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eG Foodblog: Ling & HhLodesign - The cool kids at Belltown Lofts


hhlodesign
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My roommate taught me a few things, like how to make Nepalese Momos, but my real teacher was my grandparents Chinese cook. She was a master cook and I learned a lot about pastry and Chinese food from her.

That's so interesting, Michelle! What are some of your favourite Chinese dishes?

Henry and I cook different things when it comes to Chinese. My dad is from Canton and my mom is from Shanghai, so those are the two cuisines I grew up with. Henry grew up eating a lot of Hunan and Szechuan dishes, so that's what he makes.

I like all of the cuisines you mentioned. Chinese cooking is a real art. You can use very simple spices or herbs and the dish can still be very complex.

I really love steamed fish with ginger, green onion and lemongrass

In my pre-kosher days I made salt and pepper shrimp, which you can also use baby squid instead of the shrimp or a mixture of both.

One of the dim sum dishes I liked to make is Har Gow. I think I would need a lesson again on how to do the pleating. It has been years since I made it. But, alas, I can't have shrimp anymore.

Kung Pao Chicken

Szechuan green beans, preferably with long beans, if I could find them

and something non-Chinese, Vietnamese Lemongrass Chicken

Cashew chicken (not very authentic)

Orange beef

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<sigh> You two make such a handsome couple. An eGullet romance. Sweeet!

Tapas party looked wonderful and the sangria seems to have turned out perfectly. YAY!

This blog is going to be great. Two passionate forces combined, with a healthy dose of competitiveness tossed in. Hoo-whee! Clear the decks! :biggrin:

Katie M. Loeb
Booze Muse, Spiritual Advisor

Author: Shake, Stir, Pour:Fresh Homegrown Cocktails

Cheers!
Bartendrix,Intoxicologist, Beverage Consultant, Philadelphia, PA
Captain Liberty of the Good Varietals, Aphrodite of Alcohol

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What kind of vegetables are you going to serve? How about some pea sprouts with garlic? It's a nice change from spinach or Chinese broccoli.

What's "vegetables?"

Exactly!!!!! :laugh:

THIS CALLS FOR BLOG INSURRECTION!!! HEAR MY CRY, FELLOW EG MEMBERS: I CALL FOR A WRITE-IN IRON CHEF BALLOT!!!!

There isn't a SINGLE vegetable on Henry's list of candidates :angry:.

Bacon's too obvious. Eggs? Lorna's got an advantage re versatility. Peaches? Good, potentially broad range. Henry's already skilled in that area (peaches with scallops, great ice cream...) and we know what Ling can do there. Mushrooms are close, but the dessert biz? I don't know.

I seem to recall that Lorna once said she didn't eat very many vegetables, either. I'd say we need to see them make something green!

Could someone on the other coast please indicate what is best among the leafy greens at this time of year in Seattle?

Meanwhile, I say, "Let them cook CHARD!"

Chard goes with everything. Otherwise, I'd say beets from root to leaf.

"Viciousness in the kitchen.

The potatoes hiss." --Sylvia Plath

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BACON!!!!!!!!!!

What a cool lifestyle...if the Basilman and I ever break up I know where I'm going to move - never been to Seattle but have always wanted to.

Loving the e-g romance...I know this blog will be AWESOME :wub:

I love cooking with wine. Sometimes I even put it in the food.

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Hello all. When last we spoke, I had just ended my blog after Lorna had been blatantly flirting with me.

This is the version of the story Henry loves to tell, but he seems to have blocked out the part about how he had been emailing me in hopes that I'd respond to him months before his blog even started! And the part about how he had a weird EG-foodie crush on me. :laugh:

I can vouch for this! :wink:

Awesome, guys...can't wait to see what the week has in store!

"We had dry martinis; great wing-shaped glasses of perfumed fire, tangy as the early morning air." - Elaine Dundy, The Dud Avocado

Queenie Takes Manhattan

eG Foodblogs: 2006 - 2007

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Post the dishes anonymously, so we can vote without playing favorites! 

That's a great idea. We'll post the dishes under "Iron Chef #1" and "Iron Chef #2".

So right now, we're eating some junk we bought...green tea mousse Pocky (I picked that--it's my favourite flavour!) and leftover graham crackers from last night's cheesecake. The cookies are these hazelnut and chocolate cookies the lady at Le Panier gave me as a freebie. :smile: (And the bag contains the leftover hazelnuts from yesterday's chocolate tart...I will use them up later this week.)

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Before we start cooking, we took a short 5 minute walk to Macrina Bakery so I could get some more coffee. (I usually drink 2 big cups a day. :smile: ) Macrina is one of the better-known bakeries in Seattle, and I think most of their breads are pretty good. I've had a few of their pastries and think they're a step up from average, and Henry has had many more of their pastries over the years (at parties, etc.) and shares the same opinion. Henry loves the potato bread there. We also got a brioche roll from Macrina (90 cents) to compare it with the Le Panier brioche (2 bucks each, for about the same size) we're using for tonight's foie gras appetizer.

Here are some pictures!

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They are really popular for breakfast/brunch!

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The beans they use are from a local roaster--Cafe Vita. In Seattle, I probably get most of my coffee from Macrina because it's not bad and it's so close to Henry's place. We probably won't get the brioche roll again though...it's more bun than brioche. (We tasted the brioche from Le Panier right before we went out to Macrina--you can see part of it in the Pocky picture--and it is much better, although we're comparing brioche to "brioche bun", which may not be the same.)

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We're going to start braising the ribs soon, and then Henry has to do some work and I'll bake the cake and kill some time by running to the gym. We're probably going to really start cooking around 5:30pm, and the guests are set to arrive at 7-ish.

(And to answer the question about Peets vs. Starbucks, here is a link that explains their relationship--scroll down to read Bob's response. Peets and Starbucks I don't drink Starbucks coffee, except for an iced Americano when I'm desperate for a jolt of caffeine. My regular morning/afternoon drink is a 3 shot Americano, so when I say I'm getting coffee somewhere this week, you can assume it's a 3 shot Americano with some sugar and a bit of cream. Henry doesn't drink coffee, but I owe him a game of Scrabble when he drives me to Zoka, which is in my humble opinion, the best coffee I've found thus far in Seattle, thanks to mamster's recommendation.)

Edited by Ling (log)
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Post the dishes anonymously, so we can vote without playing favorites!

Abra, puh-lease .... Anyone will be able to recognize a Ling dessert over a hhlodesign dessert 10,000 miles away.

uhh ... so offense to you, Henry, but I doubt that Ling has taught you everything she knows about desserts ... :smile:

Sorry to go back to the Iron Chef food item, but I'm changing my vote to: RICE!

Yes, it's a very common food item. It's a food item where both Ling & hhlodesign don't necessarily have an advantage. Rice (yeah, let's include rice flour ...) will give them a wide range of culinary creativity, in terms of what other ingredients each will combine with the rice. Since we won't be able to taste their creations, what we see included in their presentation is vital. And extra points for using green vegetables ... :biggrin:

Again, my final vote is: RICE!

Russell J. Wong aka "rjwong"

Food and I, we go way back ...

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Here's a preview of our menu for tonight's dinner.

The story behind this dinner is that instead of buying a wedding present for both of these couples (who both live in the Lofts, or used to) I opted to cook dinner for them instead. I believe Miss Manners says that I have one year from the wedding for the present. I have since past that mark, so it is finally time to delivery the gift. Luckily, I have met a wonderful cooking companion in Lorna who so generously wanted to help with this meal!

The nature of the menu is for every course to represent one of the guest's geological backgrounds. Which makes for an ecclectic menu since we have Pacific Northwest, Australia, the South, and the Midwest represented. I think the Midwest course is my favorite. You can't go wrong with meat and potatoes!

The story of the Amuse Bouche is related to a speech I gave at a wedding comparing the bride and groom to foie gras and sauternes:

"When I think of the bride and groom, two things immediately come to mind... goose liver and rotten grapes. (pause for laughter)

You see, the French take the fattened liver of a goose, and call it foie gras. To taste it is to know that it is one of the most extraordinary culinary experiences known to man.

The French also use grapes that have been infected with something called botrytis, also referred to as noble rot. What noble rot does is dehydrate the grape, greatly increasing its sugar to water ratio. So when that grape is pressed for juice, the liquid that comes out is immensely sweet and complex. The wine that is made from this juice is called Sauterenes, and is one of the most rare, expensive, and complex wines on Earth.

Now, the incredible thing about both foie gras and sauterenes is that each of these things can stand individually as a remarkable thing. They would never need anything to add to the greatness they've already achieved own their own....However, if you take a bite of foie gras, and then a sip of sauternes, something remarkable happens. They each bring something out of the other that you didn't know was there before. Creating a whole which is somehow greater than the sum of its parts. This is a phenomenon many chefs refer to as "a Perfect Pairing." There are so few perfect pairings in this world that I feel honored and privelidged to take part in another such perfect pairing."

So that's the story of the Amuse Bouche.

Time to start cooking. We'll try to post our dinner photos tonight.

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I love Ling's cooking and loved hhlo's last blog and entire lifestyle.  When your powers combine...

Anyway, I, too, am looking forward to the Iron Chef showdown.  I might give the edge to Ling, however.

Careful, I think my head is getting WAY too big. :laugh: I better win tomorrow, because Henry's friends (whom we've cooked for numerous times) are already cheering for "TEAM LORNA" and want to get T-shirts printed. I don't know if they'll have enough time to get the T-shirts printed, but we'll include a picture of that if it happens. They will be part of the live audience tomorrow.

We are (obviously) on a much stricter budget than the producers of Iron Chef, so we're allowing ourselves $50 to feed 5 guests judges 3 courses each.

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^I got the wattleseed from Abra! I remember hearing about wattleseed on a Bourdain "Cook's Tour" episode, the one where he's in Australia. The package says it has chocolate, hazelnut, and chicory flavours...it is black, and the grains are really small. It has a nutty aroma, not unlike sesame...so that's where I got the idea to use it in the pastry dough for the lamb pies.

BTW--one of the guests has a mild allergy to dairy, so we won't have any butter or cream in any of our dishes (except for the cream cheese frosting for the cake, which he can eat a small amount or scrape off.) So we're going to be using beef fat and duck fat in all of our cooking tonight, which means....

DUCK FAT PASTRY! :wub:

(I am freezing it and then coarsely grating it into the flour. :smile: )

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Thrice so far this blog has mentioned hazelnuts + chocolate (= my favorite flavor combo in the world). This bodes well.

I vote for peaches, my favorite fruit.

Carry on!

(Edited to change "twice" to "thrice" - the perils of speed-reading.)

Edited by ghostrider (log)

Thank God for tea! What would the world do without tea? How did it exist? I am glad I was not born before tea!

- Sydney Smith, English clergyman & essayist, 1771-1845

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"Studded with cloves and cinnamon,

And duly spiced and pickled,

That viand was as choice an one

As ever palate tickled!

And by those peaches on his plate

No valorous soul was daunted,

For oh, the more of them you ate

The more of them you wanted!"

Excerpt from -Mrs. Reilly's Peaches- by Eugene Field

I vote for peaches! :smile:

Shelley: Would you like some pie?

Gordon: MASSIVE, MASSIVE QUANTITIES AND A GLASS OF WATER, SWEETHEART. MY SOCKS ARE ON FIRE.

Twin Peaks

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I'm with Pontormo - here's a write in vote for fresh greens (baby bok choy perhaps, or kale?

but if I have to stick to the list: peaches.

Have fun, y'all.

Thanks for blogging.

"You dont know everything in the world! You just know how to read!" -an ah-hah! moment for 6-yr old Miss O.

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Since I nominated peaches, I vote for, uhhhh, peaches! I think there's real challenge and real potential for using them in great savory dishes.

Abra, peaches aren't local?!?!? Mother of God! Even the most strident locali-nazis I know consider anything within a 200 mile radius to be local.

Most women don't seem to know how much flour to use so it gets so thick you have to chop it off the plate with a knife and it tastes like wallpaper paste....Just why cream sauce is bitched up so often is an all-time mytery to me, because it's so easy to make and can be used as the basis for such a variety of really delicious food.

- Victor Bergeron, Trader Vic's Book of Food & Drink, 1946

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uhh ... so offense to you, Henry, but I doubt that Ling has taught you everything she knows about desserts ...  :smile:

Et Tu Arje?

Okay, Mr. Lo, my fellow Bruin, to make things interesting for you: Peaches.

For voting purposes, discard "Bacon." Choose "Peaches."

I suppose you can at least make a peach pie with peach ice cream (homemade, of course. No Cool Whip!). And extra points for using green vegetables, whatever they are ... :biggrin:

Russell J. Wong aka "rjwong"

Food and I, we go way back ...

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It was nice to be greeted by the smell of Chestnuts at the store entrance (for numerous reasons: see previous blog  )

Henry, I remember the story of your memories of roasted chestnuts in Italy very well as I have a similarly wonderful memory of roasted chestnuts in Singapore during Chinese New Year (except I was with a girl friend, and not a "girlfriend" :raz:).

But I always think of these as a winter treat...how is it that you have them in Seattle in August (I am beginning to think Seattle really is the magical culinary haven that you eGulleters make it seem...)

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Since I nominated peaches, I vote for, uhhhh, peaches!  I think there's real challenge and real potential for using them in great savory dishes.

Peaches are awesome in savory dishes. With the help of a talented friend :wub: I canned some spiced peaches in a sweet sour vinegar using star anise and cinammon. They are amazing on pork, and with Asian flavors, like the braise in the oven right now.

I'd love to see all the amazing ideas HLo and Ling could explore with some of those beee-utiful market fresh peaches. You really cant go wrong with such a great fruit, so the only trouble is that it may not be difficult enough ingredient.

Oil and potatoes both grow underground so french fries may have eventually invented themselves had they not been invented -- J. Esther
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Since midnight is not far away on the Atlantic coast, I would like to say that my inner child has finished its tantrum and retrieved the Birkenstocks she kicked across the floor.

I am pleased that peaches are doing so well, but of all the possibilities on the official list, I am going to have to go with mushrooms, too.

After seeing the Forbidden Shots of the aisles of Asian foods, I am intrigued by the idea that there might be a battle of Chinese regional specialties in store for us with all the dried mushrooms packaged there. And if anyone can pull off a chocolate oyster mushroom tart with woodear cream, it's Ling.

I look forward to tomorrow's glimpses of Red Velvet cake made with duck fat!

ETA: Henry, while I'm not exactly Switzerland on this, I am not wearing a Team Lorna tee-shirt either. I am so rooting for you, too!

Edited by Pontormo (log)

"Viciousness in the kitchen.

The potatoes hiss." --Sylvia Plath

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I vote OKRA!!!

**************************************************

Ah, it's been way too long since I did a butt. - Susan Fahning aka "snowangel"

--------------------

One summers evening drunk to hell, I sat there nearly lifeless…Warren

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