Bean dish number one:
Aren't these home grown green beans beautiful? I trimmed the stem ends.
Then cut the beans in half for this particular dish.
A quick blanch and the beans are spread out to dry for an hour or so.
A bit more water and we have a quick tempura batter for the beans.
Heat your oil to 350 degrees and keep an eye on it. The temperature of the oil will go down as the beans hit the oil. I found that by the time the temperature began to rise again, the beans were ready to be pulled out and drained.
I had some leftover batter, so I fried that too. Darling daughter was happy with her mom.
These were good. Next time I will skip the blanching part as the water that was still trapped in the beans made the oil splatter something awful. Live and learn.
One of the things I miss most after learning that I am allergic to chicken is going to my favorite Chinese restaurant. But as most of the menu is chicken, I have found it to be a wholly unsatisfying experience to eat only the things I can safely have while staring miserably at all of my formerly favorite dishes. This has left me with the task of finding decent recipes that I can make at home, substituting either turkey or pork for the chicken.
I found a recipe for Two-Onion Pork Shreds that sounded similar to Pepper Chicken, so we will try this.
My local grocery store only had bone-in thinly sliced pork chops, so I started with that.
On to the marinade: The recipe called for 1/2 teaspoon Szechwan peppercorns, but as that particular ingredient was missing from my local grocery store, I substituted coarsly ground black pepper. Per instructions, I carefully toasted the pepper over medium low heat until the aroma of pepper filled the air. And it's not a bad aroma at that.
The marinade consists of:
1 teaspoon cornstarch
2 teaspoons soy sauce (I always use low sodium soy sauce)
2 teaspoons white wine (the recipe called for dry sherry, but that I have not gotten around to purchasing any for my pantry)
1 and 1/2 teaspoons canola oil
Mix together with the peppercorns and pour over the meat. Allow to sit for 30 minutes.
And we've sliced the white onion into slivers while the greens of the onion were cut into two inch pieces.
Mise en place for the remainder of the dish: soy sauce, white wine, red wine vinegar, sugar, garlic, dark sesame oil and the marinated meat.
The sauce is mixed:
2 teaspoons soy sauce
2 teaspoons white wine
2 teaspoons red wine vinegar
1/2 teaspoon sugar
2 cloves garlic, minced
Heat some canola oil in a skillet and cook the pork over high heat until no longer pink.
This happens quickly, so don't walk away.
Add the white onion and cook for one minute.
Add the green onion tops and cook for another 30 seconds.
Add the sauce and cook for another 30 seconds. Finish with 1/2 teaspoon sesame oil and remove from heat.
And we have our finished dish.
It wasn't bad as is, but needs more pepper (or the right kind of pepper) for the dish to really sing. I will keep looking for a good recipe to replace my pepper chicken.
Bean dish number 2:
Again I am cooking for just two, but this time my husband is joining me in our evening repast.
I trimmed and then blanched some more green beans at the same time I was doing the beans for the earlier dish.
I decided to do spicy garlic green beans for dinner. In deference to my husband's mild tastes, I drastically reduced the amounts of sesame oil, garlic and red pepper flakes. Here we have sesame oil, garlic, red pepper flakes (mine need to be replaced as the flakes are more brown than red now) and green beans. Salt and pepper will season the dish later.
I then added 1/2 teaspoon sesame oil, one garlic clove that was thinly sliced and 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes.
Continue to cook for another minute or so, being careful to not let the garlic burn.
Alas, even after making several green bean dishes this past week, I still have quite a few sitting in that bag in my refrigerator.
Now, I find myself wondering: what would Rosie Hawthorne do?