I've been thoroughly enjoying Land of Plenty, and I feel like I've only scratched the surface of this cookbook. I particularly appreciated learning about new traditional ingredients, many of which would have been hard to find when I first started trying my hand at Chinese cuisine — and even if I had found them, the available cookbooks, generally speaking, did not use them.
We've tried 20-some recipes, and there were only one or two that we did not care for (for example, the Cauliflower with Smoky Bacon, but I did overcook the cauliflower and overcooked cauliflower is less than great). So many untried recipes remain yet bookmarked with little slips of paper. Boiled Aromatic Peanuts, which Joe hopes will be similar to the peanuts we had at Chung King. And then there's the sweet corn kernels with green pepper that we are both hoping is similar to a dish we had a Sichuan restaurant in Beijing, but I'm waiting until the summer when we can get corn fresh from the harvest before trying that one. I have a few Asian eggplants in my refrigerator that will be destined for either the "dry-fried" or the "fish-fragrant" in our near future. (I've already tried the stuffed eggplant fritters.) And there's also lotus root in sweet and sour sauce, and I've never cooked with lotus root before. (We have several of those in our refrigerator right now too.) And then, because I love to see how these dishes contrast with what's found in American Chinese restaurants, there are the beef with tangerine peel and the sweet and sour pork. I tend to think of the latter, especially, as an American dish but I know it's based on dishes that are authentic to China.
So many dishes and so little time!
But there's really only so much one can (and should) share from a single cookbook! (If you've liked the look of these recipes, I encourage you to check out the book.) As a final (for now) farewell to Land of Plenty, I will give with this one last recipe because it would seem cruel to leave only the picture...