The culinary adventures of a former smoker who rediscovered his taste buds.
Quick Tip - Trim the ends!
I made pickles for the first time last week and it was a lot of fun. Canning things is really kind of addictive! Unfortunately, I didn't know that you want to trim the ends of the cucumbers, especially the flower end, because there are enzymes concentrated there that will soften the pickles.
So, I made another batch this week, but I trimmed the ends!
A good stir-fry can be made or broken by the sauce you choose for it. While different kinds, depending on your protein choices, can be enhanced by certain flavours in specialized sauces, it's good to have a "go-to" sauce for general use.
I put this one together because I found many were just a little too sweet and I was looking for something a bit more savoury. So, here it is:
1/4 cup soy sauce1/4 cup water or stock1 tbsp rice vinegar1 tbsp sherry2 tbsp oyster sauce1/4 tsp smoked paprika1/4 tsp chili flakes or 1/2 tsp sambal oelek2 tsp corn starchFresh ground pepper (be generous)1/4 tsp ground sumac (optional, if you have it, I do...)
That should do a good 2-4 person stir-fry. Works really well with beef, especially since beef is well suited to savoury flavours.
Want fast and tasty? Then it's really, really, hard to beat Lo Mein for that fact! Not only is it really easy to prepare, but it's fast to cook, and easy to vary up. I added this to my cooking list a couple of weeks ago and Kat loved it so much, I ended up making a beef variant and chicken variant in that week. That, by the way, is the great thing about Lo Mein: pick your meat or go all vegetable, it's up to you.
So, what do you need for this trip across your tastebuds? The list here is for 2 people, so expand as needed:
4oz of your meat of choice (chicken, beef, shrimp, etc.)1 tbsp peanut oil (other high smoke point oils are fine)1 cup of fresh bean sprouts1/2 cup of sliced mushrooms (pick your favourites)1/2 cup of green onion, just the green portion. Cut about 1" long. You can save the white bulbs for other purposes if you want.1/2 cup of julienned carrots1 clove garlic, minced1/2 tsp ginger, minced1 tsp sherry3 tsp soy sauce2 tsp oyster sauce1/2 tsp toasted sesame …
In the good ole-days everybody collected their recipes in various books, notepads, and binders because that was really the only option. However, the problem with that is finding the recipe again! Nevertheless, it was a model that worked well for many people for a great long time and many people stick with it today.
For me, being a child of the computer age, I like to have the machine do the work for me and so notepads and slips of paper are not a good solution. It's even more relevant now when we have powerful options like tablets and smartphones that allow the integration of applications in very useful ways and so enter the Paprika app for recipe management which offers up support on Mac OS X, IOS, and Android platforms (sorry, no Windows).
Now, there are several apps out there that do things very similar to Paprika (notably MacGourmet Deluxe), but I haven't really encountered any that do as much for as little. I've been using Paprika for quite a while now, so what I'…