STIR FRY

The key to cooking is technique. Temperature plays a giant role as to executing a good dish.

Here is a simple stir fry. This recipe I was using a Wok on a Gas Burner. I am certain that you culinary pirates out their can whip something up with foil over fire but this one is for the home chef who wants to create a routine, one night a week.

If you have an electric burner, just cover the wok during preheat time and after adding each ingredient. Have all of your ingredients (mise en place) together because this is not a dish you want to step away from to finish a level on AngryBirds.

I used vegetables for this one, no protein. I was testing the even heat of a 3 ring flame burner, the Capital Culinarian. This allows even heat from center to outer bowl of the wok. This is the ideal heat for this style of cooking. If you don’t have a burner like this make your stir fry in smaller batches for better results. Using too many ingredients drops the temperature of the pan and adds a lot of moisture. You may not get the sizzle you need for a great stir fry.

Cooking oil should be a high heat oil. Not your favorite olive oil or flavorless vegetable oil. Try grape seed, coconut, tea tree, safflower or canola to name a few.

If you are adding a protein, cook that 3/4 the way done and remove it from the pan. After the vegetables are almost done, return the protein to finish it through. You may get better flavor an appearance this way. If you are using a purchased Stir Fry Sauce, add it at the end.

Image

Ingredients:

2 tablespoons oil

1 small medium onion, peeled and sliced thin

2 large carrots, peeled and slice thin 1/4″ on the bias

1 cuban pepper, seeded and slice 1/2″ strips

4 ounces mushrooms, wiped clean, sliced

Fist size bunch of broccoli, separated, cut uniform flowerettes

4 ounces pea pods, rinsed

4 ounces bean sprouts 

1 tablespoon Saracha

1 Tablespoon minced Ginger

2 tablespoons Honey

2 Tablespoons Soy Sauce

1 Teaspoon Fish Sauce

1/2 cup chicken broth (rice wine or water will do)

2 tablespoons Cornstarch mixed with 2 Tablespoons of water

Salt & White pepper to taste

Image

Method:

Have all ingredients near. Heat wok on high heat, cover pan for the first minute. As the pan begins to smoke, remove it from the heat and add the oil. Carefully turn the pan to coat. Return to heat and add Onions and Carrots. Continue stirring or flipping so they do not stick. After a minute add the pepper and mushroom. Continue stirring and cook until vegetables begin to brown. (if you had pre-seared a protein add it now)

Stir in the ginger and saracha. Add the remaining vegetables and liquid then cover the pan to steam the greens and sprouts.

Image

After a minute, add remaining ingredients and continue stirring for 30 seconds until liquid begins to thicken. Season with salt & pepper.

Remove from heat and enjoy!

Advertisements

Breaded Pork Cutlet

Simple recipe. This breading procedure applies to chicken, pork, veal, turkey cutlet, vegetables, etc. Ingredients are highlighted.

You are going to need:

1-1/2 cups AP flour

4 cups bread crumb ( Use fresh if you can, if not use PLAIN)

3 eggs, beaten with 1 cup milk

I used a 2 lb.,center cut pork loin and sliced the cutlets about 3/4″ thick.

Place them in between plastic wrap and pound away. Not too hard or you will bust a few holes into the cutlets.

Season them with either salt & pepper or your favorite house spice. Just don’t go too heavy because spices should just enhance not dominate the protein’s flavor.

Set up three bowls. One with flour, one with and egg wash and the last with bread crumbs.

The trick to breading is to keep one hand dry and the other wet. This way you don’t have breaded fingers in which you certainly with dirty up the rest of your kitchen with. So let’s say left hand wet and right hand dry.

Grab the cutlet with your left hand and place it in the flour.

Use your right hand to dust flour over the cutlet and dunk into the egg wash. Use your left hand to fish it out and drain it a bit before dipping into the bread crumb.

Use your right hand again to dust with bread crumbs and press some into the cutlet remove and place on a platter.

Turn on your oven to 375˚ Convection.

When all are breaded, place a saute pan over a high heat. After a minute, add enough oil to cover the bottom of pan. When the oil is creating little waves, about 45 seconds, add  two cutlets. Turn the heat down a bit.

As the cutlets begin to turn light brown on the sides ( about 1-1/2 minutes) flip them over for 10 seconds then transfer them brown side up, to a bake pan. When all cutlet have been seared in the saute pan, transfer them into the middle rack in the oven. Bake for 7-10* minutes. Test to see if they are firm to the touch. Remove and pat them with a paper towel to remove any excess oil.

Plate them up top with sauce. Enjoy!

Sauces:

Simple– drain oil from saute pan, return to a high heat add one minced shallot, tablespoon of capers and cook for a minutes. Add  1/4 cup white wine and juice from a lemon wedge. Reduce liquid in half. Add 1/2 stick butter and stir constantly remove from heat. Season with salt & pepper.

Detailed-drain oil from pan, return it to a high heat and add one minced shallot, 12 pitted cherries, 10 green peppercorns cook for a minute. Remove from heat and add a couple of shots of cognac, return to heat (be careful if it flames – don’t singe your eyebrows 😉 Add 1/2 cup demi glace (prepared). Remove from heat and add a heaping tablespoon of creme fraiche. Stir in completely.  Season with salt & pepper.

Here is a photo of cutlets that I sampled at a cooking demonstration. I added cauliflower au gratin with truffle oil. Cutlets are topped with the cherry demi.

*keep them in the oven for the longer time frame if your oven stinks and doesn’t hold its temperature well.

Beef Brisket, an Irish Dinner?

This is an easy one for those who can put a pot on the stove top, add a few ingredients and leave it alone for a while.

Are you up for the challenge?

You don’t have to be Irish to enjoy this easy dinner. You just have to be a patient cook.

Ok first hit the market to get the following ingredients. Now the only curve-ball may be that when you get a brisket they are offered as Flat or Point.

One is cheaper than the other. That is lean versus fatty cut. My advise is get one of each. better flavor, great yield and if you happen to have leftovers, they hold well.

Ingredients:

Beef brisket as stated, one Point & one Flat (throw out the seasoning packs that are included in the packages)

4 pack Stout Beer

3 bay leaves

4 Tablespoons Whole grain Mustard (don’t cheap out & use yellow mustard)

1 white onion, peeled and cut in quarters

4 carrots, peeled and diced large

4 parsnips, peeled and diced large

2 purple top turnips, peeled, diced 1″ cubes

1 large AP potato, peeled and diced 2″ cubes

1 head savoy cabbage, peel outer leaves, remove core and slice 1″ slices

Salt & pepper to taste

Method:

Remove brisket from package and drain in sink. Rub with mustard and put in a large pot. Add beer and bay leaves. Cover with water. Place a lid on top. Crank on the heat. When you reach a boil, turn the heat to low. Add onion and cover with the lid off slightly so it does not cover the pot entirely and lets stem escape.

Wait  3 hours and add turnips, carrots,potato and parsnips. After 15 minutes add cabbage. Cook until meat is fork tender.

Remove from pot and slice up only enough meat that will be served (it will dry out once it is removed from broth). Add vegetables and some broth to plate.

Add salt & pepper after you taste it. You may like the flavor without.

Accompany with extra mustard or horseradish with pickles.

This is a brisket that I cooked in the Wolf Convection Steam Oven, while testing it out. I separated the veggies from the meat. I basted the veggies with some of the broth from the brisket.

Raspberry Sauce

I got a deal at the local market. 50¢ per pint. There are only so many raspberries you can eat before you get sick of them. Yes, a pie should have been the go to on using these up but they were just on the border of delicious & mush.

I rinsed and air-dried the raspberries.

Placed them into the Food process to blend.

 

Strained into a sauce pan. Tip: use a ladle to push through the strainer.

 

Heated them up with a pinch of salt and Agave Nectar to sweeten just to taste.

Using two tablespoons of cornstarch and some of the puree to blend, to thicken the sauce.

Now what to do?

I used the sauce as a plate garnish, a vinaigrette, to sweeten & color whip cream, creme brulee, chocolate cupcakes. The possibilities are endless.

The sauce can freeze but you will need to bring it back to heat since the cornstarch may chunk up when you thaw it out for use. So freeze it in small batches or use a vacuum seal.

Let me know any of your ideas for raspberry sauce.