Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Week 3 of World Cooking Challenge ends on a high note!

I decided that all wasn't lost with Asia week after having a nice dinner out with some neighborhood friends.  The stars were aligned as they chose a noodle house in our hood.     It was a bit of a dive but the main purpose of this little gem is that it is quick, cheap, good Chinese food and it is also open LATE.  This is a rare thing in London (as opposed to New York where things are open 24/7...you can get Mexican food at 4:00am if you want it...sushi at 2:00am...ANYTHING).  

I have to say I was a little intimidated by the menu.  I really don't know what it is about this style of food that freaks me out.  I think it is that I don't know the ingredients...therefore,  I don't know what my dish will taste like...anxiety ensues.  

I know what will calm me down...a nice cold brew.  When is a better time to try out the beer of China then this night...Saturday night!!!!  I ordered Tsingtao,  a beer from the brewery of the same name that is the largest in China.  Sound familiar?  That's because Clint Eastwood can be seen sipping on this brew in his 2008 film, "Grand Torino" while partying at the neighbors house with the kids.

For our appetizer,  we ordered Aromatic Duck.  If you have never had this and see it on a menu....ORDER IT!  It is a dish consisting of specially spiced duck (primarily the crispy skin),  spring onions and a sweet bean sauce that gets wrapped in a thin pancake...FANTASTIC!!!!  

Chicken Satay
After some direction from my friend,  I selected the Chicken Satay with thick noodles.  It was spicy (as I tend to like my dishes) and tasty.  After the delicious Peking Aromatic Duck appetizer, however, I was pretty full so I didn't have too much.  Overall,  this was our best meal of the week and I think we got out only spending about 14 pounds each ($22.50).  Who says you have to spend a fortune to have a nice meal with 2 beers to boot !!!

So, for this week (Week 4),  I have decided to stick to my alphabetical order World Challenge cuisine challenge.  To do an Oscar film theme,  I figured I would need to a) see all of the films and b) spend a fortune on a bunch of stuff we wouldn't eat/buy otherwise...gave it a pass.  Last night,  I tried Spicy Meat Gumbo and tonight is Cajun Blackened Fish Steaks!!!  Stay tuned.

If you have any Cajun, Creole or Central and South American recipe ideas I should try,  please send them my way!!!  I will get back to my cooking ways this week...after my disappointing crack at Asia ;)!

Have a great week everyone!

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