YOUR HOLIDAY TRADITIONS
Holidays mean something different to everyone, but one thing that’s universal is tradition. Regardless which holidays we celebrate, there are always rituals we eagerly anticipate and relish with our families and friends. These traditions are personal, and reflect important aspects of our lives. And there’s no better way to celebrate than to share each other’s rituals within the Foodstand community!
I’ll start with a tradition of my own—panettone. We’re not Italian, but every year when I was a child my mother spent Christmas Eve making the traditional Milanese sweet Christmas bread. The ubiquitous pre-packaged loaves line market shelves this time of year, but a fresh, homemade batch is an entirely different deal. I remember going to bed smelling the sweet eggy dough, imagining the plump raisins inside, bursting in my mouth the next morning on Christmas Day.
Rachna (@Rachna) recalls a childhood filled with cooking breakfasts together as a family. While people became busy and long family breakfasts dwindled, they reappear every holiday season. Her family also used to have massive cookie-baking parties—a way to bring everyone together, and deliver Christmas wishes to loved ones.
New Yorker Beth (@simplywithout) starts her holiday food rituals with a course-by-course shopping list, written by her father. They head to Arthur Avenue in the Bronx where the initial food shopping begins, and the dishes transform from ideas into something greater. But no matter what holiday they’re celebrating, there is always a pasta course (she’s Italian, after all).
Lydia (@gingerandchorizo) hails from Macau, a small peninsula by the Pearl River Delta, and growing up, her family always celebrated Chinese New Year (February 8th, 2016) with a reunion dinner on New Year’s Eve. Her mother cooked up a feast of symbolic, traditional dishes such as steamed chicken served with ginger-infused oil (prosperity), braised pig trotters with dry oysters and mushroom (strength and wealth), and mochi—glutinous rice dumplings in sweet soup (togetherness), just to name a few of many. Since she no longer lives near her family and can’t imagine cooking so many separate dishes, she has combined the essences of each and makes one dish to continue the tradition.
Happy Holidays, from all of us at Foodstand! Can’t wait to see your own traditions on the Foodstand app!
EAT & DRINK
HOMEMADE GNOCCHI WITH MUSHROOMS by simplywithout
3 medium white potatoes, peeled and cubed
2 cloves of garlic
1/3 cup nutritional yeast
Heaping spoonful of pitted green olives
2 tablespoons of olive oil
1 teaspoon of water
Sprinkle of salt and pepper
1 1/2 cups gluten free flour
1/4 cup potato starch
Handful of shiitake mushrooms
Splash of almond or soy milk
Peel and cube the potatoes, and boil until soft (about 15 minutes). While the potatoes are cooking, add the garlic, nutritional yeast, oil, water, olives, salt and pepper to the food processor, and blend until a paste is formed.
When soft, drain the potatoes and add to a large metal bowl. Mash the potatoes with a splash of almond milk. Add the paste to the potatoes and incorporate until smooth—no lumps. Add the flour mixtures and stir until smooth. Roll out the dough in long logs, adding flour as needed for a solid texture, and cut the logs into one inch pieces.
Meanwhile, sauté the mushrooms in oil and plenty of salt and pepper, and set aside. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil, and add about ten pieces of gnocchi to the water, one at a time. This may seem tedious, but it is very important to add one at a time to prevent sticking. Once the gnocchi float to the top, spoon them out with a slotted spoon and place in a serving dish. Continue until all pieces have floated to the top and are cooked. Top with your favorite sauce, add the mushrooms, and enjoy!
BRAISED PORK RIBS WITH CHESTNUT AND SHIITAKE MUSHROOM
650g pork ribs (ask your butcher to cut them into small pieces for you)
250g pre-cooked chestnut
160g fresh Shiitake mushroom
1 small onion, peeled and roughly chopped
3 sticks spring onion (2 sticks for cooking and 1 for garnish), cut into 4-5cm pieces
1 piece thumb size ginger, cut into thick slices
1 cinnamon stick
2 star anise
4 black peppercorns
1 bay leaf
2 tbsp. oyster sauce
2 tbsp. tamari or soy sauce (plus more to taste)
1 tbsp. Shaoxing rice wine
1 teaspoon brown sugar
1 tsp. corn starch, dissolved in 2 tsp. water
Blanch the ribs in boiling water for a couple of minutes, then drain and rinse with cold water. Set aside.
Heat a tablespoon of vegetable oil in a heavy bottom sauce pan or casserole. Fry the onion, spring onions and ginger on medium heat until onions start to soften. Add the ribs and brown them for about a minute. Pour the water and all the other ingredients, except the chestnut and mushroom, into the casserole and bring to boil.
Turn down the heat to low when boiling, and let it simmer for an hour with the lid on. Check and stir occasionally during cooking. After one hour, the meat should be tender but not too soft. Add the chestnut and mushroom to the ribs, and turn the heat up to medium and cook for another 15 minutes, uncovered.
The sauce should have reduced by half. Taste and season with more tamari if needed. Then slowly drizzle the cornstarch mixture into the casserole and stir continuously until the sauce is thick and smooth. Remove from heat and add the remaining spring onion pieces to the ribs. Transfer to a serving platter and serve with steamy jasmine rice.