Vegatables

Do Right By Stuffed Peppers

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If you’ve had Spanish stuffed pepper or Mediterranean stuffed pepper or God-forbid-American stuffed pepper or whatever-other-western-culture-style who together shares the innate calling to fill a vegetable with a hollow center, and you think – stuffed pepper is the champion (wait for it…) of the good-in-theory-but-COMPLETELY-FORGETTABLE-in-reality category – I’m totally with you.  In all the culinary-ideas out there that the world all seems to agree on and share, the west unmistakably dominates on a few things…I’ll give’em that.  They do better with a-lot-of-things-fermented like cheese, bread, cured meats and basically all-things-alcoholic.  Great.  I won’t argue with that.

But leave stuffed peppers alone.

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Belly Full Pumpkin

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(Chinese versions coming soon)

I’m staring and thinking about what I’m gonna say and… drawing blank.  I wish I have personal, wild stories to share about my Halloweens but the truth is, it is scarce.  Has my life been this pathetic (don’t answer that)?  So I did a psycho-analysis on my entire pathetic peculiar life so far on how I could possibly missed Halloween and drew this conclusion. First of all, Halloween is… not very happening in Taiwan, which was unfortunately where I wasted my prime-time-Halloween-peak-ages from 2 to 10 years old.  Then I moved to Vancouver when I was 12, an awkward age where I JUST missed the boat on getting away with dressing-up-and-asking-for-candy-is-cute.  And then came the teenage years which I consider to be the dark ages of Halloween because a dinosaur costume would be adorable retarded, but a slutty-anything costume would just be… sexy let’s just say raising concerns.

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Pretty Little Purple Shoestrings

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(简体)(繁體) 

I’ve attempted good-old French fries at home before.  Once.

And the fact that no song was sung for it in any chapters on this blog, you should know better and NOT to ask what happened.  You see, it wasn’t that it was inedible.  No no no… who said that?!  But the shreds of sanity left in me (surprise) just couldn’t justify the entire process of one-step soaking, one-step blanching and two-steps frying which then are all painstakingly repeated in 3~4 batches.  Let alone the giant tub of grease that will never EVER be conscientiously regarded as “fresh” again, ALL for a STINGY amount of fries that (covering my ears) just isn’t all-that-better than outsourced.  OK… again you see, the grease is never hot enough.  And I could never (maybe you do…) bear to invest the obscene ratio for grease : fries like the restauratns, which is to say… 15:1!  And therefore they never come out as goldenly delicious and crispy…

All in all it brings me to say – and believe me that these words don’t come without pain but – French fries are better-off left for professional kitchens.

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Magic Shrooms

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(简体)(繁體)

OK, I sort of bashed it in my previous post (as if it matters), and stripped its right for photos (as if they care).  But maybe I didn’t make myself as clear as I should have.  What I meant was, the tourist-trappy pre fixe we ordered SUCKED, yes ( “Ma’am, this is Robuchon’s signature this… Robuchon’s signature that…”  Pfffffff!!).  BUT everything else the local French were eating beside us looked SUBLIIIME!!  If only we had another €300 dangling in our pocket, we could have theoretically rewrite our Robuchon memory.  Or if only I grew a layer of cowhide thick enough to ask for a picture, “excuse… eh.. moi?…  flash, flash oui?”, I could have at least showcase that beautiful morel pasta here.

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Confit on Fire

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*UPDATES IN INGREDIENTS.

But the world wants this.  A Chili Pepper Confit.

This is not a chili paste, or a chili oil, or a hot sauce.  Difference?  All of the above are wingmen who deliver heat to the main attractions and are otherwise just condiments on their own.  They are the Keanu Reeves.  This is Al Pacino.  Pepper confit is fresh peppers slowly stewed in fat until they lose all their moisture and concentrate down to a pungent, fragrant, fiery explosion on the senses.  It may not look much, I know, but neighbors would know that this is stewing on my stove and attempt to eat a bowl of rice with it.

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