Jeanette - Off The Cuff

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My name is Jeanette, and I was born in Sweden, but unlike the famous Muppet, I am not a professional Swedish Chef. I actually went to school for art, design, and photography. Beyond that, I worked as a freelance indie-rock critic for several magazines in the late 90s and early 2000s. I even took a crack at running a PR company for a while. However, cooking has always been in my DNA--my dad's brother was a chef and culinary arts instructor, my dad's father was a pastry chef, and my mom's mother was a caterer, and at the age of 92, she published a cookbook of traditional Finnish breads and pastries. Everyone else in my family loves to cook, too, and we're not afraid to experiment. Usually I end up inventing dishes (with or without outside inspiration) with whatever I have on hand, hence "Off the Cuff." I might make very Scandinavian dishes (meatballs, and salmon with dill-potatoes) or ethnic like Thai, Japanese, Mexican, Italian or Spanish. By the way, you can put bell peppers in almost all cuisine! (Drop me a line, at o f f t h e c u f f c o o k i n g "at" g m a i l followed by the dot-com. :)

Friday, June 14, 2013

Stir Fried pork with eggplant, peppers and shiitake and noodles

I made this twice in a month, because it was quite good. So I figured I'd share it with my faithful 15 readers, because that's what I do-- I'm so nice, right?  And there is a decidedly Asian slant to so many of my recipes when I go through them, but what can I say? Living on the West Coast has a pretty predominant Asian-cuisine influence on a person.  I assure you, though, I also had Swedish meatballs with red potatoes and lingon-berries, just a few days later.  It was just like a trip to the cafeteria at IKEA, only homemade.

So since I didn't blog this immediately, and only took photos the second time, I had to scribble down notes from memory, and it turned out roughly the same both times.  I guess that's the thing about most recipes-- they don't always turn out identical, but you're going for a basic effect and that's usually good enough.  It's "Off The Cuff Cooking" after all.

INGREDIENTS:

Main ingredients:

1/2 package of Stir Fry style Rice Noodles -- soak in hot water according to package directions
1/2 cup dried shiitake mushrooms -- soak in the same water as the rice noodles, at the same time
3/4 - 1 pound thinly sliced pork (I had 4 pork cutlets that I cut into strips)
1 red bell pepper, thinly sliced
1/2 onion, (red or white) thinly sliced
2 small eggplant (or one medium sized one) unpeeled, and cut into 1/4" thick "half moons"

Marinade for meat:

2 tbsp sesame oil
2 tbsp coconut oil
1 whole lime (half of it for the marinade and half of it cut into wedges for garnish)
2 tbsp Thai fish sauce
1 tbsp Sriracha Sauce
2 tbsp soy sauce
1 clove minced garlic

DIRECTIONS: 

First, cut up the eggplant about half an hour ahead of time, and soak it in a bowl of salty water. 


Secondly, whisk together the marinade in a small bowl.

Cut the pork into strips.  Let the meat marinade at room temperature in the sauce while you prepare other ingredients.  Reserve a small amount of marinade to drizzle over the finished dish. 


Then, start soaking your rice noodles and shiitake in a pot, according to package directions.  Some instructions vary, so definitely follow those, and take the timing into account.


Prepare your other vegetables, and when the eggplant has soaked in salt water for a while, preheat a wok or skillet at medium heat, and put in 1 tbsp each of the coconut and sesame oil, and reserve the rest for frying the meat.   


Place the eggplant half-moons evenly in your skillet and fry them on each side until they're tender, and somewhat browned.  Don't crowd them, and set the finished ones aside in a bowl or on a plate, to add to the finished stir fry later on.  Cook the eggplant in batches until all done.


Use the same skillet and turn up the heat to medium high now, and add the rest of the oil.  Stir fry the meat in small batches until browned and cooked through, about 2-3 minutes.  Set aside the cooked meat in the same bowl as the eggplant. 



Now stir fry the onion, and bell pepper in the skillet few minutes until they're tender and browned.  Add in the rice noodles, and shiitake, along with a few table spoons of water to deglaze the skillet.  This adds a nice savory flavor to the noodles. 


 Add in all the meat, and eggplant, and pour over any marinade that's still left over, and stir rapidly to prevent sticking.  When everything is reheated through, remove the skillet from the burner, and serve up a piping hot and tasty noodle dish.

Add more lime juice and sriracha if desired.


4 comments:

  1. I've never bought an egg plant before..how do you pick out a good one? How do you know if it's ripe?

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    1. Eggplant should be firm, shiny, dark purple, and not have any bruised, or brown spots on the skin... they "thump" when you tap on the skin. If they're mushy anywhere, don't buy it! They have a sponge-like texture on the inside, and when you cook them, depending on the temperature and technique, they get softer. They have a pretty neutral taste, but they can be bitter if they're not salted first. Hope that helps!

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  2. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  3. Me and my friends are going to have a camping tomorrow and I'm looking for some recipe that I can cook for tomorrow. I think this one is perfect. I will now copy this one.

    Beef Stir Fry

    ReplyDelete