Dinner Menu: Pork Stir Fry and Tangy Lemon Pie

Lemon Pie plates_Snapseed1

When things get hectic, as they can be during the week, stir frying can be the quickest way to get dinner on the table. What I love about stir frying, along with the speed, is the freshness of the vegetables. Done properly, they are crisp and full of flavor. You can substitute chicken breast or tofu for the pork in this recipe if you desire.

And for dessert, a quick and easy lemon pie with a secret ingredient to make it extra tangy.

On the board tonight:

  1. Pork Bowl
  2. Tossed Salad
  3. Tangy Lemon Pie

Pork Bowl

  • 5 ounces rice sticks or noodles
  • 12 ounces boneless lean pork
  • 2 tbsp fish sauce
  • 1 tsp dried lemongrass or 1 tbsp fresh lemon zest
  • 1 ½ tsp toasted sesame oil (or olive oil)
  • ½ to 1 tsp crushed red pepper
  • 1 tsp crushed garlic
  • 3 cups chicken broth
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tsp cornstarch
  • 1 to 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 8 green onions
  • ½ ea red and yellow sweet pepper, cut into thin strips
  • 2 to 4 ounces snow peas, washed
  • 1 medium orange, peeled and thinly sliced

3 bowls, wok or large skillet

Prep rice sticks or noodles according to package directions.  Slice pork into thin strips.  In a bowl, combine pork with fish sauce, lemon grass, sesame oil, crushed red pepper and garlic. In a separate bowl, stir together broth, soy sauce and cornstarch, set aside. Heat olive oil in wok over medium heat, cook onions, pepper strips and snow peas for 2 minutes, until vegetables are tender-crisp.  Remove from wok.

Add more oil if necessary and add meat mixture and stir-fry for 2-3 minutes, until pork is no longer pink.  Push to sides of the wok, add soy sauce mixture, bring to a boil, stirring until thickened. Stir in pork and onion mixture. Drain noodles and add to meat mixture, toss until well coated. Add orange slices and serve immediately.

Tangy Lemon Pie

  • 12 oz sweetened condensed milk
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 6 tbsp lemon juice
  • 9 inch graham cracker pie crust (or Lemony Crust, recipe below)
  • 4 oz whipped cream (whip your own or use a pre-made real cream whipped cream)

Combine milk, yolks with mixer or blender until well mixed. Add 6 tbsp lemon juice, mix well. Pour into pie shell. Bake at 250° for 20 minutes. When pie is cool, top with whipped cream and refrigerate. Decorate with lemon slices if you like and serve.

If you have time, I made a perfect crust to go with it that really enhanced the lemon flavor and was a big favorite with everyone.

Lemony Crust

  • 2 cups of crushed lemon sandwich cookies ( I actually used a mix of lemon sandwich cookies and frosted lemon cookies)
  • 1/4 cup butter, melted
  • 9-inch pie plate

It took about 1/2 package of the sandwich cookies and a handful of the lemon frosted cookies to make 2 cups of crumbs.  Combine with butter, mix well and press into and up the sides of a 9-inch pie plate. Bake in a 300 degree oven for 10 minutes and let cool thoroughly before adding pie filling.  Bake as directed above.

Note: You can use bottled lemon juice, but I found the taste was better with freshly squeezed lemon; it takes approx. 2 lemons for 7 tbsp of juice.


2014 Copyright What’s 4 Dinner Solutions Cookbook: Spring Edition

Stir-Fry Vegetables in a Bread Bowl

My favorite way to have vegetables is to quickly stir-fry them, so they are still crisp. A restaurant I used to go to a lot, served them in a beautiful woven lattice bread bowl and it was the perfect lunch. These veggies can be served over rice, rice noodles or as a side with stir-fried meat, poultry or tofu.

If you’re feeling creative I found a recipe for a lattice bread basket here.

Stir-Fry Vegetables

  • 1 tbsp cornstarch
  • 1 cup water or broth (vegetable or chicken)


    Photo by ddpiesslice.blogspot.com

  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 6-8 mushrooms, washed and sliced
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • ½ tsp ground ginger or 2 tsp fresh minced
  • ¼ tsp crushed garlic
  • 8 oz broccoli crowns
  • 8 oz sliced carrots, or baby carrots
  • 8 oz snow peas
  • 6 oz can sliced water chestnuts or bamboo shoots, drained
  • salt & pepper to taste

wok or deep skillet

Mix cornstarch, soy, water, lemon and honey together. Set aside. Heat wok, add oil add all the remaining ingredients. Stir-fry quickly, about 2 minutes, until vegetables are tender-crisp. Add sauce, bring to boil for 1 minute or more until thickened. Let simmer 2 minutes.

Thursday Night Menu: First Day of Fall Edition

Happy first day of autumn. According to my sources summer officially ended yesterday at 10:55 pm MDT. Sigh. I’ve pulled out the sweaters, but have not put away the shorts. JeffW updated us on Homer yesterday. His cast has been removed. No word yet on his permanent placement.  But more cute pix.

On to dinner. This is not a very fall oriented menu, I’ll get to those in later weeks.  This menu is a quick and flavorful stir-fry of no particular origin. If you can’t find the broad rice noodles, whatever you like will do just fine. I like the broad ones because they hold the sauce and lots of sesame seeds. I keep sesame seeds around like salt and pepper, so I add that at the table and it’s a nice touch to both the carrots and beef dish.  The yogurt and pineapple provide a cool finish.

On the board tonight:

  1. Spicy Beef & Broccoli
  2. Rice Noodles (broad style)
  3. Sweet & Sour Carrots
  4. Crushed pineapple and vanilla yogurt

Spicy Beef & Broccoli

  • 1 lb sirloin or London broil, sliced very thin (easiest to do if slightly frozen)
  • 1 green pepper, chopped
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 4 green onions, chopped
  • ½ tsp crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 tsp crushed garlic
  • 1 tsp ground ginger or 1 tbsp minced fresh ginger
  • 2 tbsp cornstarch
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • ½ cup or more of chicken broth
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 2 cups broccoli crowns
  • ½ cup Spanish peanuts

large skillet or wok

Heat 1 tbsp of oil and sauté onions, peppers,  fresh ginger and garlic quickly. Add more oil as needed, add beef and stir quickly until beef is cooked through. Combine red pepper flakes, cornstarch, soy sauce, broth, honey, and mix well. Add to meat, bring to boil, reduce heat and let simmer 5 minutes. Add broccoli crowns, cover and steam for 2 to 3 more minutes (you want broccoli bright green, but still slightly crisp). Toss with peanuts. Serve over rice noodles.

Sweet & Sour Carrots

  • 16 oz pkg. sliced frozen carrots
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 2 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 2 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp corn starch
  • 2 green onions, sliced

small skillet or wok and small bowl

Mix ½ cup broth with cornstarch, vinegar, sugar and set aside.

Heat remaining broth, add carrots and onions, cook until carrots are tender, yet crisp. Add cornstarch mix, heat to quick boil, stirring constantly until sauce thickens and then remove from heat.

Shopping list:

  • 1 lb sirloin or London broil
  • 1 green pepper
  • 1 tsp ground ginger or 1 tbsp minced fresh ginger
  • 16 oz broccoli crowns
  • 4 oz Spanish peanuts
  • 16 oz pkg. sliced frozen carrots
  • 16 oz chicken broth
  • 1 bunch green onions
  • 16 oz vanilla yogurt
  • Fresh crushed pineapple
  • Rice noodles

Also: red wine vinegar, brown sugar, cornstarch, olive oil, soy sauce, crushed garlic, honey, red pepper flakes, sesame seeds (opt)

More Stir Fry

Most of the fun cooking these things is coming up with a sauce.  I had lots of fun today.  Started with a cup of chicken stock, poured in some sesame oil, about a tablespoon.  I have some tamarind paste that has been skulking in the refrigerator door for months.  I scooped about two tablespoons into the mix.  Added half a tablespoon of ginger root paste.  A few dried red peppers.  Hmm…need some corn starch, two tablespoons ought to do it.  A splash of dark soy sauce, maybe a tablespoon.  Two tablespoons of hoisin sauce.  Maybe some Splenda for sweetness?  Yup…maybe two tablespoons.  Ah, some dry sherry, another glug added.  OK, simmer for a bit, set aside.  It’ll be the last thing to go into the pan.  I’ll let the pictures do the rest.


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Beef and Rice Noodles Stir fry

This is another “Adventure with Google Recipes” piece.  I wanted to use up some of the rice noodles I had on hand and thought beef would be a good meat to go with them.  My recipe today is a synthesis of recipes I found.  I looked at a dozen at least, and this one is probably the closest to what I did today.

First I sliced some beef while it was semi frozen, easier that way.

Grate some garlic and ginger over the meat, and add some light soy, some dark soy, sriracha sauce, a bit of oil, a teaspoon of corn starch, and some Chinese cooking wine.  The bottle I have spells it “Shao Shing”, but I have seen other spellings.  Any dry sherry type cooking wine will substitute.

Let the beef marinate for a couple of hours or for as long as you can.  In the meantime soak some dried Shiitake mushrooms. In a small bowl mix three tablespoons of light soy and three of dark soy, set aside.

Slice an onion and a bell pepper, a red pepper would work fine, I had a green one so I used that.  Take a few green onions and chop them 1-2″ long.  Put the dried noodles in a big bowl and soak them in hot tap water for 15 minutes or so, then drain, rinse in cold water, and drain them again.  Set aside.

Cook the meat in a suitable pan.  I used two pans for this meal to save cleaning this one.  Set the meat aside when done.

In a clean pan, heat some more oil to just short of smoking and dump in the veggies, stir them for a minute.

Splash in a few ounces of the cooking wine, followed by the soy sauces you mixed earlier.

Dump in the noodles and stir them about to coat.

Add in the beef, stir everything about while it comes back to heat and toss in the green onions.