Young, Stormy Lust

We feel like we’re an intimate part of the NYTimes and the WaPo news these days. Whether the news is about Grace Young, or Stormy Daniels, or Erika Lust, we’re – at the very most – one handshake or Facetime away from them – and fame!

If you’ve read our blog for long, you know that both Andy and I are intrigued by the “one handshake away” rule. We’re one handshake away from Jennifer Lopez, Bob Dylan and Winston Churchill. How utterly cool can we be? Andy, however, is not always cool. See today’s Andy’s Corner.

But this “one handshake” doesn’t take into account the new world of Facetime and Zoom. Can we count them? For example, if our daughter, Sara, is on a one-to-one Facetime with Erika Lust, are we the equivalent of one handshake away from Ms Lust? Did I hear you say you haven’t heard of her – and what’s the big deal? Well, as linked above, there’s this from the NYTimes, an article about Lust’s “Alternative Porn Vision.”

Before you go crazy wondering why Sara was Facetiming with Erika, rest assured there is a simple and nonsexual answer: Sara interviewed her for a new magazine, Mother Tongue, which Sara’s LA friends have launched. The article is about how to teach your children about porn – since they are bound to stumble upon it during their hours – and hours – of screen time. Ms Lust even has a website, The Porn Conversation, devoted to her approach to this disconcerting issue. I’m SO glad I raised my kids before the internet took hold!

Erika Lust

Now I probably never really shook hands with her, but surely I can count Stormy Daniels as even LESS than one handshake away. After all, she was a student (and known then as Stephanie Clifford) in my Scotlandville Magnet H.S Civics class in Baton Rouge – and I take credit for any kudos she got from the press on her ability to hold up to Michael Avenatti’s cross-examination. Avenatti, of course, then got convicted for swindling poor Stormy out of the proceeds from her book about her tryst (or possible tryst) with Donald Trump. 🙂

Stormy Daniels as photographed by Annie Leibovitz for Vogue, October 2018

After the “Stormy Lust” connections, Grace Young is a breath of fresh and wholesome air! Sara first met Grace years ago, not by Facetiming or Zooming – but the old-fashioned (dare I say “better”?) way – a one-on-one interview for a magazine article Sara was writing about Grace and her cookbooks. And then we were fortunate enough to get to have dinner with Grace and Sara in NYC.

If you ever need help with stir-frying or using a wok, Grace is your go-to. Grace’s first cookbook, The Wisdom of the Chinese Kitchen, was published in 1999, but her most acclaimed cookbooks are probably The Breath of a Wok, published in 2004, followed by 2010’s Stir-frying to the Sky’s Edge. I recommend you visit Grace’s website. I know you’ll be as impressed as I am with all she’s accomplished in the world of cooking.

But that’s the old (or young?) Grace Young. The Grace Young who is all over the news today is all about saving the Chinatowns – and Japantowns and Koreatowns and LittleSaigons. As the Coronavirus shut down restaurants all over the country, the restaurants of Manhattan’s Chinatown were possibly even harder hit. The anti-Asian sentiment – sadly – also impacted the situation. In an effort to boost public awareness of their dire straits, Grace recorded a series of interviews with NYC Chinatown’s restaurant folks, entitled Coronavirus: Chinatown Stories. The press coverage of this has been fabulous, including this article in the Smithsonian Mag. And Grace is fabulous. I’m in “Young Love!” (If you don’t get our “friends and family” email that precedes our blog, you won’t appreciate this :). If you’d like to be put on that email list, let us know, by clicking Contact in the upper right and filling it out. We promise not to share your email with anyone because we don’t know how to!)

Grace Young

We’re sharing two of Grace’s stir-fry recipes, one easily-made vegetarian and one with beef. They’re both to “lust” after!

Grace Young’s Vegetable Lo Mein

Vegetable Lo Mein

A few suggestions: to make this vegetarian, you can substitute soy sauce, hoisin sauce, or the Vegetarian Stir-fry Sauce from Lee Kum Kee for the oyster sauce.  And you might have the lo mein once as a meatless meal, and then consider a quick warm-up later with some chopped rotisserie chicken.  Maybe add a little Chile Crisp.  Two for one!  Adapted from Grace Young’s Wisdom of the Chinese Kitchen

  • 4 Chinese Dried Mushrooms (I used a 2.7 oz pkg dried shiitakes)
  • 12 oz Napa cabbage leaves, which will be between 6-12 leaves, depending upon size of the cabbage head
  • 12-16 oz Chinese fresh egg noodles (fresh fettuccine may be substituted)
  • 1 T sesame oil
  • 2 T soy sauce
  • 3 T vegetable oil
  • 1 T finely minced ginger
  • 1 c julienned carrots (I was lazy and just shredded mine but julienning is preferred)
  • 2 scallions, finely shredded
  • 1 T-2T oyster flavored sauce (be picky about your oyster sauce. Grace says Lee Kum Kee Premium is a go-to; see the note above if you’re wanting to make this vegetarian)
  • Chili Crisp for topping (optional)

In a medium bowl, soak the mushrooms in 1/4 cup cold water for 30 minutes, or until softened. Drain and squeeze dry, reserving soaking liquid. Cut off and discard stems and thinly slice the caps. Wash the cabbage leaves and drain in a colander until dry to touch. Trim 1/4 inch from the stem end of the cabbage leaves and discard. Stack 2 to 3 cabbage leaves at a time and cut crosswise into 1/4-inch-wide shreds.

In a 4-quart saucepan, bring about 2 quarts of water to a boil over high heat. Add noodles , return to a rolling boil, and boil 2 to 3 minutes. Rinse under cold water and drain the noodles thoroughly. Transfer to a medium bowl, add sesame oil and 1 tablespoon soy sauce, and mix well. Set aside.

Heat a 14-inch flat-bottomed wok or skillet over high heat until hot but not smoking. Add 1 tablespoon vegetable oil and ginger, and stir-fry 20 seconds. Add the cabbage, carrots, scallions, and mushrooms, and stir-fry 1 minute, or until vegetables are just limp. Transfer vegetables to a plate.

Add the mushroom soaking liquid and the noodles and stir-fry 2-3 minutes, or until the noodles are heated through. Add the cooked carrot mixture, noodles, and reserved mushroom soaking liquid, and stir-fry 2 to 3 minutes.

Stir in the remaining 1 tablespoon soy sauce and oyster sauce and toss to combine. Serve immediately.

Recipe brought to you by BigLittleMeals.com and Andy and Ann.

Grace Young’s Stir-Fried Ginger Beef

Stir-Fried Ginger Beef

Adapted from Grace Young’s Stir-Frying to the Sky’s Edge. Note that this only serves 2 but is easily doubled.

  • 12 ounces lean flank steak
  • 1 T minced fresh ginger
  • 1 1/2 tsp soy sauce
  • 1 tsp plus 1 T shao hsing rice wine or dry sherry (divided)
  • 1 tsp cornstarch (I usually omit the cornstarch)
  • 1/2 tsp Diamond kosher salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp plus 1 T peanut or vegetable oil (divided)
  • 1-2 T oyster sauce
  • 1/4 cup sliced pickled ginger (about 1 ounce), squeezed with paper towels and roughly chopped
  • 4 green onions, slivered and cut into 2-inch sections

Cut the beef with the grain into 2-inch-wide strips. Cut each strip across the grain into 1/4-inch-thick slices (partially freezing the meat first makes it easier to slice). In a medium bowl combine the beef, fresh ginger, soy sauce, 1 teaspoon of the rice wine, cornstarch, salt and pepper. Stir to combine. Stir in 1 teaspoon of the oil. In a small bowl, combine the oyster sauce and the remaining 1 tablespoon rice wine.

Heat a 14-inch flat-bottomed wok or 12-inch skillet over high heat until a bead of water vaporizes within 1 to 2 seconds of contact. Swirl in the remaining 1 tablespoon oil, carefully add the beef and spread it evenly in one layer in the wok. Cook undisturbed 1 minute, letting the beef begin to sear. Then, using a metal spatula, stir-fry 30 seconds to 1 minute or until the beef is lightly browned but not cooked through. Swirl the oyster sauce mixture into the wok, add the pickled ginger and green onions, and stir-fry 30 seconds to 1 minute or until the beef is just cooked through and the pickled ginger is well distributed.

Recipe brought to you by BigLittleMeals.com and Andy and Ann.

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