Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Stir fry!

Something new coming your way from ROCK THAT PLATE! I hope everyone is enjoying the redesign of my web page! I really encourage and want any feedback that can help me improve. You will notice that there are a lot more photos. I found a way to actually show images and sources of some of my more difficult ingredients. I am not saying you have to buy a case of sweet potatoes for instance. I am just trying to show the products that I use. Hopefully it will make it easier to find things when you are cooking! I want  first and foremost to maybe expand my own tastes. I hope many people want to be adventurous with me!

The picture of the asparagus is because, I am a big nerd! Asparagus is my favorite veggie. It has been a long COLD winter all ready. When I think of Asparagus I dream of spring!

Now onto the goods! Stir fry is what I consider a technique. I read cookbooks for ideas,but rarely follow a recipe. I know that is like shooting myself in the foot because, I have a web page full of recipes. I really just consider all my recipes as a guide to your own culinary self expression. That sounds really fancy for put yourself in your own food.
When I make stir fry, I always have everything ready before I turn the burner on. The French term for that is Mise en place. It means everything in place. I'm only hoping I spelled that right because, my high school French teacher Mrs. Amick, would be proud.  Mise en place is the golden rule of cooking- everything in place be very prepared. This is beginning to sound like a rant..So I will move on.

I keep whole ginger in my freezer and just cut pieces off of it as I need it. I use fresh garlic cloves that I peel, because it really does taste better. I use real citrus and I always use the zest. The zest yields an entirely different taste than the juice because, of the essential oils. Although, I think I might be forced to cut back because of the deep freeze. I use Tamari as well as real soy sauce. I stay away from the bottles that say caramel something or another. I read the ingredients for soy. You do not want to pay for a bottled of colored salt water. I also keep a box of cornstarch in my freezer, next to my flour. I like to use chili flakes or Sambal to heat things up.

Now you are ready:
1 and 1/2 pound of protein of your choice
lots of fresh veggies...I just clean out the veggie bin.
1/4 to 1/2 cup Canola oil
1 inch fresh ginger- grated
2 cloves fresh garlic
1 tablespoon of Sambal or chili flakes--heat to your taste.
1 teaspoon of Chinese five spice
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup of Mirin--or rice wine vinegar.
1 teaspoon of dark sesame oil- put in at the very end after the heat is off the pan
1 can bamboo shouts or 1 can water chestnuts or 1 cup of bean sprouts--or all of them you decide.
1/4 cup of cornstarch
2 cups of chicken stock or veggie

Heat your pan almost until the smoke point. Add your protein and sear and remove from pan. Throw your veggies and herbs, spices, ginger, garlic, soy sauce and Mirin. Sauté until tender crisp. If I use broccoli I nuke it for 2 min. Put the protein back in and add the chicken stock. Mix the cornstarch with an equal amount of water. This is called a slurry. Add this mixture to the pan until your desired thickness is achieved. Turn your heat off when you get everything the way you want it. Then add the sesame oil. I hope this was helpful and interesting...Remember, you can ROCK THAT PLATE!

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