Rain and more rain seems to be the order of the week here in my area. I was up early and watched lots of lightening toward the east. No showers for me from that, but Wednesday evening we had a good shower. Each day the number of boxes I need to unpack goes down a little bit, but I am a long way from finished. Most of the drawers are finished, but the cabinets themselves lack a lot, of course, the stuff to be unpacked needs to be placed on higher shelves, and so I will wait until I have help! My computer is still down, but hopefully, since I brought it to Devine with me this trip, something can be done for me. Thank goodness for a son-in-law who knows computers backwards and forwards! My local tech could not do anything for me; he basically told me I needed an expert.
When you are preparing any type of Oriental dish, one of the most important things to remember is to cut/dice/slice everything into uniform size pieces. Many recipes call for diagonally sliced vegetables. To do this, lay a stalk of celery, a carrot, a green onion, or whatever you are slicing, so that it is in the center of your cutting board, parallel to the edges; position your knife at a slant and begin slicing. To slice meat very thin, partially freeze and then slice across the grain of the meat; (it is best to have a sharp knife for this, you want to slice, not saw), this makes for nice even slices. Chicken breasts will slice nicely this way also, just be sure to cut across the grain of the meat.
If you do not want to go to the trouble of doing everything from scratch as is shown in these recipes, the Sun-Bird® brand of seasonings is very, very good. They have seasonings for Sweet and Sour Pork, Beef and Broccoli and several others. Follow their directions, but if desired, you can also change or add a vegetable. I have used the mix for Sweet and Sour pork, but instead of using pork, I used chicken and added diagonally sliced carrots and sometimes thinly sliced zucchini to the mixture.
All of this food is cooked very quickly, stirring constantly over relatively high heat. Follow the directions, have a great time and make a stir-fry dish!
Sweet and Sour Meatballs
1 jar (10-oz) Sweet and Sour Sauce
1/4 cup chicken broth
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1½ pounds lean ground beef
1 can sliced water chestnuts, drained and finely chopped
(I buy the chopped water chestnuts and chop them a little finer)
2 eggs, well beaten
1/3 cup dry bread crumbs
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons chopped green onions
¼ teaspoon garlic powder
¼ teaspoon ground ginger
Preheat oven to 425º.
In a large saucepan or Dutch oven, combine the sauce ingredients; cook over low heat, stirring constantly until the sauce is thick and bubbly. Remove from heat and set aside. In a large bowl, combine all meatball ingredients; shape into one-inch (1-inch) balls and place in an ungreased 9×13 pan, bake at 425º for 15 minutes; drain well. Add meatballs to sauce, heat 10 to 15 minutes, or until thoroughly heated through. Serve over rice with stir-fry vegetables as a side dish.
Chinese Mixed Vegetables
1 head fresh broccoli
8 ounces fresh spinach (I think spinach comes in a 10-oz package, this is OK)
1 pound fresh pea pods, (OR 1 package frozen pea pods, thawed and drained)
2 ribs celery
8 green onions
¾ cup water
1 tablespoon instant chicken bouillon granules
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 tablespoon finely minced ginger root
Clean vegetables, cut broccoli into flowerets, cut stems into strips, 2-inches x ¼-inch, hold several spinach leaves together and slice across them into strips ¼-inch wide. Remove stems and strings from fresh pea pods, cut celery into long (about 2-inch) diagonal slices, (hold knife at a sharp angle, just a little less than parallel to the celery). Peel onions and cut each one into 8 to 10 wedges and separate layers, cut green onions into long diagonal slices, the same way you did the celery. Peel ginger root and mince.
Heat vegetable oil in a large skillet or wok over high heat, add broccoli stalks, onion wedges and ginger; cook and stir for 1-minute; add remaining vegetables, toss together, stir bouillon granules into water and add; toss together until vegetables are coated. Cook and stir until liquid boils, cover and cook for about 4 to 5 minutes.