Sunday night while I was relaxing and channel surfing, I came across Kylie Kwong: Simply Magic on the Discovery Home channel. I think I have seen bits of her show before, but this time I caught most of a whole episode. She's and Australian cook with a Chinese heritage, and for this show she travels around China tasting the food, seeing the sights and meeting the people. Then she takes what she learns home and cooks. The show is very relaxing and slow-paced, with low lighting and Kylie's soft, good-humored speaking. A nice change of pace from all the other food shows, well any tv shows out there.
This episde she made Hot and Sour cucumbers, Soy Sauce Duck and deep fried Tofu. You can see the recipes here. I'd really like to try the duck recipe. It seems simple enough, and great for a lazy Sunday around the house. It's kind of her version of Peking Duck, which she had at a street stall in Shanghai. And she says that the resulting master stock can be used several times for other things, all you have to do is strain it!
The Hot and Sour Cucumbers are on my list to try, also. I think it's similar to the way Jack's mom makes vinegar cucumbers, but with more spice. It's the only way Jack will eat cucumbers. Kylie uses Sichuan Pepper for both the cucumbers and the fried tofu. This is one of the first things that perked my ears up during the show. I had just recently heard about these peppercorns from this entry on the Wandering Chopsticks blog (via tastespotting). Apparently, they have a slightly numbing effect on the tongue, and were banned in the US from 1968 until 2005 (not because of the numbing thing, but because they had been found to carry a bacterial disease that would effect our citrus crop)! So of course, I'm intrigued. Fun!
So, another show to watch, and morebooks to look for at the ol' library. Yay!