this weekend dirt bike man and i got to host a dinner for our next door neighbors! i asked dirt bike man if i could invite crazy neighbor lady over too so i could meet her, but he wasn't so keen on that idea.
our neighbors' family is one of the most multicultural i have seen (and it makes me excited). the lady who owns the house is a jewish russian. her daughter and daughter's husband (modelo man), who is from mexico city and their 3 kids also live in the house.
russian neighbor lady brought over her version of borscht--in which, dirt bike man and i kept saying the word boooorscccht in our best russian accents several times after they left because it's too fun.
modelo man brought over rolled tacos & salsa and his wife made a nice salad.
i have also never whipped up a banana bread so fast in my life, but a dinner with new people usually warrants a last min decision like that (good thing i had a banana graveyard in my freezer). and of course i made one of my go-to's, black bean chicken.
dinner was a little awkward at first. granted, these are the neighbors we have only waved 'hi' to until we needed to tell them there was a little property intrusion on our yard when we decided to put in a fence for puppy. luckily, dirt bike man is a good negotiator and also invited them all over for dinner sometime. food fixes things.
conversation got better as soon as modelo man had a few more modelos and dirt bike man showed the kids how fred, our chameleon, eats crickets. then russian neighbor lady asked if fred was a boy or girl.
"well...fred is a girl, but we named him before we knew that."
-russian accent- "oh, the kids have a hamster they thought was a boy...1st he was peter, now he's a rosie...he is bisexual."
the family members gave each other shifty eyes as dirt bike man and i lost it. our laughter put them at ease as they soon started to giggle too.
russian lady disappeared a few moments later and her daughter said, "she is checking on her pie". PIE! OMG PIE!
she came over with a apple, tart cherry and cranberry pie and all was even better. we exchanged desserts and good-byes. i also came to find out that banana bread was the little girl's favorite as she sat across the table from me literally making nom-nom-nom-nom sounds.
i asked if they would like to take banana bread home, only to see banana bread girl, on the floor, putting on her light-up sketchers and shaking her head 'yes' as fast as possible.
black bean chicken
8 boneless chicken thighs
2 green bell peppers
1 red bell pepper
1 yellow bell pepper
5 T oil
6 garlic cloves, minced
an equal amount of ginger, minced
4 T fermented black beans, rinsed & drained
4 t chili flakes
4 T sliced scallions
4 t sesame oil
4 T shaoxing wine
1 T salt
3 t cornstarch
1 T light soy sauce
1 T dark soy sauce
1) cut chicken into a 3/4" x 3/4" dice and place into a bowl. mix together marinade ingredients and add to chicken. stir well.
2) cut the peppers into a 1" x 1" dice.
3) heat a wok or skillet on high, add 2 T of oil and cook peppers until hot, slightly cooked, but still crispy. remove and set aside.
4) reheat wok or skillet on high and add 3 T of oil. add the chicken and cook until chicken becomes pale. add the garlic and ginger. cook chicken completely.
5) add the peppers back in, along with the chili flakes & black beans. Stir.
6) drizzle sesame seed oil around the high edges of the wok.
7) Add scallions right before serving and stir.