So, it was Thanksgiving a few days ago. And the last time I blogged was months ago. Such is life. Anyway, being the authentically hardcore Asians that we are, pumpkin pie has never been a Thanksgiving staple at our table. Instead, we had my signature (some kind of stone fruit) cream cheese crumble.
I really don’t have a recipe written down, so I can’t really share it with you just yet. For now, you can look at it this particular slice in various shades of yellow lighting.
Let the Decemberyness commence.
For a long time, WordPress has been my go to for blogging. It’s my recommendation for client builds, my personal preference for blogging, and the only reason I tolerate the existence of Blogger (no offense Googs). And I have been content, through four wobbly high school years, a roller coaster of a post-sec ed, a shit start to being a grownup, even through my brief stint over at Tumblr. Hell, I even ran with Drupal for a while. But in the end WordPress was my man, is my man.
To say that this has changed would be a lie, but to say that I am still as content as could be would also just be a half-truth. As one who seeks out visually minimal elements anywhere, Squarespace has been on my radar for years. A humble beginning, if you could call a $20k investment from the paternal humble, has lead to a premium service with a drool worthy backend and handsomely bare front end. Home to a few of my favourite internet places including fellow Canuck Andrew Kim of Minimally Minimal, spatial genuis of Synthtica (Canuck again), and the serenity of trish + co (oh the gorgeousness), Squarespace has been sizing up to be my jump to premium blogging for quite a while.
While I have not yet made any official decisions on the switch (ie. let lose the hosting minion on my credit card), I know that a jump is inevitable. I am a curious soul and am really not known for being content with one thing for an extended period of time. I like change, I crave change, and as loyal as I am, I do like to get around. Also, a paid service would probably make me actually sit down and pound out all the words I need to on a regular basis. Because money.
Oh, and Joomla you say? I say what Joomla?
Growing up in a food culture that doesn’t recognize heaps of leaves dressed in sauces as a legitimate food group gives me a real sense of alienation when it comes to salads. I still don’t eat much salad, and when I do it’s more of an these-leaves-are-an-accompaniment-to-my-giant plateful-of-croutons-and-dressing moment. General lack of protein (mainly meat and seafood) makes me uncomfortable and extremely insecure.
However, because I have an unhindered love for carbs, I do not shy away from pasta salad, or pasta anything for that matter. And also salad of the protein based variety. No, no, not the two chicken strips on a pound of lettuce. I’m talking the heavily meat or seafood based scrambles drenched in artery clogging liquid concoctions (eggs!); the kind you can smoosh between some bread and throw at Subway Footlongs as a way of protest. Yes, I do harbor a lot of anger at certain food groups. I like to pretend it’s passion.
A certain food item I am passionate about is chicken breast. Nobody in my family is a particular fan of chicken boobies. Even I, the familial carnivore, usually only eat chicken breast covered in golden batter and hot sauce. Unfortunately, these white slabs of protein just happen to be the giantest part of a bird. Over the years, I’ve tried to perfect many recipes with these fowl tits: the chicken with green pepper, the stereotypical kung pao chicken, the (ethnic) chicken curry, the bang bang chicken, the roast chicken, the stuffed chicken breast, the Tibetan big plate chicken, and even the ridiculously creative lychee stuffed chicken. All good, but all not made for the Texan heat.
So, as I inhaled the simmering chicken soup I’ve got going on a boiling summer afternoon, I contemplated the fate of the two pound honker in the pot. The cucumbers in the backyard has been coming along nicely, but the harvest is piling up as three people can only eat so many of them. I’ve also got a few soaked shiitake mushrooms leftover from the soup making. Aha! 凉拌鸡丝! Cold mixed chicken strands! Literal translation!
Essentially, the dish is a simple cold chicken salad. There’s no traditional recipe. It’s more of a freestyle piece for personal flair. I like mine with extra vinegar and extra crunchy.
Chicken salad with cucumbers and shiitake
– chicken breast, shredded
– cucumber, one inch strips
– shiitake mushrooms, strips
– (optional) some kind of rice or bean based noodles
– assortment of seasoning and condiments
Poach/boil/cook chicken breast. Mine was cooked for four hours in the soup, yours don’t have to be. Just make sure it’s not at that awkward, tough and, dry as elephant skin stage. Shred into small strands. Shred! Do not cut. You want that broken up meat effect.
Chop that cucumber while you wait for the chicken to cool. Aim for pieces that are similar in size to the chicken. Salt and let sit for a few minutes to wilt so your salad doesn’t end up all liquidy.
Wash and chop mushrooms into strips. Squeeze to drain water. Sauté in a little bit of oil until fully cooked. You’ll know when it’s done cuz you’ll smell it and it’ll be glorious. Just a few minutes.
To make salad a meal, boil some mung bean/rice flour/sweet potato noodles. Or any kind of noodles you like. I like something clear and along the lines of vermicelli to keep the meal light.
Season to your liking and eat it. Personally I like a combination of sugar, salt, light soy sauce, rice vinegar (the dark kind), sriracha (FTW), and a dash of mayo.
Nomnomnomnomnomnomnom. I’m seriously not good at writing recipes. Just look at the pretty pictures.