BaltimOregon to Maine

Locavore Cooking with Southern Efficiency and Northern Charm

Posts Tagged ‘David Chang

The Elusive Peter Chang’s China Grill in Charlottesville

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Cumin lamb, braised bok choy with tofu skin and Guandong-style boneless duck at Peter Chang's China Grill.

I just got a disturbing annual report from WordPress that says I’ve managed to blog all of seven times in the past year. Here’s my 8th attempt at a post, staring down the midnight, here comes ominous Mayan 2012 deadline. 2011, with a turbulent pregnancy, new motherhood and a slow computer clogged with my huge, disorganized audio, photo and video files, somehow got away from me. I commit to do better in 2012. I’ll make baby Theo‘s afternoon naps my new blogging time.

The new year finds us visiting family in Charlottesville, home of the celebrated Peter Chang’s China Grill. The “disappearing chef” himself appears to be staying put in Thomas Jefferson’s university town, where he’s had a continuous run at the former Wild Greens cafe space in the former Barracks Road Shopping Center since March. (Speaking of C’ville restaurant news, did you hear The Tavern, an institution with a questionable food safety record, has closed? I say good riddance.)

Chang’s is known for authenic, hot and numbing Sichuan fare. We’ve eaten there twice and particularly loved his eggplant dishes, spicy dan dan noodles and fragrant, Uighur-inspired cumin lamb. Dining at the restaurant this trip, we had eggplant deliciously dry-fried with no residual grease, like crisp French fries. The numbing Sichuan peppercorns atop make it too hot for some. We had our favorite tender cumin lamb. And I wanted to try a duck dish. The smoked duck at the neighboring table was temptingly served Beijing kaoya-style, but with fluffly baozi-style buns (think David Chang’s unctuous pork belly buns) instead of bland pancakes. But the neighbors said to order sweet Guandong duck instead so we did. It had a pleasant, if unspectacular, sweet-and-sour sauce. The rectangles of fried duck were boneless, which made for smoother eating. And we started with Shanghai-style scallion pancakes, a nostalgic taste of China for me. Except they were unusually puffed up like Indian pooris. I once made Eileen Yin-Fei Lo’s pancake recipe, with lard, but my technique needs perfecting. Here’s to making more Chinese scallion pancakes in the new year, as I post this just as the clock strikes midnight!

Scallion pancakes puffed up like poori at Peter Chang's.


Written by baltimoregon

December 31, 2011 at 10:01 pm

Off the Wagon, with Homemade Pasta, Bread and Beer

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Homemade Pasta by Chef Intaba at Fireworks Restaurant.

Told you the gluten-free thing wouldn’t last. This weekend, I indulged in yeasty bread, Block 15 beer (including a sweet-tart, heady, Belgian-style “Cherry Quad,” with 11 percent alcohol) and homemade pasta from Chef Intaba. She had scraps from her manicotti shells she couldn’t use, which made perfect eggy and soft, makeshift lasagna sheets. Though they didn’t hold their shape or get those crispy edges, they still made an easy Swiss Chard Lasagna, perhaps my favorite vegetarian lasagna recipe. Blanching imparts the chard with a sweetness, while it still stands up more sturdy than spinach, with none of the bitter taste of other greens.

Definitely feel a bit more distress in the belly as it tries to digest wheat again. I hope avoiding gluten doesn’t make it even more painful for the body to break down once you resume consumption. You know, how vegetarians throw-up upon eating meat after years of abstention. Everything in moderation–the middle path–that’s me.

Fall apart Swiss chard lasagna: don't judge it on the looks!

Started with a Salad: Yummy Kimchi-Marinated Apples with Arugula and maple yogurt, ala David Chang.

Written by baltimoregon

January 18, 2010 at 1:28 am

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