Meir Panim’s Tiberias Free Restaurant not only provides warm meals, but the opportunity to socialize as well.
What separates China’s cuisine from that of other nations is the fact that it allows even less-seasoned cooks to accomplish great-tasting dishes. Much to the appreciation of the average home economist, Siegel avoids recipes that call for obscure ingredients; it is likely your pantry already holds most of the spices, sauces and oils needed to complete a full-course Chinese meal. Chinese cuisine can be a highly affordable way to produce top-quality meals, and allows for improvisation with cheaper ingredients (as in the option to substitute chicken for veal or beef in many recipes).
To put Siegel’s recipes to the test, we invited a few couples over for an impromptu dinner party and heated up the wok. One word of caution: while Chinese food is not difficult in terms of preparation, it is not always quick (and unless you are highly organized can make a huge mess).
I learned that lesson the hard way when I took on the task of preparing 30 Hunan-style dumplings. While mixing the water, flour and salt is relatively painless, rolling the dough to the proper thickness requires a bit more patience. The recipe for the filling is much easier and you can incorporate ground beef, chicken or veal interchangeably. Cooking the steamed dumpling version (ideal for those who are health conscious) is simple. Siegel includes a recipe for his “Basic Dumpling Sauce,” which is made up of typical household ingredients and provides an authentic way to finish off the dish.
Despite the considerable effort involved in putting together what you would have thought would be a relatively painless appetizer, the results made it worthwhile. The book includes some helpful diagrams for how to best fill the dumplings to maximize taste. Be careful not to overload your dumplings; there’s a risk they will explode while cooking. Recipes for a variety of dumpling fillings are listed, so that once you’ve gone to the trouble of putting together the skins, you can have fun experimenting.
Moving on to the main dishes, I chose to try Siegel’s recipe for General Tsao’s chicken. While the final product looked and tasted good, the recipe didn’t produce the rich sauce I had always associated with this dish. With a bit of improvisation, however, you’re likely to be impressed. As Siegel is quick to point out, Chinese cooking is notorious for producing different results each time – a result of the varied consistencies of ingredients. Store-bought condiments like soy sauce and sesame oil, for example, can differ in strength between brands, so he recommends that recipes be adjusted accordingly. Traditional favorites like beef with broccoli are included, and within less than half an hour I was able to produce a meal that tasted very similar to what you would order from the take-out menu.
With an offering of more than 30 main dishes, including all the better-known ones made from beef, poultry and fish, any lover of Chinese food is sure to find in this cookbook a meal they’ll enjoy preparing and eating.
While offering a valuable contribution to any kitchen, aspiring chefs who like to see their food before they embark on a recipe might be disappointed with this cookbook. Incorporating only some rudimentary drawings, the layout leaves much to be desired, especially at a time when many consumers are looking for colorful, photo-laden cookbooks. Siegel forgoes this style in favor of a far more basic approach in which the text and recipes do all the selling. I also noticed some inconsistencies between the lists of ingredients and the directions which followed, but on the whole the recipes are explained in good detail and were easy to follow.
Siegel engages the readers with personal and sometimes humorous anecdotes about the recipes and succeeds in making this cookbook more than a collection of recipes. It will make a fun addition to any kosher home, and can be a helpful resource when you’re in the mood to try duplicating your favorite Chinese dishes. (JPFS)
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Last month’s column sketched the myriad of social programs in which the Orthodox American communal worker and leader Adolphus S. Solomons (1826-1910) was involved. Adolphus married Rachel Seixas Phillips (1828-1881), a descendant of colonial patriot families and together they had eight daughters and a son.
This year’s parade, the 87th annual extravaganza of marching bands, floats, and giant balloons, featured something really unique and different: a balloon/float of a large blue dreidel.
Just like you
I too have a soul
A soul that is G-dly
Just like you.
Now my friend
I ask you,
Am I different from you?
It’s not Chanukah without latkes! That’s true; but don’t make the same boring latkes this year. Go for something healthier, more vibrant, and flavorful.
Each year at our family Chanukah party, we try to introduce a new activity, to keep things fun and exciting for the children and adults alike. Last year’s addition – a huge hit – was a menorah-making contest.
Prof. Malka Schaps was born Mary Kramer, a Protestant, in Cleveland, Ohio. When she was sixteen, she started questioning the rationale of moral conduct: Why be good?
Honestly, it would be hard to choose the one area that could win the title “the most dramatic site” in Eretz Yisrael. However, one strong candidate has to be Gush Etzion.
Keep in mind that people sometimes distance themselves from family in order to – in their view – protect their marriage.
From the time we are small, we are taught to have good manners and to “be nice.” Our parents teach us that we need to exhibit kindness and be polite. When someone asks something of us, we are supposed to do our best to accommodate him or her.
I have a background in counseling, and I can say that the biggest mistake that I ever made was refusing psychological help after we lost the twins. I was trying to keep my tough-guy facade going, and convinced myself that I could deal with the pain.
In yet another sign of how popular kosher products have become, a symposium on kosher food production and certification recently took place in what may seem a most unlikely location: Hawaii.
The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors has appointed attorney Andrew Friedman to the Commission on Local Government Services. L.A. County Supervisor Michael D. Antonovich presented the motion of appointment.
In the wake of a recent upsurge in violence that swept across Iran following last month’s presidential elections, a group of Jews and their descendents from the city of Mashad in Iran’s northeast gathered in Jerusalem for the first ever meeting of the Global Mashadi Jewish Federation.
SDEROT, Israel – A small workingclass town lying just a short distance from Israel’s border with the Gaza Strip, Sderot is a city filled with residents crying desperately to be heard.
JERUSALEM – Israeli restaurant owners are well accustomed to the question “Do you have a teuda?” referring to the official certificate deeming all food and food preparation to be kosher in accordance with halacha. Yet, as a result of the efforts of Bema’aglei Tzedek, a Jerusalem based non-profit organization, consumers are now on the […]
The Jewish fascination with Chinese food goes beyond the fact that it tastes good.
Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/sections/title-from-lokshen-to-lo-mein/2006/03/15/
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