Antique Bookcase I
Antique Bookcase I
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    La Belle Cuisine - Cookbooks

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Fine Cuisine with Art Infusion

"To cook is to create. And to create well...
is an act of integrity, and faith."


"No one who cooks, cooks alone. Even at her most solitary, a cook
in the kitchen is surrounded by generations of cooks past, the advice
and menus of cooks present, the wisdom of cookbook writers."

~ Laurie Colwin



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 The Italian
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Home Cooking from Italy's Farmhouse Kitchens








Taste of the Orient II
Taste of the Orient II
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A Large Ming Blue and White Double Gourd "Shou" Vase, Depicting Young Boys Playing on a Terrace
A Large Ming Blue and White Double Gourd
"Shou" Vase, Depicting Young Boys Playing
on a Terrace
Giclee Print

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The 1999 IACP Award Winner -
International Category

  Taste: One Palate's Journey Through the World's Greatest Dishes icon

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Wood, Catherine
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IACP Cookbook Award Winner


The Wisdom of the Chinese Kitchen:
Classic Family Recipes for Celebration and Healing


From Going to Market with Mama

Stir-Fried Egg and Chinese Chives
Gul Choy Chow Dan

There are three different kinds of Chinese chives; Chinese chives, yellow chives,
and flowering garlic chives. This recipe uses Chinese chives (gul choy), which
are green and look similar to Western chives, except that they are flat. They are
said to san hoot, or remove old blood from your system.

1 large bunch Chinese chives, about 4 ounces
4 large egg whites, beaten
2 teaspoons thin soy sauce
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground white pepper
3 tablespoons vegetable oil

Wash the Chinese chives in several changes of cold water and drain thoroughly in a colander until dry to the touch. Cut the chives into
1/2-inch pieces.
Place the chives in a medium bowl. Add the egg whites, soy sauce, sesame oil, salt, and pepper, and stir to combine.
Heat a 14-inch flat-bottomed wok or skillet over high heat until hot but
not smoking. Add the vegetable oil and egg mixture, and stir-fry 1 minute.
Reduce heat to medium and cook another 1 to 2 minutes, or until eggs are
set but not dry. Serve immediately.

Serves 4 as part of a multicourse meal.


Stir-Fried Five Spice Tofu and Vegetables
Nmm Heung Dul Foo Chow Saw Choy

Stir-fries can be time consuming -- finely shredding vegetables, soaking special ingredients, and measuring all the seasonings. But, in a stir-fry such as this, all
the work is worth it when you taste the results. The tremendous array of vege-
tables and seasonings creates a range of textures, tastes, fragrances, and colors.
Five spice tofu is found in the refrigerator case of most Asian grocery stores. It
is much firmer than even extra firm tofu, because all the excess water has been
pressed out. The tofu is chocolate-colored and is sold in 2-inch squares or 2-by-
3 1/2-inch blocks that are 1/2 to 1 inch thick. The dark color is the result of
cooking the tofu with five spice seasoning, which both flavors and colors the
tofu. See Lotus Root Stir-Fry for information on teem choy poe, or salted turnip.

4 Chinese dried mushrooms
2 ounces salted turnip (teem choy poe)
3 pieces five spice tofu (nmm heung dul foo gawn),
about 4 ounces
1 carrot
1 celery stalk
3 fresh water chestnuts
1 red bell pepper
1 yellow bell pepper
1 tablespoon thin soy sauce
1 1/2 teaspoons Shao Hsing rice cooking wine
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1/4 teaspoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon ground white pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 scallions, cut into 2-inch sections
Cilantro sprigs

In a medium bowl, soak the mushrooms in 1/4 cup cold water for 30
minutes, or until softened. Drain and squeeze dry (reserve the soaking
liquid for use in soups). Cut off and discard the stems and thinly slice
the caps.
In a small bowl, soak the salted turnip in 1 cup cold water for 30 minutes,
or until vegetable is only mildly salty. Rinse the salted turnip and pat dry.
Cut it into fine shreds to make about 1/2 cup. Discard the water.
Cut the tofu, carrot, and celery into julienne strips. Peel the water chest-
nuts with a paring knife and then thinly slice. Cut the red and yellow
peppers into thin slivers.
In a small bowl, combine the soy sauce, rice wine, sesame oil, sugar,
white pepper, and 1/8 teaspoon salt. Set aside.
Heat a 14-inch flat-bottomed wok or skillet over high heat until hot but
not smoking. Add 2 tablespoons vegetable oil and the tofu, spreading it
in the wok. Sprinkle on the remaining 1/8 teaspoon salt, reduce the
temperature to medium, and cook undisturbed 1 to 2 minutes, letting
the tofu begin to brown. Then, using a metal spatula, carefully turn the
tofu and continue cooking undisturbed 3 to 4 minutes, or until the tofu
is lightly browned. Transfer to a plate and set aside.
Increase the heat to high and add 1 tablespoon vegetable oil and the
julienned carrot to the wok; stir-fry 1 minute. Add the remaining 1
tablespoon oil, mushrooms, salted turnip, celery, water chestnuts,
peppers, and scallions, and stir-fry 1 minute. Swirl in the reserved
soy sauce mixture and tofu, and stir-fry 2 to 3 minutes, or until the
vegetables are crisp and tender. Garnish with cilantro sprigs.
Serve immediately.

Serves 4 to 6 as part of a multicourse meal.


Stir-Fried Chinese Broccoli
Chow Gai Lan

Chinese broccoli (gai lan) looks like a cross between basic supermarket broccoli
and the Italian broccoli rabe. The vegetable tastes more like broccoli rabe with its big green leaves and its pungent bite. Stir-frying is the best way to cook Chinese broccoli, as it brings out the natural flavor, accented here with a touch of sugar, ginger, and rice wine. It will need to be washed and drained several hours before stir-frying, and it must be stir-fried in small amounts (about twelve ounces) to achieve the best wok hay (see "The Breath of a Wok"). It's better to cook two separate recipes than to try to fit too much in the wok.
Choose broccoli that has buds and no flowers. If there are flowers, the broccoli is too old. The stalks are never as thick as those of regular broccoli, but if they are thicker than 1/2 inch, they need to be halved lengthwise. The vegetable is better
in the colder months, but is available year-round in Chinese produce markets.

10 stalks Chinese broccoli (gai lan), about 12 ounces
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
3 slices ginger
1/4 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon Shao Hsing rice cooking wine

Wash the broccoli in several changes of cold water and drain thoroughly
in a colander until dry to the touch. Trim 1/4 inch from the bottom of
each stalk, Stalks that are more than 1/2 inch in diameter should be
peeled, then halved lengthwise. Cut the broccoli stalks and leaves into
2 1/2-inch-long pieces, keeping the stalk ends separate from the leaves
and buds.
Heat a 14-inch flat-bottomed wok or skillet over high heat until hot but
not smoking. Add the oil and ginger, and stir-fry 30 seconds. Add only
the broccoli stalks and stir-fry 1 to 1 1/2 minutes until the stalks are bright
green. Add the leaves, and continue cooking for 1 minute until the leaves
are just limp.
Sprinkle on the sugar, salt, and rice wine. Stir-fry 2 to 3 minutes, or until
the vegetables are just tender but still bright green. Serve immediately.
Serves 4 as part of a multicourse meal.


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