Sunday, March 14, 2010
Buddha Says, "Pass The Courvoisier"
As Buddha jumps over the wall enters the second day of production, I feel a strange calm about the situation. I strain and de-fat the stocks while Dietz puts together the game plan for afternoon. Nolan arrives and we immediately tell him “how amazing this new shaoxing wine is” and how “he needs to try it, he isn’t even going to believe it.”
Nolan’s reaction to the unpleasant orgy of bitterness makes me feel a little bad, but I’m too busy laughing hysterically to do anything about it. With the initiation into club Buddha out of the way, we begin the next step in preparing the shark’s fin. It needs to be steamed with superior stock, shoaxing, scallions, and ginger for about thirty minutes.
The abalone gets steamed next, with superior stock, lard, wine, and ginger for about two hours. The shells are gorgeous, and I feel like they will really help complete my Little Mermaid costume, so we boil them to clean. This afternoon consists mostly of prepping meats for the next day, as well as soaking dried mushrooms and simmering the fresh bamboo shoots.
I’m especially excited about the beautiful piece of Lamb top-round we’ve procured from Pat’s. That gets broken down, along with the pork shoulder and Yunnan ham (after a bit of simmering) and goes into the fridge.
Lunch is always a big deal during extended cooking projects, as we have many delicious components at our disposal from the task at hand. We make barbeque pulled pork out of the stock meat, which we add fat and sauce to. We serve this over French fries, with a side of chili & ginger broccoli. We also make kind of a ghetto chicken confit by taking the leftovers from the stock and adding the strained fat to it. Why the fuck not?
That night we break down the chicken and the duck so they can be put into a brine overnight. I have to say I absolutely love my Chinese meat cleaver I got in Boston for like, 14.95. We decide to have a snack of duck livers and chicken oysters to make the job more worthwhile.
Tomorrow is the final day, and we will have the whole team together to make it happen. One major dish, four side dishes, and steamed bread to pull it all together. Rather than make a production out of wines, I’ve opted for simple – Tsing Tao beer and Tea.