I confess, I love to cook, but am way too finicky of an eater to just try everything. So, when I try a new food, there is a breaking in period. I will either immediately hate it and never try it again, or I will give it another go doing something differently the next time around.
I have very few restaurants that I enjoy and when I do like something, I hate when they change the menu on me. I am the one that is asking if they can make it “The Old Way” for me please. It does not matter if “The Old Way” was eight years ago, I do not want “The New Way”. There is a better chance that I will just wander off and never go back if they change things. The chain stores are generally the culprit in these things. I do not know if they get a dozen or so people together and try and come up with new things to try. I am not sure why they even think they need to if something is selling. All I know is, when I cannot get the meal I would like to have, I must retreat to my own kitchen and either recreate it or make it better.
The man of my dreams likes stir fry. Since I want him to be happy and I had no idea how to cook stir fry or even what it tasted like, I bought some of the frozen stir fry from Wanchai to serve. It was chicken and it took me a long time to decide which brand to buy or what ingredients I should purchase. My thinking was, the chicken should be okay, the brand looks like it sells well and since I do not know how to make it, this will have to do.
Well, I was told that the stir fry was not THAT bad as I was scraping my plate into the trash. I would not know, since that was some awful stuff. Maybe it was the frozen veggies, maybe it was the rubber chicken or maybe I just do not like the taste of stir fry, but I never bought it again. That was years ago.
I recently ran out of menu ideas and was perusing the fresh vegetable section of the grocery store and noticed they would sell you a small tray of fresh veggies to go in your stews, soups, stir fry and some asparagus with lemon. I looked at the veggies for a long time before deciding that maybe we needed to give stir fry another try. After all, these were fresh veggies.
I have created some wonderful stir fry with chunks of fresh vegetables and I have used beef, chicken and shrimp to make some yummy meals.
Stir Fry My Way
1 package of Sunbird Stir Fry mix
1 package of fresh vegetables
If using your own vegetables, use carrots, mushrooms, broccoli, red onions, green peppers, yellow peppers, red peppers and snow peas
Your choice of meats:
Shrimp – one pound or less of frozen medium sized shrimp
Beef strips for stir fry – buy this in the meat department
Chicken breast sliced – a couple chicken tenders from a bag of Tyson chicken breasts or tenderloins – These are staples in my freezer!
Chow Mien Noodles
Since I am wokless, I basically sauté and steam everything in a large skillet.
If I am doing chicken or beef, I will sauté them in oil at half heat until they are almost done. I have overcooked them before, so now I only cook them three quarters of the way.
I take my meat out and put my vegetables in the pan and turn up the heat. I flip them around until they are all coated and then put a glass top over them to steam them. I cook them until the carrots are tender, but still crispy.
I then add the meat back to the mix and pour the stir fry mix over the top and cook for a bit longer to give everything a chance to cook in the sauce.
If I am making shrimp stir fry, I will usually get a pound of medium raw shrimp and boil them in salt water until they are almost done. Then I set them aside and add them into the pan for the last few minutes of cooking. Shrimp does not take long to cook, so it is imperative that you keep an eye on them. They can become rubberized if overcooked.
The whole meal is served over a bed of chow mien noodles, or if you have rice with peas and carrots, you could use that.
Keep your vegetables crunchy, but cooked. Keep your meat tender, but not rubber and you will have a great little stir fry that is tasty and good for you. The meal is less than ten bucks and even less than that if you buy your vegetables individually and use them for another meal. It serves at least three or more depending upon how much meat you add and how many vegetables you use.
Tonight, we are having chicken stir fry, which I will thoroughly enjoy since it will be Stir Fry My Way!
Julie and Blu