Monday, October 3, 2011

So I cheated a little !! It's Monday !!

Monday. The word that draws scorn the world over. The grim reality of the weekend being officially GONE, the beginning of the work/school week, the re-start. I've never been a Monday hater (yes, I was hopelessly hooked on Melrose Place in the 90s and secretly wished the weekends would hurry up so I could find out what happens next !!) and I always look forward to Monday Night Football but I know it sometimes does get a little hectic. Getting back in the work mode, getting the kids back on track for the school week. Goodbye to sleeping in for 5 days.

Mondays often mean a rushed dinner time too. Opting for the drive-thru. Frozen pizza night. It's no different at our house. Whatever we did all weekend, seems like Monday is just a little more blah and a little harder to want to cook big. So we opt for quick cooking meals, something we can throw together before kickoff and enjoy during the game.

I wandered the aisles of our little grocery store with absolutely NO IDEA what to cook. Kinda feeling nachos, kinda feeling burgers.....wings ??.....maybe......but even the idea of football food just wasn't all that inviting to me. I finally settled on some vegetables with an Asian twist and thought a quick stir fry would hit the spot. Asian cooking is NOT my area of expertise so I enlisted the help of a purchased stir fry seasoning (I know, I know...cheating.....) and it turned out pretty good !!!

Spicy Pork Stir Fry

2 boneless pork loin chops (about 3/4 inch thick)
2 ribs celery, bias sliced
1 cup sugar snap peas
1/2 large onion, cut into wedges
1/2 cup shredded carrot
1 can baby corn
1 can sliced water chestnuts
1 bottle stir fry sauce (use whatever brand/flavor you like. I used House of Tsang)
1/2 tsp crushed hot pepper flakes, if desired
1 clove garlic, minced
couple dashes soy sauce
cracked black pepper
1 cup uncooked white rice (cook and keep warm)

Halve the pork chops lengthwise then slice across the grain to make small bite sized pieces of pork. Place in small bowl with garlic, soy sauce and cracked black pepper. Set aside to marinade. (If you have an Asian seasoning blend such as Pampered Chef or something like that you can add a tsp or so at this point)  Heat a large skillet or wok over high heat until very hot. Add a tablespoon or so of oil. Add celery, peas, onions and carrots, stir fry over high heat until heated but still crisp/tender. Remove to bowl. Add additional oil if necessary. Stir fry pork until cooked through. Then add about 1/2 the bottle of stir fry sauce, the hot pepper (if using) and return all vegetables (including corn and water chestnuts) to pan. Heat through. Serve over rice with additional soy sauce if desired.

Remember- when you're making a stir fry, make it your own !! Use whatever meat you like or have on hand, or go vegetarian and leave it out. Use tofu !! And for veggies, you are only limited by your imagination and what's on hand and in season. If you use a stir fry sauce like I did, there are LOADS of different flavors on the market- everything from sticky sweet to hot and spicy. I like a little of both so I went with the basic stir fry sauce and added my own Jamaican Yellow Mushroom pepper- dried and crushed.

That was easy !!! And delicious !! And now that I'm done sharing it with everyone, it's time to get into the last item I grabbed at the grocery store today- wedding cake ice cream !!!! How could I say no to that ??

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