Steve's China Blog

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Western food weekend

Friday night I went to the Shamrock Pub for their Cynco de Mayo party, since Cynco de Mayo was on Tuesday. It was kind of surprising how quickly they could change all the decorations and go from an Irish pub to a Mexican pub just about overnight. Even the staff were dressed sort of Mexican.

Kitty was nice enough to join me and we had some beef nachos, some chicken quesadillas, and some beef tacos. Kitty also tried a margarita. She had never had any of those before. The party was fun and there was games and things, as well as dancing. There were a pair of girls who bought a bottle of tequila, and were pouring shots in peoples' mouths. Luckily I don't drink tequila, so I avoided that.

On Saturday I had dinner with Victoria and my friends Cynthia and Tony. They all wanted to go to Peter's Tex-Mex Grill, and even though I had eaten Tex-Mex the day before, and for lunch, I did not mind. They added some new dishes to the menu at Peter's so we tried some of those. The sour cream enchiladas are new and have a salsa verde green sauce on them which is really good. Tony also wanted to try some bratwurst, which is a new item on the menu. It looked good, but I was happy with the Tex-Mex food.

On Sunday afternoon I joined my friend Kitty and we went to a hotel here in town which offers cooking classes. I am not sure if they offer classes for cooking Chinese food. The lesson for us was how to make Caesar salad, pumpkin soup, and steak. There were about 20 people who signed up for the class and we were divided up into teams. Kitty and I were on one team.

A bunch of us getting ready to learn how to cook steak

We didn't just learn how to cook the dishes, but also had a competition to see who could create the best presentations of the food. We first learned how to make the salad dressing, and then made our salads.

Our decorative Caesar salad

After the salads we learned how to make the pumpkin soup and had a little competition to see who could cut pieces of pumpkin the fastest. I did ok, but was not as fast as some. After learning about the soup and chopping up the pumpkin the cooks took all that to the kitchen to make the soup for us.

Then we learned how the restaurant tenderizes, marinates, and cooks their steaks, as well as learning how to make a black pepper sauce to put on the steaks after cooking. I already know how to cook steak, but it was interesting to see how they did it here.

Tenderizing was just beating a so-so piece of steak into a nice flat tender piece of steak with a flat metal mallet. The marinade was kind of simple... salt, pepper, some chopped up carrots and onions, and refrigerated for 6 or more hours. Then the steaks are cooked in a very hot skillet with oil. The pepper sauce was minced onions sauteed in butter, mixed with black pepper, wine, brandy, and beef stock.

We were suppose to make some nice presentation on the plate with the steak, but everyone was so hungry we just cooked them and went to our tables to eat. The whole meal turned out pretty good!

Kitty and some of our friends enjoying the meal we helped make

I've heard that this weekend they are going to be teaching how to cook some Japanese dishes, but I did not sign up for that. I hope they will do a Sichuan food class some day.


  • So when can we expect to see you on "Iron Chef" cooking competition? Starting to think you are prepping for coming back home and opening Chez Steve

    By Anonymous Greg, at 11:34 PM  

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