Stir Fry To Die For

Stir Fry To Die For

Tonight’s dinner was so amazing! I went all out on the meat (hoison marinated pork tenderloin), budget on the veggies and pre made on the sauces but who cares? It was delicious and that is what is most important. My belly feels like it might explode! I am so full. Okay here is what I did:

First, I got my prep cook and cut up all the veggies and the meat. The meat, of course, I sliced super thin. Here is my prep cook:

stir fry9

Veggies and meat are now cut.

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There are a few things that I didn’t pull out of the fridge til after this was shot like tomatoes and bean sprouts. Now the sauces:

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Of course the main sauce was still in the cupboard when I took this. I use the stir fry sauce you can get from any supermarket. I think it is Kikoman. Same brand as the soy sauce and rice vinegar. Notice the soy sauce as well as the liquid aminos. I have a gluten freebie in my house so we have cut as much soy from her diet as possible as well as gluten. In fact, my prep cook, is the one who struggles with gluten.

Next, heat the pan to super hot with oil already in it then drop in some onions, green peppers, red peppers, and celery.

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Let those cook while stirring till they start to change color and look translucent. Add in your big veggies like broccoli, carrots (if you like em), snap peas, etc. Add a few tablespoons of water. I continually add water (A tablespoon or two at a time) while I am cooking to keep everything steaming and to keep that stir fry noise nice and loud throughout. After a few minutes, add the fast cooking stuff like mushrooms, bean sprouts, etc. Cook for just a few more minutes and remove it all from the pan. Now add some of your meat to the pan and cook on both sides about 2 minutes total

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then add all the veggies back to it. Add a smidge more water if you need to. It is now that you add the last few items like noodles and tomatoes if you like em. I like tomatoes in my stir fry. I have been told that is weird. Whatever.

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Cook for just about one more minute and add the stir fry sauce to taste. I also added a smidge of sesame oil and a smidge on rice vinegar. I dished it up.

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Added a few drops of fish sauce. Let me tell you! This dinner was A MAZE ING!

Post note:

I usually add yellow squash and zucchini to my stir fry and I am not sure why I didn;t this time. I guess I forgot but that is another way to beef it up and stretch it out. I like the way the zucchini and squash take up the flavor of the stir fry. It is usually a nice addition.

Been A While!

Been A While!

Good day to you! I have been so busy lately that food has taken a backseat for me in my house. We have been unenjoying such delicacies as grilled cheese and tomato soup and bbqed hamburgers and hot dogs while I have been finishing up the year of school with my kids. I have also written my first novel and am hoping and praying to get it published! Update on that later. I have a brand new book idea that has taken hold of my ability to concentrate even while part two of my first novel awaits all of my attention. I foresee my summer being full of writing, and putting next year’s curriculum together. I will try, I promise to cook some delicious foods and post pictures and directions so you all can drool and then make them yourselves. By the way, if you do decide to make anything I post and you love it, let me know. If you hate it, I suppose let me know that, too.

Tonight I will be stir frying. Stir fry is one of my favorite dinners but we don’t get it often cuz it can get costly. One would think that produce is cheaper than buying ready-made meals but let me tell ya, it adds up. It doesn’t help that I am using hoison marinated pork loin for the meat, though. That alone was $5.99 a pound. For my family of five I bought about 3-4 pounds. Yikes! But we don’t splurge often so it’s okay to do it sometimes. It doesn’t have to be expensive, though. If you are on a tight budget, you could easily use chicken and whatever veggies are on sale. Farmer’s market season is almost here! Get the veggies from them for less and they are healthier! I can’t wait!

I’ll post tonight the process and the deliciousness of my stir fry oh and pot stickers. No stir fry would be complete without them.

Have a great day!

Smoked Pork! Oh my goodness!!!!!

Smoked Pork! Oh my goodness!!!!!

Ok, so I was going to throw my pork into a crock pot and forget it and then later come back and pull it and call it pulled pork. Hey, what can I say I am a home school mom with a bunch to do. But then I joined a group whose theme is smoking and grilling and whatnot and started slobbering as I read through the posts in the group. I decided how dumb am I to crock my pork? Today I spent 9 hours manning my smoker. My classroom was in the backyard. Hey I am a home school mom and we can school anywhere 😀 So, here is what I did: It all started last night. I made the rub: 1/2 cup white sugar mixed with a little maple syrup (I didn’t have brown sugar so I improvised). 1/4 paprika I used the smoked paprika you can buy in bulk at Winco 1 TBSP each of onion powder garlic powder chili powder black pepper salt 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper

pork rubbed

Adjust this rub to your own taste. I rubbed this all over my roasts after I rinsed them and patted them dry. Then I covered them and put them in the fridge overnight. In the morning I pulled them out and threw em onto the smoker after it was hot and ready. I kicked back and enjoyed the songs of the birds and the breeze and the sounds of my daughter reading to me or doing math. This is the smoker I used. Nothing fancy, but it does a really good job!

smoker

I really like the taste and smell of Frontier brand lump charcoal and today I tried chunk hickory instead of chips for the first time. The chunks are way better. I used some dry and some wet just depending on the level of smoke I wanted the heat inside the smoker. If it was getting on the hot side I would use wet chunks and if it was cooler I threw in some dry ones. I brushed the meats with some olive oil a couple hours in to keep them from drying out. Also, make sure your water bowl has water in it. The water helps to even out the distribution of the heat and it keeps the inside humid which also aids in maintaining moisture in the meat.

pork on smoker

At the stall, I wrapped the meats in foil and put them back on the grill and increased the heat to 250. Once the meats hit an internal temp of 200, I pulled them off and rested them for an hour under heavy towels. Once the meat was cooled and pulled I made a vinegar-based sauce using these ingredients:

1 c Cider vinegar

1/2 c Hot water

1 TBSP Smoked paprika (you can use regular it’s okay)

2 TBSP Dark brown sugar

1 tsp Black pepper

1 tsp Salt

1/4 tsp cayenne pepper

Mix the brown sugar with the hot water until dissolved then mix everything else together and pour over the meat. This sauce added a tang and spice that was a real kick in the mouth! Adjust the ingredients to your own taste but you can’t go wrong with this recipe. So to balance the tang and spice of this sauce in the finished product, I also made a white barbecue sauce that was a real hit with the family. Here is what I did:

1 c Mayo

1/3 c Cider vinegar

1 tsp Water (not sure what that was for but whatever)

1 tsp (or more heehee) Worchestershire sauce

1/2 tsp Kosher salt

1/2 tsp Garlic powder

1/2 tsp Onion powder

1/2 tsp Black pepper

1/4 tsp Hot sauce (I used Tapatio)

Whisk it all up and viola! White barbecue sauce southern style!

No pulled pork is complete without a good coleslaw. I went looking online for a good recipe but didn’t find anything that particularly enthused me but I did find some inspiration. For mine, I didn’t really measure I just threw things together. Here is an estimated recipe:

1 cup of mayo

1/2 c sour cream

1/4 c white vinegar

1/4-1/2 c white sugar

2 TBSP black pepper

2 tsp salt

1/4 cup sweet relish

1/2 tsp of celery seed

I mixed it all up and poured it over my cabbage which I shredded in my food processor. The slaw added a nice mild flavor to the meat. All-in-all, my mouth was jazzed trying to wrangle all the different flavors and textures in the sandwich. One thing I would change is I would not have used regular hamburger buns. That was dumb. I recommend using a hoagie roll or something that absorbs juice without getting soggy. This is a JUICY sandwich!

 pullerporsammich

I didn’t stop there, though. As I sat there thinking about how wonderful this meat was going to be when I eat it this weekend I got to thinking about dinner for tonight. I knew I wanted to cook up the pork Spare ribs I had in the freezer and thought, “what the heck? Why don’t I thaw them and throw them on the smoker too?” So I did. I gave em a rub down with the same rub (I had leftovers) and tossed em in with the roasts after the roasts were foiled. Before long, they were done so I put them in a pan, poured in my preferred beverage:

smoking beverage

covered it with foil and left the pan in the smoker a while longer.

Here is what those babies look like!

pork spareribs

There are four of them in there. I know my pictures suck but the lights in my house are just not conducive to capturing true color. Anyway, dinner was so yummy! I served this with tomato/blue cheese salad and broccoli.