Friday, February 17, 2012

Braised Bok Choi

Bok choi, much like ginger, is one of my favorite foods except I find myself often forgetting that because for some odd reason this incredibly easy to make ingredient I perceive as such a hassle. I wonder what's broken in my mind to think such a thing about such a simple recipe. I also find myself googling the instructions EVERY TIME I make it! What's up with that? Well I follow the recipe from Stemay Kitchen. I seem unable to copy the copy link. I found it by googling how to cook bok choi and clicked on the link. You can do the same if you'd like to view the original recipe, which I recommend because there are pictures. It'll make following those instructions far more appealing than mine.

Bok choi (I used a bagful already packaged from the farmer's market - the smaller ones are sweeter)



Extra-virgin olive oil

3 tbsp water

Sesame oil

1) Wash the bok choi as dirt can be imbedded in the root. Remove any damaged outer leaves and cut off the ends. That'll make cleaning the bok choi much easier, too.

2) Over medium high heat, add extra-virgin olive oil to lightly coat the pan. Then add minced garlic and ginger. I used a microplane and threw in the amount I desired. You basically want it to slightly cover the pan. Then again I flavor heavily with garlic and ginger. So adjust it to your preference.

3) I cook the garlic and ginger until it becomes aromatic, and the garlic becomes slightly translucent. I don't wait until the garlic lightly browns because by then I feel like I move too quickly and everything burns. If you feel that way, don't wait until it gets to that point. When you add the water and put a lid over the pan, it'll cook adequately.

4) Coat the bok choi in the garlic ginger sauce. I did this for about two minutes, but apparently you're just supposed to immediately add 3 tbsp water or chicken stock. Cover right away for a few minutes until water evaporates. The original recipe calls for covering it only a minute before you can enjoy this dish. Drizzle with sesame oil and salt to taste. (Sometimes I don't add the sesame oil if I want the ginger flavor to dominate).

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Food Facts About Me!

1) I'm always open and willing to try new foods that I don't think people realize that I can be picky. I definitely have a standard for quality food and dislike poor quality. But as an adult, I surround myself with other foodies, so few have seen me unhappy with my meals since we all enjoy quality food. With that said, I'm not a fan of onions and bell peppers. I'm now able to "omit" the flavor in my mind and appreciate the dish. But I used to be unable to enjoy the dish when I could taste the onion, which is virtually in everything. I was so picky that I used to make own chicken stock without onions. I ate the food, however because I thought it'd be disrespectful to refuse and waste the food that people don't realize how much I despise it!

2) I really have tried to give onions a chance. I've had them raw, grated, sliced, pickled, broiled, glazed, roasted, in soups, sauteed, blended, in sauces and dressings, dried, poached, steamed, etc. I just don't like them!!!

3) I love farmer's markets! I've been described as the farmer's market diva and interestingly enough I attract vendors from markets in my personal life whether it be that I develop a friendship with them or meet them at parties. It's such a trip! Not every vendor is honest and there's certainly shadiness that goes on in there. It's astounding how many consumers are oblivious to the deceit around them. They consider the farmer's markets to be a haven of such dishonesty, unlike corporations, but the truth is lies exist everywhere. I'm fortunate to have more insights. I've even picked the produce at some of the vendor's farms!

4) My friend describes me as the Traveling Cook because I live in a bachelor. That's basically a studio without a kitchen, so I travel to my friends' houses and cook there.

5) I make a TON of food for someone without a kitchen. I sort of created a "kitchen" within a small space. I'm not much of a gurly gurl so I made the built in vanity area to serve as my kitchen space. I have an induction stove to the left and I have the microwave to the right and the toaster oven sits above the microwave. I have two sized cutting boards, one small and one large that slides to the right of the microwave. I added an extra shelf for storage. I slice everything in advance. And I make all sorts of foods. People seem astonished by my living condition as though I'm handicapped but I've made fried fish, baked fish, stir-fries, sautes, tabbouleh, roast chicken, roast veggies, all sorts of salads, hummus, steamed mussels, coleslaw, chicken curry, fried rice, eggs in virtually every way, etc. Many of the things you make in a regular kitchen. Although soups are more challenging because my induction stove doesn't boil properly...

6) I've never milked a cow and I really want to. I'd love to ry fresh milk.

7) I've made all sorts of foods, but there are some I've yet to try and would really love to do. Croissants, ravioli, chicken and dumplings, steamed crabs, bread, pie, homemade pasta, greens with ham hocks, New England style clam chowder...

8) My favorite comfort foods are creamy mac and cheese (the cheap version - I love the fancy stuff with white cheddar but not for comfort food) and creamy tomato soup.

9) I started a container garden collection. I have tomatoes, shiso leaves, parsley, oregano, peppermint, Italian and Thai basil, and wild arugula.

10) I love bok choy, ginger, and avocado. Yet they're foods I rarely indulge in for some reason, even though preparation for them is so easy! Weird...