Friday, August 29, 2014

An Afternoon Tea

Every once in a while you have a quiet moment to take a break.  Maybe it has been snowing out all night and now the world is snuggled in snow.  Maybe you've been rushing about doing chores, scribbling some thoughts and raking leaves in the garden.  The sun is dropping in the sky, and some clouds have moved in.  You retreat into your little library, which is just a bookcase and a desk in the corner, for a few sips of tea and treats.

Afternoon Tea

strawberries with sour cream and demerara sugar
blueberry tea with tupelo honey
lavash crackers with truffle paté
a quiet nook

Monday, February 17, 2014

Salted Eggs

These salted chicken eggs are great with a warm bowl of congee.  The yolk is less rich and oily than a duck egg but still has the salty graininess.  The whites are just the same.

4 parts water by volume (determine how much liquid you will need to cover the number of eggs to be salted in the container you will be using)
1 part Kosher salt by volume

Wash eggs.

In a saucepan heat water and salt until all the salt has dissolved.  Let cool to room temperature.

Place eggs in a clean sterile jar and pour salt water over eggs.  Add optional flavorants* to the jar.  The eggs will float.  Fill a small sealable plastic with water and place over the eggs to submerge them in the brine solution.

Seal lid on jar and store in a dark cool place for 30 days.

Remove eggs from brine, wipe clean and store in refrigerator until use.

I like to soft boil these by covering the eggs with water in a pan, bringing the water to a boil, then turning off the heat and letting the hot water sit with the eggs for 4-5mins.  Remove the eggs and rinse them in a bowl of cold water.

*Some optional addins:
star anise
sichuan peppercorns
tea leaves
splash of white cooking wine

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Congee - Nourishment for a sore throat

On a cold winter morning, when I wake up groggy and with a swollen sore throat, a bowl of congee, or xi fan, or rice porridge, with fixin's keep me warm and is soothingly soft.  As a kid, my parents used to make me congee in the morning and noodle soup at night whenever I was sick.  I always wanted hamburgers...

Congee with Mung Beans
Serves 2

1/2 cup short grain rice
1/4 cup mung beans
3-4 cups water (depending on desired thickness of congee)

Bring rice, mung beans and water to a simmer over medium heat in a medium saucepan.  Once it is simmering, turn the heat to very low and place the lid on ajar so that there is room for some steam to escape.  Leave simmering very gently without stirring until rice and beans have become thick (30 mins) and soupy.

egg: over easy, boiled, poached, salted, thousand year
tofu ru
bamboo pickled in hot oil
salted radish