Chinese New Year 2010

February 15, 2010 § Leave a comment

I always get really homesick when it’s Chinese New Year. Usually we have some family friends come over and we all sit down to eat a huge meal of roast duck, roast pork, dumplings, etc. This year, in addition to celebrating the beginning of the Year of the Tiger away from home, I also had to deal with yet another date-less Valentine’s Day. womp womp.

No matter. To console myself, I made a menu of a bunch of delicious Chinese dishes that would at least make me feel like I was at home and with Jia’s help, we made a truly amazing dinner. Chinese-style eggs and tomato, hoisin glazed eggplant, pork and scallion dumplings (with even the skins made from scratch!), sesame noodles with chicken and cucumber, and the piece de resistance…Chinese BBQ spare ribs.

The big success of the night was definitely the ribs. In the Chinatown in New York, there’s always this one particular roast meats shop that our family visits to pick up spare ribs, roast pork, and roast duck, and I never thought I’d be able to replicate those flavors in my own kitchen. On Saturday night, I came back from a party a little tipsy but somehow managed to remember to create the hoisin-soy-honey marinade, which just goes to show that food is always a number one priority for me. So even with the ever-present danger that I’d drunkenly slice off my fingers while mincing garlic, the ribs made it to the fridge to marinate over night.

The next day, after fretting over the pork and setting off the fire alarm in our apartment, I finally pulled those babies out of the oven. They had that beautiful charred but glossy outer coating, and the meat on the bone was perfectly tender and succulent. They were a huge success with everyone and now, they’ll probably be my go-to barbecue recipe.

So, our 3 1/2 hours of cooking yesterday really paid off, especially since there are plenty of tasty leftovers in the fridge.  Even though we weren’t with family and didn’t do the traditional exchange of New Year’s greetings and red envelopes, we still got a taste of home.

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