The winter retreat is just over a month away and the chalkboard finally has a menu for display!
I'm so excited to share some of my favourite asian foods that pair oh-so-well with the snowy winter days: dishes that warm the tummy and flavours that wake up the taste buds.
Friday night ramen noodle bar
Most of my retreats have featured a large spread of cheese and charcuterie to welcome guests on Friday night. This "asian comfort" themed retreat will begin with a steamy bowl of homemade ramen noodles and a spread of ramen accompaniments. My asian equivalent of a cheese and charcuterie board.
Turns out, homemade ramen noodles aren't actually that hard to make, and take even less time to cook than the instant variety. I'm still struggling with making a tasty ramen broth that doesn't involve 50 hours of simmering in a pot... As long as my kids continue to eat all the ramen that I make, and my husband continues to clean the pasta maker each time, we will be eating ramen every weekend until the retreat in late February.
If you've travelled to Asia, you know that Chinese breakfasts can be strange. Savoury noodles and soup or a giant dim sum spread first thing in the morning just doesn't seem to appeal to those that haven't grown up with it. I have no intention of putting guests through an authentic asian breakfast experience. Forget authenticity. Let's just do delicious and comforting.
So I bring you the Hong Kong french toast. You would probably see this on a menu at a Chinese tea shop, and most people would order it for a late night snack, but I'm going to serve it for breakfast. It's like regular french toast, but the bread is fluffier and thicker. And instead of maple syrup, you drizzle with condensed milk.
Lunch will feature crispy pan fried chicken dumplings. I already know these will be my favourite of the weekend.
Just missing the spinning lazy susan
For dinner I am planning a more traditional Chinese meal with a variety of proteins and way too much food: (because in Chinese, too much food is just enough food) hot and sour soup, garlic spiced eggplant, green onion and ginger poached chicken, Korean beef short rib, Chinese choy (greens). Oh, and of course "seasonal fruit". My family always laughs at the use of "seasonal fruit" in a Chinese menu. It's almost always oranges. Even when it's August.
For real dessert, I'm making a chocolate cake. Chinese desserts are... not our forte. So if I'm not going to make a Chinese dessert, I figured I'll just go way out there and make a rich and decadent chocolate cake. With buttercream icing.
Fresh Chinese 'Bao' (buns)
For Sunday morning breakfast, we will have fresh Chinese coconut buns. Again, more of a Chinese snack item than a breakfast, but my family eats it for breakfast all the time. Think of it as an asian cinnamon bun. Oh, and we'll probably eat it with some more seasonal fruit.
It's winter. It's cold. Let's hang out and do creative things while indulging in delicious Asian comfort food? It's a date. Click here to grab one of the last spots.