a day of two soups

in spite of my determination to be freed of the tyranny of my leftovers, i found myself once again scouring the fridge this morning. only because i was tired of spending so much money on lunch, i swear.

fortunately for me, all i found was a half-bowl of potato chowder, which gave me a perfect excuse to bring the soup and indulge in a grilled cheese sandwich for lunch (which i guess isn't quite the same as getting to leave the gun, but bring the cannoli...).

however, coming home tonight and finding my apartment just as freezing cold as it usually is on a winter's night, i decided to heat up a simple miso soup (a la nigel slater) while i stir-fried out of the exquisite kylie kwong's simple chinese cooking.

the problem was merely that i dumped too much miso in the mug, convinced that it couldn't be nearly as simple as nigel claimed--"heat water, and stir in a teaspoon of miso paste."

kylie's book has been getting a lot of press, including my local daily, the washington post, which did this entire rave dance about her stir-fried chicken with cashews and how revolutionary (not to mention delicious) it is.

revolutionary, maybe. delicious? the jury is still out. the revolution springs from her lack of a classic chinese-restaurant style brown sauce for the chicken. i did like the lightness of the marinade--just some shaoxing wine mixed with a few drops of water and some cornstarch--but as i ate the shaoxing-drenched chicken (extra shaoxing having been added during the frying process), i realized that i miss the thickness and flavor of a brown sauce. as much as i might ridicule the sameness of a lot of marinades--shaoxing, oyster sauce, a swirl of sesame oil and some cornstarch to thicken--i love that texture and the way it clings to the ingredients.

sorry, kylie.
maybe we'll have better luck next time.

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