o Cooking Techniques

HOW TO STIR FRY

Posted by: Teresa_nc7 (My Page) on Sun, Nov 28, 04

Stir Frying The method of stir fry cooking is fast, easy, and healthy. A small amount of the protein ingredient can be stretched to make more servings. Most people think stir frying results in Oriental dishes, but depending on the seasonings and ingredients used, not all dishes will taste like "Chinese" food.

Because stir frying takes so little actual cook time, all the ingredients need to be prepped ahead. Vegetables can be chopped earlier in the day and put in individual zip bags to store. You can even find vegetables and meats already chopped and ready for your stir fry in the salad bar, produce and meat departments of the grocery store.

Partially freeze meat and slice into thin strips across the grain for stir fry. The beef, chicken, and pork for stir fry benefit from a marinade in soy sauce, garlic, citrus juice, and ginger or a prepared marinade or teriyaki sauce. An hour or two in a flavorful marinade adds a lot of to the dish.

Ingredients for stir fry should be cut in single bite-sized pieces, but not chopped in a small dice as that size would burn before the larger pieces were fully cooked. There are two classes of vegetables: 1) those vegetables that are denser and require longer cooking such as, carrots, red and green bell pepper, cauliflower, broccoli, and onions, and 2) less dense vegetables that need a shorter cooking time such as, green onions, fresh mushrooms, snow peas, spinach, summer squash. thin strips of cabbage, and sugar snap peas.

A wok or stir fry pan is helpful to have for stir fry dishes, but you can cook by this method in a large fry pan, saute pan, or wide saucepan. High heat is used and the food is moving constantly in the pan in a lift-and-stir motion. Here are the steps to follow in stir fry cooking:

1. Have all your ingredients chopped and ready before you start to stir fry.

2. The pan is heated on high heat with a tablespoon of peanut oil, canola oil, or safflower oil. Do not use olive oil or butter for stir frying as a high smoke point is needed.

3. Lift your meat out of the marinade with a slotted spoon, draining off as much of the marinade as possible. Add the meat to the hot pan, along with chopped garlic and ginger if desired. Holding onto the handle of the pan, stir the meat and cook over high heat for about 3 minutes for beef or chicken and 5 minutes for pork. Remove the meat to a platter and set aside.

4. Add another tablespoon or two of oil to the pan and add the denser vegetables to the hot pan. Stir fry 2-3 minutes.

5. Add the more delicate vegetables to the pan and continue to stir and cook another 1-2 minutes.

6. Return the cooked meat to the pan and stir all to mix.

7. A half cup of broth or stock can be added at this point. Pour it in down the side of the pan so it will warm up as it is added.

8. A finishing and thickening mixture of soy sauce and cornstarch can be added at the end of the cooking time if so desired. Mix 3 tablespoons of soy sauce and 1 tablespoon of cornstarch in a small bowl before you start cooking. Stir well just before you add to the pan at the end of the cooking time. Stir and cook, still on high heat, until the resulting sauce is thick and clear.

9. Serve your stir fry over hot, cooked rice or noodles if desired. Pass additional soy sauce at the table if making an Oriental stir fry.

BRAISING:

Posted by: Lindac (My Page) on Sat, Dec 11, 04 at 23:34

Braising: Slow cooking foods ( meats especially) with moist heat. Place a piece of meat in a pan with a lid, brown gently over a top heat source, add a flavorful liquid ( broth, wine, fruit juice....) and cook slowely, covered with a lid, either on the stove top or in the ovem. Best for tougher cuts of beef or pork.

Entered by Ann_T

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