Normandie Kitchen

Shared food in a share house

Category: Mains

Five spice poached chicken

Poaching chicken is a quick, and easy, way to prepare meat for salads or noodles; or just to eat with a dipping sauce. It’s also a nice way to infuse chicken with a lot of flavour — although you can do pretty much the same thing, without the aromatics. If you want to use skinless, boneless chicken breast, for some sort of “healthy” alternative to food, feel free. But your best bet is to use a whole chicken, or at least a mix of bone-in, white and dark meat, for maximum flavour.

poaching_chicken

Brad

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Char siu bao

This is one of the best winter foods — sweet, fluffy bread, wrapped around a savoury, fragrant filling — especially when served with spicy chinese mustard. There are a lot of different kinds of bao (or mandu, or niku man, or banh) but the barbecue pork one is the archetype. They’re best eaten right away, but are good reheated, too, for breakfast or lunch. This recipe is a little bit labour intensive (sorry, not sorry), so if you want to make char siu bao, grab a bunch of friends, and start stuffing.

stuffed_buns — Brad, Wendy

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Chinese BBQ pork – char siu

Char siu, or char siew (fork roast: 叉燒), is sometimes referred to as BBQ or roast pork. It’s a Cantonese dish, and is probably a familiar sight, as the red meat hanging along side the duck in the window of Chinese restaurants. It’s savory, slightly spiced, and slightly sweet. Because it’s so easy to buy good char siu, you might not want to bother making your own, to use in noodle soup, or char siu bao (steamed buns) — or just to eat with hoisin sauce. But it turns out, it’s easy to make, and the char siu you make at home can be more delicious than the restaurant version. And you can control the sweetness — and red food colouring — to suit yourself! We recently made this, for a big char siu bao making party. It was amazing.
char_siu

Brad
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Cochinita pibil

Pork in banana leaf is one of the most common foods to be found in Yucatan. Slow cooked, falling-apart tender meat, with a tang of bitter orange, the earthiness of annatto, and an aroma of allspice. It’s like a Caribbean version of northern Mexican barbacoa, or Texan barbecue. The brilliant red of the sauce looks alarmingly spicy, but in fact cochinita pibil is not hot at all. In itself. The spice comes with the blazingly hot habanero salsa you may or may not want to add. This makes great tacos, or salbutes, served simply with pickled onion and salsa. But cochinita pibil is even better as a torta (sandwich).
cochinita_torta
Brad and Eliseo
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Onion-lentil rice (mujaddara)

This is pure comfort food. The caramelised onions add a sweetness that works well with the earthy lentils, and the cinammon and cloves. Mujaddara is a childhood favourite across the Middle East — a colleague once raved about how this lentil rice tasted like it was made by a Kuwaiti housewife. I guess I’ll just take that as a compliment.

Mujaddara’s a hearty, fragrant, and satisfying dish on its own, or as a side in a bigger meal. It’s good on the day it’s made, but it always tastes better the next day.mujabarra
Brad
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