Hi everyone, sorry I have been MIA this past week. We had new windows installed on Monday and it turned into a longer project than originally thought. We’ve been preparing, waiting and cleaning up the huge mess since Sunday. As you can see I was left with no extra time to answer emails, share any recipes nor visit your blogs. I am beat! But as soon as I can gather some energy I’ll be playing catchup. I leave you with something I wrote a couple of weeks ago.
Every time I try to cook anything Chinese I fail, miserably. I don’t know what the deal is with me and Chinese food. I mean I do like Chinese food, so it’s not like I’m just cooking it and not really caring about the outcome. By no means am I an expert or know a whole lot about it, so I try to read and look up very basic dishes. I don’t ever attempt the more complicated sounding dishes. I stick to more common dishes known to us in the West like easy stir fries, fried rice or hot and spicy pork threads. Besides not succeeding with the cooking, European Chinese food gives me the worst heartburn. I say European Chinese because when I lived in the US the Chinese food there never gave me heartburn, it tasted fantastic. I do have to admit that ever since we have lived in Europe for the most part the Chinese food here has left me disappointed and unimpressed. I’ve eaten Chinese food in France, Germany, Austria and Czech Republic and all of the food was from Chinese restaurants run by Chinese people, so it’s not a matter that the food is not being prepared by people that don’t understand the cuisine. The only thing that I can conclude is that Chinese food has been “toned down” to fit Europe palates. I can only conclude that because I can see how Mexican food has completely been toned down and even strip of its authenticity. Where in North America Chinese and many other immigrant groups have been a part of society and so has their cuisine, in some parts of Europe it seems like they are a bit behind on the amount and quality of ethnic foods. My husband and I agree that out of all the places we have traveled to in Europe, Paris was the best place in Europe for good ethnic foods. (I’ll have to tell you about that another time though.)
I would say that 99% of the time a Chinese food craving hits us we go to one of our local Chinese restaurants, I try to not put my husband through the unsatisfied misery of having to eat my failed attempts. The Chinese restaurant we frequent most often has decent fried noodles and fried rice, so that’s what I stick to. I’m not 100% thrilled with either though, because they are really greasy. I will have to admit that if it’s a takeout night, I only order the chicken fried rice or noodles so I can pick out the chicken and give it to Panchito. I hate the texture and taste of the chicken, it tastes and smells boiled and I can’t stand the taste or smell of bland boiled chicken (shuddering). Panchito loves it and when we say we’ll bring him back some “Chinese chicken” he knows what he has coming and jumps with excitement, this Dog is crazy! So as we sit down to our Chinese take-out, I sit with my obligatory pack of antacids. Nope, the taste of antacids doesn’t help the greasy noodles taste one bit better. Ok it’s kinda gross, but it’s either that or be belching and feeling horrible the rest of the night. Geesh!, I sound like an 80 year old woman and I’m only 31!
Ingredients: (serves 2)
1 broccoli stalk (about 10.5 oz or 300 grams)
1 large carrot, sliced
1 large green bell pepper, sliced in strips
7 oz. or 200 grams button mushrooms, sliced
1 medium yellow onion, quartered
4 garlic cloves, minced
1-2 tbsp. light soy sauce
1/3 cup or 100 ml vegetable or chicken broth
1-2 tbsp. peanut or vegetable oil
egg noodles, boiled and drained or steamed rice
1. Cut the flowerets from the broccoli stalk, set aside. Heat the oil in a wok or large pan. Once warm fry the onion until soft then add the garlic and fry for 2 minutes. Add the carrot slices and fry for about 3 minutes, then add the pepper strips and fry for another 3 minutes. Next add the mushrooms mix well and fry for 5 minutes, then add the soy sauce (and any other spice you like) and mix all ingredients well. Pour the broth into the wok/pan and stir until well incorporated. Place the broccoli flowerets over the vegetables, cover and cook for 5 minutes. Remove the lid and allow most of the the remaining broth to cook off.
If serving over egg noodles, add the noodels to the pan/wok and fry for a few minutes. If serving with steamed rice mix the vegetables with the rice or serve over the rice.
Well, incase I haven’t grossed you out enough yet perhaps you’d like to try my mediocre vegetable stir fry? That should finish the job for sure! Come on you know you want to try my goodness… I’ll let you in on a little inside joke in my house. My husband came up with a sarcastic way of referring to my failed recipes or rather unpalatable dishes I put in front of him as “Goodness!”. (I know many of you use that word, and when I see it I have to giggle even though I know you mean that the dish is delicious.) I appreciate and love his honesty. Well at least my hubby still eats what I put in front of him and doesn’t send it flying out of his mouth like Panchito. He is a very good husband and for that I make it up to him by making one of his favorite dishes as payment for eating the “Goodness”, haha.
If you want a real expert, and good authentic Chinese recipes please visit Liv at , Egg Wan’s Eastern Food Odyssey. I for one need to spend more time learning from her blog so I can stop sucking at Chinese cooking.