July 13, 2009

I love my mom...

and I love Sunday night dinners with my new friends from Jean Georges. I am thankful to be included in our weekly gatherings at one of our homes for delicious, home cooked meals and nights of wonderful company. This Sunday was finally my turn, and let me just say, I was so nervous (almost dreading) cooking for people who are some pretty spectacular cooks. Long story short, the food was gone by the end of the night, bellies were successfully fed, and I could finally breathe again.

I think all of us have a soft spot for our mothers' cooking--it's always unbeatable. Lately, I've been really missing mom. She went through minor surgery and is recovering, but please pray for her.

I miss the comfort of eating a bowl of her noodles and seeing her smiling face. So Sunday's home cooked meal at my apartment was a tribute to my mother. Although I normally leave the Chinese cooking to her, I attempted to make her tasty bean paste noodles and three cups chicken.

On the menu for the night: bean paste noodles, three cups chicken, pickled vegetable, tofu with 1000 year old egg, kimchee, egg tarts, red bean soup with sticky sesame balls, rainer cherries and lychees.

A simple cold dish often served as a side in my home--soft tofu with 1000 year old egg, soy paste and some scallions.

Bean Paste Noodle

24 oz fresh knife cut noodless
8 oz bean paste
8 oz can hoisin
sesame oil
2 teaspoons ginger, minced
2 cloves garlic, minced
16 oz lean ground pork
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1 japanese cucumber, julienned
16 oz bean sprouts

Cook noodles in a medium pot of boiling water until al dente. Mix together bean paste and hoisin. In a hot pan, swirl in oil. Add ginger and garlic and stir-fry until fragrant. Add pork stir-fry breaking the meat into small chunks with a spatula. Scrape in bean paste mixture and continue cooking for another 2 minutes. Drain noodles and toss with sesame oil. Serve with a nice portion of noodles, a laddle of sauce and top with strips of cucumber and bean sprouts.

Three Cup Chicken

1 cup sesame oil, divided in half
4.5 pound chicken, chopped
8 cloves garlic, chopped
10 pieces sliced ginger, julienned
1 cup light soy sauce
1 cup white rice wine
1/4 cup white sugar
2 springs fresh Thai basil

Heat 1/2 cup of the sesame oil in a large pot. Stir-fry chicken pieces until lightly brown and crisp on the outside, about 2 to 3 minutes. Add garlic and ginger and stir-fry for another minute. Pour in remaining sesame oil, soy sauce, and rice wine. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and let simmer for 10 minutes. Stir in white sugar and continue reducing until chicken is tender. Stir in Thai basil and simmer.

I had an obsession with rainer cherries as I was growing up. They're not only pretty but also delicious.

Lychees from Chinatown, $4 for 2lbs!

Homemade red bean soup with sticky sesame balls from Chinatown.

I'll have to agree with Chad that Egg Custard King still makes the best egg tarts, but Tai Pan Bakery makes some pretty tasty ones too.

Some of my guests: Danny, Beka, Kathy, Marcos, Brian and Chad.

Thank you to everyone who came for dinner. I loved seeing your faces. And mom-dad, I wish y'all were here too!