This recipe has been adapted from a description in Giuseppe Maffioli’s La cucina padovana, and is probably Ashkenazic in origin.
Long ago, I concluded that the best recipes are almost always simple recipes. If it takes more than a single page to provide cooking instructions, then I usually take a pass. When it comes to Chinese recipes, simplicity is essential. I like to stick to recipes of no more than 3 primary ingredients. In this case, they are the beef, the green onions, and the orange peel. In that way, the ingredients remain distinctive. Except for the time required for marinating the beef, the actual cooking time is very, very brief.
For those a little weary of traditional chicken soup, here is a Middle Eastern variation that is sure to bring a smile to your guests’ faces. It has a few surprises.
Here we have the traditional Chanukah snack, potato pancakes, made with lots of extra zip. Let’s face it—potato pancakes usually derive their flavor from being fried in oil. These latkes have plenty of added flavor; they are fused with Cajun seasonings. This is an inspired combination thanks to Chef Paul Prudhomme. For those who may not wish to combine all the spices, Chef Prudhomme’s Cajun spices are available in most supermarkets, under the “K Paul” brand name.
Almost every Chinese restaurant serves some version of Kung Pao chicken. Most, in my opinion, miss the mark They tend to rely on thick, brown sauce with some spice added and a mélange of various vegetables. I feel that a truly excellent Kung Pao should be much more distinctive. The peanuts should be very fresh. The major ingredients should not be swimming in sauce, but rather flavored by the sauce. I actually use no vegetables except the scallions. The result is a Kung Pao that will knock your socks off with great flavor and texture.