CTB ~ Last Chinese Chef

20 07 2009

CTB_7-8_cbwaTwice Dressed Beef Under Snow

What an interesting concept…an edible book report!  I love it!  LOL!  That’s what we do with Cook the Books, we create a dish inspired by the book we’ve read.  This one really worked for me.  A few pages in I found myself lost in a fog of imagined aromas (chicken and five spice for the most part, but with ginger and garlic wafting through on a magic carpet of braising pork).  I love good Chinese.  I found myself immediately giggling over the poached chicken…the method is one I’ve been using for years.  I had never considered (the “aha!” moment!) adding layers of flavor to the poaching liquid. Talk about DUH!

So I was inspired to think about layers of flavors…perfect little bites…each bite tasting exactly the way I want it to.  Lying atop a bed of shredded iceberg & hearts of romaine lettuce lightly dressed with a teriyaki-inspired dressing are marinated and grilled broccoli, carrots and cauliflower along with bites of very rare seared beef.  The salad greens were shredded and hand-tossed in a bowl with the dressing, then plated.  The veggies went straight from the resting plate to the salads.  A few fresh-from-the-garden cherry tomatoes were added because tomatoes go well in salads!  The meat was grilled, rested, carved, cut into bite sized pieces, dressed again and plated.  Snow, in the form of fried bean threads was added to the plates for contrast and crunch at the last moment.

The salad worked well…there were layers of texture and flavor.  The book had layers of texture and interest.  I really enjoyed it. I was a little saddened that I could script parts of it, but I’m a voracious reader, and that’s a side effect. Still, Ms. Mones captivated me with her descriptions of the food items and the layers of flavor execution.  I came up for air drooling on more than one occasion.

This is my favorite read with the group Cook The Books so far. I’ve truly enjoyed this one. I’d consider checking out some of her other works just to see if her writing style stays steady.  I’m sure she’ll come back around somewhere along the line if it does.  In the meanwhile, we have another book on the horizon, and others will surely be selected as we head into the Fall and Winter.  On my own, I’m currently reading Garlic and Sapphires by Ruth Reichl, and have the Julie Powell (Julie & Julia) book on order.



6 responses

31 08 2009

That salad is perfect for summer, looks so refreshing.

30 08 2009
maria verivaki

the snow is so enticing – great work for a great book indeed!

30 08 2009

The beef looks delicious! And I love your description of the salad flavours.

29 08 2009
The Last Chinese Chef: A Cook the Books Round-up « Cook the Books Club

[…] wafting through on a magic carpet of braising pork).  I love good Chinese.” She created her Twice Dressed Beef Under Snow saying, “So I was inspired to think about layers of flavors…perfect little bites…each […]

9 08 2009

Such a poetic and tasty looking dish. What a great inspiration from Mones’ book. Bravo!

21 07 2009

This may be my favorite selection so far, too! I wanted to try EVERYTHING Sam cooked! Your dish looks delicious 🙂 Those fried bean threads are so cool!

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