Thursday, April 3, 2014

One Skillet... Three Dishes- Classic Tomato and Egg, Sautéed Snow Pea Shoots and Garlic and Stir-Fried Fish-Fragrant Chicken and Eggplant...

It just so happens the menu I planned for tonight only requires the use of one skillet or wok. One skillet to make three dishes... one skillet to dirty, one skillet to wash. Yeah!

Here are the step-by-steps to cook each dish from my Chinese meal for the night: Classic Tomato and Egg, Sautéed Snow Pea Shoots and Garlic and Stir-Fried Fish-Fragrant Chicken and Eggplant. From start to dinner on the table- about one hour.

Wash a desired amount of jasmine rice. Pour the water into a large basin to wash the vegetables (TIP: rice water has starch that is suppose to clean debris off vegetables). Soak a desired amount of snow pea leaves to wash, rinse twice with tap water and set on a colander until use. Prepare the rice and set to cook.

Prep all your ingredients in advance of cooking- your "mise en place". This will help you be more organized by leaving the cooking part all at the end to cook in succession thus save you time and to better time your dishes to come out nice and hot!

Set out the condiments you will be using and remove or open the caps for easy access. I cook by eyeballing the liquid measurements so it is handy for me to do it this way. Otherwise, prepare your measured sauces in bowls nearby.

Classic Chinese Tomato and Egg:

1) Beat three eggs together. Season with salt and white pepper. Cook in hot skillet with 1 Tbsp. oil on medium-high heat until cooked. Break the egg up in large pieces. Remove eggs onto serving plate and set aside. 

2) Heat 1 Tbsp. oil and add one green onion cut into three pieces. Cook for a minute, then add two large ripe tomatoes, large diced into the skillet. Add 1 tsp. sugar and continue to cook for three minutes until softening and juice is released.

3) Add 1 Tbsp. Chinese cooking wine. Stir tomatoes and cook for one minute. Add 1 cup hot chicken broth. Cook until sauce is bubbling and the tomatoes are cooked. Stir 2 tsp. cornstarch into 1-1/2 Tbsp. water. Add to sauce and stir to thicken.

4) Place the eggs back into the skillet. Toss for one minute and remove onto serving plate. Drizzle with a little sesame oil on top and garnish with slices green onions.

Give the skillet a thorough wipe and start the next recipe.

Sautéed Snow Pea Shoots and Garlic:

1) Heat 1 Tbsp. oil in the skillet on high heat. Toss in the pea shoots. Stir and cook until starting to wilt. Use your spatula/cooking spoon to push the leaves away to create a centre well. Add two chopped garlic cloves. Let sizzle and continue to cook by mixing all the shoots together with the garlic; add 1/2 cup hot chicken broth and cook for five minutes until the stems are soft to the pinch. Remove onto a serving bowl or plate.

Cook ALOT because the leaves shrink down tremendously after being cooked. Better to have more than not enough!

No need to wipe or clean your skillet here.

Stir-Fried Fish-Fragrant Chicken and Eggplant (no fish- read on):

1) Heat the pan on high to ensure the pan is dry. Add 1 Tbsp. oil and add 1 lb. of chicken thighs, cut into strips that were seasoned with salt and white pepper and 1 Tbsp. cornstarch. Stir-fry for one minute, then add 1 Tbsp. Chinese cooking wine and cook for two minutes more. Remove onto a plate and set aside.

2) Heat 1 Tbsp. oil in the pan over medium heat. Add two Chinese eggplants cut into 2-inch batons, and stir-fry until browned, then cook, stirring for five minutes until softened. Add drops of water every minute to help steam and cook the eggplants. Transfer to the serving plate and set aside.

Ahhh,.. there is no fish in this recipe but what does it mean by fish-fragrant? The flavour of Chinese Chinkiang black vinegar combined with soy sauce, garlic and ginger gives off a sweet slightly sour fish fragrance which is a popular taste profile of the Szechuan region. TIP: Substitute with black balsamic vinegar.

3) Place the skillet back on high heat and add 1 tsp. oil, 1 green onion, cut into threes, 2 dried chili peppers, 2 chopped garlic cloves, 2 tsp. grated ginger and 1 Tbsp. chili bean sauce. Let sizzle for 30 seconds, then add 1 Tbsp. light soy sauce, 1 Tbsp. Chinkiang black rice vinegar and 1/2 cup of chicken broth. Let it come to a boil, then return the eggplant, followed by the chicken and stir-fry a minute more. Pour onto serving plate.

Garnish with slice green onions or cilantro.


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