...okay so technically it was a Wok but now that I got your attention, how about cooking up a stir-fry tonight?
So, I hadn't lived in NW Arkansas long before I discovered that Antique Malls/Flea Markets were big in these parts. I am sure they existed in Colorado Springs where I moved here
from but they were not a "hot spot" and this was all new to me and I fell in love. I would get on little kicks and hit them all looking for whatever struck my fancy at the time. I went through different stages and the one hunt I was always on the look-out
for was jewelry (still love the jewels to this day). But, somewhere in between I stumbled on to a shelf of these little books titled "Ideals". See, I read all day long for a living and have no interest in reading big novels for pleasure but, these little treasures
had poems, short stories, motivational quotes, etc. and I really enjoyed them. I was hooked. I set out on a mission and hit every antique mall/flea market within my area and didn't stop there. I scheduled vacation days so that I could make day trips as far
as Springfield, MO., Tulsa, OK, etc. If I found one that I didn't already have, I bought it regardless of what the content was. After all, the most I ever paid for one was $3.00 and they gave me the warm and fuzzies and brought me great pleasure.
As most of you know, I haven't always enjoyed cooking or even known how to for that matter. I was still single when I moved here and working two jobs. For lunches I ate the cheapest
frozen meals I could find and then I worked my second job a few nights a week and every weekend where I would just run through a drive-thru. That only left me with a couple of nights a week at home where my "dinner" was a can of soup, ramen noodles, an occasional
splurge of a baked potato prepared in the microwave, etc. Then I got married and my first years of marriage consisted of casseroles, one dish skillet meals, and meat and potatoes on the grill with a can veggie. That is honestly all I knew how to do and only
after discovering an issue of Taste of Home at the checkout line. I still have a huge respect for them by the way but I won't go into all of that. I wouldn't have even known where to start if I wanted homemade chicken noodle soup for goodness sake. Okay,
so fast forward 16 years. Here I am living in a town about 30 miles South of my first little home where I discovered Allrecipes a few years back that has not only changed my knowledge and style of cooking but has also made it enjoyable for me.
You can imagine my excitement when DH came inside a few weeks back and says, "Hey, I found a box out in the garage full of your old recipe books, do you want it?" HELLO! Does a
bear....in the woods? As I pulled them out one by one, I came across one of those Ideals that was titled "Wok Cookbook". Boy did that ever flood back some memories. I remember the day I stumbled across that one. It was in a little hole in the wall in Cassville,
MO. I remember debating for a long time whether or not to get it. After all, I did not like to cook and I didn't even own a Wok so it seemed like a waste of money to me. Plus, there was this pretty little sterling cuff bracelet and matching ring calling my
name AND this was my first stop of many on my adventure. Screw it, so I "wasted" $3.00. It was part of my collection and I must have it. When I got home, I tucked it in the bookshelf with the rest of my collection and I never even opened it or looked inside.
So, how did this get in with my cookbooks and away from the rest of my collection? Our move was a fast deal and when DH came across it on the bookshelf while packing up the office, he felt it was out of place and tucked it in a box I had packed up in the kitchen.
Back then I would have said that was a stupid thing to do because I myself would have never broken up a collection but hindsight, this little treasure would still be lost in one of the many still packed up boxes in the garage to this day if it were not for
his decision and I am thankful he did it.
Turns out it was a Sunday when he discovered the box and Sunday's are my day for meal planning for the next 7-10 days. I slowly stepped away from the computer and AR (yes I felt
like a traitor at first), poured me a glass of wine, and took my little gem of a book outside and plopped on the lounge just like the good old days before I did my menu planning online.
1983 ( I was only 10 years old when this issue was published)
Here is where the little price tag hung. There is some yellowing and the binding has come apart some but not too shabby for its age and being in a hot garage for 5+ years not to
mention how it might have been stored all of those years before I found it.
Everything in it sounded wonderful but I decided to settle for one dish out of each meat category for some variety. Snow peas are our favorite in case you were wondering why so
many. And, I didn't make all of these back to back either but they were stretched out over the ten days.
Here is what I chose and let me just say for the record that these were probably the "ugliest" stir-fry's I have made yet to this day but they were indeed quite tasty.
First up was: Beef Kwangton
2nd: Chicken with Button Mushrooms
3rd: Kung Pao Scallops
Here was theirs
4th: Pork with Green Onion and Water Chestnuts
Here is what my frequently used/abused Wok looks like. And to think I didn't even own a Wok or have any desire to when I purchased this little book.
I have posted the individual recipes below if you are interested. Thanks for stopping by! Now get out there and start stirring some things up! :)
Soup Loving Nicole
PS-Here is that sterling cuff and ring that was calling my name ;)
4 servings prep time: 15 minutes…4 minutes to cook
2 tbsp. peanut oil
1 ½ piece fresh gingerroot, peeled
1 lb. lean flank or sirloin steak, thinly sliced across grain and cut in 1 ½ strips
½ cup bamboo shoots, drained
4 large fresh mushrooms, thinly sliced
20 snow peas, ends and strings removed (yeah I don’t do this)
½ cup chicken stock
2 tbsp. oyster sauce
½ tsp. soy sacuce
¼ tsp. sesame oil
¼ tsp. sugar
½ tsp. salt
1 tbsp. cornstarch mixed with 1 tbsp. cold water
Heat oil in wok until hot. Swirl gingerroot in oil around wok 30 seconds; discard ginger. Add beef; stir-fry 2 minutes. Add next 4 ingredients; cover; cook 2 minutes. Meanwhile, mix next 5 ingredients. Uncover; add oyster sauce mix and cornstarch mix;stir-fry
until sauce thickens. Serve immediately.
Chicken with Button Mushrooms
2 servings prep time: 10 minutes…7 minutes to cook
1 tsp. cornstarch mixed with 1 tsp. cold water
1 tbsp. dry sherry
1 tbsp. oyster sauce
1 tsp. water
½ tsp. salt
1 whole chicken breast, split, skinned, boned, and cubed
2 tsp. dry white wine or dry vermouth
1 egg white, lightly beaten
1 tsp. cornstarch
Salt and freshly ground white pepper to taste
2 tbsp. peanut oil
¼ pound snow peas, ends and strings removed
¼ cup sliced water chestnuts, drained (I ended up having to sub baby corn due to a mega typo in the pork recipe below)
¼ cup sliced bamboo shoots, drained
24 fresh button mushrooms
Stir cornstarch mix; add next 4 ingredients; mix well; set aside. Mix next 4 ingredients; season with salt and pepper. Heat oil in wok until hot. Add chicken and stir-fry until opaque. Add snow peas, water chestnuts, bamboo shoots, and mushrooms and stir-fry
for 3 minutes. Stir sherry mixture and add to wok. Cook and, stir for 1 minute. Serve immediately.
Kung Pao Scallops
4 servings prep time: 50 minutes…5 minutes to cook
1 lb. scallops (bay were 5.99 a pound and sea were 10.99 a pound so bay it was for us)
1 egg white, lightly beaten
1 tbsp. cornstarch
1 tbsp. dry sherry
2 tbsp. soy sauce
1 ½ tsp. hot bean sauce
1 ½ tsp. sugar
1 ½ tsp. vinegar
1 tsp. dry sherry
2 cups peanut oil (this must be a typo…I used about two tablespoons)
2 tsp. peeled and minced fresh gingerroot
1 clove garlic, peeled and minced
10 water chestnuts, halved
20 snow peas, ends and strings removed
½ cup unsalted roasted peanuts
1 tsp. cornstarch mixed with 3 tbsp. chicken stock or water
Mix first 4 ingredients and set aside to marinate 30 minutes. Mix the next 5 ingredients and set aside.
Heat oil in wok until hot. Add scallops and stir-fry for 1 minute. Remove with a strainer and let drain in a colander. Remove all but 1 teaspoon of oil from the wok. Heat oil in wok until hot. Add next 3 ingredients and stir-fry for 30 seconds. Add next 3 ingredients
and stir-fry for 10 seconds. Add scallops with reserved soy sauce mixture and toss to combine. Stir cornstarch mixture and add to wok. Stir-fry until thickened. Serve Immediately.
Pork with Green Onions and Water Chestnuts
4 servings prep time: 15 minutes…5 minutes to cook
4 tbsp. soy sauce
2 tbsp. cold water
4 tsp. cornstarch
1 tsp. sugar
1 ½ pounds boneless lean pork, cut into 2x2x 1/8 inch slices
2 tbsp. dry sherry
2 tsp. rice vinegar
1 tsp. sesame oil
2 tbsp. peanut oil
2 cloves garlic, peeled and finely minced
4 green onions including tops, cut in ½ inch long slices
½ cup sliced bamboo shoots drained******clearly this is a typo and it is meant to be water chestnuts. I did not realize this typo until after I had done my shopping and that is why I had to sub baby corn for the water chestnuts in the chicken and mushroom stir-fry
Mix 2 tablespoons soy sauce, cold water, cornstarch, and sugar in a bowl; add pork; set aside 15 minutes. Mix remaining 2 tablespoons soy sauce, sherry, vinegar, and sesame oil and set aside. Heat oil in wok over high heat until hot. Add garlic and stir-fry
for 10 seconds. Add pork and stir-fry for 3 minutes. Add onions and “bamboo shoots” cough cough WATER CHESTNUTS and stir-fry 30 seconds. Add sherry mixture and stir until smooth. Serve immediately.