Thursday, September 15, 2011

Now for something completely different...

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This week is the countdown to a Monday departure. On Monday afternoon I will be flying to Hawaii, and doing absolutely no cooking for the next 10 days! Before that happens I will be playing a little game. The game is called: "Cooking and eating everything out of the refrigerator and cupboard with minimal trips to the grocery store." It's actually quite a fun game...and this dish was one of the winners.

Ow...I seem to have a kink!

I woke up on Sunday morning at 5 am with back spasms. Why don't you ever get back spasms on a Tuesday afternoon when the drugstore and Chiropractor are open? I ended up at the Chiropractor on Monday afternoon, and as he is usually late, I took some time to flip through his magazines. An issue of Canadian Living caught my eye, and a 'quick and easy' recipe fit the criteria for ingredients. After a bit of stretching, and the requisite snaps and cracks, I headed to home, the recipe tucked into my purse, the torn edge the only evidence of my crime.

Ingredients and Expiration Dates

I remembered I had an unopened bottle of black bean sauce in the refrigerator.I discovered my bottle of black bean sauce was best before April 2008! I needed rice vinegar and fresh ginger anyway so I headed to the grocery store. I splurged on a 33 cent  bunch of green onions and a nice young fresh piece of ginger with nearly transparent skin, picked up a smaller bottle of black bean sauce and headed home to cook dinner.

The Recipe

Black Bean, Ground Pork and Green Bean Stir-Fry

3Tbsp black bean sauce
1 Tbsp cornstarch
1 Tbsp rice vinegar ( I used plain-unseasoned)
Pinch granulated sugar
2 Tbsp vegetable oil ( I used canola)
1 lb (450g) lean ground pork ( I used extra lean ground turkey breast)
3 green onions, sliced ( white and green parts separated)
1 Tbsp minced fresh ginger
6 oz green beans trimmed and cut into 1 inch lengths ( 1 used 1 lb of green beans)

In small bowl, whisk together black bean sauce,cornstarch,vinegar,sugar and 1/2 cup water; set aside.
In wok,(I used a frying pan) heat 1 Tbsp of the oil over medium-high heat; stir-fry pork until no longer pink,about 3 minutes. Drain and set aside.( I had no fat to drain, so I left the meat in the pan.)
Add remaining oil to wok;(I didn't add this oil) stir-fry white parts of green onions and ginger for 30 seconds. Add green beans; stir fry for 2 minutes. ( I essentially threw everything in on top of the ground turkey, and as my green beans were already blanched, I just warmed them through.)
Add pork and black bean mixture; stir-fry for 2 minutes. Add green parts of green onions; stir-fry for 1 minute.
Recipe courtesy of Canadian Living Test Kitchen- May 2011

Something completely different

I very seldom make stir-fry's at home. Don't ask me why. This was truly a quick and easy recipe to prepare, and I don't think any flavour was lost by substituting ground turkey for ground pork. I was a little skeptical about the complete lack of garlic, salt, and pepper but found the black bean sauce to be extremely flavourful without being overpowering. I thought the seasoning was perfect, and would definitely make this again perhaps substituting another vegetable such as chard, or broccoli, or carrots. I served the stir-fry with brown rice, and am looking forward to the leftovers tonight.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Ribs and Coleslaw...Happy Labour Day

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My niece and her family are coming to visit the P-Man and I for the long weekend! I was 10 when my niece was born, and I have to tell you, the 10 year old 'me', HATED the just-born 'her'. The last baby to be born in our family was ME, and I was completely miffed by the arrival of the 'baby'! I  managed to tolerate her, and when we both grew a little, I liked having someone to boss around.