Feb. 19th, 2011

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19 February 1855 - "Many will complain of my lectures that they are transcendental. “Can’t understand them.” “Would you have us return to the savage state?” etc., etc. A criticism true enough, it may be, from their point of view. But the fact is, the earnest lecturer can speak only to his like, and the adapting of himself to his audience is a mere compliment which he pays them. If you wish to know how I think, you must endeavor to put yourself in my place. If you wish me to speak as if I were you, that is another affair."

Wordles from President Obama's Berlin Speech (July 24,2008)(top) and President Kennedy's Berlin Speech (June 26,1963)(bottom)
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Whenever I ask Dave what he'd like to do for dinner when we're heading out somewhere - his answer is "How about Chinese or Thai" - so I have been trying to hone my wok skills here at home. This recipe brings the Asian flavors that Dave loves together with another favorite, jambalaya.

The recipe is from Deng Mang-Dao's "ZEN - THE ART OF MODERN EASTERN COOKING." Not sure what the seafood counter at the grocer will have in store - so my ingredients might vary a little bit from the one printed below.


  • 8 ounces Chinese pork sausage or other lean sausage
  • 1 pound raw shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 1 pound sea scallops
  • 3 tablespoons light soy sauce, divided
  • 3 tablespoons dry sherry, divided
  • 1 whole chicken breast, skinned, boned and cut into bit-size pieces
  • 5 tablespoons peanut oil
  • 1 onion, finely diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, very finely chopped
  • 2 teaspoons grated fresh ginger
  • 2 pinches powdered saffron
  • 2 cups basmati rice
  • 3 stalks lemongrass, very finely chopped
  • 5 cups chicken or seafood stock
  • 1/2 bunch fresh Thai basil, finely chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper, coarsely diced
  • 2 dozen mussels, cleaned, beards removed
  • 1/2 cup bean sprouts

Cut sausage into 1/4-inch slices. Saute in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat until lightly seared and fat has been rendered. Remove sausage from pan and place it on a paper towel to drain.

In a small bowl, toss shrimp and scallops with 2 tablespoons of the soy sauce and 2 tablespoons of the sherry. In another small bowl, toss chicken with remaining 1 tablespoon each soy sauce and sherry.

In a wok, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add onion; saute until just translucent. Add garlic, ginger and saffron, then add rice and stir to coat well with onion mixture, about 2 to 3 minutes. Add lemongrass.

While stirring, gradually add stock. Turn heat to high; allow stock to come to a boil, then reduce to a medium simmer. Add basil. Cook uncovered 5 minutes. Add chicken, sausage and bell pepper. Cover and simmer 15 minutes. Add shrimp, scallops and mussels, arranging on top of rice mixture. Sprinkle bean sprouts on top of seafood. Cover and cook 5 to 8 minutes until shrimp and scallops are cooked and mussels have opened.

Remove from heat and allow to rest, still covered, 5 minutes. Remove any unopened mussels. Gently toss seafood and sprouts with rice and serve. Makes 6 to 8 servings.

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