Wednesday, 19 January 2011

Chinese night

You know sometimes, just sometimes, I think that TBH and I may be spending too much time together...

Take last night, deprived of our regular eastern fix it was determined that we needed a 'cultural immersion' evening. Do you ever do those? No I guess not. It takes a bit of a sad old git to understand the desire to transport oneself to exotic places when you are already sitting in a REAL exotic location.

Be that as it may the desire came over me and I was off..

Being a complete foodie there was no place to begin but with the food.
Pretty obvious really.
So out with the recipe books, on with the internet and a delightful trawl began through the worlds culinary masterpieces. It so wonderful to be able to pull up a recipe, any recipe I can imagine.
 Then of course the down to earth bit when I realise that I don't have, and have no hope of buying, many of the ingredients needed for the more exotic dishes. Right now there isn't a tin of cornstarch to be had for love nor money and kaffir leaves, well you can forget that!

From time to time TBH peers over my shoulder to see what I am looking at. I know he's there 'cos a puddle of drool starts to pool on my left shoulder, yeuch. He's a terrible dribbler , say no more. Guess that could be termed too much information. Sorry!

Anyway to get back to the important issue here, food.
Chinese was the chosen theme. I already had some super spare ribs in the fridge and planned around that. What else  is in the fridge? Aha some ground pork and theres a bowl of rice left over from yesterday. Bingo!
From that moment my voice took on a singsong quality. Weird. TBH even said that my eyes narrowed but I think he's exaggerating...

Sticky spare ribs, lion pork balls with a chilli dipping sauce and special fried rice. I did contemplate lemon chicken as well but that was a step too far in terms of quantity.

First step is to marinate the ribs, longer you leave them the tenderer they get, well within reason.  wouldn't want any that had been marinating for days, nasty.
I mix together soy sauce, rice wine, chinese five spice, honey, salt and pepper, tomato puree and mustard. Cut the ribs into smaller pieces mix with the ribs and set aside.
So on the night of the deed the ribs get popped in the oven at it's highest temperature for 1-2 hours,keep a close eye on them to make sure they don't burn and turn regularly.

Then onto the lion pork balls. This is a new one for me. they have this name as the balls are rolled in rice, making them look like a lions mane, well that's what the book said!

Mix a pound of ground pork with 1 tsp chinese five spice powder, 2tbsp chopped fresh coriander, a spoon of flour, 2 cloves crushed garlic and a tbsp rice wine. Form into walnut size balls. Actually before doing this you need to soak 3ozs sushi rice, the sticky stuff, in water for two hours.
Roll the balls in the drained rice and then steam for 20 minutes until cooked.

Whilst they are cooking mix up a special fried rice, any kind. I use what ever is lurking in the rack. last night it included bacon,red pepper, carrot, spring onion, ginger and broccolli.

TBH set the table, including chopsticks! He also selected the entertainment, a mystical Chinese film- Hero starring Jet Li.

So the scene was set, TBH dressed in his Chinese silk smoking jacket(don't ask), me in my satin Chinese pyjamas and the evening commenced.
God alone knows what our neighbour made of the discordant Chinese music coming from the boat and my dulcet tones shrieking ' Waaaa yurrr name? 'at TBH in a fake Chinese accent.....

The film was stunning. The cinematography quite breathtaking and outstanding soundtrack by one of my favourite composers, Tan Dun....

Anyone up for the next event? TBH fancies Italian with Cinema Paradisio!

No comments: