Is is strange that in this season of chai tea, pumpkin bread, and apple cider doughnuts, one of the treats I look forward to most is a salad?
This, to me, is the essence of seasonal eating - tender, succulent pears, sliced thickly and laid on a hearty pile of the last salad greens from the garden, scattered with a flurry of dried cranberries, blue cheese, and pecans, and very nearly drenched with a tangy-sweet combination of oil, lemon, and local raw honey.
I'm pretty excited about this post. We're getting into prime vegetable harvest season up here, and these buns, besides being a family favorite, are the perfect companion to a quick stir-fry of fresh garden veggies.
What are char siu bao? Pork or beef, slow-roasted in a sweet-salty Asian marinade, shredded to bits, and wrapped up in a tender steamed bun. In one bite, you get the sweetness of hoisin, the richness of sesame, the saltiness of soy, the pungency of garlic, and the deep caramel taste of well roasted meat. And mellowing the intense flavor of the meat is the bun - fluffy, yet chewy - like the inside of a freshly-baked loaf of bread.
Besides being utterly, addictively delicious, bao are inexpensive, easy to freeze, and quick to reheat. Making them the perfect summer side to whatever veggies are growing in abundance near you.
This is going to be a quick post.* And a simple one. But I'm putting it up because I want to include recipes for basic staples on this site - the sides and condiments that pop up over and over again, making all manner of main dishes shine. I'm also posting this because, well, can I ask a question? I'm sure you've made mashed potatoes, oh, probably more times than you can count. But do you have a recipe? Or do you just do as I did for years and years, and wing it?