Sunday, September 19, 2010

Chinese Cookin at Home

One of the biggest reasons for Gas over Electric in the kitchen is Chinese Food.
Cranking up those BTUs and putting things on fire really makes a difference when you want to stir fry or quickly bring up the temp to your pots and pans in a jiff.

So needless to say, after moving from my previous apartment to the current, I'm pretty happy with my set up in the kitchen... I have a pretty decent 4 burner gas stove giving me enough heat to cook up a storm in a pinch.

I don't know what it is, but perhaps it's the changing of the seasons. Aramis brought up Cassoulets the other day and all of a sudden I'm not in the Summery sandwich mood, but rather big time meals requiring sitting down at the dining table and really chowing down.

It's also been a while since I've focused on Asian dishes at home, so it was just a matter of time that I brainstormed a bit and went back to basics with Chinese food.

Last night's menu was Razor Clams with Chinese Basil and Blue Crabs in Black Bean Sauce and Chili Peppers.
I had stopped by in Flushing and picked up some beautiful seafood at the Hong Kong Supermarket.

As for the Razor Clams, since they were relatively cleaned already, I had them spit out sand under water for just 10 minutes. I left them in a strainer and proceeded to prepare the mis en place.
Ginger, Scallions, Chicken Broth, Chinese Basil, Chinese cooking wine, Soy Sauce and Corn Starch.
Basically cook these clams like you would mussels. Get all the flavoring components going in a hot wok (use a soup stock pot if you don't have a wok. thicker the walls, the better). Reserve just the chicken stock, corn starch and basil til the end. Once all the flavoring ingredients are in the pot, add the clams. Toss them around under high heat and you will notice them start to open up. Toss in the Chinese Basil and add 1/2 cup of chicken stock and immediately cover for 2 minutes.
Open, stir around and add about 2 T of corn starch that has been diluted with about 1/4 cup of cold water. Mix all this together under high heat and notice the sauce thicken up.
Cut heat and plate onto large open dish.

The blue crabs were split open and halved. Then I pretty much stir fried them in ample amounts of ginger, soy sauce, black bean sauce, and chili peppers. Scallions and a little bit of chicken stock was added in the last 2 minutes of cooking. And there it is.
Plate and serve hot.

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