Wednesday, March 26, 2008

CSA week 17 - Sweet and sour chicken gizzards and shrimp

I found the time to throw together a quick stir fry tonight mainly because I somehow managed to spend way over my budget on a simple dinner out last night.

Now for those of you going "ugh. Sweet and sour gizzards," I'd like to point out that not only is deep-frying the quintessential gizzard preparation, it is a traditional meat for sweet and sour dishes. And anyway, it's no more or less icky than any other chicken meat. It's just a different sort of muscle.

While the stir fry was quick, it was actually little complicated. Sweet and sour dishes are generally made in three parts.

1. Deep fried protein.
In this case the gizzards and shrimp. I tossed both in a Tablespoon of cornstarch, two Tablespoons of soy sauce and a bit of salt. If I had more time I would have preferred a more substantial batter, but this was fine. There was a particularly nice effect on the shrimp as the batter got caught in the legs and shell and crisped up.

2. Stir fried vegetables.
I used the leftover heart of the mei qing choy (which was still in great shape after all this time. I'll have to remember to keep a head around in the future), a tomato from a couple weeks ago (just on the verge of going off), the bottom of the stalk of a spring onion from this week, a pepper of some sort that I had around and some canned sliced water chestnuts. I didn't bother to clean out the wok after emptying out the deep frying oil so the stir fry ended up a bit gritty, but it was tasty grit so I don't really mind. When the vegetables were nearly done, I threw the protein in to get them warmed back up and everything mixed up.

3. Simmered sauce.
The sauce was 1/2 cup sugar, 1/2 cup white vinegar, 3/8 cup water heated in the microwave to dissolve the sugar along with a handful of pineapple chunks from the freezer. I boiled that for about a minute and then added a mixture of 1/2 Tablespoon cornstarch, 1/2 Tablespoon soy sauce, a few shots of hot sauce and a 1/4 cup water. Once it came back to a boil it thickened up and everything was done (except for the rice I forgot to make).

Easy and mighty tasty, but man did I make a mess of the kitchen.

No comments: