Well, this will be easy. Asian. Asian. Asian. Mediterranean. Asian. Mexican.
1.) Cheong Fun. Rice noodles wrapped around bbq pork. A favorite and one almost impossible to make at home. I go to Wong’s King in PDX to get these.
2) Chow Fun. More rice noodles, this time tossed with veggies and meat. I usually get bbq pork. I like pork and pork is so similar to human flesh it is easily digested. No, this does not make me a cannibal. I am not related to pigs any more closely than you are.
3.) Makkloubeh. This is Lebanese. Eggplant, rice, lamb. Wonderful. Get it at Ya Halla in PDX. Tell them I sent you. Not that it will matter…they only know me on sight.
4.) Dim Sum. Although technically a class of Chinese food, I love going for dim sum. My family knows this so my birthday is usually at Wong’s King on Division which has the best dim sum in town. There’s better….in San Francisco….but why drive so far when pretty damn good is just a few miles away. Dim sum means heart’s delight and are small morsels, usually meat, cooked in a myriad of ways. There is a whole world of dim sum etiquette, dim sum practice, dim sum pricing. So much to learn. But who cares? As the Frugal Gourmet (who introduced me to dim sum and taught me to cook Chinese) would say, “ENJOY!” If he weren’t dead, of course.
5.) Moussaka. I once burned my kitchen down while making moussaka and wallpapering my bathroom at the same time. There’s this whole cook the onions in oil part. I forgot I was cooking onions in oil. Boom! At the time, I was a news reporter and part of my area of expertise was fire departments. Hence, I never lived this one down with the local fire department although I did redeem myself when I exposed a neighboring fire department as corrupt.
6.) Three mushroom tofu. The Divine Miss M picked this one and it is delish. Straw mushrooms, and two kinds I don’t recognize, with soft deep fried tofu and some green things I assume to be a vegetable with which I am unfamiliar. Also some noodles which I assume to be wheat but I’m only partly gluten free at this point so I’m eating them anyway. Mild but tasty. I’m actually eating this as I write.
7.) Pot stickers. But only the ones I make myself. These are righteous, come in pork, chicken, or tofu flavor, and are in high demand. My kids always want me to make these and I’m definitely not allowed to cook a Chinese feast unless I make these. The Beloved Jenny’s family will not let me come to Christmas Eve unless I make pot stickers and beer ribs. But beer ribs are just generic American, not “ethnic” at all.
8.) Tempura vegetables. I know. Deep fat. But I still love them.
9.) Matzo ball soup. I make this pretty often for dinner because it’s easy and with the addition of some veggies and tofu, very healthy.
10.) Mole. With the exception of the person who taught me, I make the best mole in town. Another simple crowd pleaser. This is sort of Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups with Jalapeno peppers. You buy a jar of mole, add chicken or turkey, a big gob of peanut butter, and a round of Mexican chocolate, add liquid as it disappears, and let simmer until it’s all mixed together. Serve with tostados, refritos, Mexican rice, and corn. WOW! Also good with corn chips as a late night snack….