Tuesday, August 25, 2009

This week's recipe.

Make my recipes.
I want to get paid like you.

I just ate this one, so I know it's good.

See, the semester just started today, so I needed to eat some food that was good for me. If you ever get that need, here's the way to do it.

Eat more vegetables. You. Yeah, you. You need to eat more vegetables. Me too. I got this advice from my Ph.D. advisor, who will remain anonymous here, if only to prevent her from being bothered by it all.

See, the thing is, vegetables are really good for you. They have all the stuff in them that allow you to go and eat all the stuff that you'd usually want to eat. Think of it like this. Eat some vegetables. Between that, eat normal food.

Here's one way to get a dose of the veg. I'm listening to Fats Domino right now, if you're wondering the setting. Damn. Don't even try to tell me that you give Fats Domino the credit he deserves. None of us do. It's a crime.

Get a bunch of vegetables from your local vegetale provider. The fresher and more localer the better. Keep that as a rule. Unless your local stuff stinks, then get the best stuff you can. And, localer isn't a word.

Get at least four or five different things. Onions. They come in different colors, so get at least two. Peppers. Same with the colors. Broccoli. Green onions, which are different than a green onion. Some people call them spring onions, I think, but once you hear Booker T and the MGs, you don't hear the same. Go nuts. Get a bok choy. For real, they're good.

Here's the secret. Vegetables are about texture, not flavor. Yes, I know that they all have flavors, but that doesn't matter here. Point conceded. This is a texture thing. Vegetables as vehicle of transmission. For flavor. And mastication stimulation. You know, chewing is fun again. It ain't just a means of getting whatever merde d'automne you were going to eat into your craw and thusly out once more to the earth.

Cut the vegetables up. Enjoy this part. Cutting veg is fun. There's something primal and outside about chopping up vegetables. It's an experience of conquering nature, which is sort of curious to a kid from New Jersey.

Get a wok and get yourself some canola oil. It's ok, you're a grown up now. I use Knife Brand, but that's cause I don't know any better. I'll take advice on better brands if you've got it. Go to your local Vietnamese supermarche, or whatever you've got that sells the stuff you would make non-American food with. While you're there, get some hot chili stuff. It's sort of liquidy, sort of seedy, looks red and hot. Green top. And get some fish oil and some soy sauce. The stuff in the little packets does not count. You're cooking. This is not fast food. You need to take your time while making this. Get an hour. Get your partner-spouse-whatever to watch the kid(s) and zone out. You'll have to cover for them at some point, or make enough for you both. But fair is fair.

Cover the bottom of the pan with canola oil and put in about a half a teaspoon of the chili stuff into it. More if you like heat, less if you're a wuss. Don't over do it, but test your heat threshold, it's nice when you find the sweet spot. See, already the veg is a means to an end. This is a heat delivery system. Get the oil hot. Not stupid hot, but hot. Give the wok one of those cooking moves that gets the oil to move around and spread on the bottom of the wok.

Put the veg in in the following order. Onions. Peppers. Brocoli. Hard parts of the bok choy and/or green onions. Not the tips of the green onions yet, or the leaves of the bok choy. Honestly, I leave out the leaves.
There are intervals in between. Actually, the way I do it is to cut in order. Cut onions, put in wok. Cut peppers, and so on. Of course, clean the stuff. Don't be a barbarian.

While you're cooking it, splash it with soy sauce and fish oil. Splash it. Don't drown it. There's too much damn sauce on everything here. Think about what you'd normally get and cut it in about 1/3, 1/2 if you don't like lots of sauce to begin with.

Get it all in there and cook it right to the point that you want. While you're cooking it. Look at all the colors and remember to stir it in different geometries. Circles, triangles, use them all.

Now, here's the part I forgot. If you want to put meat in it, you've got to plan for that. Shrimp are ideal, but I know some of you have shellfish issues. Tragedy. Eating things that come from the sea is amazing. Otherwise, chicken. I'd avoid cow or pig, just for the sake of weight. Trust me. You can eat a cheeseburger tomorrow. Remember...the vegetables!

Get the meat all cooked up and ready before hand. Don't do anything to it. Just pan and oil until it's cooked the way you want. If you're doing a whole chicken, that's really nice. The rest, just cook it and shred it. D0n't put any crap on it. No bread crumbs. No shaky, from-the-drawer spices. Just in the oil. For some reason, I like to do the shrimp in vegetable oil, but chicken in canola. Whatever, I'm making this up as I go along.

Then, once you get the veg to the almost, might just be about right there in two and a half minutes point, put the meat in and get that hot again. Then, about 45 seconds before you think it's gonna be just right, toss the tops of the green onions it and give it a few last stirs to wake it up and notify it of its impending demise.

Eat it.
I think, because it's made in a wok, that it's best eaten with chop sticks. I hope that doesn't make me racist, but I watched a lot of 60s cartoons when I was a kid, so please forgive me.

There you go. It's chicken and vegetables. Or shrimp and vegetables. Eat it. You'll feel better and be able to justifiably go and eat garbage the next day. Like a goat.