January 22, 2004
Happy Year of the Monkey
It's Chinese New Year, and tonight we co-host a dinner party with our neighbors. Last count is 15(!) but it's fairly casual, sorta potluck, a mix of the homemade, the storebought and the takeout. Several kinds of Asian beer, some plum wine, and a California cabernet sauvignon that I picked up simply because there were cute monkeys on the wine label.
In the past few days I've had the excuse of going to the Chinatown area and the farmers market for special ingredients. And in the process, I discovered a second source for garlic bagels and now I have access to crumpets once more (at Publix, of all places)!
What I'm contributing:
Cold Szechuan Noodles and Shredded Vegetables - I'm using udon noodles instead of dried soba because I found those first. Unfortunately they're still thawing out so I couldn't let them marinate today. Will have to do it when I get home. Stayed up late learning how to julienne carrots and red peppers. The recipe calls for green onions, but I'm using chopped up chives instead so people won't be afraid to eat the dish.
These are all ready-made and easy to cook, though I might use the microwave instead of steaming or boiling if I'm pressed for time:
vegetarian dumplings of the pouch and gyoza varieties
vegetarian mini buns
chicken egg rolls
I also thought of chopping up some cucumbers and adding a spicy pickle sauce, but I think I'll skip that and just mix up some mild and spicy dipping sauces for the dumplings.