Wok Wednesdays – August

 

                                                                Helen Chen’s Pork and Cucumber

August’s Wok Wednesdays picks are perfect for this time of year. Fresh produce in the store and farmer’s markets are at their peak.  The recipes are from the Breath of the Wok:  Helen Chen’s Pork and Cucumber, p. 83 and  Liang Nian Xiu’s Moon Hill Corn and Beans, p. 132.  Both with fresh vegetables and flavor.  

For the Pork and Cucumber recipe on p. 83 use 12 oz. of pork butt or shoulder. Cut into 1/4 inch bite size pieces. If you cannot find a small piece of pork, slice off 12 ounces and use the rest to make Memphis style pulled pork.

 

 

 

 

Combine the pork in a shallow bowl with sherry, cornstarch, soy sauce sesame oil and salt.

 

 

Rinse the fermented  black beans and mash in a small bowl.  

Slice the red pepper and cucumber.

 

 

 

 

Prepare all ingredients ahead of time for stir frying.  Additional ingredients include chicken broth, salt, and sliced garlic.

Serve with rice, though it makes a filling meal without it. Pair with Ling Niam Xiu’s Moon Hill Corn and Beans, p. 132.

 

Linguine with Sausage and Peppers

This recipes is adapted from the Martha Stewart cookbook Great Food Fast.


Print Recipe
Linguine with Sausage and Peppers
A combination of vegetables, sausage, and linguine.
Course Main Dish
Cuisine dinner
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Servings
people
Ingredients
  • 8 oz. linguine
  • 1/2 pound sausage use pork, chicken, turkey or substitute tofu
  • 3 cloves garlic thinly sliced
  • 1 red pepper thinly sliced
  • 1 yellow pepper thinly sliced
  • 2 Tbs. Butter
  • 2 cups spinach, torn substitute kale or argula
  • 1/2 tsp. oregano, rosemary, thymee
Course Main Dish
Cuisine dinner
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Servings
people
Ingredients
  • 8 oz. linguine
  • 1/2 pound sausage use pork, chicken, turkey or substitute tofu
  • 3 cloves garlic thinly sliced
  • 1 red pepper thinly sliced
  • 1 yellow pepper thinly sliced
  • 2 Tbs. Butter
  • 2 cups spinach, torn substitute kale or argula
  • 1/2 tsp. oregano, rosemary, thymee
Instructions
  1. In a large pot bring water to a boil. Add linguine and cook according to package.
  2. Meanwhile, remove the casing from the sausage and place in a skillet with 2-3 Tablespoons of water. Cover and cook for 5-7 minutes. Remove the lid and cook sausage until brown. Break sausage into smaller pieces while cooking.
  3. Add sliced peppers and garlic to the sausage and cook until tender.
  4. When linguine is cooked remove all but 2-3 tablespoons of water. Add torn spinach to linguine and cook, turning often until wilted.
  5. Add linguine and spinach to the sausage and pepper mixture. Add oregano, rosemary and thyme. Mix together and serve.
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Food 52 – a New Way to Dinner

Food 52 – a New Way to Dinner

Another new cookbook that came into the library this week was “>Food 52: a new way to dinner by Amanda Hesser.  It is a cookbook filled with recipes and strategies to make a meal plan for the week ahead. Complete with a grocery list and a plan to make and prepare dishes over the weekend for the week ahead. Recipes include a large photo, ingredients and directions including directions to extend the meal for a lunch the next day.  This book is definitely for the organized cook. One drawback is that some photos of the finished item does not appear on the same page as the recipe.  For instance, the photo of Tad’s roasted potatoes appears on page 44, six pages before the recipe. Though the recipe for Fish Tacos and the photo do appear side by side.

For dinner tonight I made the Beef Short Ribs in Red Wine.  The photo for this recipe was featured right next to the recipe.  Instead of adding the total amount of wine called for I used half wine and half beef stock. I was also concerned with the flavor of the recipe because it did not ask for many spices.  As it turned out I need not be as the recipe is delicious without adding anything extra.  The ribs were tender.  I added boiled red potatoes and it made for a delicious Sunday meal. There was enough left over for another meal this week.  

Eight flavors: The Untold Story of American Cuisine

 

Eight Flavors:  the untold story of American cuisine by Sarah Lohman is placed in the same section as cookbooks in the library.  However, it is not a cookbook in the sense that there are a lot of recipes and pictures. Lohman  talks about the flavors which define the American cuisine stating at the time of the revolutionary war up until the most recent.   These flavors include  black pepper, vanilla, chili powder, curry powder, soy sauce, garlic, monosodium Glutmate (msg) and Sriracha. Ms. Lohman organized the book according to when these flavors appeared in the American culture.  Each came about as the result of an event that created a desire for the flavor.  Followed by increased availability and a preference for the flavor.
For example:
Chili powder – a Texan/Mexican woman fed soldiers and tourists and a German immigrant who found a culinary shortcut.
Soy Sauce – came from immigrants from China
Vanilla – came from a 12 year old slave who figured out a botanical secret.

Certainly the recipes add to the book but the most interesting part is how these flavors became part of the American landscape.