Breaking in the New Wok

Found a 14″ stainless All Clad brand wok on eBay the other day, showroom sample with some minor scratches-otherwise new. Tried it out today for the first time.  Yup, it works fine…

I really didn’t have a recipe in mind when I started this, had a vague notion of boiling some quick ramen noodles and adding fried ground pork in some kind of sauce.  Started the water for the noodles and heated the wok while I sliced a banana pepper and some green onions.  I tossed about a 1/4 pound of pork into the hot pan and drizzled in some hot chili oil to help it along, and tossed the onions and pepper rings in for good measure.  Added a sprinkle of red pepper flakes and was wishing I had kept back one of those pretty red jalapenos from this morning.  Dug out some black bean and garlic paste, added a spoonful, a splash of dark soy, a little regular soy, a touch of Chinese cooking wine.  OK, the noodles are done, drain those and add them to the pot.  Stir it all around.  Add a squirt of sriracha.  All the colors are blended into a uniform-ish brown.  Slice some more rings, add a few green onion bits for color and plate it up.  Gobble gobble.  Next time I’ll plate the noodles, then pour the sauce and meat over it at the table.

Cooking for myself this time, Mrs J had a pizza earlier, I wasn’t quite ready to eat then.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Garden Update

It’s been a while since I wandered through the garden with the camera.  Mrs J gathered a peck of tomatoes early today so there weren’t a lot of red ones left.  The jalapenos seem to be doing well.  We stripped the bushes last time we harvested but there were plenty of flowers coming on.  The banan peppers are doing fair.  Seems as soon as the peppers start getting some color something feasts on them.  The bell peppers are much the same.  Looking forward to freezing more of those.

Mr J brought in a good sized bucket full of romas this morning.  Half of those went into the oven to dry and the other half, along with the big boys, were boiled down to a nice sauce.

Here’s the garden:

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

A Peck of Pickled Peppers

Spent pretty much all day mucking about in the kitchen with peppers.  Learned a lot.  Nearly ruined all those lovely jalapenos.  Sliced them too thin and cooked them too long.  The banana peppers went a bit better.  I swear I crammed those in there until I could cram them no more and they still turned out looking like bottled vinegar with a few peppers floating about.  The jalapenos were even worse, I started with 8 pints.  When I finally pulled them out of the canner I thought no way am I going to take a picture of these.  Opened all 8 jars and spooned the peppers into 3.  Ran another sealing cycle on those 3 and another jar half full of little but whole peppers.  Sigh.

Go ahead and laugh, enjoy!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Sammich Adventures-Banh Mi Edition

We’re having fun now!  Yesterday I made a meatball banh mi sammich that turned out rather well.  I took some pork sausage and added a lot of diced garlic, and a bit of diced red bell pepper, some fish sauce, some basil, and maybe a few other things.  Put together a sammich with the daikon-carrot pickle, used some spicy mayo, and spinach leaves in lieu of that soap tasting greenery.  The mayo was spiked with a healthy squeeze of sriracha.  Later I remembered the left over sausage mixture from the fried wontons we did the other day and wondered if I had missed the boat, could have added that into the meatball mix.  Well, I still had that wonton mix in the fridge today.

Tried frying up some of it rolled into balls, but it fell apart even with an egg mixed into it.  Oh well, maybe a patty would work.  Hmm, still falling apart.  Decided to let steam do some of the work, splashed in some water and covered the pan. (hat tip to Kirk)  Gave that a few minutes and managed to get them onto a paper towel mostly intact.  Yay!  Went on to assemble the banh mi in the usual way.  Added some banana pepper rings to the pickle, along with some red and green bell peppers and a slivered jalapeno.  It sure looked like a nice sammich, but the meat was a bit too squishy still.  Worth trying again with a more conventional sausage recipe.  Here you go:

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Lavash Pizzas

Found some lavash in the international grocery last time I was there, wasn’t sure what it was, but it just screamed “pizza!” to  me.  Here is the Wikipedia entry on it. Rainy today so I was wondering how to amuse myself when I remembered it.  Made two pizzas with it, we demolished the first in short order and I was needing something more so I made the next.  Not having to worry about Mrs J’s aversion to jalapenos I added some.  Did go with her fave toppings, she can pick the jalapenos off if she finishes it later.

Enjoy!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Pita Pizza!

These were so good last time, we gave them another go.  Preheat oven to 500 with a stone in there, give it plenty of time.  Turn to broil when the pizza goes in, a pizza “peel” is really handy here.  A peel is a broad wooden shovel looking thing.

Enjoy!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Sammich Post

Love me some sammiches. This one has Genoa salami, cotto (cooked) salami, ham, pepperoni, and pepper jack cheese dressed with pickled banana rings, dill pickle chips, and shredded lettuce.  A good smear of some fancy stone ground Dijon mustard completes it.   The bread is a French style whole grain loaf.