Friday, August 27, 2010

Recipes! Recipes! - paying my debt and some

This has got to be my lucky day. Ever been in an emergency, like, you owe someone a recipe but you can't find the one you painstakingly measured and typed out a couple of years ago for a friend but mysteriously disappeared out of your hard drive, and now you don't know what measurements to mete out to satisfy the need of another dear but take-no-prisoner kind of friend...? Well, I tell you, miracle happens, I mean when you need ideas badly, memory begins to clear a path on its own through the undergrowth inside your tired skull full of mush, uh, I mean, paint and turpentine fume. Eventually the light turns on and you know if you'd just weed through the hundreds of old emails there's a very good chance that you find it.

So, here it is, or, they are:

Recipe for Everyday Fried Rice
-fresh chili peppers or chili powder may be added to the recipe if you like it spicy.

What you need:
  • 4-5 cups of cooked rice (Asian Jasmine rice preferred)
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • salt & pepper
  • Cavender's Greek seasoning (optional)
  • 3-5 (or other amount depending on quantity of veggie & rice) tablespoons vegetable or other cooking oil
  • assorted vegetables: cabbage, bell pepper cut into thin strips, chopped onions, bean sprouts, green peas, etc., about 1 cup each or some.
  • 1 cup of diced ham, or 2 strips cooked bacon, chopped; shrimps are excellent as substitute or combined with any of the meats.
  • 1 green onion, chopped
  • 1 teasp sugar
  • 1-2 tbsp soy sauce (optional)
  •  Heat 1 tbsp oil in wok or large skillet on high, cook eggs till set or slightly golden. Transfer to board or plate, chop or break into small pieces, set aside.
  • Put more (3-5 tbsp) oil in wok, heat on high
  • Drop in all veggies of choice, cook on high, keep stirring until all veggies are tender (if use green peas, add after other veggies are cooked for about 2min.), add chopped ham or bacon. Stir-fry for another 2 minutes.
  • Add cooked rice, stir and blend well with veggies
  • Add cooked eggs, blend well.
  • Add salt & pepper, soy sauce, sugar to taste
  • Add 2-3 tbsp water if rice is sticking to wok too much
  • Add chopped green onion and blend well just before turning off the heat.
Recipe for Everyday Fried Noodles (Chow Mien)
- procedure similar to that of fried rice - combine cooked noodles with cooked meats & assorted vegetables, season with salt, pepper, Cavender's seasoning, soy sauce, and a little sugar. Chili pepper or powder may be added to taste.

What you need:
  • 1/2 lb Angel hair or egg noodles (use up to 1lb of noodles for more people)
  •  3-5 tbsp cooking oil (adjust according to amount of noodles and veggies cooked)
  • 2-3 tbsp soy sauce
  •  2 cloves of fresh garlic (or 1 tsp garlic powder), chopped
  • 1 tsp fresh chopped ginger root
  • 1 green onion, chopped
  • salt & pepper
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • assorted vegetables: onion, bell pepper, celery, cabbage, carrots, all cut into about 2" strips or shreds to go along with shape of noodles.
  • meat of choice: cooked chicken, ham, or cooked lean pork, cut into strips; shrimps are excellent as substitute or combined with any of the meats.
  • heat oil in wok or deep skillet on high, till very hot
  • roast garlic and ginger in oil, don't let burn (if use garlic powder, omit this step)
  • drop in all the chopped veggies, stir-fry till all is tender (carrots take longer time to cook so may be cooked 3 minutes before adding other veggies)
  • at this point, cook noodles as instructed on package (if noodles are cooked before veggies are done, keep noodles from sticking by adding oil or butter)
  • drop in meat of choice, stir and blend well, cook 1 more minute
  • add cooked noodles
  • add soy sauce, salt, pepper, sugar to taste (garlic powder too, if used)
  • stir and blend well
  • add some water if noodles stick to wok too much
  • add chopped green onion just before turning off heat

Recipe for Ma Po Tofu 麻婆豆腐
-Tofu is made of soybeans in a curd form, resembling cheese in appearance, available in soft, firm, or extra-firm, at Wal-mart. This dish is best served slightly salty and spicy, with enough thickened broth to top plain rice.

What you need:
  • 1 pound (or square) of soft or firm Tofu
  • 3/4 cup of ground pork
  • 1 can of chicken stock
  • 4-5 tbsp cooking oil
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • Chinese cooking wine (optional)
  • 2 tsp corn starch (mixed with 2 tbsp water)
  • 2 cloves of fresh garlic, chopped
  • 1 green onion, chopped
  • salt & pepper
  • 1 tsp chili powder (optional)
  • cut Tofu into 1/2" thick, 1" squares, blanch in very hot water, drain, set aside
  • heat oil on high in wok or deep pan
  • cook ground pork in hot oil, stir rapidly till just cooked through (don't overcook)
  • add garlic, salt & pepper, chili powder, soy sauce, cooking wine,
  • add tofu to the pan or wok, stir carefully to keep tofu from breaking too much, blend with meat and seasonings
  • add chicken stock, stir gently so tofu set in stock evenly, bring to a boil
  • turn heat to low, cover, let simmer (slightly steadily bubbly) for at least 30-40 minutes; check and stir every ten minutes; add a little water if liquid is reduced too fast (since tofu doesn't have any taste in itself, it depends on this simmering to soak up the flavor in the meat and stock; the longer, the better, up to an hour. I usually cook tofu before I make other dishes for this reason.)
  • uncover during the last 5 minutes of simmering, at this point the liquid should be reduced to about half and thickened.
  • just before finishing, turn up heat, add cornstarch/water mixture, pour evenly around the wok or pan, stir as the cornstarch dissolves and thickens the whole thing.
  • Stir in chopped green onion, turn off heat, serve immediately.
 AS a general rule, don't let one or any missing ingredient keep you from cooking up any of these. Think about it, and think easily: to make any of these dishes, the essentials are the title ingredient, namely, rice, noodles and Tofu, plus oil and seasonings (in the case of rice, you've got to have eggs, no eggs, no fried rice), whip them up in a sizzling wok, throw in chopped green onions and you are ready to go. Drizzle with soy sauce if you like. That's just an extreme scenario if you are so unfortunate as to find yourself sans any protein or veggie here listed.

A more specifi rule: don't tell me that you don't like Tofu.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks!:)

    I'm even going to try the tofu!!


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