Monday, 16 November 2009

Storms, Spiders & Stir Fries

(Or should that be "Fry's"?)

This weekend Tropical Storm Bubba Gump hit the U.K. Well, maybe not a tropical storm as such seeing as we aren't in the tropics and I guess it didn't have a name, but we had wind blowing between 60 and 90 mph & driving rain. Fortunately the chimneys on our house seem to be fixed on with some of the highest strength but crappiest looking cement possible to find. I have no idea how they are still there and not embedded in the next door neighbours van roof like some cheap version of a steam ship.

All that I had to repair was a panel of our timber fence in the back garden which had come away from the post. The repair itself took a matter of 5 minutes, it was locating the hammer, nails and crowbar in the shed which took the longest time, not aided by my fear of spiders.

Everywhere I turned there were cobwebs, making me twitch and brush against another cobweb. I didn't see any spiders though and the memory of the webs in the barn in the film Arachnophobia was ever in my mind. Any second I expected to see The General leaping at me and my lack of a bottle of 1940's Vermouth, lighter and a can of deodorant was annoying to say the least.

Saturdays meal was a recreation of my sisters thick vegetable soup with Pancetta we had devoured last weekend. I was unable to get any Pancetta so decided that smoked streaky bacon would suffice, and I fried it with Paprika sprinkled on it until it was crispy, then cut it up and added it to the full soup bowls. Everyone voted it one of the best soups I had made so far. Honestly it was one of the easiest and quickest too.

On Sunday I had been asked to do a stir fry. Chris is okay with these but he says he isn't keen on Beansprouts. Ben, my wife and I all love Beansprouts! The obvious way around it was to do them separately but I'm not a great multi-pan cook so I came up with another solution - make the meal nice enough that they don't care there aren't any Beansprouts in it. Simples!

KungFooSausage's Stir Fry

Ingredients - Serves 4

3-4 chicken breasts (roughly cubed)
1 red bell pepper, sliced
1 yellow bell pepper, sliced
1 green bell pepper, sliced
1 large handful of savoy cabbage, shredded.
3 carrots, peeled & chopped into batons
6-7 spring onions, peeled & chopped into 1cm lengths at and angle
1 handful of Mangetout beans, chopped if too large
6-7 baby sweetcorn chopped into 1cm rings
1 handful of halved cashew nuts
3 packets of straight to wok egg noodles (Amoy)
1 tbsp paprika
1 pinch of dried chilli flakes
1 tbsp light extra virgin olive oil
150ml chicken stock
2 tbsp light soy sauce
2 tbsp tomato ketchup
1 tsp plain flour or cornflour
2 tsp ground nut oil

1. Heat the olive oil in the wok and add the chicken. Sprinkle it with the paprika and chilli flakes and fry until browned all over. Remove from the wok and set aside.
2. Add the chopped vegetables to the wok and stir fry for 3 minutes.
3. Make the chicken stock & to it add the light soy sauce & tomato ketchup & whisk with a fork until smooth. Then sprinkle the flour into it and mix it in well so its not lumpy (this may take some elbow grease but Ben did a brilliant job).
4. Add the noodles to the wok and mix them and the vegetables together.
5. Add the chicken back into the wok and mix.
6. Pour the chicken stock mix over the contents of the wok and mix to ensure everything is coated. Allow to fry or another 3 minutes.
7. Just before serving drizzle the groundnut oil over the top and sprinkle the cashews over.
8. Serve into bowls.

While perhaps not the cheapest stir fry you can make, a lot of the ingredients are probably already available from the cupboard. I would have loved to add mushrooms but my wife has an allergy to them, and you can really use any vegetables you like.

The dressing/sauce was a "taste sensation" and we were all very surprised at how great it was - thanks to Ben my assistant chef for making it.

While on the subject, I chopped the carrots with a new device I bought called a "Nicer Dicer" - as advertised by "Chef Tony" (add a Bronx accent when you say his name). Its a godsend for these things. All I had to do was peel the carrots, chop them into about 1" lengths and stick them in the Nicer Dicer, push down and out comes loads of mini batons. It must have saved me an hours worth of work.

1 comment:

  1. Geez man, that is one intense sounding stir fry! I'll have to give it a try sometime soon! My stir fry consists of onion, corn, peppers, egg, rice, and chicken. Mix together with about four bottles of soy sauce and serve!