New Bear in Town


For a change of pace, we will look at an oriental recipe along with some recent photos of the Darling of DC – Bao Bao.  Many of us have become addicted to the fabulous Panda Cam at the Smithsonian National Zoo.  We have been able to watch Bao Bao grow from something the size of a stick of butter into the rolypoly little girl she is today; now topping 20 lbs.  We have seen her from inside the Panda Habitat where these photos were taken, but we look forward to seeing her outside very soon.  Although she is still nursing, her diet has expanded to include bamboo (sorry, no recipes for that) and sweet potatoes, something we love and realized is lacking on this blog.  We will get to work on that very soon.

In the meantime, we will offer a recipe for Chinese food we enjoy preparing. The key to stir frying is to cook the ingredients quickly over very high heat. This will not only sear the moisture into meats, but also leave the vegetables crisp and tender. An additional benefit of this method of cooking is that ingredients can be prepared before guests arrive and placed in the refrigerator. The meal then can be cooked quickly and served allowing your guests to observe your culinary skills in action. At least this is the theory …

Allen was introduced to oriental cooking during the late 1970s while he was in California. He decided that he would try out the new cuisine when he was invited to prepare a dish for the chemistry department’s gourmet group. Since the host for the evening lived only a mile away, Allen decided that he would be able to stir-fry the meal at home, place the lid on the wok and serve the dish to guests upon his arrival. So, half an hour before dinner was to be served, he sliced the vegetables, grabbed the marinated beef and prepared the dish. Unfortunately, once he arrived at the host’s house, he realized that each person had been assigned one part of a multi-course meal – and it was supposed to be prepared in their kitchen. And naturally, the karma of the evening was such that the stir-fry was served at the end of the meal — about 1.5 hours after it had been cooked. Needless to say, the vegetables were a wilted, discolored mass. The only comment made as this ‘delicious’ dish was served was made by a native Japanese who observed that oriental vegetables were supposed to be a little crisper when cooked. As they say, timing really is everything in cooking.  Fortunately, we won’t suggest you recreate that special recipe, but perhaps this is one to enjoy at home – Kung Pao Chicken.


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