Last October the BF and I were invited to dinner at the house of some dear friends. Husband, wife, and two adorable kids. The hubs is a grill-master, and the wife is a wonderful cook who treated us to Indian-spiced grilled chicken, roasted yams and a kale salad that was so good I asked if we could use it for a future blog, and she was kind enough to say yes. She does not know the specific origins of the recipe as it came to her from a friend. No matter. Our benefit, and yours.
Since that dinner the salad has accompanied many meals for the meat-loving BF, and was a highlight of our last Thanksgiving feast. It's almost too easy to assemble, and could not be healthier.
NOTE: Okay, maybe a little healthier. To make this vegetarian dish vegan, simply substitute the mayonnaise with Vegenaise eggless or other vegan substitute.
Adapted from: Our dear friends around the corner!
Number of servings: 2-4
[Ed. note: Quick addendum to give a heartfelt farewell to a man who REALLY loves his kale, former San Francisco Giant outfielder Hunter Pence. As a bay area kid who grew up experiencing a lot of awful Giants baseball (Boo LeMaster!), it was thrilling to watch you patrol AT&T Park's angular right field, preach the championship blood through two World Series victories (2012, 2014), and get that ridiculous three-stage hit that people here will forever be talking about. All love and best of luck to you as you play for your Arlington-hometown Texas Rangers. Yes. Yes. Yes.]
After a wonderful birthday meal at San Francisco's China Live (chinalivesf.com/), detailed in the last blog, am happy to say gong hey fat choy!
Truth be told, the BF and I could eat Chinese food every day of the week. [Ed. note: Confirming.]
Yu choy is a long, leafy Chinese green with yellow flowers and tender stalks. Very mild, with a little sweetness to it. Am very lucky I can find it in almost all of my local grocery stores, as well as farmers markets. It's one of my favorite greens (BF loves it too). It's also easily stir fried, sautéed or steamed, and you can prepare it as a healthy side dish or main course. Serve it alone, as in the picture above, or with a protein like steak, as below.
Wishing everyone a happy, healthy and prosperous Year of the Pig!
NOTE: I made the dish exactly as written below (although streamlined some of the directions). You can also sauté the greens as opposed to blanching. Either way it's easy and delicious.
Adapted from: The Woks of Life
Number of servings: 4
Pictures below are from my celebratory birthday trip through San Francisco and China Town.
Hey there, folks. Guest blogger here. It's the editor. You know, the guy who chirps pithy, yet spectacularly irrelevant input [in brackets].
Wanted to detail a wonderful birthday meal that came a day early for Chef Jacquie, who of course will be working on her birthday (today) for a client, incidentally one of the first attorneys for Facebook. Goes without saying: please click the ad links, visit a sponsor, like the blogs, share them, spread them far and wide, and thank you so much. It comes out to literally dollars of revenue. Lamborghinis on layaway. But I digress.
Won't lie. Jacquie spoils me with food that makes it difficult for restaurants to impress. Often we visit a place that has high marks from the San Francisco Chronicle, yet find ourselves looking at each other like a deer staring at an oncoming truck, eyes screaming, "Meh."
China Live (644 Broadway), the brainchild of George Chen, is a 30,000-square-foot "education in Chinese cuisine" in the heart of San Francisco's Chinatown. Sporting everything from a retail store to a bakery, high-end bourbon bar, demonstration kitchen, flower mart, and multiple restaurants, it's the polar opposite of meh.
For our midday meal we sampled a wide array of their sophisticated–this isn't your grandma's Chinese takeout–dishes. Mostly smaller starters, but we did partake in the highly recommended Crackling Skin Cantonese Fragrant Garlic Chicken, which did not disappoint. Gorgeous.
However, the starters-appetizers stole the show. Am not just saying that because we enjoyed a Szechaun Starlet* during.
Below, Kurobuta Pork Char Siu with Hot Mustard. Food porn that tasted as good as it looked.
Shan Dong Shui Jiao "Water Dumplings" (Chive and Pork) with Dipping Sauce.
The favorite, Dungeness Crab and Shrimp Spring Handrolls with Dual Dipping Sauce. Am considering driving back to San Francisco to order about 400 of these for Sunday's Super Bowl. Again, please like, share, and click those ads. [deadpan-face emoji]
Not pictured, we also had some lovely Peking Duck in Sesame Pockets with Kumquat Glaze and Traditional Condiments. We couldn't get a picture because the kumquats refused to sign the appropriate model release form.
Silliness aside, it's always special to share amazing food with someone who truly knows something about amazing food.
Chef, I love you, and your short arms (#selfieproblems). Happy birthday.
By the way, she is 27.
*Szechaun Starlet: Black Tea-infused Angel's Envy Bourbon, Cardamaro Amaro, Campari, Szechuan Peppercorn Bitters and a splash of bubbles
PS: Hey, the dog writes, too. Marlowe, you're hired. You also look especially cute as a UPS driver. (www.moveablefeast.me/blog/mini-butterscotch-apples)
PPS: A year ago, she made her own chocolate birthday cake. Because she was tired of cakes that looked better than they tasted. (www.moveablefeast.me/blog/happy-birthday-to-me-chocolate-cake-and-chocolate-sour-cream-frosting)
PPPS: Plans are in place to relaunch this blog in a newer format, where we may or may not start including subjects outside of the regular recipes. This originated out of a sole proprietership business that Chef Jacquie built, which is a big part of the story. So we're considering the occasional foray into the business-side, or an occasional restaurant-meal review. We're an open book, so please comment below on what you would like to see in the future. And again, thank you.
Since it's Chinese New Year this Friday, February 16th (Year of the Dog), here's a take on a popular Chinese recipe that can be made in your own kitchen in under 30 minutes.
The BF and I love take-out Chinese, but I don't like the abundance of added thickeners, i.e., flour, cornstarch, etc. So I frequently make our own Chinese food at home where quantites can be better controlled. (Side note: BF also loves sushi and poke bowls that you can easily make at home, and you can see a poke bowl option here www.moveablefeast.me/blog/ahi-poke-bowl-with-kohlrabi-rice.)
My parents instilled my love of Asian food at an early age, as my dad lived in Shanghai for 10 years, so mom lovingly and expertly prepared Japanese and Chinese food for the five of us (two brothers, two sisters) when she could.
Until I turned 10 years old, we went to one of our two favorite restaurants (Pagoda and Forbidden City) in Portland every Saturday night. The owners knew us by name and watched us grow up. They laughed as my mom dipped pacifers in sweet and sour sauce to quiet the infants.
Every Saturday morning, we shopped at the local Japanese Grocery store called Anzen (100 year old store, now closed). I remember the scent and otherwordly yellow glow of the pickled daikon radish, gallon jug of sweet soy sauce, burlap bag of rice. And I remember the rice-paper-wrapped candy that my dad would give us if we behaved while waiting for them in the car.
This terrific recipe was adapted from The Woks of Life. A word about king trumpet mushrooms (smokefree.typepad.com/photos/uncategorized/2008/07/14/king10001_2.jpg) from Judy Leung, "King mushrooms seem to be named as such because of their massive stems. These are substantial and very versatile mushrooms–you can pan-fry them, stir-fry them, braise them, steam them, or grill them...it's a great candidate to serve as a meat substitute."
Specifically, I added a few ingredients that I like in Kung Pao Chicken–water chestnuts, zucchini and shitakes. I also substituted cashews over peanuts as that's my personal preference, but feel free to use peanuts if you like.
NOTES: It's important to dice the vegetables according to the directions below. Everything will cook faster and evenly if you do. King trumpet mushrooms should be in the produce section of your local grocer (they're at my Safeway, Whole Foods, and Costco).
Adapted from: The Woks of Life
Number of servings: 4
I'm Jacquie, personal chef & recipe developer in the beautiful Pacific Northwest. Lover of books, bourbon, chocolate and movies.