Earlier this year, when I made Gingery Pork & Chive Pot Stickers, I declared 2014 The Year of the Dumpling. As a second foray into making these bite-sized morsels, I tackled another favorite of mine, shumai (in Japanese) or shãomài (in Chinese). I roughly followed Andrea Nguyen’s lovely recipe for pork-based dumplings (from her exquisite Asian Dumplings cookbook) except combined the pork with scallop to create more of a Yokohama-style shumai that I loved from my time in Japan (true Yokohama style also uses shrimp in the mix). Continue reading
It’s rare that something I cooked myself will bring me to tears. Unless I’ve ruined it. But in this case, my tears welled up at the first bite of this pappardelle with pork rib ragu because it brought back a flood of happy memories in Tuscany, sipping incredible wine and enjoying plates of pasta and cinghiale, wild boar. Since I lack any connections to wild boar hunters at the moment, this is probably the closest I’ll get to pappardelle al cinghiale in my kitchen. The recipe is easy, in that it doesn’t require any fancy technique, but it does require a good 3 hours to slowly braise the ribs in red wine until the meat falls off the bone. It’s even better if you can let it rest overnight, letting the flavors meld, and just re-heat for the final seasoning with balsamic vinegar and tossing with the pasta the next day. Goes nicely with a Tuscan dry red like Sangiovese, Montepulciano red, or Brunello di Montepulciano. Enjoy!
“Dumplings taste better when filled with memories.” ~ From an NPR series, “Dumpling Week.”
First it was NPR’s airing of vignettes about dumplings from around the world that got my memories and taste buds stirring last August. Then in October, fellow blogger Amanda from What’s Cooking ~ Fine Dining My Way posted these jaw-dropping delicious photos and description of her Chicken & Chive Pot Stickers with Ginger Chili Soy Dip. You could say I’ve had dumplings on the brain for a long time.
Coriander is the kind of spice that usually plays a supporting role in curries, other sauces and spice rubs. Here it’s the star seasoning. This sweet, nutty seed complements pork, red wine and prunes so it’s perfect as the star ingredient in seasoning pork tenderloin and infusing a red wine and prune reduction sauce. I love this dish in winter; I find it so soothing and simple, but it’s elegant enough to be the main course of a festive feast for the holidays. Continue reading
What do Vietnamese and Mexican cuisines have in common? Cilantro, which happens to be one of my favorite herbs. That’s the key ingredient here in a Vietnamese-inspired bánh mì pork rolled into a delectable taco, Mexican style. This brilliant fusion idea comes from the Lemongrass Truck, a D.C.-area food truck that serves up delicious Vietnamese fare in a different neighborhood each weekday. I’ve been dreaming of and pining for these little pockets of zingy flavors with a spicy mayo sauce and pickled carrots since we left the U.S. a long, long time ago. So here I’ve tried to create my own version. It’s not quite the same without homemade tortillas and bubble tea, but it’ll do until I’m back in the Lemongrass Truck’s radius. Continue reading