It's no secret that I love bargains. Especially bargains involving food/kitchen stuff/cutlery, etc; and, well, if you've been reading this blog for a while, you'll know that I like to share my finds so you all can score some sweet deals too. Well, here you go (oh, this really only applies to lincolnites, unless there is a natural foods store in your area with a sweet bulk foods section): Buy your spices at "open harvest" on 16th and south street (West A dad, BorK, I'm pretty sure you dudes already do this). It is absolutely ridiculous. I was running low on quite a few things so I went to stock up and didn't even come close to spending ten bucks. I paid less than 20 cents for about 30 bay leaves, you don't even want to know how much cumin I got. a couple of years ago,Wifeshow hooked me up with some little hinged glass jars from hobby lobby that I store the spices in. It makes for easy finding and it gives the illusion of organization.
ok, foodstuff: I made some chicken stir fry about a week ago that turned out really well. I really like chinese food, but it's hard to replicate at home unless you have a wok (high heat and surface area are your best friends here, which makes it difficult to achieve with an ordinary pan.) . I do not. so this is what I do: Prep all of your ingredients so that you are ready to stir fry, you don't want to be doing any more knife work once you start. Get a cast iron pan super hot and then coat the bottom with some veg or canola oil. assuming you are using meat, add your meat and stir fry for about 2 minutes. assuming that you made a sauce of soy, hoisin, sugar, and oyster sauce for your chicken thigh meat to rest in, add a healthy shot of this to the pan and let it glaze the meat. remove the meat and set aside. Rinse out your pan, let it heat up again and then do the same thing but with your choice of veg. Go a couple minutes and then add the meat, a bit more sauce and then you are done once the sauce is as thick as you like. How's that for a super vague recipe? I thought so too.
ok moving on: I got a little grill happy last week. made some sliders out of elk meat. added some bacon extract to keep the elk juicy. Bacon seems to be best friends with game meat. kind of like Mr. "Q" and Ms. "U" (remember the letter people? I never bought in to that "quiet Questions crap, either). Also grilled some thinly sliced potates dressed in olive oil, salt, and peps. kind of a cross between a fry and a chip. good stuff.
the last dish you see is a recipe I tried from my splendid table book called plumped ginger caramel shrimp. Sounds weird, right? not always...it's delicious.
so good in fact, that I am imploring you to make some...tonight! Oh, and you might want to stop by open harvest first and pick up some chile powder, it uses a ton in the brine, but don't skimp, it's worth it.
hinged glass jars: Like I said before, I got mine at hobby lobby, they're like a buck a piece, and hold a fair amount. I need as much help as i can get organizing things. my life may be chaotic, but if you saw my spice cupboard (which is getting bigger and bigger), you would think I was a zen master.
plumped ginger caramel shrimp (adapted from the splendid table cookbook.)
1/2 cup kosher salt
1/2 cup sugar
1/3 cup chile powder
2 quarts warm (not hot) water
1.5 pounds large frozen shrimp, preferably in shells
4 large garlic cloves
4 inch piece of ginger
4 tbs canola oil
1/2 tsp blk pepper
4 tsp sugar.
Blend salt sugar and chile powder in a big bowl with the water. give the shrimp a spicy bath for 20 minutes. mince the ginger and garlic together. after the 20 min, drain shrimp, peel off shells, and pat dry. heat the oil in a saute pan (12 inch) over med-high heat. stir in the ginger/garlic, and black pepper, you can throw in a sprinkle of salt if you like. cook for a minute, stirring constantly. blend in the sugar and keep stirring until garlic is pale gold. don't let the pieces get dark, you'll regret it, maybe not as much as this, but... (never gets old...sigh...)
Drop in the shrimp and stir for another 1-2 minutes until the shrimp are turning pink and barely firm. served mine with jasmine rice, noodles would also be good. pieces.