Today we did some Asian cooking. Helen Chen gave our morning lecture on Chinese cuisine, and she gave us some of the history of Chinese cuisine and a little bit about regional Chinese cooking. Ms. Chen travels around the country teaching, so if you ever get a chance to hear her, I encourage it. Her time with us was packed with good information.The Occidental Tourist, you know he's taken a lot of inspiration from Asian cuisine.) He gave the class a handful of recipes, along with some words about differences between western and Asian dishes. The thing to strive for here is balanced contrast. If you're doing a sweet and sour dish, you want to taste both. Don't let one overpower the other.
So after quite a bit of cutting veggies, Mike and Leanne heated up their woks, and Mike encouraged Leanne to toss. (I'd be so proud of that picture if the salamander weren't blocking Mike's head.) Of course, someone got a little too enthusiastic about tossing.
On the menu today: ginger scallion lo mein with chicken and beef, spring rolls with a hoisin peanut sauce, wonton soup (we filled our own wontons, as you see in this picture), black tea brined chicken wings (really delicious), and sautéed green beans with toasted sesame seeds. Chef Stan believes the key to pairing Asian meals with wine is to choose something with a lot of fruit, so we enjoyed the meal with a delicious late-harvest German wine, and an Alsatian wine. We took our time eating today and sat around the table for a while. It's something we don't often do, and it seems more important now that we're less than two weeks away from graduation.