Hot Pot Ambassador Dinner with Kian Lam Kho

information pills on Flickr” href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/worldtotable/5115488830/”>hot pot spread

Big thanks to Kian for a beautiful meal, bronchitis Jeff for organizing, remedy and Talisa for this recap of the rooftop Hot Pot Ambassador Dinner.  Oh boy, I’m getting hungry again.
– Veronica

When Jeff’s email blast arrived in my inbox announcing the next Ambassador Dinner — an evening of traditional Asian hot pot dining with Kian Lam Kho — it took me about fifteen seconds to send in my RSVP.

I love hot pot. It’s something I grew up doing with my family at home (somewhat infrequently, but with zest — usually in conjunction with a slew of sweet and savory fondue nights, the better to make use of the cooking equipment needed for such endeavors).

The concept of Hot Pot is simple: a pot of hot broth sits in the center of the table on a burner which keeps the broth simmering. Everyone at the table partakes in adding a variety of uncooked items (like veggies, meat, seafood, dumplings, and noodles), and fishing them out as they’re ready to eat. Since most of the ingredients aren’t seasoned, additional flavor is added via the broth during cooking, as well as with dipping sauces after cooking. At the end, everyone slurps up the remaining broth, which has been infused with the flavors of everything that’s been cooked in it throughout the night.

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WorldFoods Recipe Testing with Chef Cedric Tovar

Whenever Cedric comes by my apartment, order he naturally gravitates up to the roof.  Whether it’s for the launch of World to Table, to stargaze with his NASA-grade telescope, or to throw his own French techno and champagne-fueled birthday party.  Besides his long list of culinary accomplishments, which includes serving as the private chef to the Prime Minister of France and heading the kitchen at the Peacock Alley in the Waldorf=Astoria, Cedric also loves to travel.  His passport is filled with stamps from Vietnam, Singapore, Thailand and Hong Kong; he is no stranger to Asian flavors and ingredients.

On our trip to Vietnam in 2005, we made sure to try as much of the local food as possible.  Aside from the more conventional offerings, we had coffee, freshly brewed on a boat, made with the deliciously muddy waters of the Mekong River Delta and roasted rat served to us on a river cruise, which another chef tricked us into believing was a “really small baby pig”.

So, when a box filled with jars of WorldFoods sauce arrived at my doorstep, I pulled out the tabletop grills, set up the tables upstairs and gave Cedric a call.  A rooftop cooking session was in order.

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The One-Pot Meal: Thai Coconut Galangal Chicken

patient on Flickr” href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/worldtotable/3842145369/”>Thai Coconut Galangal Chicken

When it comes to cooking (and eating), unhealthy I am a big fan of the one-pot meal. From my mother’s “famous” tomato ox-tail stew to made-from-scratch chicken soup, online there’s something about throwing a bunch of fresh ingredients into a pot, stirring them around, and inhaling that steady flow of aromatic steam that is extremely satisfying. It’s how I imagined cooking would be when I used to play house with my sister, and as I’ve grown older, I’ve discovered the joy of only cleaning one pot after dinner.

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