayia making those delectable loukoumades and fighting off the hornets!]

you know this is a culture where people eat not just for the sake of eating and merry-making, but to make sure everyone else around you gets fatter than you do.

[spit-roasted pork for sale. note the wild-looking butcher in the background. he's famous!]

don't miss next year's festivities so you can hasaposerviko* with the gang!

* i don't think that's a verb but whatever.

15 September 2010

arugula and you!

gardeners know that if there ever was an annual garden green that was as prolific as the quiverfull, it would be arugula (also called rocket though i don't know why).

despite its evil superpowers to procreate like rabbits, arugula is deliciously bitter, flavourful and earthy. it's great in mixed green salads to give some bite and palatial, er, titillation. your gluttony is only bound by your imagination!

[gluttony as defined by fresh homemade pasta with arugula pesto and some sort of stunted cherry tomato]

when the arugula overruns my garden as it does every year*, i let my appetite for weeding run rampant and then make this arugula pesto with the reapings (more out of necessity than want). i mean, there's only so much arugla one can eat in a week before one's skin turns a tint of green.

[ready to rumble!]

arugula pesto
2 cups (500ml) arugula leaves
1 cup (250ml) coriander**
2 cloves garlic
1/2 tsp (2.5ml) capers
1 Tbsp ground nuts (pecans, pine nuts, almonds... if you toast them it brings out the nutty flavour)
1/2 tsp (2.5ml) salt
ground pepper to taste
1/2 cup (125ml) olive oil
  1. pulverize: stick everything but oil in a food processor or hand blend it with an immersion blender.
  2. finish: blend in olive oil.
  3. store: store in an airtight container, such as a mason jar, and top it with a bit more olive oil. should last for a month or so (maybe longer).

* if you walk around chinatown here, you'll notice arugula growing everywhere where there's greenery. great for foragers and freegans.

** crazy it up! add a bit of tarragon, mint, basil or other herbage to make up 1 cup (250 ml) avoid using grass (though if you have fond memories of eating grass after getting tripped by soccer bullies into the sidelines, that's your prerogative).

08 September 2010

hot naan from the bbq

the nearby grocery chain sells chewy, frozen naan bread for the rip off price of $1.99 for two little breads, each the size of a pancake. double-you-tee-eff is all i have to say.

in the spirit of diy and corporate defiance, i made my own fresh and hot naan on the bbq (that's indian bread and not anything else, pervs).

i followed this overly-joyous chef's norecipe guidelines:

[the colourful chef sanjay from!]

unlike my east indian neighours, i don't own a tandoor and would probably burn my place down if used one, but the bbq generates enough heat to imitate one. paired with a pizza stone and you've got finger-lickin' naan at your fingertips (as long as you don't put your hands in the bbq while they're cooking)!

tips: make sure the bbq is hot -- at least 500F (~260C). pop them in on a baking sheet or on the hot pizza stone and keep the bbq closed until you're ready to flip it, which should be about after 2 minutes. (oryou can also follow in chef sanjay's advice and use a piping-hot oven).

[more on indian bread coming soon... with special indian friend, rishi-rish!]

23 August 2010

mango armadillos and mango salsa

if some of your friends are jerks, they probably keep secrets from you and call you ugly behind your back.

fortunately, i am not a jerk and i think everyone is equally ugly, therefore i'm nice enough to share this nifty little tidbit on dicing up mangoes.

[mango armadillos!]
  1. quarter your mangoes all the way to the pit using a paring knife.
  2. slide your knife between the flesh and the pit to loosen the flesh from the pit.
  3. score each mango quarter all the way to the skin as in the photo.
  4. slide your knife between the mango flesh and skin, as if filleting a fish. you should end up with diced pieces of mango, or if you're unlucky, diced mango with nicks in your fingers.
after dicing your mangos, you can make this great fruit salsa!

mango mango salsa
3 mangos (ataulfo, preferably), diced
1 cup fresh coriander leaves, chopped
1 red pepper, diced
3/4 cup red onion, diced
1 fresh chili pepper, diced
1/3 cup olive oil
salt/pepper to taste
  • mix all ingredients together and then eat it with pleasure on fish, meats, roasted or unroasted vegetables, or with tortilla chips or with just a spoon and your guilty conscience.  
  • even goes with hot dogs!

16 August 2010

dahl 1 for butter, 2 for ghee, or dahl zero for the operator

my friend dan claims he's incompetent at cooking because he's scared of poisoning himself. i think if he's gone through 20+ years of feeding himself, and if you've only poisioned yourself once, it's a good start.

dan, however, is a vegetarian, not to mention a busy and talented artist. he is also a self-proclaimed lazy and terrible cook, and might actually be malnourished and anemic as a result.

so i said to dan, "dan, you should eat probably more legumes. it'll probably help with your anemia."

and dan said, "i'm not sure i want stuff up my butt."

"dan, i said 'anemia', not 'enema'."

i told him this lentil and beans dish will help him regain brain red blood cells he's missed out on due to his narcotics vegetarian habits. after eating half the dish, he asked that i make it for him again, to which i said he can make it himself by following these simple steps!

[murgh makhani (butter chicken) and not dahl makhani... guess my chicken fixation got the best of me.]

dahl makhani* (buttery lentils, i guess)
serves a 4 to 6

4.5oz (~125g) (dry weight) black lentils (~3/4 cup dry, or ~300g cooked)**
1.75oz (~50g) red (dry weight) kidney beans (~125g cooked)**
1.75oz (~50g) chickpeas (dry weight) or channa dahl (smaller chickpeas, aka gram dahl) (~125g cooked)**
2 cloves garlic
1 small bay leaf

1/2 onion, chopped finely
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 Tbsp (!5ml)  ginger, finely julienned or chopped (reserve half)
1 tsp (5ml) ground cumin
1/2 tsp (2.5ml) ground fenugreek seeds
1/2 tsp (2.5ml) garam masala
3/4 to 1 cup (175ml to 250ml) tomato puree (or 2 medium tomatoes you've cooked down)
1 Tbsp (15ml) finely ground cashews (or almonds)
salt/pepper to taste

1/4 to 1/2 cup (65ml to 125ml) heavy cream
1/2 tsp (2.5ml) garam masala
2 Tbsp (30ml) butter or ghee
chopped coriander for garnish
  1. prepare the legumes/protein: if using dried, sort and rinse the lentils, and then cook them (~20 min); rinse and soak red kidney beans and chickpeas for a 4-6 hours or overnight. cook them in enough boiling salted water with garlic cloves, bay leaf, and some cooking oil (to keep the foaming down) until cooked through (~40 min). drain, remove garlic and bay leaf and set aside. if using canned, skip the cooking step; just rinse. set aside.
  2. prepare the gravy: cook  heat butter or vegetable oil in a large saucepan over medium heat and cook onions until translucent. add garlic, half of ginger, cumin, fenugreek, and 1/2 tsp garam masala and cook until fragrant (a couple of minutes).
  3. complete the gravy: add tomato puree and ground cashew to onion mix and stir occasionally until thoroughly heated. 
  4. add the protein: add the cooked kidney beans, chickpeas and lentils to the gravy. simmer for another 15 min or so.
  5. finish the dish.when ready, stir in cream, garam masala, butter and remaining ginger to the dish until heated through. serve by garnishing with chopped coriander. eat liberally with naan, rice, or whatever you want.
*you can make this dish with chicken (especially if you like dead fowl like i do). marinade about 1/2 lb (~250g to 300g) chicken bits with a yogurt-ginger-garlic-tumeric-salt and then pan-fry the chicken before adding the gravy/curry to it, as you would the lentils/beans.

** you can used canned versions which is about 2.5x the dry weight.

14 August 2010

fresh harvest: bloomin' tomatoes

first tomatoes of the season!

oh, ly-co-per-si-cum
so rotund and sweet!
unlike my chewing gum,
you are great with lunch meat!

10 August 2010

a marmite enthusiast by the name of chan

this adorable little lady is the only person i know who is obsessed, driven and corrupted by marmite, not unlike anakin skywalker being lured by the power of the dark side. most people i know have either never tried it or have never even heard of it, let alone devote an entire essay to it.

[channy chan-chan about to stuff her face with a beautiful flower salad; she probably would have doused it in marmite if she had a smuggled a bottle on her.]

she is, in fact, the transgressor behind my first taste of marmite (her diminutive size is no indicator for her uncanny ability to convince people to eat random, strange things).

however, as a result of her unhealthy obsession, the gods afflicted her with the curse of vertical challengedness. her "love affair" (her words, not mine...) with this by-product of beer-making makes her a marmitophile... nymphomarmitis... lady marmite!

read up on her infatuation with this weirdly wonderful, salty, yeasty goop!

[photo by g travel via flickr]

(considering that the uk ranks in the top 6 of highest amount of beer consumption per capita, that's a buttload of yeast extract!)

31 July 2010

what goes on in maine...

look what i ate in sunny coastal maine!

oops. wrong photo.

After giving them a splitting headache, my sadistic friend maximus then dropped them on a hot-arse bbq grill (400F ) for 15 minutes or so. while they wriggled and grilled, he seasoned them with paprika and pepper (do not add salt to crustaceans unless you want the extra high blood pressure), and then brushed them with a blanket of bacon fat.

too bad the lobsters couldn't taste themselves afterwards, cause we could have told them that they were delicious!

thanks for allowing delicious lobster homicide, maine!

20 July 2010

asian eggplants for summer hire

summer is most definitely not my favourite seasons of the year -- it's hot, it's humid, and there's half-dressed people almost everywhere.

fortunately, summer lasts only 2 months here, so the wardrobe indecency only seemingly lasts as long. this also means the eggplant season is relatively short, but long enough to produce abundant crops ready early or mid-august*.

as with most chinese foods, there are a gazillamillion overly ornamental names for eggplants (茄 ("keh"), 茄子 ("keh-tsi"), and 矮瓜 ("ngai-kua", or "short melons"), as us new world ch-nks — i shouldn't probably use that word even though I'M ALLOWED TO — call them) and eggplant dishes.

this one i'm calling fragrant third chinese lady president hand-handled sesame eggplant beauty cold dish. i don't even know if chinese people make this but i don't really care cause it tastes good.

sesame eggplant salad
not sure how many people this serves
1 large eggplant (~1.25lb/560g), or 2-3 chinese eggplants
1.5 Tbs (~25 ml) sesame seeds
1.5 Tb (~25 ml) sesame oil
1 tsp (5 ml) garlic, minced
1 tsp (5 ml) ginger, finely chopped
1 Tb (15 ml) light soy sauce
1 Tb (15 ml) vinegar (preferably black, but any will do)
1/4 to 1/2 tsp (1.5 to 2.5 ml) salt
1/2 tsp (2.5 ml) sugar
2 stalks green onions or chives, finely chopped
  1. using a fork, pierce eggplant all over. bake or roast it in a 400F oven until soft (~1 regular eggplant, ~45 min for smaller eggplants). let it cool until easy to handle.
  2. remove skin from eggplant and discard.
  3. shred the eggplant flesh and season with salt. at this point, you can cover the eggplant and chill it for up to 2 days until ready to use.
  4. in a frying pan, toast the sesame seeds over low heat until fragrant and golden. add the garlic and ginger and stir until warm (don't cook it, just warm it). remove from heat and let it cool.
  5. in a small bowl, combine soy sauce, vinegar, and sugar. add sesame/ginger/garlic mixture. 
  6. combine sesame dressing into the shredded eggplant. 
  7. serve cold-ish, topped with green onions, as a goopy salad or a topping for bread or crackers!
*eggplants take at least 65 days to mature and need a lot of sun, which doesn't bode well for eggplants grown in basements.

13 July 2010

sawadee-ka! i am pad woon-sen

fun-see (粉絲) (literally "noodle thread" or "powder thread") are those teeny bundles of noodles you find in asian markets that are thin and white, and rolled up in mesh bags like small bricks of santa claus beard clippings... see for yourself!

cellophane noodles (aka glass noodles or bean vermicelli) in cantonese cuisine are often used in stewed or braised or soup dishes (like winter melon with cellophane noodles and winter mushrooms, or even chinese hotpot (NOT THE CRAP FROM THE CANS)). either way, they're a great option to wheat- or rice-based noodles, though a bit more delicate.

that said, i don't have a chinese dish explained here, but i do have a thai stir-fry dish with cellophane noodles called pad woon-sen. it's pad-woon-derful

pork and shrimp pad woon sen1
serves about 4 medium-sized eaters, 2 large eaters, or 1 very hungry man-eating plant.

note: the key to proper stir-frying is having all your ingredients ready to go, and also a hot, hot wok. heed my words. 

150g cellophane noodles (aka bean vermicelli, glass noodles, etc).
50g raw shrimp (deveined and shelled)2
50g pork loin or pork chops, sliced thin perpendicular to the grain (against the grain)
4 Tbps (75 ml) vegetable oil
4 cloves garlic, sliced thinly or coarsely chopped
2-3 eggs, beaten
3 Tbps (15 ml) +/- fish sauce (nam pla)
1 tsp (5 ml) sugar
1 red bell pepper, sliced into strips.
3 stalks of green onions, sliced into 1-inch (2.5cm) pieces. 
fresh coriander leaves for garnish (optional but highly recommended)
fresh basil leaves for garnish (optional but preferable thai)
fresh bean sprouts for garnish (optional)
crushed peanuts for garnish (optinal)
  1. prepare the noodles by soaking them in water until they soften, and then drain them.
  2. season the shrimp with a bit of salt and pepper. season the pork with salt and pepper.
  3. in a hot wok or frying pan, briefly heat the oil, add the garlic and quickly . quickly add the pork and stir fry. when the pork is nearly done, add shrimp and cook until the shrimp is no longer gross-grey colour, but not longer. DO NOT OVERCOOK THEM. remove the pork and shrimp together from the wok and set aside.
  4. if there is none or very little, oil left in the wok, add a bit more and heat it. stir in the eggs and cook them until they are almost fully set. add the noodles to the eggs and stir fry until they are translucent.
  5. return the cooked pork and shrimp to the noodles. add the peppers and green onions. stir fry with all your might until everything is hot.
  6. mix sugar into fish sauce and then stir mixture into noodles are coated.garnish with the coriander, et al, and serve with dignity.
1you can use whatever protein you like best, even a can of silkworm larva!
2why removing a vein is called "deveining" (not "veining") and removing the shell is called "shelling", and not "de-shelling" is beyond me. shrimps don't even have real veins! the negative prefix is deceptive!

30 June 2010

dragon boat rice

the dragon boat festival, also known as tuen-ng jeet (端午節) in cantonese circles, roughly translates to "double five festival". i don't know what that really means but it sounds like a celebration of your terrible poker hand.

and i don't know what it has to do with dragon boat racing, but either way, there's still some great foodstuffs that goes along with this festival (as it is for every single chinese festival ever). (i just looked it up and the double fives has something to do with a dead poet).

this godforsaken year, tuen-ng jeet fell in mid-june, which means it's rice-wrapping time! gotta love tsoong (or zong zi in hoity-toity pinyin spelling) because they're convenient packets of glutinous rice and a variety of soong (餸 or rice accompaniments) and freeze super awesomely.

they're great mini-meals for days when you're too lazy or drunk to cook something.

momma chow is an expert tsoong (粽) wrapper, with over 30 years of experience. see for yourself!

[left: momma chow's display of refined tsoong-wrapping technique. right: my display of refined tsoong-mucking.]

it takes her less than 90 seconds to put one together and tie it up; that's the same amount of time a barista at second cup coffee shops is supposed to be able to make a latte (btw, if you as a barista and can't make a latte in under 90 seconds, you are bad at life).

momma chow usually puts glutinous rice with mung beans, fatty pork, chinese sausage and salted egg yolks in hers. but sometimes you can get it in good asian supermarkets like t&t, where slave grandmas fill them with roast duck, chinese mushrooms, roast pork, and/or all sorts of other goodies.

i'm hungry now.

23 June 2010

frozen yogurt made with gold and diamonds

there's got to be a reason that each of these frozen yogurts cost $6.50 CAD, and i am assuming it contains crushed diamond dust and is made of gold-fed cow's milk. maybe it's to pay for the bosses' fancy jeans, their hip runners, their $20k high-falutin' frozen yogurt machine, or its $5k website (not linking to it) but tell me that there's something in it that's worth that much of my buttmoney.

otherwise, it would have been cheaper to pop a yogurt fruit cup in the freezer at home.

[from some [something]berry doppelgänger in downtown tdot.]

make a detour if you feel like you have extra buttmoney that day and you want to bribe your childrens into scrubbing out the caked winter sludge inside your vehicle treat your friends and/or loving family to good homemade-tasting frozen yogurt (in regular, mango or pomegranate flavours, naturally). amore!

22 June 2010

can you say quinoa?

i sure can! and how!*

[quinoa salad with pears, feta and peppers and other stuff (based on the foodland ontario recipe). sweet and tangy, like a disco party in your mouth]

this versatile grain/seed is nutritious, deliciously nutty and an all-round good guy, like the a gay best friend... great sweet or savoury, hot or cold! no wonder the incas were such an innovative and advanced society for their time! smart food for smart people! (though eating smart food won't necessarily make dumbasses any smarter).

here's a cooking tip: use a rice cooker to cook the quinoa, at a 2:1 water to quinoa ratio.

*that's "keen'-wah" btw.