Where I grew up in the US, one could get authentic, great tasting Chinese food. Where I live now – not so much. So I have taken to making my own. Most of the time I can recreate the flavors I remember and make some delicious tasting Chinese food – like the dishes below. Yes, I know, it is not Italian but every once in a while change is good.
Corn & Chicken Egg Drop Soup
4 cups chicken stock
One 5 oz boneless chicken breast
2 cups corn
1 tablespoon regular soy sauce
1 tablespoon Chinese cooking wine or dry sherry
1 teaspoon minced fresh ginger
1 garlic clove, minced
1 tablespoon cornstarch mixed with 1 tablespoon cold water
2 eggs, whisked
Salt and white pepper, to taste
3 tablespoons chives, chopped
Bring the chicken broth to a boil in a medium saucepan. Add the chicken breast and lower the heat to a simmer. Cook the chicken for about 15 minutes.
Remove the chicken to a plate to cool. When the chicken is cool enough to handle, cut it into small pieces or shred it.
To the broth in the saucepan add the corn, soy sauce, Chinese cooking wine, ginger, garlic and cornstarch mixture.
Bring to boil, then turn down the heat to medium. Cook for 5 minutes or until slightly thickened, stirring occasionally.
Adjust the seasoning with salt, turn off the heat and slowly whisk in the eggs so it cooks in “ribbons” throughout the soup. This also helps to thicken the soup.
Add the chicken and chives and season with white pepper. Heat until hot throughout but do not boil. Drizzle with a little sesame oil before serving.
Beef & Broccoli
½ pound beef tenderloin, sliced very thin
Salt and pepper to taste
10 -12 oz fresh broccoli florets
1 garlic clove, minced
½ teaspoon grated fresh ginger
2 cups fresh Chinese noodles
1 tablespoon peanut oil
1 cup beef broth
1 teaspoon chili paste
¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes (chili)
1 ½ teaspoons regular soy sauce
1 teaspoon packed dark brown sugar
1 teaspoon rice wine vinegar
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1 tablespoon cornstarch
Sprinkle the sliced beef with salt and pepper and set aside while you make the sauce.
Place the noodles in a medium bowl and pour in enough boiling water to cover the noodles. Let sit while you prepare the stir fry.
In a medium mixing bowl whisk all the sauce ingredients together. Set aside.
Heat the peanut oil in a large skillet or wok. Add the garlic and ginger, stir and then add the beef slices. Stir fry for about a minute and then remove the beef from the pan and place on a plate.
Add the broccoli florets to the skillet and stir fry for about three minutes. Pour in the sauce, mix into the broccoli and stir fry for another minute.
Drain the noodles and add them to the skillet. Add the browned beef and stir fry for about two minutes. Serve immediately.
Chinese Almond Cookies
Makes 32, if you measure with a cookie scoop.
1 1/3 cups almond flour, lightly packed
1 cup of unsalted butter, chilled and cut into cubes
Pinch of kosher salt
1 teaspoon almond extract
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup + 2 tablespoons of sugar
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
Thinly sliced almond
Place the almond flour, salt and butter in the bowl of an electric mixer with a paddle attachment and beat on medium speed for three minutes.
Add one of the eggs, reserving the other for later, and the almond extract. Mix on low speed until just incorporated.
Sift together the flour, sugar and baking soda then add to the butter mixture at low speed. Mix until just combined.
Flatten the dough into a disc and wrap in plastic wrap. Place it in the refrigerator for two hours to chill.
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Place the second egg into a small bowl and beat it.
Divide the batter into 1 inch balls. This is very easy to do with a cookie scoop. Place cookies 2 inches apart on the prepared baking sheets. Flatten the balls of dough with the bottom of a glass dipped in flour.
Brush the top of the cookies with the beaten egg and sprinkle almond slices on top of each cookie.
Bake the cookies for 20 to 22 minutes or until the cookies begin to turn golden brown. Transfer the cookies to a wire rack and allow to cook completely before storing in an airtight container.