Have you cut back on dining out to save money? If so, you aren’t alone. According to the Commerce Department’s Bureau of Economic Analysis, fourth quarter 2008 consumer food spending met its steepest decline in half a century. However, despite financial woes, you can still enjoy restaurant-caliber meals at home and save a bundle. Chef Philippe Chow, owner of his namesake New York-based restaurant Philippe – a hot spot for celebrities – shares three of his signature Asian-style dishes so you can dine on a celebrity meal that doesn’t bust your budget.
A popular restaurant for the “who’s who” Hollywood crowd, Philippe restaurant – which has locations in NYC, Miami and Mexico City – is frequented by celebrities, such as George Clooney, Star Jones, Beyonce, Anne Hathaway, Alicia Keys, Paris Hilton, Mariah Carey and many others.
The menu at Chef Philippe’s restaurants boasts a delectable array of contemporary Chinese dishes including Shark Fin Soup, Crunchy Duck Salad, Maine Lobster Spring Rolls, a variety of succulent satays with Chef Chow’s famous cream sauce, mouthwatering noodle dishes, dumplings, and many entrees featuring seafood and poultry. The atmosphere at Philippe is minimalist, stylish and inviting for the rich and famous, but is just as accessible for those who simply want to sit down to an impressive – possibly celebrity-studded – dinner.
Celebrity recipes by Chef Philippe Chow
If you can’t visit Philippe, you can still savor a Philippe-style meal with the following recipes. You can also visit PhilippeChow.com and watch Chef Chow in action with his cooking class videos. As a side, just reading the Philippe menu will inspire you to create a restaurant-quality dining experience at home.
Chef Chow’s Beijing Chicken
2 chicken breasts cut into 1-inch cubes
1/2 cup sweet bean paste (found in the Asian section of your supermarket)
1 tablespoon water
Soybean oil for frying
Walnuts for garnish
Dredge chicken in flour and shake off excess. Deep fry chicken in soybean oil at temperature of 375 degrees F until golden brown. Drain and set aside. Heat sweet bean paste in pan or wok with water until hot. Toss chicken in wok until coated and serve immediately.
Philippe 9 Seasoned Spicy Prawns
Serves 1 to 2
9 large prawns
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon white pepper
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
2 Thai dried chili peppers, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup vinegar
2 tablespoons sugar
Dash of salt
Optional: Rice to serve and minced fresh green vegetable such as scallions to garnish.
1. Peel and devein the prawns, then place in a bowl with salt, white pepper, egg, cornstarch and vegetable oil. Mix together and then let sit in a cool place to marinate for about 30 minutes. Deep fry shrimp in hot oil for about 2 minutes or until golden brown. Drain the oil from the prawns.
2. In a hot wok, add just enough oil to coat the wok. Add chili peppers and minced garlic, then cook until soft, about 10 seconds (may take slightly longer depending on how hot your wok is). Add the vinegar, sugar and salt to the hot wok and cook until the sauce thickens. Add prawns to the wok, coat and then serve on a platter for sharing. You can garnish with freshly minced green scallions and serve with rice.
Chef Chow’s Chinese Hand-Pulled Noodles
If you’ve made your own pasta, you’ll like making these hand-pulled noodles. For best results, purchase Chinese flour at your local Asian market or in the Asian section of your supermarket. Chinese flour has more gluten than American flour, which makes it more elastic and helps it stretch more easily.
2 pounds Chinese flour
1 cup water
Small amount of vegetable oil
Your choice of stir-fried Chinese noodles
Your favorite stir-fry sauce or another Asian-style sauce
1. Combine the flour and water in a large bowl. Pound and knead the flour firmly until it becomes a dough. This takes about 5 minutes. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate overnight.
2. Oil a wood table or plank lightly with vegetable oil. Stretch the dough into a tube shape. Fold over and stretch, then take that and pound and shape it onto the wooden surface. Stretch and twist in your hands, in a loop, several times to release the gluten.
3. Once it is springy, lay the loop on the wooden table and fold it in two. Hold it up in your hands, and fold it into two, doubling it. Then lay this on the table, and repeat, doubling the number of strands again. While holding up the dough, repeat the motion until you have many strands of what are now noodles in your hands.
4. Stretch them out, and cut the ends off. Boil in a large pot of water for a few minutes, and then serve with your choice of Chinese vegetables and sauce.
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