Saturday, March 16, 2013

Rosie Stir Fries For Her Little Hawthornelets.

 One of my favorite meals to make
is a stir fry.
It's fast to make.
It's pretty to look at.
It's good to eat.
  And it's so very versatile.

 Preparation is paramount in stir frying.
Everything must be chopped, minced, sliced
and ready to go into the wok.
Time is of the essence when stir frying.
You cannot stop in the middle
and look for an ingredient that you forgot to fix.

This is a prime example of the importance of mise en place.
Everything in place.

I don't do mise en place for everything.
 But stir fry is where I always use it.
Also in baking, during my annual Christmas Rosiethon.

Most preparations don't require it.
But I do it for my readers
so you can see everything in front of you.
For those of you who are hesitant about cooking
or just learning to cook,
I recommend organizing all your ingredients
until you get more comfortable with the process.

In a mise en place,
all ingredients are prepped -
washed, chopped, minced, sliced.
And the ingredients are organized and arranged.
Every utensil and food item you will need
are in order, within arm's length.

That said, EAM, I agree with you.
Having mise en place and pimiento in the same sentence
 is somewhat lofty and superfluous.
But sometimes,
that's what it takes.

My stir fry ingredients:
pork, thinly sliced (helps to have pork slightly frozen)
garlic cloves
red pepper
crinkly carrot coins
bok choy
sliced mushrooms

I'm making a marinade for the pork:
2 TB Tamari sauce
2 TB rice vinegar
3 TB corn starch
Add the pork strips to the marinade
and toss by hand to coat.
Let sit for at least 30 minutes.

Middle Hawthorne wanted to do the rice.
Go right ahead and be my guest.
Middle Hawthorne has 
brown jasmine rice simmering on the stove.

Ingredients for rice:
2-3 TB butter
2-3 TB sesame seeds
1 egg
1-2 TB soy sauce (Taste test.)
2-3 TB frozen peas
2-3 TB tiny diced carrots (size of peas)
2-3 TB chopped onion

Middle Hawthorne squiggled a little oil 
in his hot skillet over medium high heat
and added the onions, carrots,  peas, and sesame seeds.
Stir fry for about 1 minute.

Add in the butter and cooked rice.
Keep stirring.

When the butter melts drop in the egg.
Stir away.

Middle Hawthorne added several capfuls of soy sauce.
Heaping tablespoon.
Cover and remove from heat.

Now, it's Rosie's turn to cook.
I heated my wok over high heat,
added about 2 TB peanut oil,
and when the oil was hot,
I dropped in my carrots and ...

Time:  2:30
...  and my broccoli ...

All the while stirring and shaking the pan.
...  Add in my mushrooms and  ...

...  and my red peppers  ...

...  my onions and  ...

...  my garlic and  ...

Time:  2:31

...  my bok choy.

Everything goes in one item right after the next.
All items were in the pan in under 1 minute.
Keep stirring and keep your vegetables in constant movement.

Add about 1/4 cup water
down the side of the hot wok.
This steams the veggies.

Time:  2:32

Remove from wok and cover.

Time:  2:33.

Start on the pork.
Add 2 TB peanut oil to the hot wok.

Time:  2:34

I'm frying in batches.
Remember - never crowd your pan.
It lowers the temperature.

Time 2:34

Stirring constantly over high heat.
Remove first batch and place in with the vegetables.

Time 2:35.

Heat wok back to high heat
and add in second batch.

Time:  2:36.

I like to sprinkle a teaspoon or two of sugar.
Helps to caramelize the meat.

Add in the garlic.

Time:  2:38

Add in the first batch of pork and the vegetables.

Time:  2:38.

I poured in the marinade.

And a cornstarch slurry of 2 TB cornstarch,
1 TB cold water, and 1 TB soy sauce
Pour it down the side.
Cook until thickened.

Add in cashews.

Time:  2:39.

Lunch is served.

Time:  2:39

From mise en place to table in under nine minutes.

I love a good stir fry.
I love colorful foods.
I love different textures.
I love fresh, bright flavors.
 I get all of that in a stir fry.
Plus I always want seconds and thirds.

A stir fry is economical as well.
Only two pork chops were used in this dish.
The bulk is vegetables.
And it fed four of us for lunch,
including two male twenty-somethings.


And Middle Hawthorne knows a thing or two about rice.

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