All recipes

ANDY WRECKER GREEN CURRY MEATBALLS

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Let’s all be honest here.  Yes.  Including those of us who say we love to cook, and would ferociously defend the legitimacy of home-making Turkish kofta platter, Taiwanese gua bao, or even Italian duck prosciutto, once in a blue moon at least, let’s not kid ourselves.  In practicality, the song and dance of travelling to exotic and exhilarating corners of the world through a dialogue in our own kitchen is, most of the time, only romantic in theory.  At the end of the day, if you are any lucky, the flaming urge for such adventures mostly gets put out by a take-out menu amidst a stack of its own kind, that quietly settles in a kitchen drawer with can-openers and plumber-contacts.  Authentic, or not authentic.  Good, or no good.  Doesn’t matter.

That’s what normal people do.

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TIRAMISU CHURRO + WARM COFFEE CUSTARD

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The problem with me as a recipe dreamer hallucinater during the still-ongoing Thanksgiving carnival is that every year, in utter rudeness, I always feel like leaving the table even before the turkey makes it out of the oven.  Evidently from my premature and inappropriate blabbering of the X’mas blend coffee bars in last November while the whole town was still chattering about tweaking pumpkin pies to death, to now this uncooperative side-tracking dessert that doesn’t even rhyme with “ies” and ” akes”, it is obviously true.  I have no table-side manners.  Now before I leave, pass me the damn stuffings.

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LAMINATED POTATO CHIPS

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Yesterday, I spent a good deal of effort in the kitchen, not just on the usual manual labor I do driven by unknown impulses, but on trying to draw the very blurred line on practicality/doability when it comes to home-cooking, which I have slowly come to realize to having a very different definition than the general public.  Well, I suspect not having a day-job has something to do with it, but really though, what do people consider worth-the-effort when the grunt work is to be done by their own hands in their own kitchen?

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THANKSGIVING ROUX BREAD

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For the innocent sake of running an adequate food-blog, I’ve been slowly sucked down to a rabbit hole passing the disorienting stage of flying pies and falling biscuits, deep down to the world of cultivating gas-farting micro-organism on my kitchen counter (quite deep when you actually think about it).  My falling journey has brought to you and myself, things I wouldn’t even think of doing just a little shy of 2 years ago, things like palm sugar brioche, dreamy Hokkaido milk toast, Taiwanese gua bao, Roman Bonci’s pizza, creamy carbonara pizza, clarified butter English muffin, pillow beignets and this rocking potato roll.

If I look into the mirror right now I wouldn’t recognize myself.

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RED HOT OYSTER+KIMCHI DRESSING

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I thought I was going to forfeit the ticket to this year’s Thanksgiving recipe frenzy.  I thought, for some strange reason, that this year’s Thanksgiving is sitting (impossibly…) on November 18th, and that by the time around November 12th when I start to entertain the idea of a Thanksgiving recipe, that it would already be too late…  After all, I heard this is a holiday meal that people plan ahead for.  I heard that even before the first leaf turned brown, the happy Californian designer-turkeys still obliviously eating their organic feeds, have no idea that someone in New York has already claimed the right to carve them apart and break their wishbones in two months-time.  Better not tell them is what I think.

So the point is, a few days ago I suddenly realized I do have time this year, that it wasn’t too late.  I could still do this!  I could still… well, here’s where I ran into another problem.

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HOW TO KILL AN OYSTER

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Behold, the months marked with the letter “R” are already upon us, and as you may have been once told in stories, that this is the time a particular… defiant kind of sea monsters roam wild and await the braves who dare to challenge.  Enlightened by ancient (probably also desperately hungry) wisdoms who discovered that there are briny, delicious glories hidden inside these ugly and unseemly creatures with tough shells, courageous heroes have charged fearlessly to claim the price (literally charged for it), while the most and rest of us timidly standing on the sideline, too daunted by their impossible presence (and being charged for it).  But this year, this year the fear stops.  This year, this year we stop feeling belittled.  Grab the swords (sort of), and with the help of a mighty hammer (non-lightening charged), we are going to defeat these monsters once and for all, and feast on their flesh.  Because you know what, the difficulty is all but myth, and the deliciousness is not.

You don’t need a professional or a demi-god for that matter.  Because this, this is how mortals kill a sea monsters.

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THE WEST LAKE HYBRID

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You know… as someone who’s been gutting dead animals… chopping things… hacking and hammering in the kitchen for the past 15 years, I pride myself for the fact that I seldom, and I mean rarely burn or hurt myself inside my ruling domain.  No, it isn’t because I’m more masterful at wielding heavy machineries, but because I have a deeply-rooted, intolerated fear for pain which led to a full spectrum of obsessive precautions before any hazardous conducts in the kitchen.  But… just before I sat down for a chat with you, I though, hey, maybe it was a good idea to first finish slicing those mathafuckin’ fibrous and tough galangals for easy freezing… just to check it off my list…

Well, just like that, there goes my left middle-finger now looking tragically like a tissue paper and tape-wrapped lollipop, summer strawberry flavour.  You see?  You see me waving my middle finger in 360º just so you can see clearly?  Especially at you, galangals.

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