I tend to wing it when I cook, and my “creations” are either
b) hated; or,
c) told to work on their act and audition again.
My culinary concoctions are usually made up while incorporating leftovers, so for years I told the family to enjoy it if they liked it or choke it down if they didn’t… because either way it was the first and last time it would be served. I never remembered exactly what I did and I never wrote anything down.
This “never writing anything down” really started to bother them if they liked the meal. That’s fine for them, but sometimes these meals can never be totally re-created. For example, the best beef stroganoff I have ever made can never be repeated. If I tried it would look something like this:
Take 6 pounds of top sirloin from Rossmoor, CA to June Lake, CA, in mid-July.
Let it sit in the fridge for 3 days.
Have someone else season it with their “secret steak seasoning” and grill it.
Eat 4 pounds of it and then let the remaining 2 pounds sit in the fridge one more day.
Pack it in a cooler and drive it from June Lake to back to Rossmoor.
Slice it into thin strips and add it into a sauce you have no idea how you made.
Serve over rice.
See what I mean? At any rate, the new family policy is that if the dish gets a thumbs up, I must write down what I did immediately…. even including the leftovers I used.
So, since even I run out of things to say on occasion (shocking, yes I know) I will post recipes every once in a while. I just recently posted my very favorite (much tested) lasagna recipe.
Now I give you the Concoction of the Week:
Thai Chicken and Spinach Stir Fry
2 lbs chicken tenders, rinsed and patted dry
Thai seasoning blend (I use The Spice Hunter’s)
2 tbsp vegetable oil
1 tsp sesame oil (if you don’t have this, don’t worry about it.)
1 Tbsp rice vinegar
3 cloves minced garlic
2 cups sliced, cooked carrots (leftovers; Emeril recipe – sauce rinsed off)
3 Tbsp soy sauce
2 Tbsp lime juice
1 tsp ground ginger (or 3 Tbsp fresh, peeled & minced)
2 cups quartered, seeded cherry tomatoes (rinse in a colander to remove seeds easily.)
1 Tbsp dried basil
1 to 1.5 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
3 big handfuls of fresh spinach leaves
1/2 to 3/4 cup roasted, salted cashews
Sprinkle chicken with Thai seasoning on both sides. In a large skillet, heat oils over high heat. Add chicken and sear on both sides, but do not cook all the way through. Transfer chicken to a plate and keep covered. (Chicken will continue to cook a little.)
Reduce heat to medium high and deglaze the skillet with the rice vinegar. Add garlic and stir until just beginning to brown. Add carrots and increase heat, stirring quickly. When carrots begin to caramelize a bit, mix soy sauce, lime juice and ginger in a small bowl and add to skillet. Let simmer a few moments.
Working quickly, chop chicken into bite sized pieces and return to the skillet. Add in tomatoes. Add basil and pepper flakes. Add spinach, one handful at a time, stirring before the next handful. Spinach should be wilted but not cooked. Remove from heat. Top with cashews and serve over rice.
Rice: 2 cups rice to 4 cups water, a generous sprinkle of Thai seasoning and garlic salt; staemed in cooker. Toss with butter.
Don’t ask me for calories or nutrition info. I don’t know and have no way to calculate it. This amount was not quite enough for my family of 6. However, a couple of the 6 eat as if they will never. be. fed. again.
Please, please, please don’t be spooked by the number of ingredients. (I understand that it seems like a lot to most people.) They are usually things everyone has on hand. I have found that it is the prep time that is a killer for recipes, not the number of ingredients.
Look for more recipes to come, and if you try it, please let me know what you think and any suggestions you may have. Mangia!