Friday, September 7, 2012

西安西泽: caesar salad with chickpea cutlets et crème anglaise de vanille

a funny thing about living in china... even when surrounded by some delectably delicious foods, sometimes the western tongue craves something from home.  i miss chinese food, oh how i do, but while i was there, it was always satisfying to partake in something familiar.  it was more than just "comfort food" -- even eating something as mundane as boxed mac and cheese had a certain magic.   tuna melt? pure joy.

my friend adam and i enjoyed making soup. and no soup in my life will ever be that good because the mushrooms they have in china? they best any other mushroom ive ever had. ever.

the veggie market was across from campus. it was a bustling place, always, with the ever-present smell of rich spices.

it was a superb place for people watching. it was also always an adventure.

twirl!! twirl!!
adam and i didnt just make soup though. we also enjoyed making caesar salad. it was a careful procedure because, while the produce in china was good, one had to be super careful when washing it. because the water is not potable, the choices were 1) use your precious drinking water or 2) boil water and let it cool. most of the time we forgot to preboil and cool water, and we were starving, so we developed choice 3: wash and dry. for nearly all fruits and veggies, this was not an issue. you just had to make sure you got ALL the water removed. but for lettuce, this proved to be a challenge. salad spinners were hardly commonplace. and so we'd use a windmill technique. wrap the lettuce in a towel and swing your arm like the dickens. worked pretty well.

now that im living somewhere that is neither china nor the US of A, i have moments where i miss both of those places. sometimes i make something yummy that reminds me of those other worlds and it is jut the right thing.

i made a fresh batch of chickpea cutlets and gathered ingredients to make caesar salad a la adam.

crunchy and delicious
first, i toasted the croutons.

while they were in the oven getting all golden, i made the cutlets. because the mister was actually home for dinner (YAY), i decided to make 'em fancy. in my previous post, i discussed the gluten strings that signals the doneness of the dough. this is what those strings look like:

gluten strings

using a cookie cutter, i made two special star shaped cutlets for us.

then i mixed up the dressing.  i still have a piece of paper with the ingredients scribbled down thusly:
½ Cup olive oil
1 Tablespoon Worchester Sauce
3 Tablespoons lemon juice
2 cloves of garlic – mashed
Pepper to taste
Parmesan Cheese

i gave the goods a whisk, and the mister combined the lettuce, croutons, and dressing.  on top, i gave us each a gold star.  we didnt use romaine (which was a challenge to find in china, by the way), so adam might disown me.  i just have a hard time paying 5 francs for a head of lettuce.


but wait! i forgot the cheese!


there we are. dinner is served.

mosaic5b26f88727a052c389a9a451d8eca4f6b5e5ae50room for dessert? hells yeah.

i made us vanilla custard with roasted nectarine. the custard is all smitten kitchen's fault. i had to try.


Bon App!

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