We've all heard the saying "There's more than one way to skin a cat." right? That especially applies to the world of cooking techniques. Tonight's supper was just such an example. I was hungry for stir-fry, but wanted it quick. And I didn't want to cook the meat with the veggies. I have the tools, and the know-how, but decided to try another approach to get the same flavor, make it a bit healthier (maybe), and satisfy my crew in 30 minutes or less. Here's what happened. I thawed a 1/2 lb. English-cut beef roast, placing it on a suitable surface this morning. It was thawed by the time I was ready to cook, but still very cold. I wet it down by running warm water over the surface and tenderized by stabing it with a regular table fork. This 1.4 inch thick chunk of beef was then cut into thre equal chunks to be pan fried in cast iron. The veggies included 2 stalks of fresh bok choy, 1 carrot, peeled, washed, and sliced, 1/2 onion chopped, and 2 cups of fresh bean sprouts. For a starch, I used whole wheat spaghetti. I have a three quart pot with a steamer pot and lid. I brought about a quart of water to a boil. While it was heating, I set a dry cast-iron pan on another burner to heat. I then prepared the carrots, bok choy, onion, and bean sprouts. I placed enough spaghetti noodles in the lightly salted boiling water for three people, placed the steamer on top, added the veggies, covered and set the timer for 9 minutes. I put about a tbs. of cooking oil into the hot cast-iron pan and added the meat. I cooked it for 5 minutes per side. When the meat was done, I removed it from the heat. I placed the steamer basket into the clean sink and drained the spaghettie noodles into it. I put about a tsp. of cooking oil into the pot and poured the contents of the steamer back in. I added a dash of ginger, a half-dash of Chinese 5-spice powder, two shakes of granulated garlic powder, a touch of dark sesame oil, and a quarter tsp. of black truffle oil. I then stirred it all together and served with the steak. It tasted just like stir-fry but took about 20 minutes total to make, and used only two pans. The point of this isn't to give you a recipe, but rather to show that you can use different techniques to achive your cooking goals. If you lack the proper tools for a stir-fry, like a wok, or a high output gas stove, you can still enjoy something very similar using alternative techniques, like the one I used tonight. I invite everyone to share there unique cooking techniques, especially ones used to get around not having all of the right tools or ingredients to make a particular dish. Of course, I ask for ingredients and techniques that work. So, let's share our collective knowledge so we can all learn abit more about this magical thing we call, cooking. Seeeeeeya; Goodweed of the North
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