Musical pairing – Waiting For The Sun by Future Loop Foundation
No matter how well you plan something, “stuff” happens, and never is this more true than when traveling. When we made a quick 3-day trip to Salt Lake City back in May, our intentions were to see our granddaughter, meet Maria and Josh from TwoPeasAndTheirPod, and check out some local culinary establishments – quite a bit for 3 short days. The Professor takes great pride in planning our trips and he does a fantastic job. In his Internet research wizardry, he also found that the Viking Cooking School in Salt Lake City offers some pretty fantastic cooking classes. Our first cooking class together was during our trip to Charleston, SC in March and was a blast – besides, this cooking class would be about Dim Sum!
Our class started at 10 a.m. on our last day in Salt Lake City and in fact, our plane was scheduled to leave within a couple of hours after the class ended. Now – this all looked good on paper, but after 2 days and 1 night with an active 5 year old and a whirlwind tour of all that downtown Salt Lake has to offer, (all while being two time zones away from the comforts of home) our Dim Sum class didn’t seem quite as charming.
Rather than skipping the class (which we seriously considered), we persevered and headed to the Viking Showroom on our last day. And boy, oh boy, are we glad we did! Besides a remarkable facility, the staff was absolutely incredible! We not only learned some basic techniques on making Dim Sum, we got to sit down and eat the rewards of our hard work (so maybe the work wasn’t that hard . . .) and made some great new friends in the process – who have promised to take us on a ‘foodie tour’ the next time we’re in town – SCORE!
The biggest surprise was the tour of the garden that the staff had started in the back parking lot of the building. It’s a great example of how you can grow quite a bit in very little space – and be sure to check out the ‘tool caddy’ Chef Diane is standing next to in the video! Surrounded by an asphalt parking lot, the raised beds contained many of the ingredients that Viking Cooking School would be using this summer for their classes – and they have plans to expand their growing space in the coming years. (For another example: look at what the Dervaes family has done with just one-half acre next to the freeway in Los Angeles – wow!)
The icing on the cake was the lovely care package of leftover Dim Sum that the staff sent with as we headed for the airport. After turning in the rental car and enduring airport security, we found out our flight was delayed FOUR HOURS – that meant we finally crawled in bed at 3am!!! But you know what? That leftover Dim Sum came in handy as we greedily devoured it in lieu of crappy airport food. And yes, “stuff” does happen . . . but, if you relax and just go with it, you may be pleasantly surprised . . . and then some!
Do you have a favorite Dim Sum – either make-at-home or restaurant?
CHINESE BROCCOLI W/OYSTER SAUCE
Viking Cooking School, Salt Lake City (used with permission)
1 to 1-1/2 lbs Chinese Broccoli (can substitute Broccolini)
¼ Cup Oyster Sauce
1 Tablespoon Rice Wine or Dry Sherry
½ teaspoon Sugar
1 teaspoon Toasted Sesame Oil
4 Quarts Water
2 teaspoons Kosher Salt
Toasted Sesame Seeds for Garnish
Wash the broccoli (or broccolini) thoroughly in cold water; remove and discard the tough botton ends of the stalks. If the stalks are thick and tough, peel the stalks as you would for tough, thick asparagus spears. Cut the broccoli into 2-inch pieces and set aside.
FOR THE SAUCE: Combine the Oyster sauce, rice wine (or sherry), sugar and sesame oil in a small saucepan over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil; cook until the sauce reduces by about one-third – about 5-8 minutes. Remove sauce from heat and set aside.
Bring water and salt to boil in a medium saucepan over high heat; add the broccoli (or broccolini) and return to boil. Remove from heat and let stand for 1 to 2 minutes – the broccoli should be crisp-tender but not soggy.
Drain and shake off excess water; pat dry with kitchen or paper towels. Transfer the broccoli to a serving platter. Pour a generous amount of sauce over the broccoli; garnish with toasted sesame seeds and serve immediately.