Well, hello all, and Happy New Year! I know that I said that my first post after the new year would be about puff pasty, but since it's Sunday, I figured I'd just go for a Sunday Supper and deal with puff pastry tomorrow. I hope that's okay with everyone.
Before I get all recipe-y, let me just say that I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday. The kittens had a great first Christmas, although poor Ruthie had to hang out at the vet's over the holiday due to an Icky Eye. Very sad; we missed her. Camille still thinks that Ruthie doesn't smell quite right after her five nights at the vet, so she is still hissing at her. She needs to get over it. Wally is all like, "Oooh, new girl!" so he isn't phased a bit. Wally is a Special Case. Here is a picture of the children playing with their Christmas Goodies:
And now back to the Original Post. Stir fry is a wonderful way to use up leftover...anything. I had some pork, bell peppers, carrots and shallots. Voila, a stir fry. I used to have a very Keen hand-hammered wok. I got it from Publisher's Clearinghouse. Seriously. Remember back before entering on-line, you could enter through the mail by licking stamps for magazine subscriptions? Well, once they sucker you in with magazines, they start sending stamps for Stuff. Since I am a Sucker, I licked a sticker for a 5' long body pillow and one for a wok, complete w/lid, spider, ring, spatula-thingy and a bamboo whisk. If you've ever wondered if that stuff really shows up, it does. The body pillow lasted for a couple of years, and I had the lovely wok for a long time until The Beloved rubbed off on me and, before a move, I asked myself if I used it frequently enough to warrant the space it took up. The answer was no, and away it went, hopefully to a Good Home. So now I am wok-less. I get around that by using a large saute pan on a small burner turned up to high. The main cooking happens in the center, and then I push the cooked ingredients out to The Perimeter to stay warm. Not a perfect system, but it's cheaper than a new wok. Did I mention that I'm a Cheap Sucker?
I'm not going to write down all the ingredients I used, because stir fry is all about the process and technique, not so much about a standard recipe. Just go with it. Oh, and another thing: I don't have a fully stocked Asian pantry, and the term "Asian Cuisine" is a Very Broad Term. I have a few ingredients that I keep on hand that lend some of the base flavors, but by no means is this hard-core Asian cooking. Then again, I'm not in Asia. I'm using what I have to evoke the spirit, if not the letter, of the cuisine.
Stir Fry Technique, PMAT-Style
Small pieces of:
protein (meat, poultry, soy-product) or leave it out for a veggie fry
vegetables, all cut to more-or-less the same size
a little neutral oil with a high smoke point (maybe a tablespoon or so)
grated ginger or galangal
some sort of hot sauce or hot chiles
an Asian spice blend
herbs such as lemongrass, cilantro, Kaffir lime leaves, etc.
toasted sesame oil
a little cold stock or juice (orange juice is nice) mixed with a tablespoon or so of corn starch
crushed toasted peanuts
toasted sesame seeds
diced green onion
- Marinate the protein for thirty minutes or so in a mixture of your Chosen Flavorings
- Heat pan to Very Hot.
- Add oil until it shimmers.
- Stir fry the protein more-or-less in the middle of the pan. You can do this in batches if you need to; don't crowd the pan.
- Push protein out of the way, and add the veggies in order from longest-time-to-cook to shortest-time-to-cook, starting each in the center of the pan and then pushing to the sides.
- Add all the protein back in, if cooking in batches.
- Add the stock/juice/slurry and toss everything together until the sauce thickens
- Taste and adjust seasonings.
- Serve over rice or noodles.
- The end.
As I said before, I had pork, bell peppers, carrot and shallot to use up. I marinated the pork in some ginger, chile sauce and soy sauce and made the slurry out of a little fish sauce and orange juice. It was very simple and very tasty. Just like yours will be.