Tuesday, March 30, 2004

Fairly passable stir-fry for one
I’m practicing my culinary skills for one, of late, and I’m already over the make-mac-and-cheese-and-eat-it-all-week thing. Here’s what I made last night—originally, my plan was to make a tofu dog with some leftover tofu that I had on hand and eat it with a root-beer float (I know, I know: poor nutritional choice, frog!). But the tofu had seen better, less smelly days, so I pitched it and decided to make a corn dog with fries, but I’ve already eaten that a few times in as many days and I’d already bought mushrooms and I have these incredibly gorgeous chopsticks that a friend brought back for me from Viet Nam and I don’t really know how to eat with chopsticks and haven’t practiced because I’m stupidly shy about that kind of thing and, hey, I was home alone with no one to mock me (not that anyone would, I’m just sayin’) for how very long it might take me to figure out how to pick up broccoli with chopsticks, much less eat the rice, so this is what I made:

frog’s last-minute stir-fry for one (nods to Deborah Madison)
Rice and things with which to make it (that would be water and maybe salt)
Broccoli, one stalk
Carrots, two
Garlic, chopped
Red pepper flakes
Celery seed
¾ cup water
¼ soy sauce
2 tbsp corn starch
Peanut oil

Make the rice.

Heat about 2 tbsp peanut oil in a wok or, if you’re me, that old battered pan you bought at Target in college. Swirl the oil around and, when it’s hot, add the garlic, red pepper flakes, and celery seed (ginger and other aromatics would be good, too, this is just what I had on hand that sounded good). Add the carrots and broccoli and stir fry for a minute or two. Combine the water and soy sauce (or tamari or shoyu or stir-fry stock). Add about ¼ cup of it to the vegis. When the carrots and broccoli are nearly tender, remove them to a platter, add a little oil to the pan and cook the mushrooms briefly. Move them to the platter, too.

Mix the corn starch into what’s left of your water/soy sauce combo, and add it to the hot pan. Stir until thick, then pour it over the platter of vegis. Drizzle with peanut oil. Serve over rice and eat it with those fancy new chopsticks, which you’ll begin to learn to use while watching UConn humiliate Penn State, feeling sad for Mazzante that she played such a poor first half, but feeling pleased and content, nonetheless, no small part of which was the chopsticks and the meal.

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