If you love spicy Chinese food, you’ve probably wondered how
to make chili oil—that fiery condiment that’s ubiquitous in Sichuan
restaurants. This spicy hot oil is drizzled over dishes at the table and also
used as an ingredient in many dishes.
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People assume that since I’m a freelance food writer, I must eat amazing meals—like the heirloom tomato sandwich with homemade herb mayonnaise pictured above—all the time. The truth is a bit more dismal. Lunch usually involves snacking on random leftovers (if I’m lucky) while hunched over my computer at my dining room table (which doubles as my office). Plus, I don’t even have any coworkers to discuss the latest Duggar scandal with. So when someone invites me to lunch at a cooking school, I say yes. Twice this summer I’ve been to events that involved eating delicious food (including the aforementioned herb mayonnaise, see recipe below) and engaging in fascinating conversation (about food mostly, not the Duggars) at the San Francisco Cooking School.
Have you noticed, attentive readers, how much I love smoked fish? (Permit me to introduce into evidence Exhibit A and Exhibit B.) This is because smoked fish has a very delicious flavor! For lack of a more articulate explanation!
A few weeks ago, a multi-block power failure compromised the menu of the blowout cocktail party my mother was about to start cooking for.
Mom’s next-door neighbor, Marsha, came to the rescue by contributing this delicacy, which requires no electricity to prepare.
I am in no way using hyperbole when I say that I could eat this smoked trout spread every minute of every day forever.
It makes me wish I were a circus seal in training at a really nice circus where they reward obedient seals with this spread, on baguette slices, with a glass of wine.
And a crisp green salad. And the seals live in luxury hotel rooms with an ocean view, spotless bathrooms, and cable TV. That would be cool.