Complicated Chinese recipes
THIN SLICING MEAT— When recipes require thinly sliced, shredded or "matchstick" (julienne) cutting of boneless meats, the following procedure is useful: partially freeze the chicken, pork or beef until it is very firm but not frozen. With this method—and cutting across the grain of the meat using a sharp cleaver—one can achieve paper-thin slices.CRISP FRYING— Such dishes as Yu Xiang Qiezi, General Tso’s Chicken, and some American interpretations of Chinese call for lightly battered and fried meats or vegetables which must retain their crispness to be properly appreciated. In home cooking, this is often not the case; chicken, pork, and eggplant, for example, are usually fried once, and when served—especially if they are accompanied by a sauce—the main ingredient has lost its original crisp surface and become soft or moist. The moisture escaping the heated food softens the surface. Double frying dries out the surface and avoids this. Battered morsels are deep or shallow fried until mostly cooked through, then lifted out of the oil and allowed to completely cool. Just before serving, the ingredients are fried again to heat through, and then used according to the recipe.NOTES ON THE WOK—Chinese woks with non-stick coatings are now sold all around the world; however if a plain steel wok is seasoned well and properly cared for, it will be far more durable and scratch-resistant and just as non-sticking as the coated variety. Cast iron woks are excellent, but difficult to manage because of their weight, besides being difficult to find in the states. And so, when purchasing a steel wok, shop around and try to choose the one fabricated of the heaviest gauge steel possible—the heavier the better for heat conduction and retention. Be certain that the bowl of the wok is smooth and the handle welded or bolted securely; this joint undergoes a lot of stress, in cooking and washing. For all around versatility avoid woks with the two small handles on either side in favor of those with one secure wood or steel handle. I don’t recommend flat-bottomed woks—it is not necessary for electric stoves, and defeats one of the main purposes of this superb utensil, frying and stir-frying with a minimal amount of oil. However, if you have a consumer gas stove, you will find that a traditional round-bottomed wok will not perform well. In this case, a stir-fry pan which has a wider flat bottom than a flat-bottomed wok is the best choice.
Note: unless your stove has a special grate to support woks, you will also need to purchase a wok stand or wok ring for a traditional-round bottomed wok.
Seasoning a new wok is time consuming, but extremely important, and must be completed before the pan is used. Its purpose is to fill the pores of the metal surface with hard-cooked oils, creating a smooth, rust-free, non-stick, attractive surface.
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Lasagna category added to 2014 CN Recipe Challenge — Defiance Crescent News
Does your lasagna have crowds of people standing at the door with forks ready and mouths watering? Do you have a lasagna recipe that has a fantastic ingredient only you add that makes the dish the talk of get-togethers? Or would you simply like to ..