I’m still working away at the latest Magazine of the Month, February 2009 Food & Wine.
By now, you know how much I love stir fry. On a weeknight, when you have to get something delicious and nutritious out quickly, it’s a great option. This month’s MoM had an interesting take on chow mein that I decided to test out. I’ve never made it before, I’ve only eaten it from restaurants. The Food & Wine version has the addition of orange juice, so of course you know I had to go for it.
Here’s F&W’s unblurry photo:
Updated Chicken Chow Mein
Courtesy of Food & Wine February 2009
5 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 pound fresh plain chicken sausages, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons minced ginger
4 ounces snow peas, cut in half
2 fresh, hot long red chiles, seeded and thinly sliced
1/3 cup fresh orange juice
1/2 pound fresh or dried Chinese egg noodles, cooked
1 cup chicken stock mixed with 3 tablespoons of hoisin sauce and 2 teaspoons of cornstarch
1/2 cup slivered basil leaves
In a wok, heat 2 tablespoons of the oil. Add the chicken sausage and stir-fry over high heat, breaking it up, until just cooked through, 3 minutes. Transfer to a plate.
For some reason, my grocery store was all out of regular chicken sausage, and all I could find was pork. Don’t get me wrong, I like pork. The pork was okay. But because pork has a sleeker, slimier texture than poultry sausage, there was something about it that I didn’t like with the similar soft, sleek texture of the egg noodles. The common textures just threw me — it needed something different texturally to make it more interesting. The next time I make this, I will be sure to find chicken. If the texture of pork doesn’t throw you off, then you’ll probably not care.
Heat the remaining 3 tablespoons of oil in the wok. Add the garlic and ginger and stir-fry over moderately high heat until golden, 1 1/2 minutes. Off the heat, stir in the snow peas and chiles for 1 minute.
Now, for some reason I couldn’t find fresh red chiles, and I wasn’t in the mood to try dried, so I found a fresh chile paste that my grocer keeps in a refrigerated section of the produce department. The paste also contained the innards of the chile, including the seeds, which is the hottest part of the chile, so I had to be careful when I made the addition. The spicy taste of the chile ended up being there, though I didn’t get the pretty red slices of color in my dish. But whatever, at least it tasted good.
Add the orange juice and stir over moderately high heat for 30 seconds.
Add the sausage, noodles and stock mixture, season with salt and stir-fry until the sauce is thickened, about 2 minutes. Remove from the heat, stir in the basil and serve.
I couldn’t find Chinese egg noodles, so I substituted with pasta egg noodles.
I actually quite liked this, as did our incredibly picky web admin. Next time I’ll add more snow peas — I really liked the crunch of the sweet snow peas with the orange juice. I wouldn’t say it was a refined dish, but it was definitely fun. For those of you looking for a quick fix on a weeknight after work, this is a good one.
F&W pairs this dish with: A fruity sparkling wine. Italian Prosecco’s lemon-lime flavor is great with Asian dishes. Try Zardetto’s NV Brut Conegliano Prosecco ($16) and NV Santa Margherita’s Prosecco di Valdobbiadene ($20).
And now for my token blurry picture: