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Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Sichuan Pork Stir Fry

The hotter the better right? Well, this one's five-alarm. Modify this recipe according to your heat threshold and be careful when making this for guests...I have come to realize that not everyone finds sweat the sign of a good meal. Personally, once the beads form under my eyes and on my forehead, I know I've reached optimal spice. Just make sure you have a bottle of Zantac close-by for later. This one's from Cooks Illustrated and what surprised me was how tender the pork was! Is it the baking soda soak? Who knew?? I highly recommend this one - Paddy gave this a higher rating than Wang's. All you Somerville folks know that that's a blue ribbon!

1/2 cup chicken broth
2 TB sugar
2 TB soy sauce
4 tsp Chinese black vinegar (you can sub with a little less balsamic or worcestershire sauce)
1 TB toasted sesame oil
1 TB rice wine or dry sherry
2 tsp ketchup
2 tsp fish sauce
2 tsp cornstarch

12 oz boneless country style pork ribs, trimmed
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 cup cold water
2 tsp rice wine or sherry
2 tsp cornstarch

Stir Fry
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 green onion, whites minced, greens sliced thin
2 TB chili paste
I added 1 tsp fermented black beans and chili for extra kick!!
6 oz shitakes, sliced thin
2 celery ribs or bok choy
Broccoli, matchstick carrots also good!

1. Whisk all sauce ingredients together and set aside.

2. Cut pork into 2 in. lengths and then each length into 1/4 in. matchsticks. Combine with baking soda and water and let sit at room temp for 15 mins or while you chop your veggies.

3. Rinse pork in cold water. Pat dry with paper towels. Whisk rice wine and cornstarch and add pork. Toss to coat.

4. Heat 1 TB oil in pan to medium high. Add mushrooms and stir frequently until tender. Add celery and any other veggies and cook until still crisp but tender - 2-4 mins. Transfer veggies to bowl and set aside.

5. Add remaining oil to the pan and reduce to medium low heat. Add garlic, green onion, and chilli and stir for about 30 seconds. Add pork, stir frequently until cooked. Add sauce mixture and increase heat to high. Stir constantly until sauce thickens. Add in the veggies and you're done!

Serve with jasmine rice. Print Friendly and PDF

Spicy Thai Coconut Chicken Soup

I know, it's summer and no one wants to eat soup. But I just found this recipe from Cooking Light in a pile and had to share. It's a great way to use leftover chicken - either grilled or roasted - just make sure to shred not dice. I made this a few times over the winter and it was delicious. Kel and Chad loved it and I promised long ago that I'd share. So here it is:

2 tsp canola oil
1 cup sliced mushrooms
4 tsp minced ginger
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 stalk lemongrass, halved lengthwise.
2 tsp garlic chili sauce (Sriracha)
3 cups chicken stock
1 1/4 coconut milk
4 tsp fish sasuce
1 TB sugar
2 cups shredded cooked chicken 
1/2 cup green onion
1/4 cup lightly chopped cilantro
2 TB lime juice

1. Heat a pot to medium and add oil. Add mushrooms and following ingredients through the lemongrass. Cook for about 3 minutes.

2. Add chili and cook for a minute. Add chicken stock, coconut milk, fish sauce and sugar and bring to a simmer. Reduce heat to low and simmer for about 10 minutes.

3. Add the chicken. Discard the lemongrass.

4. Serve and top with cilantro, green onion and lime juice. Print Friendly and PDF

Thai Grilled Beef Salad

Have you ever noticed that flank steaks are always enormous? It's a good thing - it's my favorite cut of meat and there are always leftovers. I love to make sandwiches with the leftovers - heat it up and put it in a baguette with some lettuce and it's delicious. It's also great on salads and, since I love everything Thai...(did I ever imagine fish sauce would become as regular an item on my grocery list as mayo??).  This recipe modified from Cooks Illustrated is a good one for a cool summer dinner.

Juice of 2 limes
2 TB fish sauce
1/8 tsp paprika
1/8 tsp cayenne
2 TB water
1/2 tsp sugar
3 shallots
1 cup mint leaves, chopped
1 cup cilantro, chopped
Flank steak leftovers - or whole one if you're looking for something to do with it!
1 cucumber, sliced

1. Mix the first nine ingredients together in a bowl until the sugar dissolves.

2. Heat up your flank steak quickly in a hot pan or leave it cold.

3. Add to the lime mixture and marinate about 5 minutes.

4. Layer the lettuce and cucumbers. Remove the steak from the marinade and lay on top. Spoon extra dressing over the salad as desired.

Print Friendly and PDF

Philly Cheesesteak

I wasn't sure if I should post this since it's so ridiculously simple. But I made these recently and I don't know what took me so long to make them at home. I LOVE cheesesteak! Laur would probably be disappointed in this recipe - it's not quite authentic but this is a really easy 5 minute dinner to satisfy a craving.

(Makes about 2)
1/2 lb roast beef from the deli counter
1/4 lb sliced American cheese
1 baguette

1. Heat a pan to medium high and add a touch of canola oil. Fry the roast beef until it browns a bit and gets a little crispy around the edges.

2. When the meat is just about done, layer the American cheese over it in the pan so it melts.

3. Stuff the meat and cheese into your baguette and enjoy! Print Friendly and PDF