Hello again, and Hello Summer!

So a lot has transpired since my last post from months ago (insert embarrassing shame for taking so long to post here), but I am back again. Now on to what’s on my mind…

I love trying out new dishes at home from around the world. Aside from the Dutch and German food I cook for the Dutchman, we have feasted on traditional Irish, Jamaican, Thai, French, and Austrian fare, along with the usual Mexican and Italian food. I have to admit I have always shied away from attempting Chinese cooking at home, though. I have enjoyed watching Ming Tsai try to show me a thing or two and I can make a decent Chow Mein, but when it comes to Chinese cooking I am a bit intimidated by some of the ingredients and some of the cooking methods. However, I have recently discovered Ching-He Huang, the cook behind Chinese Food Made Easy on the Cooking Channel and BBC 2. Now I am sure there are a lot of Chinese food purists who would say that her food is not “real Chinese,” but I am just a home cook looking to expand my dinner repertoire, not set the world on fire with my version of Egg Fried Rice.

I recently tried Ching’s recipes for “Pork and Prawn Dumplings” and “Chicken and Vegetable Spring Rolls.” Not only were the recipes easy to follow and did not require a trip to the Asian market located an hour away from home, they were fun to make! I also like that Ching makes substitutions for traditional Chinese ingredients with ones that most home cooks have in their pantry. The dumplings were really great with a dip I made from light soy sauce, rooster sauce, rice wine vinegar, fresh ginger and sliced green onions. The spring rolls were light and crispy, and the five-spice powder that was mixed intro the chicken and mushrooms gave these spring rolls a slightly smoky flavor that went well with the red chili and ginger sauce I served them with. Add an ice-cold beer on a hot Friday night in June and you have a great dinner for the start of summer!

Ching-He Huang


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