Elyne’s Chinese Feast (featuring the soon-to-be-a-hit film: “Elyne’s Chinese Feast”)

May 23, 2005 | By | COMMENTS

Something very special happened this past Thursday and I’ve been waiting a few days to tell you about it because it’s so big and interesting and exciting that simply posting it on a Friday would have been bad showmanship. No, I waited until tonight–Sunday night–so you could start your Monday with this dazzling account of a true, exotic, magnificent Chinese feast prepared by my friend Elyne at the home of our friend Brian. Here they are making wontons:

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Yes, it started with the making of wontons. I arrived at 5 pm, as per Elyne’s instructions, so I could watch the process. Elyne purchased wonton wrappers from Chinatown (I missed the Chinatown shopping spree) and prepared a mixture of shrimp, water chesnuts and scallions that were then spooned into the wrappers and folded, wonton style, as documented in the feature film “Elyne’s Chinese Feast” which you can view at the end of this post. The wontons were placed in a huge pot of boiling water and after only a few moments they floated to the top, we scooped them out and here they are:

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Yes, they look a little bit like brain matter but they were utterly delicious. In fact, they were so delicious that guests at the party stuffed their faces with them so enthusiastically, they had no appetite for the rest of the meal! (Whole dishes were scratched from the menu, including a whole fish that was to be cooked in a wok–(this was a huge disappointment, I was totally psyched to see that)–and an eggplant tofu dish (that one I wasn’t so sorry about)).

Let’s examine the dishes that WERE made…

Stir fried duck served in endive (you can’t see the endive here and Elyne acknowledges that endive isn’t particularly Chinese, but they worked terrifically well–call it fusion, if you must):

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Spicy chicken with cashews (not photographed)

Shitaki mushrooms and bok choy:

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(The mushrooms were stewed for two hours in a mixture of vegetable stock and sugar that came from what looked like a sugar rock, I’m sure there’s a name for it, but I don’t know it–sue me.)

With dessert, we drank my contribution: Litchi wine that I purchased from a wine store with Asian characters on 23rd street near the subway.

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I love lychees–I think they’re my favorite fruit (though my friend X, who shall stay unnamed, rather uncouthly suggests that they look like—and prepare to be offended—mini-abortions)–and this wine captures their subtlety and perfume without being overpowering. I think everyone enjoyed it.

Finally, Elyne prepared rice dumplings in cane sugar syrup (that’s what it was, cane sugar, editor: please fix that in the mushroom paragraph):

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Look at Elyne with her tray and her rice dumplings in cane sugar syrup, isn’t she adorable? Let’s give her a round of applause and then watch her in the guaranteed smash hit “Elyne’s Chinese Feast” featuring the hit single “Slow Boat To China” as performed by Rosemary Clooney and Bing Crosby.

Thanks Elyne and Brian for a fantastic meal!

Categories: Funny Food Films, Videos

  • http://www.folkfood.blogspot.com Sara Zoe

    Loved the flick – though I wish you had kept a normal speed through at least one wonton wrapping!

    I’ve seen them done a number of different ways, so it would have been nice to see Elyne’s method.

    Just nit-picking. Love your stuff.

  • mike

    Wow, I’ve never seen wontons served dry like that. I’ve always served them in soup with salted dried shrimp and seaweed. Wouldn’t the thin wonton skins become dry and rubbery quickly in open air?

    On a side note. They made lychee wine!!? I gotta get me some of that.

  • Beth Dudley

    Damn. ..you made me so hungry I almost had to run out and get wontons for lunch. Were the mushrooms and bok choy as tasty as they look? I should know better than to check your blog right before lunchtime!

  • gingermilk

    We didn’t serve the wontons dry…we had a lovely dipping sauce whipped up by Brian. I swear…people inhaled the wontons.

  • Jill

    That is a ton of work! But you (and we) are an appreciative audience. You have very nice friends.

  • Amy

    mmm can’t go wrong with shrimp wontons…those are lighter and more flavorful than regular pork fillings(in chinese we say seafood is “shian” or, that extra kick of “umami”)

  • K

    Not to change the subject, guys, but I just Googled “cupcakes” and Adam’s Janet nipple-shield dessert is the number one search result. I wasn’t expecting this, and I cracked up!

  • http://fabulouscheesebabe.blogspot.com Grommie

    I’m new around here but I have to tell you, I’m enjoying it very much.

  • http://www.bryanna.blogspot.com Bry

    Ack! Those wontons remind me of the time when my roommate and her friend (who was Chinese and showed us the way) and I took on such a task. We ended up with literally hundreds of those suckers! They took almost all day to make, but they were yummy…especially served with this really good soya sauce mixture her friend made. Mmm…wontons…

  • http://www.restaurantwidow.com/ Lisa the Waitress

    Those shitakes are beautiful!! Any chance of a recipe?