Year of the Rabbit – Chinese New Year Chef Kelly-style~

Chinese New Year Cooking Event & Professional Women’s Networking Party hosted by Linda Press of Corpcommunicators and taught by moi.

A great event held earlier this month introducing those perhaps unfamiliar with all-things-asian cuisine; hoped to have inspired if not rid of the fear of cooking especially for those who are hard at work and don’t have too much time for cooking.

(Photo courtesy of the lovely assistant, Aryn – who took this picture).

On the menu included:

Korean rice cakes with turmeric sesame mayo & hot Korean pepper paste (always a crowd pleaser).  This thing is magic.  With (sliced) rice cakes purchased from the Korean market, soak for 30 min, drain and pan fry with a little bit of oil.  This plastic-y looking thing turns into a lovely crispy on the outside and soft and chewy on the inside nibblers that’s sure to please all kids and adults.  The kids asked – do you have any more of those korean rice cakes?…I got them hooked;0

Elk dumplings with green onion & star anise – see my recipe below.  We had some lovely ground elk that proved that fusion IS a good thing.  Tender, succulent and umami with some soy dipping sauce.

Buddha’s delight stirfry – I really can’t imagine writing a recipe as it really IS that simple.  Pick your veggies – I picked:

Carrots (1/2 cup sliced)

Bok Choy (4 cups, washed and separated)

Sugar snap peas (1/2 cup – be sure to pull the stringy sides)

Shiitake mushrooms (caps only, washed and sliced thickly)

Sauce/zinger: fresh ginger, garlic, yuzu paste, sake & Bragg’s amino

((no pic here – as I was too busy cooking and teaching))

The key is to stirfry the longest cooking veggies first; Start by making a marinade oil by sautéing ginger with garlic, then tossing in the carrots (2-3 min) followed by shiitake, snap peas, and bok choy.  When all the veggies start to wilt, add your yuzu paste (found at local Japanese grocery stores and a really cool zinger spice, a combo of lemon/lime & hot green pepper adding just the right amount of “zingwing”, followed by Bragg’s amino and sake.  Toss and serve.

Jasmine rice- The same – super easy.

1 cup jasmine rice (cooked in rice cooker, as you would cook white rice)

¼ cup finely chopped cilantro

1 tbsp roasted sesame seeds

½ of a lemon or lime (Meyer lemons are wonderful for this – and you can even save some zest beforehand

Sprinkle of good sea salt

Toss cooked jasmine rice with cilantro, sesame seeds, lemon juice and sea salt.  Serve hot.

Here’s a picture of the same rice made tonite and served with some teriyaki salmon & tempura zucchinis.

Magic ginger milk pudding

Thanks to a recipe by Francis Lam originally discovered in Salon.com –  I think it’s quite beautiful, magical and just perfect.  My adopted version has four simple ingredients:

-       3 cups Whole (organic) milk

-       2 tbsp ginger juice (from fresh ginger)

-       6 tbsp evap cane juice

-       Vanilla bean (scraped)

Fresh ginger has an enzyme called protease that has this awesome chemical reaction with the milk when steamed and turns the milk into, well, pudding!  Not a jello-custard like pudding but one that’s an quasi altered state between milk and pudding.  It’s luscious, sexy and oh-so-comforting.  Not for the faint of heart as the ginger does have a nice spicy kick (the kids didn’t dig them as much as the adults) – it’s simple, easy, and just perfect palate cleanser after a much flavorful main course, I think.

So – onto the magic.  Boil water for steamer – a pasta pot will do.  Mix all three ingredients in a measuring cup and pour equal amounts into shot glasses or small ramekins.  Place the shot glasses or ramekins slowly into the steamer and gently steam in medium heat for about 10 min.  Shake the pot gently and you’ll be able to see the milk pudding firm up.  Longer than 10 min and it curdles so no longer than 10.  Let cool for 10-15 min or you’ll burn your mouth~  Serve it warm or cold (in fridge) topped with some mandarin orange, almond slices and some Scharffen Berger dark chocolate shavings – down the shotglass and taste it going down into perfect bliss.

Hope you enjoyed some of Chinese New Years and wish everyone a prosperous, calm and importantly happy new year!  Happy 2011~

2tbsp of love; love for food and love for life.

-chef kelly

About chefkelly

Leveraging a lifelong passion for food and combining a unique cultural mesh of korean cuisine, robust flavors of Texas BBQ and California cuisine, Chef Kelly brings her own signature style to delectable perfect bites exploring complex and often surprising interplay of flavors, textures and colors. She has honed and shared her craft through her experiences from five star restaurant kitchens to private cooking instruction to her self-written food blog at chefkelly.com all made with 2 tablespoons of love; love for food, love for life.
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One Response to Year of the Rabbit – Chinese New Year Chef Kelly-style~

  1. Kelly, it was a wonderful afternoon and I was so glad to be part of it!

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