Learn to Stir Fry

UPDATE 3: If using thicker veggies like broccoli or cauliflower, take the chicken out before you add the veggies, since they need to cook longer and you’ll overcook the chicken. Also, the chicken recipe only makes 3 modest servings, so if you want more try cooking in batches, with more of each per batch: chicken first, then veggies, then throw altogether with the sauce.

UPDATE 2: Had no sherry or chicken broth. Used white wine and threw in a little extra salt to the sauce and it turned out delicious!

UPDATE 1:
Make sure to start the rice before prepping everything so it will be done by the time you finish!

The chicken recipe’s sauce isn’t explained until a few steps into the recipe (Under “Sauce,” some of the ingredients listed are for the marinade and not the actual stir fry sauce, like cornstarch).

Original Post:

Following this guide elevated my stir fries from mushy, flavorless messes to crispy, tasty delights. I bought the wok, I seasoned it, I followed the chicken (subs tofu) recipe and the fried rice recipes. Both were delicious. The only change I’d make to the fried rice is to use the chicken recipe sauce instead of soy sauce (UPDATE: I tried this, and it was good, but I also added another egg for a little more protein and it came out a little mushy. If I do it again, I’ll cook the egg separately, either scramble or “pancake”).

Make sure to read all of the tips, too (like making sure the veggies are dry and pouring the sauce down the side of the wok, not directly on top of the ingredients).

Intro Article

Stir Fry Tips

Chicken Recipe

Fried Rice

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Lemon Ricotta Pasta

Pretty good, but a little too lemony for me. Might try with goat cheese next time, plus some other flavoring besides lemon (balsamic?)

Update: Tried with goat cheese and blanched asparagus and carrot slices peeled with a vegetable peeler. I flavored the sauce with white balsamic and added a little pasta water to the sauce to thin it out. The sauce tasted great, but when paired with the asparagus it kind of fell flat. Maybe asparagus is too much for this dish, but I’m not sure what vegetable would work. Maybe peas, to add a little sweetness?

http://www.thekitchn.com/recipe-lemony-ricotta-pasta-wi-57215

Seasoned Tofu

This was so good, just like the seasoned tofu you get in Korean restaurants. I followed the recipe exactly, except instead of drizzling the sauce onto the tofu after frying it all, I dunked the tofu immediately in the sauce after coming out of the pan. A trick I learned from a friend, I think it makes the sauce flavor the tofu better.

UPDATE: Two words: soft tofu. Making this with soft tofu was a revelation. It’s a little bit trickier since it’s a bit harder to handle and make sure it doesn’t fall apart, but it’s not that bad and totally worth it! Crispy on the outside, creamy on the inside.

Recipe: Seasoned Tofu

Portuguese Baked Eggs

Yum! I guess you rally can’t go wrong with tomato, chorizo, eggs and ricotta baked to gooey perfection. This recipe would be great to make for a brunch (it can easily be scaled up for down, the only constraint is how many baking dishes you have), but  I made for dinner like the recipe suggested. It also came together pretty fast.

I forgot to buy basil and red bell pepper, so I bet this would be even better with those. I couldn’t find chorizo, so I used smoked andouille from Trader Joe’s and it was delicious. I didn’t need any added heat on top of the andouille so I omitted the serrano peppers (I’m a bit of a wimp). I also added a bit of liquid to the sauce before simmering and immersion blended it at the end for a smoother consistency, but that’s just a preference. I served it up with brown rice for a bit of fiber, but of course it would be delicious with crusty bread per the recipe’s suggestion.

The recipe: Portuguese Baked Eggs

Cilantro and Asparagus Salad

I’m trying to experiment with non-lettuce based salads. I started with this cilantro and asparagus salad. Overall, it was pretty good, but it’s a bit time consuming, especially if you don’t make the shallot oil ahead of time. And I need to get my blanching skills under control, I always leave the ice bath in the sink, and it’s in the way when I need to strain the boiling veggies, so the whole thing is always a bit frenzied and I bet I end up overcooking.

1. Good Cilantro

The recipe’s author isn’t kidding about getting good cilantro. I wasn’t sure what she meant until I made this, but cilantro stems can be really tough. Apparently there’s some magical tender stemmed cilantro to be found, and I did not have it. I adapted by finely chopping mine.

2. Shallot Oil

You make this shallot infused sunflower oil as a base for the dressing, and it is delicious. I’d make this again (and maybe explore other infused oils). The recipe suggests sprinkling the crispy fried chopped shallot over the salad, which is also delicious and I bet would be good in all sorts of other things (stir fry, pasta).

The author also mentions making this with red pepper instead of asparagus, but I bet that would be less good if you have to chop your sub-par cilantro like I did.