ASIAN CUISINE - WINTER 2007
WHAT'S COOKING WITH KURT
Oh, boy! Here comes a brand-new year with 365 days of great adventures! Add culinary discoveries to your wish list of 2007 experiences and let Pasta & Co help you taste a few. To kick off winter in culinary style, we looked to Asia for inspiration. Clean, pure flavors are the name of the game in this part of the world—just right for cleansing the palate after all that holiday feasting. Seasoned with ginger, garlic, peppers, fish sauce, soy sauce, teriyaki and more, from Japan to China, Thailand, Vietnam and Indonesia, Asian cuisines offer a range of exciting flavors. And fresh, fresh, fresh is the mantra of Asian cooks. That philosophy exactly matches ours at Pasta & Co. Everything we prepare is made from the freshest ingredients available with no preservatives or additives. The same holds true for our sister companies, Beecher’s Handmade Cheese and Bennett’s Pure Food Bistro. Join us to make pure, boldly flavored food one of your everyday pleasures in the coming year.
Yours in good taste,
THE FLAVORS OF ASIA
From the floating market and food stalls of Bangkok to the sophisticated regional cuisines of China developed over 7,000 years, to Japan’s highly-stylized cooking and presentation methods, to the hybrid cuisines of Vietnam, Cambodia, and Malaysia developed from local traditions and foreign colonialists, with the islands of Indonesia and the Philippines in between, Asian cuisine is diverse and fascinating. Every country has its own cooking style yet all Asian cooks religiously follow the “fresh is best” rule, and believe in the link between good food and good health. Local markets and nearby farms make it possible to find fresh ingredients on a daily basis, even in large cities.
Harmony, balance—yin and yang, sweet and sour, hot and spicy with cool—and contrasting textures are also important in Asian cuisine. Presentation and aesthetic arrangements are valued, particularly in Thailand and Japan, where tradition links gastronomic pleasure to visual appearance. Everywhere, special dishes are prepared to celebrate holidays such as the Lunar New Year (The Year of the Boar begins February 18, 2007) and various formal family and religious events. We invite you to add new tastes and flavors to your winter meals and explore these intriguing culinary principles with Pasta & Co’s Asian-themed dishes.
INSPIRED BY ASIA: NEW WINTER DELI ITEMS
So many exciting Asian flavors and dishes to choose from! To give you new taste experiences, we’ve picked the best of the best. As always, our deli dishes are conveniently ready to take home and eat. All you’ll need to add is a bowl of rice, chopsticks (check out our easy-to-use CHEATER CHOPSTICKS) or a fork.
As main meal items, we’re offering tasty chicken, beef or pork dishes. HONEY-SOY GLAZED CHICKEN WINGS balance sweet and savory flavors with a zesty marinade of soy sauce, honey, lemon juice, a little sugar, red chili flakes, garlic and pepper. Marinated overnight, then high-heat roasted to a burnished bronze, these wings will make a super appetizer at all those January bowl games. Or choose RED PINE CHICKEN, named for its appealing tawny appearance. Boneless, skinless chicken breasts are pounded flat and layered with ground pork, and then poached in soy sauce, fresh ginger, dry sherry and star anise before being braised to a succulent hue.
Several Pasta & Co Asian chicken favorites are returning this season. There’s CHOP CHOP CHICKEN, a savory mixture of ground chicken breast meat mixed with soy sauce, chopped water chestnuts and green onions, and then stir-fried. It’s a winner spooned over rice or wrapped in a lettuce cup. THAI BBQ CHICKEN is also back by popular demand. Marinated with a medley of Asian seasonings including garlic, turmeric, fish sauce, curry and cilantro, it’s grilled until golden. Try it drizzled with savory MAE PLOY DIPPING SAUCE or one of our new Asian pantry condiments, TOI THAI SIDE SAUCE.
You can also build a terrific winter meal around BEIJING BROIL. For this dish, tender London broil slices are marinated several hours in soy sauce, dry sherry, fresh ginger, minced garlic, and red peppers, and then grilled to medium rare. Serve this savory beef with steamed rice and vegetables for an authentic Asian feast.
We rounded out our Asian deli menu with SWEET AND SOUR PORK, a standard at every festive Chinese meal. For this dish, medallions of pork tenderloin are sautéed with red and green peppers and onions, then glazed with a tangy-sweet, pineapple-based sauce. Since pork is a mainstay in many Chinese dishes, we’re also serving ROASTED PORK TENDERLOIN WITH CHINESE GINGER-LEMON SAUCE. Another traditional dish, it features sliced pork marinated with ginger, lemon juice, garlic, sherry and green onions and is served with a zippy sauce made from added chicken stock, lemon juice and lemon zest.
If you’re in the mood for noodles, we have you covered. Try CHAPCHAE, our version of a traditional Korean dish. It features cellophane noodles with Chinese broccoli stems and florets, shiitake mushrooms and julienne carrots tossed in a sauce of garlic, ginger, soy and sesame oil.
Vegetable fans will also enjoy CHINESE LONG BEANS WITH ROASTED GARLIC or GAI LAN, a dish combining blanched stems and tiny florets of Chinese broccoli seasoned with garlic and finished with a light dressing of nutty sesame oil.
THE ASIAN PANTRY
While condiments are important in Asian cooking, we narrowed our focus to reflect the Pasta & Co philosophy of offering only clean, pure food products. You’ll want to stock up on KERALA CURRY CORIANDER CHUTNEY. Finally! A pure, all-natural coriander chutney that will make chicken and pork sing when paired with its sweet spice flavors. Along with this terrific chutney, you’ll also want TOI THAI SIDE SAUCE and TOI ALL-PURPOSE PHAD THAI SAUCE in your cupboard. The complex yet clear sweet-tangy flavors of these sauces was so tantalizing that our Culinary Council wanted soup spoons for tasting.
We also discovered some terrific sustainably farmed, organic teas from TRELEELA. We’re introducing VISIONARY, a green chai tea, and INSIGHT, a mai chai tea. Both are whole leaf teas packed in pull-apart tea bags designed to fully brew aromatic, earthy cups of refreshing tea.
And if chopsticks have always been a challenge, our CHEATER CHOPSTICKS are just for you (or the small people in your family). A cross between a fork and chopsticks, they make eating Asian food easy and fun.
TREAT YOUR SWEETHEART AT HOME
If dining out in a restaurant on Valentine’s Day with dozens of other couples isn’t your idea of a romantic evening, we have a terrific alternative. Order Pasta & Co’s elegant dinner for two and enjoy a relaxed, intimate evening at home on February 14th with your significant other. Our PRIX FIXE SURF & TURF DINNER is available January 1 through February 13 for February 14 pick-up. We’ll prepare a superb, restaurant-quality meal for two that’s easy for you to assemble, heat and serve. The menu includes Beef Tenderloin and Scallop and Prawn Brochettes accompanied by Potatoes Fleuron and Snap Peas with Roasted Butternut Squash. Our seductive Pyramid Cake – chocolate cake layered with raspberry mousse and glazed with rich chocolate – makes a sweet finale. Say the word and we’ll add your choice of wine or bubbly to complete your Valentine’s Day dinner.
EVERYTHING YOU EVER WANTED TO KNOW ABOUT ASIAN CUISINE
This is one cookbook you’ll want to study as well as cook from. The Complete Asian Cooking Companion by Vicky Liley captures the great diversity of Asian cuisine from appetizers and rice dishes, to noodles, sushi, seafood, and vegetables, as well as drinks and desserts. It includes authentic recipes steeped in history along with contemporary classics and those reflecting the ultramodern fusion of East and West. Full of wondrous flavors and textures, the recipes are healthy, using fresh ingredients, and easy to prepare—true to the Asian culinary philosophy.