Happy Chinese New Year.
I will steal the cuisine from any culture if it appeals to me. Especially on holidays.
I'm not a native Jewish cook, but I do love some latkes. I have no Latino heritage, but I'm making burritos, quesadillas, pozole all the time. Fake, I guess, but tasty.
As for Chinese cooking, I've always found it daunting. Until we cracked the Ma Po Tofu code. And the fried rice.
Oh, yeah. I've got my chops. Chop chops.
So today I made a few little vegetarian egg rolls. Jean-Georges Vongerichten ran a recipe for some in the New York Times yesterday, and it gave me an idea. (I hate Vongerichten's food, by the way, so I didn't take most of his suggestions... like putting grated lemon zest in there!)
Here's the deal. I winged it. I cooked up enough filling (two kinds of mushrooms, cabbage, carrot, ginger and green garlic) for four rolls. How much is enough? I don't know. I winged it. It was perfect.
And instead of frying them in three cups of oil (come on!) I sauteed them, hot, in just a few tablespoons.
The dipping sauce was a blend of sambal oelek (thank you, Jean-Georges, I finally bought some), sherry and sherry vinegar. Oh!
I am also happy with the turnip cake we bought at the Asian market. Cut it into slices and fried them. They're very fragile. But blobby and cute.
Am I proud? Is it OK to be proud on Chinese New Year?
I feel a little like a Tiger Mother. But that's so last year. I must be a Rabbit Mom.