Spend an evening with the Eilander-Stubbs duo as they demonstrate favorite recipes from Mrs. Chiang’s Szechwan Cookbook. Stephen and Maxine have been happily cooking from this book for many years whether in Seattle, Bremen, South Africa or Santa Clarita, and will include several ‘family secret’ vegetarian adaptations of this marvelous cuisine.
PLEASE REVIEW THE SUGGESTED PREPARATIONS BELOW AND PLAN ACCORDINGLY. The event will be more fun if you acquire and prepare your ingredients beforehand. However, don’t be shy! Feel free to come and observe the masters at work if that is your preference.
Szechuan Dinner with Steve and Maxine on April 25 at 4 pm
Hello to all the brave experimenters with Szechuan food!
After thinking about it, I came to the conclusion that we should prepare the recipe for Grand Duke’s Chicken with Peanuts from Mrs. Chiang’s Cookbook. I had been cooking this recipe for 20 years (as one of my three favorites in the book) before meeting Maxine. Since she has been a vegetarian since age 9, I knew I would have to adapt the recipe or give up on this wonderful dish. We came up with the idea of replacing the chicken with tofu – but it took some experimenting to know just how to prepare the tofu to make it an optimal foil to the peppers and peanuts. Maxine has a way of preparing the tofu which requires some pre-baking and I will let her describe that in a separate message.
For anyone who is doing the chicken version, you just need to have one large whole chicken breast (about one pound) or two smaller ones that come to the same weight – no pre-prep necessary.
Here are the other ingredients:
3 green peppers (or you can replace one of them with two jalapenos if you like it hot)
½ cup fresh peanuts. I usually buy them in the shell and spend the length of one news show shelling before I start to cook. It’s a bit of extra work but I have never found an already-shelled alternative that is as nice in the recipe – so I recommend doing this shelling before we meet at 4 pm.
10 cloves garlic – you can spare yourself some work with pre-shelled garlic – but I will be doing it from scratch at 4 pm and you can too.
1 inch piece of fresh ginger – it’s so nice to have ginger in the house, and what you don’t use for this recipe you can boil up as tea!
You will also need small amounts of: soy sauce, sugar, sesame oil, Chinese rice wine or dry sherry, 1 egg white, cornstarch (optional) red pepper flakes (optional) and 2 to 4 scallions or spring onions as we call them.
The only thing you need to do in advance is: prepare the tofu if you are doing that version, and shell the peanuts.
Everything else we will do together!
I’m also sending the original pages from Mrs. Chiang’s book.
See you next Sunday!
Maxine also suggests the following preparations:
Purchase 2 packets of firm tofu.
Drain and gently pat dry with a towel.
Chop the tofu into approximately 1-inch squares (basically bite size).
Add squares into a large baking dish.
For the marinade use about 2 TBS Soy Sauce, 1 TBS sesame oil and 1 TBS Rice wine or cooking sherry and mix. You can add more of any of these ingredients to make sure the tofu is nicely coated.
Broil for approximately 15 minutes, or until it browns, stir to get other side brown for another 10-15 minutes.
You can make the tofu ahead of time, since it does not need to be warm for the rest of the recipe prep.