Saturday, January 19, 2008

Chop Suey (Page 488)

  • Date: Friday, January 11, 2008 -- 9pm
  • Location: Chicago, IL
  • Kitchen: Vigleik and Shihchi's Apartment
  • Fellow Chef: Shihchi
  • Dining Companion: Vigleik
  • Recipe Rating: B+

I picked this recipe to make at Vigleik and Shihchi's place last weekend because it was another one that called for a wok (which they have and I don't!). This chop suey was good -- it evoked thoughts of Chinese take-out while being better than most take-out. There were two fine qualities that set this dish apart from the fast-food and take-out renditions. One, the vegetables weren't overcooked. Two: the meat was flavorful and tender. This recipe called for pork tenderloin, which was absolutely delicious in this preparation. Usually I am a person who will eat more of the vegetables than the meat in a dish like this, but in this case I found myself tempted to pick the pork out of the bowl and eat just that! It was good. The downside of this recipe was that the preparation was a bit ridiculous. Each of the nine vegetables in this chop suey were stir-fried separately. Shihchi did all this stir-frying, and you can easily imagine what a pain it was. Could a few of the vegetables have been cooked together at the same time? Sure. All of them at once? Probably not (too much to fit well in the wok and get cooked evenly). But it would have been sensible for The Book to suggest three batches of vegetables rather than nine. The end result was pretty tasty though. If you like chop suey, you will certainly appreciate this rendition.

Here is the recipe.

As I get further along in project (rapidly nearing the halfway mark!), lack of proper equipment is becoming more and more of an issue. Now, those of you who have cooked in my kitchen know that I have a lot of cooking equipment -- possibly more than one person can reasonably justify having. But for The Book it isn't enough! I have been trying to mentally compile a list of all the things I need to acquire (buy, borrow, steal...) before I can finish. I keep forgetting things though, so I will write a few here. Added bonus: if any of you out there have said items, and are willing to briefly share them, that would be good to know. So here goes:
  • Wok
  • Kugelhopf pan
  • Fondue set
  • Barquette tins
  • Madeleine pans
  • 10 inch cast-iron skillet
  • Baba au rhum molds
  • Charlotte molds
  • Coeur a la creme molds
  • Clam knife
  • Terrine
  • Fish poacher
  • Grill
I could go on, but it's a little depressing! Fortunately I have another couple years to hunt down these things! At least I am making progress -- my recently acquired pizza stone, baker's peel, and food mill have opened up the doors to many new recipes for me.


Kevin said...

I've been avoiding making my version of that list. I have absolutely no room left in the kitchen for madeline molds. Good luck.

Teena said...

Yeah it's depressing, no? I still have some room left in my kitchen thankfully. It's the money I am more worried about!

vero said...

We have a madeleine mold. I think Philippe bought it in France after trying to find one here.

You should borrow it the next time you're in Boston. (I can't believe they have more than one of two recipes requiring it!)

Teena said...

Excellent! I will do that. Mmmmm... madeleines.