At last, the last minute…

On a short day with Mr. Client I do minimal housekeeping and maximum organizing. He is leaving for Hong Kong tomorrow and my job will turn from Personal Chef to Personal Assistant. He is meeting with 3 friends for dinner and initially tells me I will not need to cook. At 3:30pm he queries his guests to see if the wouldn’t mind coming to his house rather than going out. I scramble to put together two small plates menus for him to choose from. One is tapas, the other is dim sum for dinner. At 4:15pm Mr. Client asks me to prepare the latter. And so it begins….6:30pm is ETA.
My menu has one cheat… frozen, ready made dumplings of pork, scallion, and leeks. Those will be last to prepare.
First priority will be thawing and marinating chicken for Satay with peanut dipping sauce. I quickly make the sauce from scratch with dry roasted peanuts, lime juice, canola oil, chili/garlic paste, and a little tamari soy.
Second priority will be thawing, trimming, and marinating pork chops to make a knockoff of Chinese Barbecued pork. I cannot get the bright red color so expected in this dish because there is no food coloring in this kitchen. Instead, I concentrate on a flavorful marinade of soy, tomato, chili garlic paste, a special red pepper blend from China, paprika and Chinese vinegar.
Now for the final dish, Singapore Noodles with shrimp and chicken, I begin by boiling angel hair pasta, while thawing my shrimp and chicken. I chop scallions and I beat one egg for my mise en place. To assemble, I fry the egg quickly in the wok with a little canola oil, and chop ii up as it cooks. I now add some scallions, the drained cooked pasta, the chopped chicken and the shrimp and hot curry powder, some chicken stock and stir fry like crazy! Flip, flip, turn until all is mixed. More scallions, some chili garlic paste, a little soy sauce. Ready.
Once the dumplings are boiled I throw them directly into a bowl with a little soy sauce and canola oil so they won’t stick together and to help flavor them. I put together a dipping sauce for them with tamari soy sauce, lime and scallions. I will assemble them for eating later.
Now it is time to cook the pork in a covered dish in the oven. Pork in.
I thread the chicken strips on skewers that have been soaked in water and get those into the oven as well.
I want to serve fresh fruit for “dessert” so I cut up oranges and sprinkle with Saigon cinnamon. Lastly, I dice mango and slice a couple bananas and stir together.
Everything is prepared on time by 6:30pm. Mr. Client asks me to stick around a little longer to allow he and his guests to talk and have cocktails, so of course I oblige. Here is how it all turned out…..

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