cheddar Tag

JALAPENO POPPER DUMPLINGS W/ PICKLING JUICE DIPPING SAUCE

ONE DOES NOT TELL YOU THAT WHEN PICKLED JALAPENO AND CHEDDAR CHEESE ARE IN THE COMPANY OF GROUND PORK, DELIVERED IN CAPSULE-FORM, THEN FURTHER DIPPED INTO A REDUCTION OF ITS OWN PICKLING JUICE, THE COMBO CAN BE BORN ANEW.

My speculation into a jalapeño popper dumpling began many years ago.  It was first brought into light by a specimen from my brother-in-law, who gave us two dozens of online-ordered frozen dumplings which, I was told, had become somewhat of a local internet sensation at the time.  The entire makeup of the dumpling was very well-balanced, a perfect ratio between silky and chewy wrapper, not too thin, not too thick, and a fully-housed filling of pork, chopped Taiwanese-style peeled and pickled chili, cilantro, plus some other secret stuffs that I couldn’t quite put my finger on.  It was unexpected, well-flavored, totally legit.

I have since then, for a handful of times, attempted to replicate that particular dumpling outside of Taiwan where Taiwanese-style peeled and pickled chili aren’t always a common item, and had found such task to be extremely impractical at best.  First of all, Taiwanese-style peeled and pickled chilis are, even when available, highly inconsistent in quality between various brands, ranging from awesomely crunchy and peppery with a tinge of sweetness, to barbarically over-sweetened, flaccid and tasteless.  Then what complicated the matter even further was that every attempts to replace it with another type of pickled chilis, had resulted in a flavor profile that was completely unrecognizable.  In some work, documentary for example, there are certain values in writing recipes involving ingredients that are highly specific and exclusive, necessary even.  This, I decided, isn’t one of’em.

I decided that the idea of a dumpling involving a delicious pickled chili, one that is available and reliable nonetheless, could only be realized from a perspective ungoverned by its original inspiration.  Which brings us to, jalapeño popper dumpling.

I made a jadeite-green wrappers colored by green scallion puree, sturdy yet soft, smooth yet chewy, a proper capsule for a filling that is fully specked with spicy and peppery chopped pickled jalapeño and cubes of sharp cheddar cheese, each occupying tiny gooey pockets throughout a fatty pork filling that is brightened with fresh cilantro.  The compatibility between pickled jalapeño and cheddar cheese requires no dispute, but one does not tell you that when they’re in the company of ground pork, delivered in capsule-form, then further dipped into a spicy, briny and tangy reduction of its own pickling juice, this classic combo can be born anew.

Sometimes the destination isn’t where the starting point had intended.  And often times that pisses me off.  In this case, I am not.

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DUSTY CHEDDAR POTATO CROQUETTE

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“A SEQUEL OF CHICK-FLICK POPCORNS…”

I couldn’t stop thinking about the color orange.

Not thinking about orange after the revelation of homemade cheese powder for this white cheesy popcorns, is like ignoring the bigger and prettier elephant in the room.  You know you thought the same.  So let’s just take a moment to put this unnatural, unhealthy, un-anything-you-should-really-eat-or-let-alone-making-at-home idea aside, before we can get back to eating real foods.

Shall we?  A sequel of our chick-flick popcorns – the orange stuff that would make cardboard taste good.

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CHEESY CHICK-FLICK POPCORN

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“MR. DARCY, THE CLOSETED FETISH OF MODERN FEMINISTS”

OK… OK so I lied.  I didn’t go outside last week…  As a matter of fact, I didn’t go outside for the entire three consecutive blue-sky-days…  I’ve been home.  I’ve been home all this time, alone by myself with Jason on a business trip… helplessly, drowning in a bloodbath of some of the ultimate, eternal cinematic achievements known to women.  One.  Classic.  Hit.  After.  Another….  Twelve Years Of Slaves?…  Neeuuu….

Ladies, bust out your most shameless, worthless, dirtiest secret stash… it’s home-alone chick-flicks extravaganza night.

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PRE-DEPARTURE MICROWAVE MADNESS

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Despite the level of embarrassment that I’m sure will hit me the moment I get back from Paradise (Tuesday!), I still decided to send this truth out there. The truth that once in a while, on some particular full-moons and/or… the night before a long trip away from home, there’s absolutely no excuse for my primitive behavior. And if that’s the kind of entertainment that delights you, here it goes.

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spicy cheesy. gochujang spaghetti

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The wee-light of early morning started seeping in through the curtain, adding to my sense of unease particular to someone who knew she had done wrong and was most certainly about to get caught.  Jason’s morning-siren promptly started barking at 6:30 (no, really, the alarm is a dog barking…) and was ignored for 5 minutes as usual until eventually, he turned over and witnessed my crime scene.  Like the most gasping moment in a horror movie, an unsightly picture of an irresponsible grown-up, holding her i-pad with an earphone giggling like an idiot, secretly pulling a marathon on… a new-found television series.  ALL NIGHT and 18 episodes in, not even of something socially excusable like Game of Thrones, or House of Cards to demonstrate depth, but a retarded high-school version of True Blood with a name too embarrassing to even pronounce… VaVampire Diaries!  God!  Just hang me by the neck!

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2:1 sliders

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I am sitting at my parent’s dinning room table in Taiwan, clicking anxiously on my mother’s laptop… scrambling to get this new post out.  I’m gonna quickly leave you with these little suckers I made before leaving Beijing, what I consider to be the ideal ratio of meat and cheese when it comes to cheese burgers (in this case mini-sized), as I call them, the 2:1 sliders.

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