Zaozhuang is in the south of Shandong province, neighbor of Jiangsu province in Eastern China. Zaozhuang is a quaint, relaxed, charming traditional little town. We found some really great Shandong chicken, northern style noodles like zha jian mian (my favorite!), scallion pancakes, refreshing cold dishes and oven-baked flatbreads here. Shandong cuisine (Lu cuisine) is considered the most influential in Chinese cooking. The majority of all Chinese cooking styles all stem from this region.
Shandong chicken is rubbed with spices and honey, then deep fried to golden brown. The birds are then stuffed with ginger, garlic, star anise, Sichuan peppercorns and orange peel. Then braised in a broth seasoned with Chinese herbs, rock sugar, soy sauce and rice wine. It’s delicious served with the reduced braising broth, a slightly vinegary sauce and refreshing marinaded cold cucumber.
We bought these round flat breads from Pine’s and they are delicious eaten with hummus and soft cheeses. One morning, Jesse wanted pizza for breakfast (he always wants pizza), so we decided to experiment with the flat bread. They came out really good, crispy on the bottom and around the edges, and soft in the center. Easy to make and delicious.
2 ripe tomatoes, hand crushed
4 tablespoons chimichurri sauce, recipe as follows
1/4 cup sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
1/4 cup mozzarella cheese, shredded
1 round flat bread
Freshly ground black pepper
Preheat oven to 400° F / 200° C. Spread chimichurri sauce all over the flat bread. Crush the tomatoes in your hand and spread evenly over the sauce. Mix the 2 cheeses together and sprinkle evenly over pizza. Salt and pepper. Bake in oven until cheese top is bubbly and golden brown, about 12 minutes. Slice and serve immediately.
1/2 cup good olive oil
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 cup frech Italian parsley, packed
1 cup fresh cilantro, packed
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon white vinegar
1 dried red chili
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Pulse all ingredients in a processor, about 20 pulses. Pour into a bottle, it can be refrigerated up to 1 week. We add this delicious sauce on steak, grilled chicken and prawns, as a pizza base, and even in salad dressings.