So, this week I'm going to start a new feature: Fun in the Kitchen. Sure, I've had some good times in the kitchen before. Namely, some barbecue fun at my Dad's birthday, and my (somewhat) infamous Bacon Explosion. I've always loved to try new recipes and foods, and I'm hoping that this will encourage me to expand my horizons. Plus, it means that you'll get a little more variety when you visit. Sure, I'll still post about all my triathlon exploits, but now you can look forward to a whole new set of (mis)adventures.
|Beer-in-the-Kiester-Chicken for Dad|
|The Bacon Explosion. Let the photo speak for itself.|
All right. Let's get started. Today's experiment is going to be Sweet and Sour Stir-Fry. I like to consider myself competent with stir-fry. Honestly, it's not that tough. Just cut up some food that you like, toss in some sauce and fry 'er up in a pan or electric wok. (Side note: I freakin' LOVE my electric wok). Today, I'll try to make my own sauce for the first time, plus it'll be my first time using fresh ginger in a recipe.
I started by getting all of my ingredients together. Now, for those of you who get intimidated when you have to make mac-n-cheese (you know who you are), this may look like a lot of ingredients. But really, except for the fresh ginger and red wine vinegar, these are all fairly common items that you'll all have in your kitchen at one point or another.
|Let's see, we have 1 lb. of chicken, sugar, red onion, orange juice, garlic, ginger, red wine vinegar, green onions, canola oil, pineapple, corn starch and ketchup. Also acceptable: catsup.|
The first thing I hit was the sauce. Okay, well, I didn't actually 'hit the sauce' that would've been counter-productive. You know what I mean. Anyway, that was the easiest place to start. Just whisk together 6 tablespoons each of red wine vinegar, orange juice and sugar, add 3 tablespoons of ketchup and a tablespoon of corn starch to thicken things up. That's it. Easy-peasey.
|It certainly is...uh...orange.|
|Whoops. Singed a couple of 'em there.|
|Clockwise from the top: pineapple, red onion, green onion, grated ginger and minced garlic.|
So, are you with me so far? Great. Here comes the fun part. First, add 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil to your wok or frying pan and heat it up up to medium. The oil should be shiny, but not smoking. Then, add the red onions and toss 'em around for a couple of minutes, until they turn from 'crispy' to 'floppy'.
|About 1 minute in, not quite floppy enough yet.|
Next, toss in the minced garlic and grated ginger for a few seconds. You know, just long enough to make your kitchen smell AWESOME.
|See that smoke? That's Awesome in a gaseous state.|
|This photo is scratch-n-sniff. Go ahead. Just scratch your monitor and take a whiff.|
|Here you go. One 'Captain-Sized' portion of Sweet and Sour Stir-Fry, with one 'Wife-Sized' portion in the background.|
There you have it. Now, this all may seem pretty complicated, especially if you're not used to meals with more than 3 ingredients. But if you break it down, it's not too bad. This whole thing took me under 30 minutes, most of which were spent slicing up things on the cutting board. The actual time standing over the wok was under 10 minutes. So, if you can cut and stir, you're good-to-go. No sweat. Really.
Like I said, I'm hoping this will be a weekly segment. I'll give something new a try next week.