My addiction to Craftsy cooking classes continues despite the fact that I have little time for classes or cooking. Our house is for sale, which means we must be ready to drop everything at a moment's notice and vacate the premises for showings. Of course we aren't really required to vacate, but I doubt anyone wants to view a house with a nineteen pound terrier barking at their feet like a rabid skunk. So I drive off with Cujo, aka Tucker, while Michael sits on the front porch
playing reading. Candy Crush
Living in a house that is on the market is interesting. We usually buy first, move, then sell. This time we chose to make an offer on a short sale, so the entire process has flipped on us. Gone are the leisurely mornings of trashing my kitchen testing a new recipe, then cleaning up the mess after a nice nap. Most of the time we have plenty of advance notice, but we do receive the occasional phone call asking to show the house in ten minutes. I just finished the Artisan Bread Making class on Craftsy and feel pretty comfortable with baguettes, boules, and sandwich loaves. Since my chocolate babka spewed butter and chocolate all over the inside of my oven like molten lava, things get a little smoky when I bake.
So, I am now learning the Art of Stir Frying from famed cookbook author and Stir Fry maven, Grace Young. This is a great class and I highly recommend it to anyone who loves stir fry. I have never been able to do it properly until now. The really great thing about this class is that Grace not only shows you how to do stir fry the right way, but she shows you how to do it the wrong way too. It made sense of why I couldn't get it right.
I am now armed with a new wok, stir fry spatula, sauces, spices, and cookbooks.
Seasoning a new wok is a bit daunting because it requires scrubbing the wok for a full 20 minutes, followed by cooking scallions in oil for another 20 minutes. This is labor intensive for someone too lazy to clean a self-cleaning oven. Add to that the fact that I have had to do it twice! I thought I had found a great bargain when I picked up a carbon steel wok at Ross for $12.00. I scrubbed it for 20 minutes then started stir frying the scallions to season the interior, only to find out it was bent out of round, and the bottom wasn't flat. I could barely keep it on the stove. I guess you get what you pay for as the saying goes.
I ordered a new wok, scrubbed and seasoned it and I am back in business.
Grace recommends starting with something easy like stir fried spinach and working up from there. After the spinach I went straight to stir fried rice because Michael and I love it. On Monday we had stir fried rice with shrimp for dinner.
Yesterday we had vegetable and egg stir fried rice for lunch. Tonight we had Char Sui pork fried rice for dinner. We'll have the leftovers for lunch tomorrow. We now have the tools and the techniques to make stir fried rice anytime we want!
One of the things Grace teaches in the class is the importance of prepping ingredients and lining them up in the order of use. This is so very important. I can't even imagine making this rice unless the prep was done in advance and the ingredients were organized. The wok doesn't wait for you to chop vegetables. Wok cooking is hot and fast and you need to be ready. (Note: This is my first wok, the one that was not round and didn't lie flat. I used it for two batches of stir fry until the new one was delivered.)
My ingredients included:
Minced ginger and crushed fresh garlic. Don't grate these as it will; add too much liquid to the wok. Use a shape knife and finely mince them.
Diced carrot. It is important that the size of the dice be precise and consistent to that the vegetables cook evenly.
Thawed frozen peas. I used fresh peas tonight and they were much better than the frozen. Unfortunately, fresh shelling peas are hard to find locally.
Sugar snap peas, diced. I should have put these in with the carrots as they needed a little more cooking time.
Diced sweet onion. I love onion in fried rice, especially if it is still a bit firm.
Diced scallion. Green onion is synonymous with fried rice for us. We added it to the rice as it cooked and saved some for garnish.
Day old rice. That's the secret to keep it from clumping together. Grace's rice cooking tutorial alone was worth the price of admission!
Good soy sauce. No substitute for good soy sauce.
Scrambled egg, cut into strips.
The oil and aromatics go in first followed by the vegetables that take the longest cooking time.
I love this spatula for stir frying!
Stir Fried Rice is done and ready for the soy sauce.
If you have a little time on your hands I hope you sign up for The Art of Stir Frying.
Disclaimer: I am not compensated in any way for my endorsement of Craftsy and the classes I have taken. I just love them and hope you will too. No recipe today, as this is Grace Young's recipe, not mine. As I learn and develop stir fry recipes of my own, I'll share them here. Until then, take the class!