Monday, April 7, 2014

My longest relationship

Up until a few years ago I lived my entire adult life alone. I never had a roommate in college, and the only time I shared a dwelling was for an extremely long three months just prior to heading to San Francisco for culinary school. Those 90 days formed my belief that you either crawl at of my bed in the morning, or go home the night before.  That has meant, for me, cooking many meals for one, particularly breakfast.

While I am still a newbie when it comes to cohabitating with another person I have lived with a vital, inanimate object for years – my wok. Purchased in New York’s Chinatown during my college days, it was one of the first pans in my kitchen. I have packed it up numerous times and shipped it around the world with me, this pan I could never let go of. It has decades of seasoning, which now makes maintaining quick and easy. Probably for the first twenty years of our relationship when it was used it would go for stovetop to running water to stovetop when it was being cleaned – it could never air dry. Now, it goes stovetop to running water to drying rack with no fear of it rusting.

Its versatility brings a font of nibbling satisfaction, and that is the reason we can never be parted. I am not sure there is not a dish I could not make in it from soups to steamed puddings it fulfills my needs – morning, noon and night.   

Pork and Broccoli Stir Fry – yields 4 servings
1/2-pound pork tenderloin
2” ginger - peeled and sliced thin julienne
2 garlic cloves - diced fine
1/8-teaspoon chili pepper flakes
1/4-cup rice vinegar
3 tablespoons sesame seeds
1/4-cup cornstarch
1-tablespoon canola oil
1-head broccoli – cut into florets
1/2-cup soy sauce
1/2-cup cilantro - leaves only, roughly chopped
6 scallions - sliced on the bias
1-tablespoon sesame oil

Clean the pork of any fat and sinew.  Then slice the pork into thin julienne strips and toss with the ginger, garlic, sesame seeds, chili pepper flakes, vinegar and cornstarch. Allow it to marinate at least one hour, and up to 24 hours in the refrigerator.

Heat a wok or 12-inch sauté pan over a high flame and add the oil.  Place the pork mixture into the hot oil and cook for five minutes, stirring occasionally.  Mix in the broccoli and cook an additional few minutes.  Pour in the soy sauce, and toss along with the cilantro and scallions – bring the soy a boil. Drizzle in sesame oil and serve.

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