Monday, August 8, 2011

Mr. Hawthorne Stir Fries.

We love a good stir fry. And to get one, the Hawthornes do it themselves. For a proper stir fry, preparation is key. Take time to get your ingredients ready - your mise en place - and the actual fry time takes mere minutes. The beauty of a stir fry is that you can throw in basically anything. Take any combination of the following: Garlic. Ginger. Onion. Pepper. Carrot. Broccoli. Squash. Celery. Snow peas. Bok choy. Frozen peas. (NO CAN! NO CAN!) Mushrooms. Bamboo Shoots. Water chestnuts. Baby corn.
And throw in a protein: Beef. Chicken. Pork. Shrimp. At the end of cooking, I like to add in a chicken, beef, or vegetable stock with dissolved cornstarch and a little soy sauce to finish it off. Gives a nice glaze to the ingredients. It's that simple. You need an oil that has a high smoke point since everything is going to be cooked over high heat very quickly. I prefer peanut oil.
Mr. Hawthorne started out slicing peppers.
Very thinly sliced carrots and celery sliced on the diagonal.
Onion. For the protein, Mr. Hawthorne will be using shrimp. Peeled and de-veined.
Time: 12:43. Two tablespoons peanut oil with a few drops of sesame oil for a little extra flavor. Let the oil get hot over high heat and add the carrots.
Time: 12:44. Rest of veggies go in the wok - peppers, onion, carrot, celery, and sliced mushrooms.
Time: 12:45. Mr. Hawthorne adds a tablespoon of Sriracha sauce.
Time: 12:46. Shrimp in.
Remember, this is called "stir frying." Don't forget to keep stirring.
Time: 12:46. Add in a tablespoon or so of soy sauce.
Time: 12:47. Sprinkle in about a tablespoon of sugar.
Time: 12:47. If you look closely at the shrimp, you'll notice it's still not cooked. There's still some gray. Slowly pour in the stock/cornstarch mixture. About 2 tablespoons cornstarch dissolved in a cup of cold stock.
Time: 12:47. Continue stirring over high heat until sauce thickens.
Time: 12:48.
Mr. Hawthorne added a bit more Sriracha sauce and the baby corn, which he almost forgot.
Time: 12:48. Serve on a bed of rice. Stir fry time was all of 5 minutes. Took longer to prep ingredients than to cook.
This was light, full of different textures and flavors, with a lingering zing from the Sriracha.
We must know how to stir fry correctly. We were hungry again in about an hour.

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