Friday, January 10, 2014

Tonight's Dinner: January 10, 2014

Tonight we had a friend over for dinner and I was planning on making a simple stir fry.  We were able to use the last of our pork!  No more pork for a while.  Even though we're not actually tired of eating pork, I think we need to go back to chicken for a couple of weeks.  It helps that the pork wasn't in the form of a straight pork chop for every meal.  There were nine chops in the Costco packet and we only had them as chops for one night.  Not too shabby on the creativity scale.

Tonight's pork packet was marinating in Italian dressing.  I've been trying to use up all the random sauces on our refrigerator door. Most of them only have a few squeezes worth of stuff left anyway. Here's the catch with this premarinating business.  It's great for when you just want to throw something in the pan after work when you're tired and don't want to have to think about it. But when you actually have time and/or energy to do something more than cook a slab of meat, you have to work around the fact that the meat tastes like something completely different from your new, creative idea. On weeks that I simply buy the meat and don't premarinate, I find that I have no creativity or patience to cook something elaborate.  Those are the days that I want to just throw something in a pan. The grass is always greener...

Normally, I wouldn't marinate the meat in Italian dressing for a Chinese dish, but that's what I had prepared and had to work around.  I read somewhere online that adding soy sauce like I usually do for stir fry actually works well with Italian dressing. I was skeptical and  really just grasping at straws, but it turned out just fine.  When I got home, I sliced up the meat and added a couple of tablespoons of soy sauce to the ziptop bag.  I let it sit and marinate with the dressing and soy sauce combo while Emmy and I went for a run.  It surprisingly turned out really well.  I was a little apprehensive at first since we were having company, but we all really enjoyed it and the dressing added quite a bit of extra flavor.

To give some variety in texture, I roasted cauliflower and then added it to the stir fry once it was all done.  I also added some sesame oil and oyster sauce to the wok while cooking to give it a more Asian flavor. I was still worried that the Italian would be strong and mess everything up.

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