Life by Chocolate

Chocolate, white, milk, dark, in all its forms forms life. Chocolate truffles, caramels, and other confections are at the core of enjoyment. This is life by chocolate because death by chocolate is the wrong attitude.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Chicken Stir Fry Dinner: Step 4 Dan Tat

As I said, I used Lucy's Dan Tat recipe, Dan Tat - Hong Kong Style (港式酥皮蛋塔). The great thing about Dan Tat is you can serve it warm, the traditional Chinese method, or you can serve it cold with berries and a little powdered sugar, 10X. Yum. Warm is best but then you don't get the berries. :-(


Chicken Stir Fry Dinner: Step 3 the Stir and the Fry

Everyone knows how to do a stir fry. You heat a pan, a wok, up very hot. Use a little sesame oil, cook the chicken quickly, stir, reserve, cook the veggies quickly, stir, put the meat back in, stir. And more stir.

This works for 1, 2, 3, 5, maybe 8, but not for 40. To do it for 40, I like to cook the chicken, slowly. I like to use oyster sauce on the meat. I use sesame oil for the veggies, which I cook quickly on high, then I take the chicken and the veggies off the heat and as I serve, I combine in a wok, or a skillet, stir and stir, and plate.

I used asparagus, water chestnuts, yellow squash and zucchini cut into batonet (strips), ditto on the peppers, julienne, slicked onion and some garlic. Just about everything gets cut into strips. That, according to Zhao Xiu Zhong, is the Chinese way, and, of course, the French way.

The chicken is also cut into strips.

Easy. No rice. The bao is starch enough.


Chicken Stir Fry Dinner: Step 2 Braised Beef Short Ribs

This is very simple. Get a large pot, heat on the stove and put olive oil in it, EVO. (I used a standard salad plate here. You can use any plate.) This is the type of food you get when you come to the Greenville Arms, Hudson River Valley Fiber Art Workshops or the Hudson River Valley Art Workshops.

12-15 beef short ribs
1 sliced onion
6 cups beef stock
2 cups of dry red wine
3 T garlic
10 Roma tomatoes
6 sprigs of rosemary

Brown ribs in the large pot. Season the ribs as you take them out of the pot. I liked to use course ground Alder smoked sea salt and black pepper. You can get this at Savory Spice Tell them Chef Mark from Greenville sent you.

Sauté the onions briefly, sauté even more briefly half of the garlic, add the ribs back into the pot and cover with the wine and add enough stock until it reaches up about halfway to three quarters of the way up on the beef ribs. Add the rest of the garlic on top of the ribs. Cover with the tomatoes and the rosemary. Cover the pot and simmer on top of the stove for 1/2 hour.

Preheat the oven to 400F and put the pot into the over for 1 hours. Turn down the over to 350 and continue to cook for 2 more hours or until the meat is very tender. When you turn the heat, check the pot and add stock as needed.

Reserve the remaining liquid and tomatoes. Throw out the rosemary. Blend reserved liquid and reduce in a sauté pan about 1/2. You have to eyeball this. If your lid was not on tight, you may already have sludge on the bottom of the pot. Just take that sludge and blend and use to paint on the ribs before serving. I like to serve with a mixed greens garnish and crudité.

You can make this up a day in advance and reheat on top of the stove in a covered pan with a little bit of water. This will make even more sauce. ;-) Makes its own sauce.


It's beautiful here today

Too bad you aren't here.

Check out Innsane for more photos.

Chicken Stir Fry Dinner: Step 1 Making Bao

Each year I change not only the dishes that we serve at the Greenville Arms and the Hudson River Valley Art Workshops but also the cuisine. Over the past it's been Southern Italian, Spanish and South American, I know, I know, very different cuisines but I'm allowed. I didn't do a fusion, but rather served examples of both, Spanish Paella, Pozole, Beefsteak con salsa de chimichurri, I used BBQ flank steak with smoked sea salt, recipe is on Innsane. Upscale Comfort Food, Summer black truffle soup, Mac & Cheese, Urfa and Pistachio Lamb, Austrian Food, Fisch Nach Burgenlaendisher Art, and finally Molecular and Physical Gastronomy, warm chocolate foam, salmon tuile, amaretto pearls.

This year has been interesting. One of the dishes I am doing is a very simple stir fry with nio-rio bao, beef bao rather than pork. I make a great beef short rib that I put into the bao.

So, the menu looks like,

Beef Short Rib Bao
Plain Bao

Beef Short Rib

Main Course:
Chicken Stir Fry

Dan Tat - Hong Kong Style (港式酥皮蛋塔)

I picked up the dan tat recipe, a childhood favorite, from Lucy's blog Edible Memories. I didn't have to change it at all but just take her warning about not overworking the dough very seriously. Also, I filled up to the crust rim, about 90% rather than 80% and had few problems.

Bao Recipe:

My bao recipe has been heavily influenced by Zhao Xiu Zhong, my assistant.

3 cups AP flour
1 1/2 T dried yeast
1/4 cup sugar
1 cup hot milk
2 T shortening
1/2 t baking powder

I put 2 cups flour, yeast, sugar and the shortening in a mixing bowl. I pour the hot milk, 1 minute in the microwave, and start kneeding with the dough hook. I then sprinkle the baking powder as the hook mixes. I need for 8 minutes, making sure I have enough liquid to make a sticky dough. More often than not I add an 1/8 of a cup of water. Next time, I will weigh my ingredients. That's the only sane way to go.

Let rise for 45 minutes. Then punch down and roll into a long baguette like shape. I use my dough knife, bench scraper, to cut into ovals. Comme ça.

To shape, all you need to do for the plain bow is to turn the cut dough over on its side so that the oval faces up. To make the stuffed Nyo Lo Bao, I hope I have the pinyin right there, first turn over the sliced dough and flatten with your hand. Then using your fingers, thin out the edges. Next shred the beef and put it in the center. Using the fingers and right thumb pinch together the dough while stuffing the beef down with your left thumb, sort of like making kaiser rolls, and then once you have covered the shredded beef, push down the folds hard with your thumb. Let rest 10 minutes.

Let rest for 20 minutes. Then steam in a genuine steamer. Bamboo is fine. I use my industrial strength aluminum. I bought that steamer 30 years ago. Steam for 15-20 minutes. What I like to do to get good steamer spring, as opposed to oven spring ;-), is to heat up the steamer, turn it off, let cool for 20 minutes, put the bao into the steam and turn it back on full.

I highly recommend that you make a circle of paper and poke holes in it and the spray it to get a nice bottom. You can also cut individual squares of paper for each bun. I like the latter better because it lets the steam circulate.

My next post will be my Braised Beef Short Ribs. Until then, you'll have to use your own recipe for braised beef short ribs.