Thursday, March 11, 2010

A Simple Stir-fry formula

I have never been a Wok wiz, I have purchased a variety of them through the years and used them all. And still I am not the wiz that I would like to be. But then I realized I don't live at PF Chang, and I don't need flashy and wizardly wok skills, I just need to get dinner on the table.

So I do my own version called, Sizzle and serve. There is a bit of time with the cover on (gasp) and you can get a couple of other things completed, like set the table. I visit The Perfect Pantry on a regular basis and found this basic sauce that Lydia refers to as a "trinity". From there I simply added a couple of ideas and here is a process that is open to what ever you have in the fridge and have decided will be dinner.

Just Sizzle and Serve!

1 pound meat cut into bite size pieces ( I used pork)

1 small onion cut into large squares or spring onions cut into 1 inch pieces

Other veggies, this could be broccoli, a zucchini some sliced cabbage, carrots - it is what you have and needs using up ( I used a sweet red pepper and about 2 c bean sprouts)

for the "trinity"
3 T soy sauce
2 T oyster sauce
1 T sesame oil

flavoring agents as needed/wanted
minced garlic
grated fresh ginger

1-2 T sugar ( I used 1 T for the pork, would probably use 2 with chicken)
1/4 c sake or sherry

1/2 c water
2 t cornstarch

Saut'e meat in a large flat bottom pan in a single layer on high until golden on one side. Toss in the pan with 2 wooden spoons, return to a single layer, individually turning those pieces that did not turn.

When meat has been browned evenly, pour on the trinity and add any flavor agents desired.

Cover and cook for about a minute, next add the sugar, wine and veggies, stir and cover for another minute.

Combine water and cornstarch, stir into pan. Cook and stir until thicken and clear. Remove from heat, cover and set the table. Call the family and serve over rice or noodles your choice.

This is easy, quick and adaptive to what you have on hand. If you serve a particular combination your family loves, it becomes your own recipe!

Recipe rating:  Oh Yes! (will make again)

I know we will have this again, it fits right in with my idea of easy, adaptable and good.

As always thanks for taking a moment to stop and say hello, I appreciate it so!

This post is being shard with:

Tuesday Night Supper Club@fudge ripple

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Baked Kale Chips

I have purchased kale many times with the thought of making this recipe. I have then gone on to use the kale in other ways and never get around to making these. Truth be told, it is not a recipe so much as a process. I scaled back on the amount made for two reasons, I am fairly certain Honey will not eat these after the first bite and the one bunch insures that these are eaten up without waste. I should get in the habit of purchasing a bunch of kale at the market each week, I have started to cook with it frequently.

I decided to make them with only salt as the flavoring this first time out. I did notice that Alana over at A Veggie Venture suggested a little vinegar or mustard as well. Maybe that will be a future batch. I think I will like these, I have been looking for a crunchy salty snack, that was not deep fried or loaded with unhealthy fats.  I am also playing around with the convection feature on the new range, and have not had much experience with this as yet!

Baked Kale Chips

1 bunch kale
1 T + olive oil

Wash kale under running water, or my favorite in a sink of warm water. Using your hands "open" the ruffles and make sure the area in there is not harboring dirt. Lift out and drain well.

Remove middle stem from kale leaves. I found it easiest to use my hands for this, a small paring knife got lost in the ruffles.


Break kale into 3X3 inch pieces. Spin dry in a salad spinner or roll into a kitchen towel squeezing gently and let rest 5 minutes for the excess water to be absorbed.

Place kale in a large bowl, add oil. Using your hands lift, turn and massage kale leaves to coat with the oil.

Spread onto a large rimmed baking sheet, and sprinkle generously with the salt. Keep in mind, that a lot of the salt will stay on the bottom of the baking pan. Next time for one bunch of kale, I will use a 9X13 inch pan, the goal is the dry the kale rather than brown it.

Bake 350 for 5 minutes, stir the outside pieces to the middle of the pan and the middle pieces to the outside of the pan. Bake 5 - 8 minutes more.

The volumn of kale is greatly reduced after baking. If you are serving these as a prelude to dinner, you would want to make up a pound of kale, which is about 3 bunches.

Recipe rating:  Oh Yes! (will make again)

As always thanks so much for taking a moment out of your day to stop for a visit.


Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Sausage and bean "stroup"

When I first read the term "stroup" I was not real sure how I felt, except to think it was a bit goofy. But I have come to understand and use the term, so maybe I am a bit goofy too! Monday I put some ingredients into the crockpot and went to work. I came home to a wonder pot of stroup.

I had a couple of withered peppers to use up. They are not pretty at this point, but still good. I looked around a bit on the web and found this recipe at Kayln's kitchen. I adapted it only a little bit to use what I had. Recipes like this are so handy as well as tasting wonderful. You can be frugal and make a nice meal at the same time.

Sausage and bean stroup
adapted from Kayln's kitchen

1 red pepper
1 yellow pepper (that's what I had, you could substitute a green pepper for one of these)
1 large onion
1 T olive oil
5 links turkey Italian sausage
2 cans ready to use tomatoes (or a qt of home canned, cut small, do not drain)
2 cans cannelloni beans ( or 3-4 c cooked)
4 - 6 c chicken broth (I used turkey stock that I had in the freezer, about 6 c in the bag)
1 t basil
1 t oregano
2 bay leaves

 This was before I added the onions!

Dice the peppers and onion, saute in the 1 T oil, add to crockpot. 

Cut the sausage down the center, and remove from the casing, brown in the same pan used for the peppers and onion. You will want to turn and chop a bit to break it up. Brown well, add to the crockpot.

If using canned beans, drain and rinse well. Add remaining ingredients, and cook on low for 8 hours or if you are home, on high for 4.

Serve with a sprinkle of Parmesan cheese or a spoon of pesto. Or the third option is simply serve in a bowl and enjoy! I have these 4 packages to enjoy in the future, but I will be making this again. This would be good served over a sauteed slice of Polenta. Yum.

Recipe rating:
Oh Yes! Will make again.

As always thanks for taking a moment to stop and say hello. I appreciate your visits!

This post is being shared with:
Full Plate Thursday @ Miz Helen's Country Cottage