One of my favorite things to cook this time of year is this stir-fried roast pork with garlic chives. The garlic chives's raw pungency turns into a sort of garlicky sweetness when cooked and cuts through the richness of the meat very well.
Here are some snack type stuff in the tradition of my mom, who considers snacking absolutely necessary before the New Year feast. From the bottom, we have glazed soy beans, spicy fish cakes, and stewed peanuts.
I love making this five spice ribs at home. The mix of spices perfumes the entire house as the meat slowly tenderizes in the pot. For my spice challenged husband, this is one of those Sichuan dishes he absolutely adores without suffering.
After some food, we got the dumpling making under way and everyone had much fun getting dressed in flour.
Of course, there were some that skipped the hard work and joined my husband for beer instead. :)
Here they are all lined up and ready for cooking. Thanks to everyone who contributed and made this evening memorable.
Also up were slow braised tripe. My favorite for its super tenderness (after long cooking) and it's ability to hold on to the sauce like a sponge.
Mom also made a glass noodle dish (I guess great minds think alike). But she enriched hers with an extra dose of kelp to help us all detox from too much drinking. :)
Also available were these new year sausages that really made me miss my grandma, who always made them when I was growing up. She'd start the process a month before and smoke them in a make shift smoker constructed out of large refrigerator boxes. It was all so fun for us kids.
Dad made his famous dish of four happiness meatballs and fried pork nuggets. My mom always sent him to fry outside in the cold so as to avoid creating too much smoke in the house. He was so glad that this year he gets to do it in Atlanta as oppose to in the frigged air of Cleveland or Baltimore like the past years. :)
Here are about half of the things that we got to cook in the dual hot pot. The other half that couldn't fit on the table were laid out all over the kitchen counter...
Here is a close up of the hot pot. The light colored side contains a seafood based broth punched up with dried scallop essence. The other side is pure Chongqing ma la. Bright red from tons of fried sichuan chilies, spicy soy bean paste, sichuan peppercorn and about ten other spices and larded up with beef tallow, it pretty much numbifies everything it touches and coats one's mouth with a nice layer of pure fatty goodness. Even the husband got really into it despite the pain, which dad was kind enough to help him calm with extra beer.