Fire Escape Sweet and Sour

Supper Club Number: 
98
Date: 
Fri, 03/26/2010
Chef: 
david ve
Host: 
dave k
Host: 
josh k
Menu: 

David's menu:

Marinated tofu with scallions
Sweet-sour fried fish on rice
Coconut pudding with maple syrup

Dinner Description: 

What I said:
Hello! Thanks go out this week to both Davids and both Keays. Thanks to David for cooking, and especially for cooking that tofu and for barbecuing on the fire escape. Menu above. Thanks to Dave and Josh for hosting. I apologize to any of you who may have mistakenly touched the cursed mirror.

What Supper Club said:
David prepared for us a meal in the traditional three courses. Despite the distinctly American decor in his host's apartment, he brought with him the taste of the orient. Dinner started at the customary 10 PM with a round of tofu in a sweet sesame marinade. The secret? Freeze the tofu before marinating it, which makes it a bit spongier and better suited to soaking up the goodness. Each slice of tofu was seared until golden, with a sliver of scallion balanced gingerly atop, both to provide color and texture. Guests who were not partial to members of the onion family could choose to use the scallion as either a toothpick or a piece of floss, or both.

The tofu teaser was followed by a cooking technique which could legally be considered reckless endangerment, if not premeditated murder — specifically, the preparation of fish in a vat of boiling oil perched precariously on a fire escape (situated above a bar replete with smokers lingering out front). David performed this perilous act with the cavalier nonchalance that only a Dutchman can display, fearlessly clambering in and out of the guillotine-style window. The fish (a haddock, if I do recall) emerged tender, slightly golden and presumably parasite free. But what then? How is it possible to prepare an adequate amount of fried fish for a hungry army of fifteen? Supplements would be required, and indeed, they were supplied in the form of a vegetable-laden sauce, also displaying the telltale Dutch-Asian semi-sweet flavor. Served atop a bed of rice, the guests consumed it with gusto — in no time flat the food was gone, leaving us only mildly comatose and soon hankering for the coup de gras.

It came in the form of a coconut custard, baked in an Chinese rice bowl, flipped over and served with aplomb. The portions were generous, though our intrepid band made do. Those who failed to consume their entire desert were mercilessly reprimanded and sent home with slumped shoulders. To forfeit membership in the clean plate club to a dessert? There is no greater shame than this. - josh k

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