Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Welcome To Rosie's Garden.

 Baby elephant ears.

 Yellow creeping Jenny, yellow Celadon poppy in middle,
Tropicanna lily in back right.
 Fatsia Japonica in very back.


 Assorted leopard plants and ajuga.
Fatsia Japonica on left.

 Wild orchid and parsley.


 Yellow creeping Jenny with white salvia in back.

 I soooo didn't notice the bird crap.

  Little columbine getting ready to bloom.

 First irises opened today.


 Honesty plant.


Creeping Jenny with shamrocks in the back.

Monday, April 27, 2015

Rosie Has A Yen For Egg Rolls.


Rosie loves a good egg roll.
And if I want one, I have to make it myself.

Don't make me go off on my ChinaMac rant.
Their wonton strips are ALWAYS stale.

When I want an egg roll, I turn to Mrs. Chiang's Szechwan Cookbook.
I love Mrs. Chiang.

Somehow, Mrs. Chiang was Chiang-hied by the husband and wife team of John and Ellen Shrecker.
The Shreckers were in Taiwan studying Chinese culture and pursuing Chinese language studies and their love of Chinese food.  Mrs. Chaing grew up in Szechwan and eventually made her way to Taiwan where her cooking became famous.  When the Shreckers first tasted Mrs. Chiang's food, they were astonished at the difference between Mrs. Chiang's authentic Szechwan fare and what passed for Chinese food in American restaurants.  The Shreckers had discovered zhen wer, or "true taste," a classical principle of careful preparation, attention to detail, and practice, blithely ignored by American Chinese restaurants.  So impressed with Mrs. Chiang's cooking, the Shreckers condescendingly offered to bring Mrs. Chiang back to America, to Jersey for crying out loud, to look after their children as well as to cook for them, while Mrs. Shrecker pursued her PHD.  Mrs. Shrecker hounded poor Mrs. Chiang in the kitchen, following her about with a small notebook, while Mr. Shrecker practiced his Chinese language and translated for wifey. 

The book is a "must-read."  

Here's a tid-bit from Chapter Six:
Mrs. Chiang's arrival in America completely altered our life style. We began to give dinner parties, dozens of them, for her food was so good, we felt obliged to feed all our friends."

 All the time, Mrs. Chiang is taking care of the Shreckers' little rugrats.

My favorite quote from Mrs. Shrecker:  What a travesty most American egg rolls are!  They have the drab, sour taste of overcooked celery; any other ingredients are anonymous, flavorless, and mushy."

HA, Mrs. Shrecker!  I agree with you.
Rosie is off to do her riff on Mrs. Chiang's egg rolls.

Mise en place
1 lb. ground pork
slice off the top of Napa cabbage, shredded
handful of mushrooms, minced
2 eggs
1 1/2 inch knob ginger, peeled and minced
3 TB Tamari
1 tsp sesame oil
1 heaping TB cornstarch
1 tsp Szechwan pepper

I love patterns of nature.

Mix the pork with the soy sauce, sesame oil, and cornstarch.
Your best kitchen tools are your hands.
Set aside.

Prepare the omelet.
Beat the eggs and pour into a hot pan with a teaspoon of peanut oil.
Swirl as you pour and let the eggs cook,
without stirring, until they are almost firm.
Flip and cook the other side about 15 seconds.

Remove omelet from pan and ...

... slice into shreds.

Mince the knob of ginger and the mushrooms.

Cook the pork over medium heat, breaking the meat up.

When the pork gets halfway cooked,
 add in the mushrooms and ginger.
Stir fry.

Add in big teaspoon of ground szechwan peppercorns.

Keep cooking over medium heat until near done,
then add in the shredded cabbage,

Stir fry.

Add in the shredded omelet when pork is done.
Heat through.

Remove from heat and consult Mrs. Chiang.

Do not overstuff your eggrolls.
Place a few tablespoons of the filling mixture
in the center of the egg roll.
Paint the sides with an egg wash.
Roll up tightly, like a burrito.
Start rolling.

Fold in the sides.

Make small talk with the barflies who swarm your counter.

Deep fry.

Fry in 350° peanut oil about 2 minutes,
until golden brown.
Do not crowd the pan.


Sprinkle scallions over top
and serve with a soy dipping sauce.

Dipping Sauce
1 garlic clove, minced
3 TB soy sauce
1 tsp rice wine vinegar
1 tsp hot pepper flakes
1/4 tsp sesame oil