Daniel Jordan and Chung-Yon Hong may be newlyweds, but they’re hardly new faces to Sarasota Orchestra audiences. Jordan, the orchestra’s concertmaster, joined the ensemble in 1998, and Hong, “CY,” as she’s lovingly known, followed in the violin section just four years later.
Their wedding took place this past summer — twice! The “official” one was in Chicago, with both families in attendance, and featured two ceremonies, one in Western dress, the other in Korean “hanboks,” an elegant style of clothing for men and women that features curved lines, brilliant colors and scads of material.
The second marriage celebration took place in Santa Fe, N.M., where both play in the illustrious Santa Fe Opera Orchestra. A small crowd of well-wishing friends from the Sarasota Orchestra who weren’t already performing at Santa Fe flew out to celebrate with the couple.
“We party a lot with our colleagues,” Hong says.
And, like most musicians, they love good food.
So, who does the cooking in their household?
“I do,” Hong says with authority.
“I’m good with breakfasts and lunches, but CY does most of the dinners,” chimes in Jordan.
In fact, his recipe for Jordan Family Cottage Cheese Pancakes has been in the family for at least three generations.
Are their dinner parties musical?
“We’ve had a few chamber music parties, but, even though our friends are mostly from the orchestra, when we get together, we like to eat,” Hong says. “I’m always looking for things to make for our friends.”
And that’s how she came up with her recipe for Sweet Potato Croquettes.
“Our friend, Laura Stephenson, who plays second clarinet with us, was telling us how much she loves sweet potatoes, so I thought when we were having her to dinner, I’d do something special for her,” she says.
This recipe has a couple of Asian touches: Hong uses a wok to fry the croquettes and she uses panko bread crumbs.
What music should you listen to while cooking these dishes? It’s obvious: “The Wedding March” from Mendelssohn’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream.” (For a real thrill, listen to it in the Liszt/Horowitz transcription.)
Jordan Family Cottage Cheese Pancakes
Yields: 12 to 16 small pancakes
4 large eggs
1 cup (8 ounces) cottage cheese
1/2 cup flour
6 tablespoons melted butter, plus extra for griddle
Beat eggs in a medium bowl until fluffy. Add cottage cheese and whisk in flour. Add melted butter to mixture. Heat lightly-buttered pan (or individual pancake griddle) and drop rounded spoonfuls of batter. Flip when golden brown on one side. Remove to warm plates when done, and serve hot with syrup.
CY’s Sweet Potato Croquettes
Yields: 16 to 20 croquettes, enough for 8 people
2 large sweet potatoes (scrubbed but with skin still on)
4 tablespoons mayonnaise
1 cup peas (thawed frozen peas work best)
1 large sweet onion, chopped finely
2 large eggs
Panko (Japanese bread crumbs)
Canola oil (should be enough for about one and a half inches in wok or frying pan)
Salt, to taste
White pepper, to taste
• Boil the sweet potatoes, skins on, until tender. While cooking potatoes, whisk eggs until fluffy in a separate bowl. Pour enough panko crumbs onto a flat plate or paper towel. Put aside.
• When tender, carefully remove potatoes from pot with slotted spoon and allow to cool enough to handle. Remove the skins. Mash the potatoes in a bowl. Add mayonnaise and whisk thoroughly. Add chopped onion and mix. Add thawed green peas and mix gently. With a teaspoon, mold the mixture into small ovals. Dip molded potato mixture into eggs. Coat evenly with the panko crumbs.
• Heat oil on low/medium heat. (Test to see if the oil is hot enough by splashing a drop of water into oil. If it sizzles, it’s ready.) Carefully add croquettes to the wok or pan and fry until golden brown, turning once or twice to be sure all sides are evenly cooked. Remove croquettes when done, and place on a few layers of paper towels to drain.
• Enjoy with soy sauce, mustard or ketchup.
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