I always add the green beans to my plate whenever we hit the Chinese buffet that’s located in the same complex that holds the grocery store and the farm goods retailer. I tell myself I’m going to make them next time I have some fresh beans but I never seem to remember. I made a point of making them today since I was already set on stir fry. They aren’t too hard, trim to the size you like and cook them in oil with minced garlic in whatever measure you like. I added sliced onions to these and cooked them for three or four minutes before adding a splash of water and covering the pan. Cook for another few minutes, add a slug of oyster sauce and toss to coat. Cover and reduce the heat until you are ready to plate. I cut the onions too small this time.The main dish was chicken and snow peas in a spicy brown sauce over rice. Cut up the chicken into bite sized pieces and marinate in soy sauce, minced garlic, a splash of Chinese cooking wine, a few tablespoons of water or stock, a tablespoon of chili garlic paste, and a spoonful of corn starch. I usually make additional sauce that is similar to the marinade but with more stock and a splash of oyster sauce or sugar to sweeten it a tad. I find that if I nuke the snow peas for a minute or two in the microwave all they take is another minute in the wok, added with the extra sauce when the chicken is finished.
We haven’t had shrimp for a while. This dish used much the same sauce as did the chicken with peppers yesterday, though I did chance the Wrath of Mrs J by adding some heat via dried red peppers and a little sesame chili oil. The shrimp marinated for a bit in rice wine and black vinegar with corn starch and flour. I deep fried the battered shrimp for a minute to set the crust and then drained them on a paper towel. I stir fried the veggies for a little while then added the semi-cooked shrimp and a sauce of rice wine, black vinegar, oyster sauce, soy sauce, chicken stock, sesame chili oil, and corn starch. I’m really liking this sauce. The key flavors are found with the rice wine and the black vinegar:Also in the flavor mix are the usual suspects – garlic, and ginger. I’m using those giant garlic cloves in these dishes but they don’t add giant garlic flavor, it’s pretty subtle so you can use a lot of it. There is more of the garlic in the fried rice:I took this opportunity to massage the heat in my dish with some extra chili garlic paste. There was a scant teaspoon of it in the main shrimp dish as well, any more would have been suicide by angry stare. I’ve seen Mrs J look birds from the sky so I go light with communal seasonings.
I watched Alton Brown make some broth for miso soup the other day, he used kelp and shaved bonito for it, then he added miso paste and tofu. Probably some other stuff I’m forgetting. Anyway, I found myself by the Asian grocery store today while we were out playing with the GPS so I went in and looked for the stuff he used to make the soup. I found some miso, the shaved bonito, the seaweed and the tofu and brought it home intending to make the soup Alton made. I got as far as finishing the broth but I just didn’t want to go any farther. Tofu. Yeah, I know, healthy and all. But.
I used the broth to simmer some dried mushrooms and red chilies, and made a sauce with it along with oyster sauce and soy sauce. The snow peas were past their prime and I needed to use them but the miso soup didn’t strike me as being the proper vehicle. A shrimp and noodle stir fry was the result of my puttering this afternoon. I’m sure the cats will love the bonito I strained out of the broth.
I thought it time to scratch my frittata itch this morning. I had some odds and ends of veggies I needed to use and a frittata is the perfect vehicle for that. I did open a package of fresh goat cheese to crumble over the top.
I took a few pictures in the available light just for fun, the ones of the skillet on the stove were taken with just the under cabinet florescent fixture for direct illumination along with what light there was from a cloudy morning outside the windows. The camera did all the work and did a pretty good job of figuring it all out for me. I’m liking the f/1.8 35mm lens quite a bit, too. The plated meal was shot using the usual twin strobe bounce illumination. With a white ceiling in the kitchen I can treat the whole table as a “light box”.
Well, pooh. I had a long post with a nice aside on Szechuan peppercorns but Word Press ate it. I’ll just link to a nice recipe and post some pictures.
It’s hot and miserable outside and I just refuse to go out there. Nice in the house, cool and dark. Well, not dark-just no bright glare from the sun. I broke a severe sweat three days running and I hope not to have a repetition of that today. It does give me time to catch up on my picture filing and sorting. Just a little bit bored though. I know! Let’s put on a play!
No, let’s not, Spanky.
I settled for a little bit of cooking. Today I found myself with plenty of parts to a nice stir fry. Dug some roast pork from the freezer, rustled up a pack of ramen noodles, hunted through the fridge for veggies that looked right. Found some snow peas that were getting on, a yellow bell pepper that was looking pretty good still, and I do have all these nice sweet onions that go bad so fast.
I like a little spice so I cooked some dried red peppers in some chili oil until they started to turn brown, then dumped in the veggies.
The pork was already cooked, so I just needed to warm it up a bit. In it went.
Next was the sauce. This was pretty simple: some chicken stock with a splash of dark soy sauce, a spoonful of hot chili paste, some Splenda to sweeten it a tad, a spoonful each of garlic and ginger paste, and a spoonful of corn starch to thicken it a bit.
While all of this is happening, prepare a package of ramen per directions and drain them, toss with a little oil if you won’t be tossing them into the pan right away. Put them in and toss everything together as the sauce thickens.
Turned out plenty spicy and rib sticking good: