last weekend i took a chinese cooking class with ning.
we made smoked tofu lettuce wraps, seafood soup, and tofu stuffed with ppork and shrimp.
above is a finished lettuce wrap and below are various stages of making the stuffed tofu.
the stuffed tofu was delicious but my favorite part about the recipe is that it came to ning in a dream while on vacation in mexico. specific ingredients apperared in her dreams two nights in a row and when she returned to colorado she made it for her husband who loved it. she normally doesn't dream.
once the tofu was filled with stuffing it was steamed in chicken broth and gobbled up too fast to take pictures.
one of the movies we watched on new year's eve was the french film, l'iceberg. the movie is sweet, silly, and strange. it is exactly what comes to mind when i think of french comedies (although this one is actually belgian). while probably not for everyone, for me l'iceberg was a quirky treat. plus, it's really fun to say l'iceberg with a french accent.
we also attempted to watch april's shower, but didn't make it past the opening scene. don't see this movie unless you happen to enjoy bad acting.
i try not to force myself to finish bad movies and boring books. i prefer to move on to something i can fully enjoy.
a recent favorite book is julia child's my life in france. julia was amazing. i wish jordan and i could have dinner with her and her husband, paul. the only problem would be that my stomach might not be strong enough to handle her rich french cooking. do you think she would be offended if i requested no dairy?
After hearing about all of the great Vietnamese restaurants and markets in southwest Denver, Jordan and I decided to try Da Lat at 940 South Federal Boulevard. When we walked in, only two other tables were occupied, one by a Vietnamese family and the other by a group of Vietnamese men. Both groups were eating the same dish. There was a big plate of noodles, a plate of greens and a plate of meat, and some sort of hot liquid.
Not knowing much about Vietnamese food beyond pho (noodle soup traditionally eaten with beef) we asked what everyone else was eating. It turned out to be a goat firepot and while we were open to trying it, our waiter suggested the mixed seafood firepot which came with shrimp, scallops, squid, octopus, some other varieties of white fish, and beef.
We piled greens and fish into the spicy soup filled with onions, mushrooms, and lemongrass and waited for it it to cook. Then after filling our small bowls with rice noodles we ladled on the goodie-filled soup. We both ate until we were very, very full.
While eating I wished I could take a food appreciation class where we would go to different ethnic restaurants and be taught how to properly eat the food, what are some typical dishes beyond those best known to "gringos," what are some of the ingredients, etc. It would include visits to markets and maybe even homes or kitchens of the restaurants for cooking demonstrations.
life is busy right now. people always say looking for a job is a full-time job. well, moving back to the US and looking for a job with only temporary housing while learning to drive again (and stick for the first time!) feels like several fool time jobs.
luckily, it doesn't take much to make me feel better. yesterday we enjoyed a delicious dim sum lunch at the tea box, a cute little restaurant near my inlaws' house. i sipped my iced jasmine green tea (jasmine is a magical antidote for stress) and nibbled edamame, three types od fresh dumplings, and a bbq pork bun. we went back today and slurped hibiscus slushies.
for dinner, we drove to the highlands (a very "hot" neighborhood) and tried out a new peruvian restaurant called cebiche. eating authentic andean food made me feel like i was back in south america. we started with a beef and egg empanada and a delicious tamale special (pictured above). we drank chicha morada, made with purple corn boiled with pineapple, cinnamon, and clove and then mixed with lemon and suger.
as our main course we had fresh peruvian-style cebiche (also known as ceviche). in ecuador ceviche is served in more a soup while in peru the fish is marinated in similar ingredients (lemons, onions, cilantro) but served withough the soup. ecuadorian ceviche is served with popcorn and plantain chips, in peru there are often potatoes, sometimes corn, but popcorn is less common.
we waited twenty minutes for a fresh patch of picarones, fried pumpkin fritters served with as honey syrup. this decadent dessert is not something for everyday, but is the perfect "i need to spoil myself because i am stressed right now" sweet.