Last night I decided to try a stir-fry recipe that a friend pointed out to me. It turned out wonderfully and is something that will be done again in our place.
The recipe is to be found on Heidi Swanson's blog 101 Cookbooks, which is a favorite of mine. It's the Asparagus Stir-fry Recipe. If you have time, look through her recipes, they are great! Don't expect precise measurements, or directions, BUT it's an awesome place for original recipes.
So, it reminded me that I had not talked about stir-fry much. I rarely stir-fry with a recipe since to me, a stir-fry is a "take whatever you have a throw it together" kind of dish. Kind of like a soup. Still there are a few things that I've learned along the way (most of the time the hard way AH!).
First thing to remember is that a stir-fry is all about preparation. You need to make sure that your ingredients are dry, you want to stir-fry, not steam. You also want to make sure that the size your cut your ingredient into will insure an even cooking.
Here I am cutting Tofu:
Another thing about Tofu is that you want to drain it and press it well. Wet Tofu is mushy tofu, and there's nothing I hate more than mushy tofu in a stir-fry. Yuck!
Draining, well, you drain the water... DUH! Pressing takes a little time, but it's totally worth it.
1- I put my block of tofu on a few layers of paper towel, folded the paper towel over to cover the tofu, put a heavy book on top or a plate.
2- Turn after about 20 minutes, let sit another 20 minutes or so.
3- Remove from the paper towel and cut into shapes. It's also a good prep to marinate tofu to bake!
So after this hopefully helpful tofu lesson, lets get back to stir-frying:
Note that not only do I prepare everything in advance, but I have everything within reach. That's very important because once you start, everything happens really fast!
I use a non-stick wok because I want to use little oil (I do use some though!) and I hate cleaning. it's that simple. Purist will say that you need to use a "real wok", to them I say whenever you offer to come and clean for me, I will.
Cooking is where the magic happens, your wok has to be hot, and things need to keep moving.
You don't want to overcook the vegetables, they just have to be crisp tender which is why you usually cook the meat/tofu first, and then take them out, cook the veggies, and add the proteins back in at the last minute.
So there you have it stir-frying for the clueless (like me) who didn't know a thing about it. ;op
I cannot leave without bragging a little about this morning's breakfast. I've been in an oatmeal phase, but today I just didn't wanna. I looked in the fridge and found inspiration in there.
Here's my breakfast:
Looks neat doesn't it? It's nothing fancy, leftover couscous, chopped spinach, red bell pepper, and a lightly scrambled egg (which was supposed to be an over-easy egg, but shit happens He he he).
It was delicious, and I think pretty. I just had to brag a little!
Be good n stuff!