Wednesday, July 11, 2007

An oily evening

We had a stand-in last week in the shape of Wendy. J-Boogie decided it was just too much effort to come all the way to 19th Street, Brooklyn for some grub. He had been burning the candles at both ends though, and melting the middle. He might be tad surprised at the entries on his credit card bill, which he’ll receive pretty soon. Good luck with that, Son.

Adams finally gave up on 'modern American meat' this week, and decided to go off-road in his culinary SUV and build some dishes with Asian inspiration. First stop China. Next stop Japan. Next stop Chino-America (in a Trader Vic's
stylee.) And then on to Thailand, with a one last stop at Japan before heading across the sub-Asian continent and stopping firmly in India:

  • Chinese “Breakfast” - Chili Toast with Chinese Sausage and Panko Fried Egg Yolk
  • Teriyaki and Ginger Chicken Wings
  • Crab Rangoons with Sweet and Hot Mustard
  • Grilled Squid Fried Rice
  • Sesame Crusted Yellow Fin Tuna
  • Radish Frozen Mango Popsicles

Panko fried egg yolk? This was a real test of his talents. There was some heated discussion about the best way to panko-fry a singular yolk. He wanted to maintain it's natural shape. All manner of crackpot ideas were put forth before he settled on the most failsafe method. Seperate the yolks from the albumen. 'Roll' the yolks in hot water to at least stablise the membrane surrounding it to allow for easy transfer in and out of flour, egg and panko. A delicate touch was needed, and he delivered. We sat down to a slice of bread smeared with a spicy chilli butter, the deliciously crunchy yolk nestled on top of that, garnished with a splendid pair of musky duck sausages from Chinatown. East meets West with a crash, and a triumph in my eyes. My favourite course of all, the duck and the spicy bread packed one hell of a meaty punch, but luckily I had plenty of barely cooked hen's yolk to soothe the bruises.Teriyaki chicken wings were a decent take on Japanese-American food. Take your average chicken wing. Fry the bugger as usual, leaving it fabulously juicy inside and with a crispy-skinned exterior. Don't add Anchor Bar wing sauce, no. Add a good piece of butter, some Teriyaki sauce and some finely sliced ginger. Toss. I liked the idea of the Teri-Ginger sauce and it does good things to bland fowl. A damn sight better than Buffalo wings, for sure. Ideal beer food, and no doubt a great accompaniment to any ‘sport’ party.

By this stage, bellies were suffering a little from the fat onslaught. It was difficult to get pissed actually, because the oil must have formed an impenetrable lining in my stomach that didn't allow a molecule of booze through. We had to shape up for the crab rangoons. First invented at Trader Vic’s (an American chain) I had experienced them at some Chinese place on 5th Ave, Park Slope and I thought they were brilliant. Definitely not Chinese, but worthy of a place on the menu. Adam mixed smooth cream cheese and studded it with hunks of ocean-fresh crab meat. (Well OK, tinned ‘imitation’ crab meat.) He shoved spoonfuls of the mixture into wonton wrappers, gave them a little twist, and guess what? Yes, that’s right, into more bubbling oil. Despite my urgent need t
o shy away from fried things, I had to eat. They were much better than the ones I had down the road on 5th Ave, and as hard as I tried, I could only queeze a few of the crunchy little devils into my fat-addled guts. My veins ached. I did have some slight concern that I was on the precipice of some major coronary event.

There was no let up. Next course? Fried rice, with fried squid. Oh, for fuck’s sake. My vision was starting to blur and I could feel a lipid tsunami taking over my body.

I wish I could say more but I can’t recall much of the next course. I know it was NOT fried. I vaguely remember, while I was stinking of fat, that it was not bad at all. Grant had to give me a lift with mine. I managed one slice of the stuff I think between bouts of nausea and serious internal malaise.

“Anybody for a mango popsicle?”
“You didn’t fry it?”

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