How to Cook Everything: The Basics: Pork Stir-Fry with Greens

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By Alaina Sullivan

In the time that it takes to wait for take-out, you could already be sinking your chopsticks into this savory stir-fry. Nothing more than pork and greens dressed in a garlicky soy-lime sauce, it is not only weeknight-dinner easy, but also a foundation for any number of variations (each more delicious and more fun than any take-out version). I used red chard here, but any green is fair game (bok choy, spinach, mustard greens, kale and collards are other great options).

The trademark flavors of lime juice and soy sauce create a bright, umami-rich sauce. If you want to give it extra kick, toss in a bit of lime zest and some crushed red pepper flakes. I also added a drizzle of toasted sesame oil (and sesame seeds too) for some nuttiness and extra crunch. Recipe from How to Cook Everything: The Basics.

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Posted in Chinese, Recipes

Sunday Supper: Stir-Fried Beef with Onions and Ginger

Recipe adapted from How to Cook Everything.

Stir-Fried Beef with Onions and Ginger

Makes: 4 servings

Time: 30 minutes, plus time to freeze the beef

Onions, beef, and ginger are an almost holy combination; the synthesis is simply delicious. Other cuts and meats you can use: pork, preferably from the shoulder or leg (fresh ham); lamb, preferably from the shoulder or leg; boneless chicken; shrimp.

3 /4to 1 pound flank or sirloin steak or other tender beef cut

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

2 tablespoons peanut or neutral oil, like grapeseed or corn

2 large or 3 medium onions, thinly sliced

1 teaspoon minced garlic

1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon minced or grated

fresh ginger

1 /2cup beef or chicken stock, or water

1 tablespoon hoisin sauce or soy sauce

1. Slice the beef as thinly as you can, across the grain. It’s easier if you freeze it for 15 to 30 minutes first. Cut the slices into bite-sized pieces. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and set aside.

2. Heat a large skillet over high heat until it smokes, 3 to 4 minutes. Add 1 tablespoon of oil and the onions. Stir immediately, then stir every 30 seconds or so until the onions soften and begin to char slightly, 4 to 5 minutes. Sprinkle the onions with salt and pepper, then remove them; keep the heat high.

3. Add the remaining oil to the pan, then the garlic and 1 tablespoon of the ginger; stir and immediately add the beef. Stir immediately, then stir every 20 seconds or so until it loses its color, just a minute or two longer; stir in the onions. Add the stock, hoisin, and remaining teaspoon of ginger; let some of the liquid bubble away and serve immediately, over rice.

 

Posted in Chinese, Recipes

Sunday Supper: Squid with Chiles and Greens

A lot of people only eat squid if it’s deep-fried. Here it’s stir-fried, which means that it’s quick, it’s easy, and it won’t make your kitchen too hot for too long. Adapted from How to Cook Everything.

Squid with Chiles and Greens

Makes: 4 servings

Time: 20 minutes

Squid cooks so fast and freezes so well that this dish can easily become a pantry staple for weeknights. As with most stir-fries, just about all the ingredients can be varied. Serve with sticky rice.

About 1 1/2 pounds cleaned squid

8 to 12 ounces bitter greens, like collards, kale, arugula, or dandelion

3 tablespoons peanut or neutral oil, like grapeseed or corn

1 chopped jalapeño or other fresh chile, or to taste, or several dried hot chiles

1 tablespoon chopped garlic

Salt

1. Separate the squids’ tentacles from their bodies if that has not been done; slice the bodies into rings; cut the tentacles in half if they’re large. Rinse well and drain while you prepare the other ingredients. Strip the greens’ leaves from the stems and discard any stems thicker than 1/8 inch. Chop, rinse, and dry; you want 2 to 3 cups.

2. Put the oil in a large skillet over high heat. When hot, add the chile and the garlic and stir for about 15 seconds. Add the greens and cook, stirring almost constantly, until they wilt, about 2 minutes. Add the squid and a large pinch of salt and cook, stirring occasionally, until the squid becomes opaque and its liquid moistens the greens, about 2 minutes. Taste and adjust the seasoning and serve immediately.

 

Posted in Chinese

Stir-Fried Squid (But Not That Much) and Basil

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The interesting thing about this squid stir-fry was how much squid I used: two of ‘em, for two people, and although they were big-ish, the total weight was about a quarter-pound, and the dish fed two of us more than satisfactorily.  

I cooked a big onion, a couple of stalks of celery, and some garlic and ginger in peanut oil until they were tender. I took ‘em out, threw in cut up squid, and cooked for about a minute. I put the vegies back in, along with the basil you see here and, a minute later, a couple of tablespoons  of peanuts, then a couple of tablespoons of water and soy sauce. Tiny bit of sesame oil. That was it, and over rice – we were happy.

Posted in Chinese, Seafood

The Stir-Fried Breakfast

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I was going to say “I don’t want to become the spokesperson for the oddball, savory breakfast,” but then I realized I do want to become the spokesperson for the oddball, savory breakfast. Or if not the spokesperson a leading advocate.

This is nothing new for me – I wrote about Asian breakfasts, which are almost all savory, in the New Haven Register in, I would say, 1984. But since the vegan-before-six thing started, it has taken on a new life, probably because there are always vegetables around. And I wake up hungry.

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Posted in Vietnamese