More Stir Fry

The chicken marinade was black bean/garlic sauce, Thai sweet chili sauce, Chinese cooking wine, mushroom soy, and sweet soy sauce plus a lot of minced ginger and fresh garlic.The veggies steamed concurrently with the chicken cooking in the wok and everything was timed to be ready when the rice was done.  And it happened just that way!  I dumped the veggies into the chicken to coat with the sauce.  Yay!

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Wok This Way*

I mentioned the reversible range  grates the other day that helped with that humongous griddle, here is one flipped for a round bottomed wok.Naturally I had to get a round bottomed wok .  I had one years ago that came with a ring – I think it went away in a yard sale.   I wish I still had it.  This one is really too heavy to flip one handed.  I guess the helper handle should have given that away.It needed seasoning.  Scrub it out and then heat it till it discolors from the flame and then rub with an oil soaked wad of paper towels.  It will smoke!  Do it several times.  These Youtubes will walk you through it.  I sacrificed a kitchen towel instead of paper towels.  Be careful!  Hot stuff!Chicken, peppers, carrots, and snow peas with a side of green beans stir fried with soy and oyster sauces.  The sauce for the chicken and snow peas was a simple chicken broth with ginger and some sweet chili sauce, thickened with cornstarch..  I added some sambal and chili oil to mine at the table.

*Apologies to Run-DMC

 

Sticky Legs

Doesn’t roll off the tongue like sticky wings but they are pretty good.  I noticed that the drumsticks were cheaper than wings so I said “why not”?  They got the two-step treatment, steaming then baking in the sauce.They spent 20 minutes in the steamer then I managed to crowd the entire batch into one pan with the sauce.  These baked at 425 for 25 minutes then were turned over to get color on the other side.The sauce for these was me winging it:  Honey, soy sauce, black vinegar, sesame oil, sweet soy sauce, rice vinegar,  fresh grated ginger, and chili garlic paste.We bought a big bag of green beans and had a few of them stir fried like those in a Chinese buffet line.  Cook, covered, in oil and a splash of water for 5 minutes, then add oyster sauce, soy sauce, and a teaspoon of sugar and toss to coat.

Tidbits

dsc037361600x1200We don’t have much info on Cleo, AKA Grumpy Kitty.  She’s an older kitteh and hasn’t been at St Francis long.20160908_1629571600x1200Stir fry chicken and broccoli is a favorite around here.  This one has red bell peppers, red onions, and mushrooms in a brown sauce with noodles.20160906_103238-1600x1200I mentioned doing a brisket in the smoker and finishing it in the toaster oven set to slow cook.  Here it is after a night in the fridge to firm it for slicing.20160907_1449411600x1200I said the new counter top oven would fit a 10″ cast iron skillet, here it is with beans ready for baking.  I use the same skillet for cornbread.20160907_1625221600x1200This is a favorite here, a real comfort food platter.  The beans may have come from that batch of beans in the photo above but I made two batches in as many days and I’m not quite sure.  dsc037301600x1200This is the same puppy we last saw with her head in a bag full of chicken.  She is a chihuahua mix with what may be terrier of some sort.20160911_1714461600x1200The local Kroger has sales on boneless rib eyes pretty often, not sure why that cut is featured above others but they can count on me to grab extra every time.20160910_1649261600x1200We often buy frozen shrimp already butterflied and breaded but these I did myself.  Dust the prepared shrimp with seasoned flour, dredge in beaten eggs, and then coat with bread crumbs – on these I used panko and they came out great after frying in 350 oil for about 2 minutes.dsc037241600x1200This is Roma.  She’s 4 months old, very affectionate, and would be thrilled to go home with you.

Lo Mein Double Delight

DSC_1303 (1600x1060)Years ago we used to frequent a Chinese restaurant where I almost always ordered their “Kung Pao Triple Delight” – a Kung Pao chicken dish that also included shrimp and pork.  The triple delight referred to the three kinds of meats.  This was the place (and the dish) where I learned there could be a huge difference between ordering extra peppers and extra hot.  The waitress was kept busy refilling this red faced and sweaty (and stubborn!) patron’s glass with ice water.

The double delight in the post title reflects the shrimp and chicken in the dish.  I do have a little heat in this one via a dollop of chili garlic paste in the sauce and a couple of jalapenos with the veggies but not so much that Mrs J noticed enough to mention.  The chicken was dredged in corn starch and then fried in oil and set aside until the dish came together in the wok after the veggies had cooked down for a few minutes.  The noodles were pre-cooked and oiled to keep them from sticking together.  The chicken, noodles, and shrimp were all combined with the veggies and the sauce to warm them all for the platter.

Chinese Five Spice

DSC_0076 (1600x1060)I was browsing among various recipes for green beans and noticed a call for Chinese five spice in one of them and wondered if I had the ingredients to make my own.  Yes!  –  or at least close enough for my purposes.  I looked over several recipes and they all had the same ingredients with a few variations:  Star anise, fennel seeds, cinnamon, cloves, and peppercorns.  Some used Szechuan peppercorns and others called for the more familiar black peppercorns, one recipe used cassia bark in lieu of the cinnamon, there were differences in the ratios so I just eyeballed mine as I loaded them into my little spice grinder.  I ended up with about a quarter cup of some great smelling stuff.DSC_0077 (1600x1060)Those are the Szechuan peppercorns between the cinnamon sticks.  They have an interesting effect in the mouth, some heat and a numbing sensation on the lips.  Another name for them is prickly ash seed.

After all of that, I used about a teaspoon of the spice powder in the soy sauce marinade of the chicken for the green bean dish pictured above.  That was a simple enough recipe, the most prep went into the sauce: 1/2 cup soy sauce, 1/2 cup chicken stock, a tablespoon of sesame oil, a tablespoon of ginger garlic paste, a tablespoon of honey, and a tablespoon of rice vinegar with a little corn starch to thicken it in the pan.  I steamed the beans for five minutes while the chicken was cooking then added them to the pan with the chicken and then poured in the sauce and cooked until it thickened, a few more minutes.

Tidbits

DSC_5177 (1600x1060)Katie was enjoying the first snow free day a little too much.  It’s a good thing she got her ya yas out because we got more snow:DSC_5186 (1600x1060)It started out with a little sleet but that turned to snow and that fell all day and didn’t taper off till after dark.DSC01872 (1600x1060)

Not quite six inches.  I got out on the tractor today and bladed the drive.DSC_0034 (1600x1060)One of Mrs J’s fortified carrot cakes was reward for my labors.  It’s a box mix with extra shredded carrot, raisins, and crushed pineapple.  Mmm… moist and sweet, especially with the toasted coconut on the cream cheese icing.  There’s a little orange zest sprinkled on there, too.  Smelled great!DSC_0028 (1600x1060)Quesadillas with egg, roasted pork, and cheddar garnished with sour cream and a nice hot sauce.DSC_5175 (1600x1060)Ginger Boy oversees doggie dinner prep.  Mrs J buys dry kibble and leavens it with her own blend of goodies.  She adds cooked chicken, rice, cottage cheese, green beans, sweet potatoes, liver, and ground beef in varying proportion, cooking it up in big pots and freezing it in plastic containers.  The pups love it so she must be doing it right.DSC_0039 (1600x1060)A stir fry with chicken and various veggies over yellow rice.  Not bad but far from my best effort.

Tidbits

DSC_9925 (1600x1060)Mrs J saw my breakfast pr0n photo and said she’ll be having that for dinner.  Not a problem!  I have plenty of Andouille after my last order from the Cajun Grocer.DSC_9882 (1600x1060)Here are a pair of breakfast burritos – sausage and egg with cheese and grilled chilies.  Sometimes I don’t bother to fold the ends in, I hope that they are still called burritos.  I suppose they could easily pass for tacos.  I dunno, I think if a fellow was raised in the tradition he’d know.  It’s hard to break away from what you were raised with, I’m a meatloaf and mashed potatoes guy.DSC_9906 (1600x1060)The center of influence on my chili recipes is moving pretty fast towards the South West and away from the blander Mid West styles I grew up with.  Going to grade school, Friday was chili day – and always there was sliced cheese and also peanut butter sandwiches as a part of the lunch.  Someone started asking the cook for a spoonful of vinegar in their chili and and lot of us followed along.  Pickled jalapenos add some of the same flavor.DSC_9909 (1600x1060)Chili cheese fries follow as a matter of course these days, or maybe chili cheese dogs.  There’s always someone complaining that real chili doesn’t have beans or tomatoes in it.  Echoing a response to the claim that “real men don’t eat quiche”  (Google it) – real men eat their chili however they want.DSC01759 (1600x1060)Post needs moar puppeh!  Here’s Annie, in glorious Black & White, snoozing on the couch after a business run in the snow.DSC_9889 (1600x1060)Chicken parm sammich.  Plenty of mozzarella and provolone along with the Parmesan and Awesome Sauce on one of those King Arthur recipe buns.DSC_9904 (1600x1060)I don’t think I’ve posted this, a stir fry dish with chicken, shrimp, and assorted veggies in an oyster sauce flavored gravy.  The pot stickers are from frozen and are actually pretty good.  I made a dipping sauce of sweet soy and oyster sauces with a splash of Chinese wine and a spoonful of chili garlic paste.DSC01768 (1600x1200)I’ll leave you with “Crossie” a four month old female that’s all fixed up with shots and etc and is ready to go.