Saturday, February 5, 2011

Easy Peasey Stir Fry!!

After a long day of pouring wine to the masses, the last thing I want to do is go out to a restaurant. I'm tired, hungry and sick of talking.  Husband pours me a nice glass of wine and I start going through the veggie bin pulling out the odds and ends that have been calling me to do something with them.  Sometimes I have leftover bits of chicken or pork.  If I have planned ahead I will have defrosted some prawns or a chicken breast or just go with the veggies.  One of my fav cooking vessels is the cast iron wok I bought for Steve one year. He loves to do the stir frying in our house as long as I do the prep. It works out perfectly!
One of our closest friends, Puff, was visiting us from the North.  I sometimes give him a cooking lesson as he lives alone now. I decided to put together the ingredients and technique of a simple stir fry for him  and type up a recipe of sorts.  My pantry always has an arsenal of Asian sauces and ingredients for seasoning.  Just having a box of Annie Chun's noodles is a time saver as she includes a packet of sauce which I sometimes use depending on what I have added to the wok.  Otherwise out comes the rice cooker.

Basic Easy Peasey Stir Fry                                                              

2 Boneless, skinless chicken breasts*
     Cut up into 1" pieces
1 Tbsp. each, cornstarch and soy sauce
    Combine the chicken pieces, cornstarch and soy sauce in a bowl, tossing to coat.

Heat a wok or skillet until hot and and add 1/4 c. vegetable oil ( I use peanut oil)
   Stir fry the chicken until it is cooked through.  Remove to a plate.

Tip: If I use leftover cooked meat or seafood I omit the cornstarch-soy bath and the pre stir fry.

Mince 1-2 cloves garlic
Mince 2 tsp fresh ginger
Tip: When you buy a knob of ginger, slice it up into quarter sized slices. Put in a jar and cover with dry Sherry, Dry Vermouth or Vodka. It will keep indefinetely and the ginger infused liquor is devine used in a recipe or cocktail!

Cut up Vegetables of choice to equal 1 quart (4 cups).

Here is a selection that I usually use:
Broccoli cut into 1" pieces, peel the stems and cut them up too.
Cauliflower cut into 1" flowerettes
   I steam these together for about 5 min.
Carrots sliced thin on the diagonal
Sugar snap peas, or snow peas cleaned and cut in half on the diagonal
Mushrooms, quartered
Red and or Green Bell pepper cut into 1" pieces
1 small Onion sliced in half lengthwise and cut into lengthwise slices
   Note: any vege that can be stir fried can be added ie Fennel, Napa Cabbage ribs, bok choy etc.

If you stir fried the chicken, you should have oil left in the wok. To this add 1 tsp. sesame oil. If you did not, add 1 Tbsp. peanut oil along with the sesame oil to a heated wok.
Add garlic, ginger and all of the raw (not steamed) veges.  Toss until they are heated through and still crisp. Add the steamed veges and chicken.

Sauce: Use a bottled stir fry sauce found in Asian sections of grocery stores. One of my favorite is Trader Joe's Sesame-Soy vinagrette which I always have on hand, along with a squirt of Siracha hot chili sauce (everyone should have a bottle of this on hand) or other chile based Asian sauce.
Use about 1/4 c. You can add more if needed.

To make your own: combine 1 tsp. red chili flakes or chile garlic sauce, 1 Tbsp. dry sherry (or the booze from the soaked ginger),1 tsp. soy sauce, 1 tsp. sugar, 1 tsp. cornstarch, 1 tsp. rice vinegar and 1 tsp. sesame oil in a bowl. Pour over the yummy vege-protein in the wok and toss to combine and slightly thicken. Taste for seasoning adding more soy or chili sauce. If too thick add a little water. You want a loose saucey consistency.

Remove to a serving bowl and keep warm.

If you have cooked rice, toss it in the wok with a little sauce for a quick stir fry rice or have the cooked noodles ready to serve with the Stir Fry.

Serves 3-4