Although I love cooking with fresh fruits and vegetables and making my own sauces, etc. from scratch, sometimes I want to make something truly quick and easy with less chopping and fussing. Especially now that we are back to just the two of us and have lots of other creative, interesting things to do, I want some evening meals to be quick and easy.
I served this stir-fry on basmati rice, a very light, fluffy alternative to our family's usual brown rice. One warning, though--this rice is extra "foamy" as it cooks. Even though I thought I was watching it carefully, it boiled over at one point--something I have done before. Use an extra-deep pot for basmati rice (yes, I'll try--once again--to remember that :>). Also, it sometimes cooks more quickly than the package instructions indicate; if it starts to stick, just take it off the stove and keep it covered until it is fluffy and the water is absorbed.
Start the rice first; it will be done about the same time as the stir-fry. A couple of my favorite kitchen tips follow the recipe.
QUICK & EASY PORK STIR-FRY FOR TWO
2 small boneless pork chops (6 or 7 ounces total) or other lean pork
1 Tblsp. or more chopped, fresh ginger root (see tip below)
canola oil & sesame seed oil
bottled stir-fry sauce (I used Kikkoman brand)
1/2 large onion, or to taste
16 oz. bag frozen stir-fry vegetables (I used Walmart's Great Value brand, sugar snap pea stir-fry vegetables--they are quite good)
1. Trim fat off pork, if desired, and cut into small pieces (maybe 1/2" square) or strips. In small bowl, stir pork together with chopped ginger root and a moderate amount of stir-fry sauce (I don't measure, but probably used about 2 Tblsp.). Set aside while you do step two.
2. Chop or sliver the onion. Heat oil in medium sized skillet or wok. I use a combination of maybe a tablespoon of canola oil and a teaspoon of sesame seed oil (see tip below). Saute onion lightly, about 2 minutes.
3. Add pork mixture to skillet (with more oil if needed), and saute over medium-high heat until pork is done through--about 4 or 5 minutes. Let it brown a little and stir often.
4. Again, add a dash of sesame oil and pour frozen vegetables into skillet. Pour a couple more tablespoons of stir-fry sauce over--more if you wish. Saute, covered at first, then without cover, stirring off and on, until vegetables are heated through and crisp-tender. This only takes a few minutes--don't overcook them.
5. Serve over rice. Fresh fruit is a delicious accompaniment.
One photo above illustrates some simple tips from my kitchen. Even when our boys were home, and we needed to pinch pennies on the food budget, I splurged on a few high-flavor ingredients. A small bottle of Sesame Seed Oil is well worth its cost and lasts a long time. Combined with another vegetable oil (I use it with canola oil in Asian style cooking), it adds a real flavor punch without destroying our goal of keeping saturated fats very low.
We also love fresh ginger root in any number of dishes, but find that it shrivels and goes bad before we finish even one long "knob". So, the first time I use part of a new piece, I quickly slice the rest into "coins", maybe 1/4" thick (no need to peel) and freeze them in a small zip bag. Then, we are never without, and nothing is wasted. Even straight out of the freezer, it is simple to peel and chop the amount you need for a recipe. If the coins stick together, hold under cool running water for a few seconds to separate.
Question of the day: What are your favorite quick meals or cooking tips?