Chinese New Year's Eve
Since I had reservations at the Annual Chinese Arts Alliance of Nashville Chinese New Year's Banquet on Sunday, I never thought about what I was going to eat on New Year's Eve. So, Saturday 4 pm rolled around and I decided that I should consider going grocery shopping. I ended up at Wang's Enterprises at 401 3rd Ave North, an Asian market that closes at 5 pm. Wang's has a lot of frozen and pantry items, and only one small cold case of fresh refrigerated foods. This place is great for Chinese Ingredients! I actually think Wang's Enterprises is the best for Chinese ingredients, than any other multi-ethnic or Asian market in Nashville. Anyway, I had one hour to figure out what I was going to make for my homemade Chinese dinner. I got bok choy, dried shitake mushrooms (dung goo), a roasted duck, veggie dumplings, and glutinous rice dumplings (jung). As for making Chinese food for special occasions at my house, I like the Sandra Lee method - Semi-Homemade. I can bake, steam and assemble Chinese food, as long as I can the good stuff from a good Asian market.
I went to the USA grocery to get small flour tortillas, cucumbers and scallions. I chopped them up to serve with the duck.
This is a photograph of my roasted duck breast. Yummy! I know you just want to reach right into the computer right now and take a bite! I do!
I don't know how to make crepes, or the soft steamed buns for Peking Duck Rolls, so I used the tortillas to make the rolls. I totally cheated with heating the tortillas. I put a few on a plate, covered with a damp paper towel, then I microwaved the tortillas! Is that completely cheating or what! I cut up duck, duck skin, cucumber and scallions and put the ingredients in the flour tortilla with a little hoisin, and ate a semi-homemade Duck Roll. It was really good! I still have some duck, cucumber, scallions and tortillas. I will have to make more!
The moment I got home, I started soaking the dried mushrooms. When I was ready to cook them, I put the bok choy, soaked shitake mushrooms, chicken stock, oyster sauce and a little soy sauce in a big dutch oven on the stove. I turned up the heat to high, when it started to boil, I turned it down to a simmer, covered the pot to let all the flavors steam. It was yummy!
What would New Year's be without dumplings? I got the veggie filled kind from the freezer section. I could have made them myself, but that would have taken too much time that I did not have after waiting to the last minute to cook. The veggie dumplings are good enjoy, none bursted open while I steamed them, and I hope that these dumplings bring me prosperity for the new year.
Because I was trying to stick to semi-homemade, I decided to use ponzu (lemon soy sauce) for the dumplings. Luckily every Asian market carries ponzu, so all I had to do was open a bottle, pour it into my dish and then I was done. I did not even have to squeeze a lemon! Next year, if I can remember, I will make my own ponzu.
And lastly, my glutinous rice wrapped in lotus leaf. I steamed this frozen little gem too. I don't know how to make it. The frozen one is good enough for my household, and it fits right into my semi-homemade theme of this Chinese New Year's eve dinner.
Here is the glutinous rice. It is just full of chopped meat and gravy inside. It is just a treat!
Happy New Year!
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