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These have been mentioned a couple of times recently on different threads and I felt they deserved one of their own. After all, they did keep me alive when I lived in Xi'an.
Rou jia mo (ròu jiá mò; literally "Meat Sandwich") are Chinese sandwiches which originated in Shaanxi Province, but can be found all over China. Away from their point of origin, they tend to be made with long stewed pork belly. However in Xi'an (capital of Shaanxi), there is a large Muslim population so the meat of choice is more usually beef. In nearby Gansu Province, lamb or mutton is more likely.
When I was living in Xi'an in 1996-1997, I lived on these. I was living on campus in North-West University (西北大学) and right outside the school gate was a street lined with cheap food joints, most of which would serve you one. I had one favourite place which I still head to when I visit. First thing I do when I get off the train.
What I eat is Cumin Beef Jia Mo (孜然牛肉夹馍 zī rán niú ròu jiá mò). The beef is stir fried or BBQd with cumin and mild green peppers. It is also given a bit of a kick with red chill flakes.
Here is a recipe wrested from the owner of my Xi'an favourite. So simple, yet so delicious.
Fairly lean beef is cut into slivers
Chopped Beef (sorry about the picture quality - I don't know what happened)
I use this single clove garlic from Sichuan, but regular garlic does just fine.
The beef and garlic are mixed in a bowl and generously sprinkled with ground cumin. This is then moistened with a little light soy sauce. You don't want to flood it. Set aside for as long as you can.
Mild Green Chilli Pepper
Take one or two mild green peppers and crush with the back of a knife, then slice roughly. You could de-seed if you prefer. I don't bother.
Chopped Green Pepper
Fire up the wok, add oil (I use rice bran oil) and stir fry the meat mixture until the meat is just done.
Then add the green peppers and fry until they are as you prefer them. I tend to like them still with a bit of crunch, so slightly under-cook them
In with the peppers
You will, of course, have prepared the bread. The sandwiches are made with a type of flat bread known as 白吉饼 (bái jí bǐng; literally "white lucky cake-shape"). The ones here are store bought but I often make them. Recipe below.
Bai Ji Bing
Take one and split it. Test the seasoning of the filling, adding salt if necessary. It may not need it because of the soy sauce.
Cover to make a sandwich and enjoy. You will see that I have used a bunch of kitchen paper to hold the sandwich and to soak up any escaping juices. But it should be fairly dry.
The final product.
Note: I usually cook the meat and pepper in batches. Enough for one sandwich per person at a time. If we need another (and we usually do) I start the next batch.
350g plain flour
1/2 teaspoon instant yeast
Mix the yeast with the flour and stir in the water. Continue stirring until a dough forms. Knead until smooth. Cover with a damp towel or plastic wrap and leave to rise by about one third. (maybe 30-40 minutes).
Knead again to remove any air then roll the dough into a log shape around 5cm in diameter, then cut into six portions. Press these into a circle shape using a rolling pin. You want to end up with 1.5cm thick buns.
Preheat oven to 190C/370F.
Dry fry the buns in a skillet until they take on some colour about a minute or less on each side, then finish in the oven for ten minutes. Allow to cool before using.
By Chris Hennes
On Nov. 7, 2017, Modernist Bread will finally arrive on my doorstep. Having preordered it literally the first day it was available, to say I'm excited about this book is a bit of an understatement. The team at The Cooking Lab have been gracious enough to give @Dave the Cook and me early electronic access to the book and so I've spent the last week pouring over it. I'm just going to start with a few initial comments here (it's 2600 pages long, so a full review is going to take some time, and require a bunch of baking!). Dave and I would also be happy to answer any questions you've got.
One of the main things I've noticed about this book is a change in tone from the original Modernist Cuisine. It comes across as less "everything you know is wrong" and more "eighty bazillion other bakers have contributed to this knowledge and here's our synthesis of it." I don't think it's an exaggeration to say that Myhrvold and company are now the most experienced bread-bakers in the world. Not necessarily in terms of the number of identical loaves they've produced, but in the shear number of different recipes and techniques they've tried and the care with which they've analyzed the results. These volumes are a distillation of 100,000 years of human breadmaking experience, topped off with a dose of the Modernist ethos of taking what we know to the next level.
The recipes include weight, volume, and baker's percentages, and almost all of them can be made by both a home baker and someone baking in a commercial facility. The home baker might need to compromise on shape (e.g. you can't fit a full-length baguette in most home ovens) but the book provides clear instructions for both the amateur and professional. The recipes are almost entirely concentrated in volumes 4 and 5, with very few in the other volumes (in contrast to Modernist Cuisine, where there were many recipes scattered throughout). I can't wait for the physical volumes to arrive so that I can have multiple volumes open at once, the recipes cross-reference techniques taught earlier quite frequently.
Omelette with courgette and tomato salsa.
Today I added a bit of chili pepper to tomato-basil salsa. Because it was quite spicy I decided to add it to a mild dish. I prepared an omelette with courgette and goat cheese. The salsa added an excellent piquancy to it. I recommend this dish for a fast and light meal.
150g of courgette
3-4 slices of goat cheese
2 tablespoons of milk
1 tablespoon of flour
1 tablespoon of butter
salt and pepper
3 tablespoons of minced basil
quarter of an onion
2 cloves of garlic
half a chili pepper
3 tablespoons of olive oil
2 tablespoons of lemon juice
1 teaspoon of honey
Start by preparing the salsa. Cube the tomato and dice the garlic, onion and chili pepper. Mix the vegetables together. Make a sauce with the olive oil, lemon juice and honey. Add it to the vegetables and mix it in. Leave in the fridge.
Slice the courgette very thin. Whisk the eggs with the milk and add the flour. Spice it up with salt and pepper. Melt the butter in a pan. Pour half the egg mass into it and fry for a while at medium heat. Arrange half of the courgette slices on top along with the slices of goat cheese and the rest of the courgette. Pour the rest of the egg mass onto it and fry it. When the eggs have congealed, turn the omelette upside down and fry for a few seconds. Serve at once with the tomato salsa.
Enjoy your meal!
During the holiday, eating is a waste of time for my children. Although breakfast should be a balanced and calm meal, at this time it is eaten quickly and carelessly. Sometimes I need to wrest my children away from their play and nourish their young bodies with brunch.
Today I would like to share with you the recipe for a very simple egg and vegetable brunch. Though my children like all vegetables, the look of the food made them anxious. Only the soft boiled eggs settled them down and got them eating. After a while there were two empty glasses in the dishwasher and my children could go back to playing. It was good, because the holiday is almost over.
Ingredients (for 3 people)
half an onion
2 cloves of garlic
1 tablespoon of butter
300g of courgette
1 red pepper
2 sprigs of rosemary
2 sprigs of thyme
3 tablespoons of minced chives
Dice the onion and garlic and fry them in butter. Remove the core from the tomatoes. Cube the courgette, tomatoes and red pepper. Put one of the cubed tomatoes to one side. Add the second tomato and the rest of the vegetables to the onion and stew on a low heat for 10 minutes. Boil some water and carefully put the eggs into the water. Boil for 5 minutes. Cool them down and carefully remove the shell. Mix the stewed vegetables in with the rest of the tomato. Spice it up with salt and pepper. Put the vegetables into a cup. Arrange the eggs on top and cut them up with a sharp knife. Spice up the egg with salt and pepper and sprinkle with the chives.
Serve at once.
Enjoy your meal!
I was cooking for a party last night at which a gluten free cake was served for dessert. I had a few bites and aside from the cake being dry and the frosting very sweet, there was that tell-tale grittiness that GF baked goods seem to have. This particular bakery uses a blend of millet, sorghum, tapioca and potato flours. I used some Bob's Red Mill GF flour to satisfy a customer request for GF shortbread and found the same grittiness - they use garbanzo bean flour, potato starch, whole grain white sorghum flour, tapioca flour and fava bean flour.
Obviously some sacrifices of flavor and texture are made when trying to replicate the magic of gluten, but why can't these flour blends be softer? Can't they be milled more finely? Or is it just the way the particular starches or proteins in those other flours are felt on the tongue?
It's like that chalky cold cooked rice texture, do you know what I mean? Why can't it be better? Almost every time I eat something made with substitute flours, it makes me sad and want to fix it.
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