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Third Wok Cook-Three Courses-Pix Intensive

jfm0830jfm0830 Posts: 901
edited December 2012 in EggHead Forum

For my third wok cook I wanted to try a multi-course meal. Originally I was going to do just a beef dish. Then I wanted to add a veggie side dish and I decided to go for the gusto and make some fried rice too. The recipes came from my two Grace Young cookbooks. The beef dish was from Breath of a Wok and was called Cousin Zane's Sichuan Beef. The green bean dish was called Virginia Yee's Dry-Fried Sichuan String Beans from Stir-Frying to the Sky's Edge. It had an advantage of being a make ahead dish. The green beans are cooked up in advance and are allowed to stand at room temperature for three hours. The rice, which was a last minute add the night before, was from Stir-Frying to the Sky's Edge and was a nested recipe. It used the recipe Classic Rice to make 4 cups of rice for use in the main recipe Yangchow Fried Rice. I made up the Classic Rice in the morning and refrigerated it until it was time to make the Yangchow Fried Rice. When it was time to eat, I made the fried rice first and held it in a 200 degree oven while I made the beef dish.

I really looked forward to doing this multi-course cook and had a blast doing it. I am comfortable I can control the temperature of the wok on the Egg and I am getting comfortable with this high speed method of cooking method. One thing I realized is I probably couldn't get the pictures of the food cooking on the wok with a full bodied DSLR camera. With the 19" long wok ladle and lighter weight Canon G-11 & flash I can stand back a perfect distance for cooking and to shoot from. I hold the ladle in one hand and the G-11 in the other. When it is time to shoot, I pull the ladle out of the picture and hold the camera in my other and snap a quick picture. The camera is light enough that I can hold it steady enough one handed to get a good flash picture. 

So how did it turn out? Excellently!! This was my best wok cook yet. My parents and my wife (and I) loved all three items. My parents ate far more than they usually do. My dad actually had thirds of the beef. There were no leftovers and my wife was eating the last few pieces of the fried rice right off the serving plate. I am looking forward to exploring more of the recipes in these great cookbooks. Ok on to the pictures.

CLASSIC RICE

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Saturday morning I made up a batch of rice using Grace Young's Classic Rice recipe. The whole process took less than 45 minutes and the rice went into the fridge until it was needed Saturday at suppertime.



Virginia Yee's Dry-Fried Szechuan String Beans

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The ingredients for the green beans were: green beans, minced ginger, ground pork, thin sliced scallions, salt, vegetable oil, chicken broth, sesame oil, balsamic vinegar, & sugar. 




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It was a cold day with light snow, but it didn't phase the Egg which is stabilized at 500 degrees and the wok is inside pre-heating with some veggie oil.




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From this point forward the lid will be up. I reduced the opening of the lower draft door to 50 percent of my initial setting to make up for the lid being opened. The green beans cook in two batches and here the first batch just went on the wok.




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The green beans are to be cooked until they have brown spots and are starting to wither. Here the first batch is almost done.




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The first batch of green beans is off the Egg while the second batch or green beans is stir-frying.





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The green beans are done and the ground pork  and minced ginger is now on the wok.




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The ground pork is stir-fried until it is almost cooked. The spatula was also used to break up the chunks of ground pork into smaller pieces.




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The chicken broth has been added and will be brought to a boil.





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Once the broth begins boiling the green beans are added back in. The green beans and pork are stir-fried until most of the liquid has cooked off.




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The green bean are back in the kitchen and will be allowed to cool. They will be served at room temperature in 3 hours.



Cousin Zane’s Szechuan Beef

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Several hours later I gathered the ingredient for the Sichuan beef dish. They were thin sliced flank steak, onions & green pepper, plus 1" long slices of scallions, crushed slices of ginger, chicken broth, chili bean sauce, ketchup, vegetable oil, soy sauce, hoisin sauce, sesame oil, dry sherry, corn starch & salt.




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This is the sauce for the beef dish. It used ketchup, hoisin sauce, chili bean sauce, sesame oil & soy sauce. 




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The flank steak gets marinated in a mixture of soy sauce, dry sherry, & 2 slices of the crushed ginger. It marinates for 30 minutes. While this was going on I will cook up the rice.


Yangchow Fried Rice

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While the beef was marinated I went out to cook the fried rice. Here the ingredient are gathered: The Classic Rice I made in the morning, diced ham, frozen peas (thawed), scallion slices, white pepper, salt & vegetable oil.




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Out at the Egg the rice and peas are being heated. The Egg is at 550 degrees for this go round.




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The rice has been heated through and any clumps present were broken up using the wok spatula. The rice gets seasoned with the salt & white pepper and the sliced scallions are mixed in. The rice was brought back into the kitchen and held in a covered bowl in a 200 degree oven while I stir-fried the beef.



Cousin Zane’s Szechuan Beef

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Some vegetable oil and ginger slices were added to the wok and stir-fried for 30 seconds. The marinated sliced beef has just been added. 





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The beef has been stir-fried until it is browned a bit but not cooked through. it was placed on a strainer and is now being held in a bowl.




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The sliced green pepper and onions get stir-fried next.




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The broth has been added and will be brought to a boil.




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Once the broth is boiling, the ketchup based sauce is added.




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The cornstarch was mixed with some water and the dish was stir-fried for and additional minute until the sauce thickened up.




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Time to eat!!



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Yangchow Fried Rice




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Virginia Yee's Dry-Fried Szechuan String Beans





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Cousin Zane’s Szechuan Beef




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My best stir-fry yet. 

Thanks again to the great advice I got here and some great cookbook recommendations, I am having a blast dipping my toes into the wok cooking waters. I am also thrilled that the cold doesn't seem to affect the Egg too much. The only thing I noticed is it took the Egg slightly longer to recover when I place the wok inside to preheat. We're talking a minute or two though, vs 15 minutes for my offset smoker to recover, so I am quite happy. I am looking forward to my easiest winter ever, where I can concentrated on cooking the food and not having to sweat the workings of the cooker itself.

Jim

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