Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Oh boy! Bok choy!

Bok Choy is something we buy to feed to the Bearded Dragon, Spike. I did cook it once, early on in Lee' s and my budding relationship. He was like, "This is really good, but it is Spike's food." Oh. So from then on, I just bought it and fed it to Spike, but then she (Spike was a she) passed away a couple of months ago from old age. I haven' t bought bok choy since then.

We got gallon-sized baggie full of baby bok choy in this week's shipment of vegetables. Young, succulent baby bok choy. I had also picked up a pork shoulder roast to cook in the crock pot, so when a recipe search turned up something incorporating both, I knew it was a winner.

Of course I didn't follow the recipe exactly.I didn't have any Nori or chow mein noodles. I already had a pork spice rub with brown sugar left over from something I made a month or so ago. And this other recipe called for citrus. Since I had oranges and lemons on hand, I had to incorporate that idea, too.So this is really a slow-roasted pork with citrus and garlic with chow mein vegetables recipe--a conglomeration.

I sliced up an onion and put it in the bottom of the crock pot early this morning. The pork shoulder went on top, and I squeeze a lemon and half an orange over the top. (The other half of the orange went into my lunch box, and wow! it was a treat!) I spread the spice rub over the top, nice and thick. For good measure, I put the squeeze-out lemon and orange into the pot, as well, and put the lid on it. Since I leave about an hour and a half before my husband, I left him instructions to program the crock pot to cook 8 hours on Low temperature. I figured that would be enough time, and it automatically goes to Warm when the time is up so it wouldn't overcook into mush. I texted our son about 5 pm and had him check if it was on warm, and he confirmed it for me. Perfect!

Anyway, it all would have gone exactly as planned if I hadn't come home to a sink full of dishes. Granted, I had left some, but they procreated or something while I was at work, so first I had to wash dishes, then start my stir-fry vegies. The kids had already gone off somewheres. So much for eating at 7:30...maybe 8 if we're lucky. The one redeeming benefit of preparing fresh vegies versus, say, dumping some frozen vegies into a pan straight from the freezer is that chopping it all with a sharp knife is very therapeutic. I sliced the ends off of the bok choy and gave them a rinse in the colander. I still had a leek, so I sliced that up along with a couple of cloves of garlic and put them into a cold saute pan and added some olive oil. I would have also added fresh ginger if I'd had any. As I brought that up to temperature and gave it a stir, I tossed in some small baby carrots that I had halved lengthwise, and one head of broccoli that I had trimmed down into small heads and a few sprigs of cilantro. (Gotta make chimichurri, soon!) After stirring to coat the vegies in oil, I added about a cup of water and a teaspoon of granulated chicken boullion along with a few shakes of ground ginger and put the lid on it. I poured about a half cup of soy sauce into a cup and stirred in two teaspoons full of cornstarch and mixed it until it was smooth. Then I mixed that into the steaming vegies and watched the sauce thicken up like magic. Lee had been shredding the pork while I stir-fried the vegies, so then Presto!  Dinner was ready.

The bok choy was tender and flavorful. The broccoli and carrots were slightly crunchy and the leeks were a nice change, as well. I don't know if it was the vegies, or the chicken boullion, or the soy sauce or the ginger, but the blend came out beauifully and I think it is the best stir-fry I have ever made.

My sweet husband poured me a glass of Hearst Ranch Tempranillo and then washed the dishes after we ate. All is well again, and we have some leftovers for tomorrow's lunch. The pork will make lovely sub sandwiches, too!

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