Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Cooking with S and B in Beijing

Meet the Chefs: S, B, S Freezing in Beijing

I was fortunate to have friends who were willing to endure living with a very ill person in close quarters.  Several days I felt too sick to go out for dinner, or we all agreed that it was either too cold or that we needed to watch our spending a bit.  We all took turns being head chef at S's apartment. 

S had a box of gnocchi that she wanted to cook but didn't know how to cook properly.  B came to the rescue with a lemon cream sauce recipe.  We were able to make do with ingredients that we found at an international grocery store in a mall, and B proceeded to wow us with a delicious meal.

B Impressing the Heck out of S & S

Parmesan, Garlic, and Panko Crumbs for the Chicken

Lemon Cream Sauce for the Gnocchi

Pan-frying Panko-crusted Chicken Tenders

My Easy Spinach Stir-fried with Garlic

A Very Balanced Meal: Garlic Spinach, Lemon Cream Gnocchi, and Parmesan-Garlic, Panko-crusted Chicken

Another time, S called from work saying that her colleague at work made some spicy braised pork ribs for her to bring back home as a dish for dinner.  I took on the task of steaming some rice and preparing simple dishes to go with the ribs.  I opted to make stir-fried youmai cai (a kind of Chinese lettuce) and a delicious winter soup of daikon, mushrooms, and ginger in beef broth.

Spicy Soy-braised Pork Ribs (made by S's colleague)

My Daikon, Mushroom, and Ginger Soup

Stir-fried Youmai Cai
S is from Guangzhou, where there is an emphasis on the relationship between ingredients and human health according to Chinese medicine.  Because I was coughing like crazy, S insisted that I eat plenty of white fungus, which is supposed to be good for my lungs.  S, the master of soup, made all sorts of after-dinner soups for me.  My favorite is a sweet and soothing one with goji berries, papaya, white fungus, longan, and Shanxi dried dates.  S never adds any sugar to her fruity-herbal soups; everything is based on the ingredients' natural flavors.  I felt very lucky to be taken care of by someone who's younger than me.  Ah...Thanks S, and Happy Chinese New Year!
Papaya, Shanxi Dried Dates, Goji Berries, Longan, and White Fungus After-dinner Soup

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