New Years No. 2

February 10, 2013

Happy Chinese New Year! To celebrate, I'm going to share my current obsessions:

I recently purchased these to find a homemade substitute for all the delicious Sichuan food I was introduced to in Houston last year. I miss it dearly and I need to find some authentic, Sichuan food in Buffalo. But in the meantime, I'm cooking away...

It all started with Sichuan Eggplant.
Then it turned into a cooking madness of these recipes in the past month (all recipes courtesy of Serious Eats-my favorite food blog/website):

  • mapo tofu (the recipe is vegetarian but I added in ground beef) 
  • mapo chicken (the following links have no pics from me. contrary to popular belief, I don't take pics of everything I make/eat). 
  • real deal kung pao chicken- sooooo much better than your average Chinese restaurant Kung Pao.
  • three cup chicken- this recipe omits the traditional three cup ingredient of sesame oil. just add in 1/4 cup of some. love the star anise flavor. (although Taiwanese and not Sichuan, I'm finding other uses for my Chinese ingredients). 
Looking forward to making these:
How is this food different from your favorites at your local Chinese restaurant?

One ingredient: Sichuan Peppercorns. I've mentioned this before but they have a different and special kind of spiciness. It's numbing and kind of lemony (especially if you drink water after eating). I purchased mine at Penzey's since I got confused at the Chinese grocery. But don't be afraid to ask or search the aisles for bags of red peppercorns that look like this:
So, if you're up for an adventure with new food, stock up on those Chinese ingredients and also lots of  ginger and garlic. Enjoy!