Saturday, February 19, 2011

World Cuisine Challenge Week 3...Fail let's just say that I wasn't as into preparing Asian cuisine as I was America and Africa.  I ended up only cooking one night and that meal was not good.  This is partly because we had a friend in town so we were out more but ....I just think we have to give Asia a fail.  Luckily,  a few of the countries in Asia are also covered in the World cuisine challenge.  For instance,  there is a full week of Chinese, Indian, Japanese and Korean so I think I will have another chance.  

I have to thank Ralph Lauren as he saved me on Wednesday.  He showed his collection for New York Fashion Week and his inspiration!??!!  ASIA!!!!  Instead of a meal,  here are some of my favorite looks from his show.  

I love how Ralph can take a completely new angle with his concept but still keep the authenticity of his aesthetic.  The collection overall was beautiful and saved my tail on Wednesday...Asia was covered that day even if it wasn't in the kitchen!!!

Thursday,  I faced the beast...I attempted a dish that originates, according to Jamie Oliver's "America" book,  in the western Szechuan province of China.  Now you ask,  "How can you get an Asian recipe from a book about American cuisine?".  Jamie Oliver traveled to Chinatown in New York and learned from the chefs to make authentic Chinese dishes.  The dish is called Fiery Dan Dan Noodles.  Things I learned while making this dish:

1)  Szechuan Pepper is way too strong if you use the whole MUST be ground...and your new hand held blender won't do the job.
2)  Mix the meat in Southern Stump!  A noodle dish is no good if you drizzle the ground meat over the noodles.  I should have definitely incorporated them directly into the dish.

Overall,  this just...sadly...didn't taste good.  The pepper was way too strong and the flavors just didn't mesh like I had hoped.  I have to admit that I cheated by buying an egg roll and some prawn crackers from the Chinese takeaway down the street.  I guess I should have just known that my heart wasn't in this style of cooking.  I like Asian food but realize that I don't like cooking it.    Here is the recipe for the fiery Dan Dan Noodles if anyone wants to take a crack at it....hopefully you will have better luck.

Next week is Creole/Cajun but I'm thinking of doing an OSCARS menu week instead!  Each night around one of the films nominated for best picture.  I have a few ideas and also have the help of many cooking websites...I think that would be fun. 

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