Sunday, May 04, 2008

This may look like turds...

Have you ever cooked a dish that looks like crap, but taste-wise, it's on point?

I know what you're thinking. "Dude, my dog has crapped more appetizing pieces of dung than that. What else can this guy cook up that could make me toss my cookies by sight alone?"

Aha! Take that, you hooligan!

Sigh, so the above meal was my attempt at French-Chinese fusion.

The turd like dish consists of flank steak, mushrooms, onions and pecans. The Chinese part comes from how I prepared the flank steak. My mom has this trick of marinating flank steak pieces in soy sauce, a spoonful of cornstarch, a pinch of baking soda, and some oil, which makes the steak pieces amazingly tender. I still haven't perfected the ratios just yet, but I'm working on it.

And the French part... (For those of you who can actually cook French dishes, avert your eyes and come back tomorrow.) ...comes from the fact that I sauteed the mushrooms and onions in brandy and butter. Ah, but not just any brandy. French brandy.

Ahh, and one more thing. A large part of French cooking is its emphasis on getting the process done right. So it's time to introduce my girlfriend. Or more specifically girlfriend #2:

This is my lovely Cuisinart stainless steel pan that I call gf #2.

Get your head out of the gutter. It has nothing to do with anything x-rated (I don't even want to know how that's possible). Rather, it's more the fact that I treat her well and she treats me or my food well. That and the amount of maintenance she requires. Good lord, do not ever try to fry an egg on one of these stainless steal monsters...

In any case, girlfriend #2 has nice heat distribution and does a pretty fine job with meats and slow sauteeing.

So if I weave this whole mess together: mushrooms, onions and marinated flank steak, all cooked with some butter and fine French brandy using a nice pan... this results in a dish that has a surprising depth and heartiness for something so very simple.

It's just too bad it looks so terrible.

Anyways, feel free to shout out stories of your own atrocious-looking decent-tasting meals.

(Oh and the side dish, that's just dried anchovies that were boiled and topped with some light soy sauce. It made for an interesting contrast.)

($Chinese, $Cooking, $French, $Fusion)

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