Jan. 24th, 2012

morsla: (Dawn1)
Two posts in two days? I must be trying to avoid going back to my Methodology chapter...

I'm trying to work out what to cook for tomorrow night. We're having a Chinese New Year dinner with family, and I'd like to have eight dishes - I might end up with nine though, if I find some fresh fish. Eight is an auspicious number for a new year meal, but I don't know what I'd drop from the list - so maybe the rice won't count :)

Chicken, prawn and chive dumplings
Peking duck pancakes

Salt-and-pepper squid
Crisp-skin pork
Soy sauce chicken
Steamed Snapper
Shitake mushrooms, tofu and vegetables

Char Siu fried rice

Pomegranate sorbet, fresh fruit

I don't usually fry things using much oil, so the squid will be a bit new to me - I think it's an important dish to add though, as the salt and pepper mix is something I remember Dad showing me how to make. Dessert isn't a big part of a Chinese meal, but it will be a hot day and there's too much nice fruit available to leave it out. Plus, [livejournal.com profile] aeliel has started making the pomegranate sorbet in her shiny new icecream maker... I'll look for whatever is fresh in the market.

The tricky part will be choreographing the cooking so that our very small kitchen manages to serve up 5-7 dishes while everything is hot. The chicken, pork (char siu and belly) and duck will be cooked ahead of time and I'll aim to have all the food prep done before turning on the stove, so I think it'll look something like this:

Wok: Fry rice, set aside in a metal oven tray covered by a damp cloth.

Steamer: warm pancakes

Oven grill: heat the duck and pork - skin needs to be crispy on both. Add rice to bottom shelf.

Wok: Fry dumplings

Serve duck (with pancakes, sauce and vegetables) and dumplings. Add hard vegetables to steamer (remove with greens, in about 15min). (2 dishes down)

Wok: heat chicken. Serve with roast pork and fried rice. (5 dishes down)

Steamer: add whole fish to top basket (takes 8-10min), green vegetables to lower basket (remove after 4-5min)

Fryer: Shallow-fry squid - probably needs two batches, so start the vegetables during batch 2.

Wok: fry vegetables with tofu and mushrooms. Serve with squid and fish. (8 dishes down)

After that, it's just a matter of leaving one board clean so the fruit can be cut. I think that if we take the sorbet out of the freezer when I start cutting fruit pieces, it'll be ready to serve as soon as the fruit is done.

Now I'm really hungry. I think I can see how it will all fit together though, which is a good start. Now, back to writing that chapter...

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