Leo

Well-known member
visited my sister this weekend, she's dealing with an illness and friends have been bringing over get-well gifts. one guy she knows works at the local fishery where the boats come in from weeks out in the Atlantic, brought her 11 pounds of fresh-caught haddock (seeing that it retails for around $20/pound, I think it might have, ahem, fallen off the back of a truck...)

been eating fresh haddock all freakin' weekend, so good. sautéed with panko breadcrumbs with boiled potatoes and streamed broccoli one night, potatoes and asparagus another, potatoes and streamed spinach today. wonderful.
 

IdleRich

IdleRich
Girlfriend went out and ordered me to make a hearty, meaty stew. So I did. Very simple to do of course but the ingredients are what make it tasty and interesting; here the main thing was four different types of sausage (a standard chorizo, a chorizo from Alantejo, a black chrorizo and a morcella), augmented with two different types of beans (in large quantities) along with all the usual bits and bobs... garnished with spring onion and coriander.

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IdleRich

IdleRich
I dunno... did have some but there was no room to put them in the pot. Liza said it was too meaty though - I didn't think that was possible.
 

IdleRich

IdleRich
No dinner as such today but when we got back from the cinema we whipped up a 2am snack of mussels with onions, garlic, tomatoes etc... and more unusually some mushrooms we had in the fridge, plus - in place of olives - some chopped up gherkins for a bit of sharpness.

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IdleRich

IdleRich
Fantastic food today... went to my favourite Nepalese dumpling place which grows in my estimation each visit. The dumplings are amazing but every time we go I try one of the other dishes in addition, this time I tried something called sukuti which was utterly delicious pieces of dry cooked pork (normally lamb according to interweb) - look at these four euros of deliciousness!

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This place is so good, I love the taste and the price but also the friendliness of the staff. I think the vibe even rubs off on the customers, today I saw someone tucking into a lovely looking dish and after wrestling with the decision for a while (as I know some people consider it rude to stare at a neighbouring table's food, nevermind start talking about it) I enquired as to what it was and he replied with a big smile and the offer of a taste. That has happened a few times in our local village but for me this is a first in central Lisbon. I really do love this kind of genuine friendliness that makes a spot like this feel like dinner at a mate's house... if I had a mate who was the world's best Nepalese dumpling cook.
And then for dinner...
 
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IdleRich

IdleRich
... I finally got round to having a crack at this recipe I had planned to try at Chinese new year but somehow did not manage to quite get round to for the last few weeks.
Basically you get a huge bit of pork belly, drown it in something called shaoxing wine (in my defence it took me a little while to score that... er, from the big Chinese supermarket, who'd a thunk?) and then cook it in the oven on a low heat for hours with a few extra bits and bobs such as soy, dark brown sugar, spring onion and ginger. It's basically very very easy to do as long as you're not in a hurry but when you serve it the flavour is so deep and rich and the pork is so tender you can slice through it with the chopsticks and then let it melt away deliciously in your mouth.

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I'm especially happy with this effort cos it's not the usual kind of stuff I make.
 

IdleRich

IdleRich
We went to Porto to DJ last night, some of our friends recommended a place to go for food which turned out to be on the same street as where we were staying so it seemed rude not to check it out this afternoon. Real local place with a pig's head on the counter, hams hanging from the ceiling, a long bar with people loading up on wine and different hams. A few tables in the corners and we managed to get one after a little wait... we had clams, cheeseboard and accidentally ordered gizzards which were really delicious in the end. Also, a ham roll which had so much ham.

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DannyL

Wild Horses
Do you have a recipe for that Chinese pork thing Rich? Looks fantastic.

No photos from me but I did cook a nice meal tonight - experimenting with okra, so I made the simplest recipe I had - slow fried onions, added garlic, added the okra, some pots I'd just peeled and boiled, seasoned, added coriander. Surprisingly delish.
 

IdleRich

IdleRich
Do you have a recipe for that Chinese pork thing Rich? Looks fantastic.

No photos from me but I did cook a nice meal tonight - experimenting with okra, so I made the simplest recipe I had - slow fried onions, added garlic, added the okra, some pots I'd just peeled and boiled, seasoned, added coriander. Surprisingly delish.
Yeah man, I'll dig it out.
 

Leo

Well-known member
veg version of general tso's chicken, with baby Bella mushrooms (hello, mr tea!) in place of the meat, with broccoli over forbidden rice. we also sometimes make it with extra firm tofu but I prefer the mushroom version, almost can't tell it's not chicken. well, you can, but then again who knows what type of meat some Chinese restaurants use.
 

IdleRich

IdleRich
veg version of general tso's chicken, with baby Bella mushrooms (hello, mr tea!) in place of the meat, with broccoli over forbidden rice. we also sometimes make it with extra firm tofu but I prefer the mushroom version, almost can't tell it's not chicken. well, you can, but then again who knows what type of meat some Chinese restaurants use.
What is General Tso's chicken? I think it was invented in US maybe? Never seen it in Europe anyhow. And forbidden rice?
 

baboon2004

Darned cockwombles.
I think general tso's chicken is like the chicken tikka masala of US chinese food. Never had it tho.

I ate out incredibly well this week, tho no pictures I'm afraid. At one place, green bean, tomato and basil casserole with grilled halloumi on sourdough bread, and then more green bean casserole with potatoes and zhoug. Both utterly magnificent, some next level chef-ery going on there. I've been there about five times, and each time it's been incredible - some of the most consistently excellent cooking I've ever had, and ten mins from our house. And then five minutes further down the road, the best Vietnamese/SE Asian food I've had outside of SE Asia. All veggie too aside from scallops - I was well impressed.

This is the first stage of gentrification, with all the attendant problems - a stage where everything sold is of outstandingly high quality because it has to make its mark in an area not historically known for high-level food options (I lived in Stoke Newington a while, long after the first wave of it changing, and the second stage of gentrification is far lower quality imo, mostly about conspicuous consumption and image-over-content - someone must have written about this).
 
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Mr. Tea

Shub-Niggurath, Please
I consider myself fairly well clued-up about food but I've never heard of zhoug or forbidden rice! What's forbidden about it? Is it laced with opium? Part of a giant panda biryani?
 

baboon2004

Darned cockwombles.
Zhoug is a herb/coriander paste with lots of green chili. The stuff I had was definitely very far from the Yemeni original tho, much milder. I think it's having its moment as a trendy ingredient now. I want to try and reach the actual Yemeni restaurants here, cos as far as I'm aware I've never actually had Yemeni food before...

From the same region of the world (roughly), are there any places in the UK to get southern Iranian/Persian Gulf cooking? - that whole tamarind/fenugreek/coriander/heat/seafood combination? I've made one recipe at home, but zero idea of how it's meant to taste...

No idea about forbidden rice either
 
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IdleRich

IdleRich
I googled General Tso's chicken, seems like you're about right, basically was invented in NY by Chinese/Taiwanese immigrants (though some debate as to precisely where and who did it) who sweetened an extant dish for American tastes. There was a real general Tso but he could have never eaten the dish apparently.
As for Forbidden Rice... I guess we're just not allowed to know.
 

Leo

Well-known member
forbidden rice is also called black rice, black before cooked but actually turns dark purple in color, slightly nutty taste.

Found this online: "Forbidden rice earned its name because it was once reserved for the Chinese emperor to ensure his health and longevity, and forbidden to anyone else...It's not easy to grow, only yields about 10 percent of the harvest that other rice varieties do. That makes the rice very expensive, which is why it was initially reserved only for the richest of the rich—which meant Chinese royalty at the time it was first discovered."

general tso's chicken is a North American invention, although apparently there's disagreement over where it was first developed. slightly sweet.
 

IdleRich

IdleRich
Baboon, that's in Brum you're talking about right? Gentrification is a weird thing and you might be on to something with the first wave needing to be good and the second one riding on the back of that. It's interesting that you could see that Porto was much less gentrified than Lisbon in some sense in that central Porto still had some of those weird clothes shops called things such as Young Fashion or the like which, in the Lisbon region, have been pushed out by big chains or chi-chi boutiques and relegated to villages like the one where I live. A later stage is the re-emergence of shops of that nature but specific to an immigrant culture appearing on the (relative) outskirts as used to exist on Kingsland Road and now we see here on Almirante Reis.
 
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