Keeping with the Chinese food theme I started in my last column, the Sunday before Christmas, my friend, Edith, my brothers and I got together and went to lunch at our favorite Chinese restaurant, P.F. Chang's in Mesa. We always order an assortment of dishes and share -- the portions are plentiful -- it is a lot more fun eating this way.
As usual, at the end you get a fortune cookie. I know it's silly, but we all look forward to them.
Although there were four of us, the waitress brought five cookies.
We all picked one and began reading out fortunes. It was my turn. I opened the cookie and it was empty inside. This has never happened to me.
Brother Tommy said, "You must open the fifth cookie, so I did. It was also empty! My immediate answer was: "A new year is beginning. No fortune to read is telling me my new path is wide open to new wonderful experiences. It is up to me, to have a positive attitude. Be aware (see), ready (be) and enjoy (life)." We all agreed with that answer.
The power within you is stronger than all the power in the world. Have a Happy New Year.
Now for dinner: Crab and Egg Soup, Cold Cucumbers and Beef Lo Mein.
Crab and Egg Soup
1/2 pound canned crabmeat
6 cups fish stock
5 eggs, slightly beaten
3 tablespoons cornstarch
2/3 cup cold water
5 scallions, chopped
Drain liquid from crabmeat.
Bring the fish stock to a boil and gradually pour in the beaten eggs, stirring constantly. Simmer for two minutes.
Mix the cornstarch with the cold water and add to the soup.
Bring the soup back to a boil. Continue stirring until the soup is clear.
Mix in the crabmeat and heat thoroughly.
Garnish with scallions and serve immediately.
2 large cucumbers, peeled
1-1/2 teaspoons salt
3 tablespoons soy sauce
2-1/2 tablespoons vinegar
2 teaspoons sugar
4 teaspoons oil
Thinly slice the cucumbers.
Mix together the salt, soy sauce, vinegar, sugar and oil.
Toss the cucumbers in the dressing and allow to stand for about 30 minutes before serving.
1/2 pound egg noodles
1 pound lean beef
4 teaspoons oil
4 teaspoons soy sauce
1 onion, finely chopped
oil for frying
2 cloves garlic, crushed
2 teaspoons salt
1 cup water
4 teaspoons sherry
1 teaspoon sugar
2 teaspoons soy sauce
4 teaspoons cornstarch
Boil the noodles in salted water until tender. Strain and set aside.
Chop the beef finely.
Mix together the oil, soy sauce and pepper. Marinate the beef in this mixture for 10 minutes.
Sauté the onion and garlic in a little hot oil for two minutes. Add the beef and cook for another two minutes or until beef is almost cooked. Add salt and mix well.
For sauce: Mix together the water, sherry, sugar, soy sauce and cornstarch and add to the beef mixture. Cook until cornstarch is clear.
Add the noodles and mix well. Serve immediately.