Tuesday, May 20, 2008
Am Not Dead...Just Stir-Frying
I know, I know...I've been extremely lax with the blogging. But, in my own defense, I'm not sure I've done anything interesting enough to actually blog about...however, I shall endeavor to be better.
So...how about some whack-a-doo pork stir fry for starters?
I just can't seem to get the basics of stir frying. Seriously, how hard should it be? I can saute, can't I? (Went to school for that!) I can pan fry and braise, et cetera, et cetera. But, every time I try this stir fry business, I feel like it goes all to hell in a wok basket. But, I won't give up...because, while it may not be picture-perfect stir fry, it doesn't usually taste bad.
So, I've conglomerated up this lo mein-ish recipe from several different sources, and let's just see how it works.
Whack-a-Doo Pork Lo Mein
1 - 1-1/2 lbs thin pork chops
3 vegetable oil
2 Tbs sesame oil
Salt and freshly ground pepper
2 teaspoons Chinese five-spice powder (you know you've always wanted to try it)
2 large eggs, beaten
1/2 pound shiitake mushrooms, stemmed and thinly sliced
1 package fresh stir fry veggies (broccoli, snow peas, carrots, broccoli slaw or whack up whatever your little heart so desires in the way of veggies...the key is whack thinly and into small pieces)
2-3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1/3 to 1/2 cup soy sauce
1 package soba, udon, fettucine, whatever long noodle shape you like
Procedure (or what should happen vs. what actually happens when *I* stir fry...)
1. In a large, deep nonstick skillet or wok, heat 1 tablespoon vegetable oil and 1 tablespoon of sesame oil over high heat. Season the pork with salt, pepper and the five-spice powder; add to the pan and stir-fry for 2 minutes; add garlic and stir fry for 1 more minute. Transfer to a plate.
2. Heat 1 tablespoon vegetable oil in the skillet, then add the eggs and scramble for 2 minutes. Push the eggs to the side of the pan, add the remaining 2 tablespoons oil and lower the heat to medium. (This is where things started going horribly awry, because my eggs did not scramble nicely. I think the wok was too hot, and they started to scorch, so I scrambled faster. Not a pretty sight. I ended up dumping them out onto a paper plate, then I had to scrape down the wok before I started with the veggies.)
3. (Remember you've added that last 2 tablespoons of oil; 1 sesame, 1 vegetable.) Add the mushrooms and the stir-fry veggies and stir-fry for 2-3 minutes. Stir in the soy sauce and reserved pork, making sure the pork is heated through.
While I was cooking the pork, I threw the package of soba noodles in a pot of boiling water. I drained those, rinsed with cold water, then I threw them in after the pork--see, it's sort of a lo mein-ey dish.
As you may have noted in Step 2 above, the eggs started to go south, which totally threw my stir-fry game off. I had even mise en placed all my ingredients, which I only do about half the time when I cook anything else. Yet, it seemed that I was just running about 3 steps behind where I should be, hence the funked up scrambled eggs...which, by the way, I threw in anyway.
The Man ate it, I ate, and we survived. See, not very exciting or interesting at all. Now, if I had decided to stir fry a poodle, that might have amped this post up a little bit.
Right now, I'd be more than happy to stir fry The Goldfish, since he managed to unroll an entire, brand-new roll of bathroom tissue out into the hallway. Why do they want to eat paper? What important vitamin or mineral are the little demons missing that make them crave paper? I suppose I should be thankful that they don't crave gasoline and aren't out trying to siphon my tank to quench their unholy thirst.
So, maybe I'll get a little more adventurous during this holiday weekend...I'm taking off on Friday to have a 4-day weekend, so surely I can cook something halfway interesting, can't I?