I was in for a special treat last night when Mark agreed to make me dinner. And now YOU are in for a special treat because I photographed it for you. I really need to get a video camera, though, because believe me, still photos don’t do justice to an evening in the kitchen with Mark.
Markery (Mark’s Stir Fry)
sushi rice, prepared
2 carrots, chopped
1/2 onion, chopped
1 bell pepper, chopped
2 red chili peppers, sliced
1 scallion, chopped
3 small heads broccoli, chopped (Mark really likes broccoli)
1/2 pound smoked tofu, sliced
1 cup cashews (Mark also really likes cashews)
vegetarian stir fry sauce, to taste
garlic black bean sauce, to taste
soy sauce, to taste
1 Tbsp garlic chili paste
1 Tbsp cornstarch + 2 Tbsp water
First, get the rice cooking. Mark selected sushi rice, so he first rinsed it in the pot of the rice cooker. He said he needed to rinse it extremely well in order to reduce his carbon footprint. When I pointed out that rinsing uses up a lot of water and wasn’t really reducing his carbon footprint, he informed me that Han Solo had a very large carbonite footprint.
Next, start prepping your vegetables. Peel the carrots.
I said PEEL the carrots …
… then chop them. Pick your next vegetable to prep.
The onion was the last one in the air, so he donned my onion goggles …
… and got to work.
And then this happened, after which he said the onion pieces were too small and he’d meant to have large pieces, but I refused to give him another onion.
Next Mark elected to chop his chili peppers. His first rule of working with chili peppers is to not put them up your nose.
Next, slice them with a knife.
Then he rinsed them under running water to remove the seeds.
Mark was pleased to discover a four-leaf clover when chopping the bell pepper …
… and enjoyed ripping the heart out of it.
Intermediary glass of orange juice.
Little man made of scallion and chili pepper ends, carrot peel eyes. Mark gives new meaning to playing with your food. Also, he must have chopped the scallion by this time.
Next he chopped the broccoli, probably a bit more of it than really necessary for two people.
I don’t like stir frying raw broccoli, so he asked if he should steam it first and I said he could just microwave it for a couple of minutes. So here is Mark explaining microwaves – they are from the “future”. (Again, I really need to get a video camera.)
Meanwhile, Mark discovered the package of smoked tofu …
… and sliced up about half of it.
Next he wanted to put together a sauce for the stir fry. He wanted to just use soy sauce but I said soy sauce alone would be too salty, so he rummaged through various ingredients and found Vegetarian Stir Fry Sauce …
… which he poured into a small bowl.
Next some garlic black bean sauce …
… and soy sauce.
To his immense surprise, this tasted pretty good.
So he whisked it up very well.
And then added this much chili paste – he wanted me to show you exactly how much.
The finished sauce:
In a separate small bowl, he whisked together a heaping tablespoon of cornstarch and 2 tablespoons cold water.
At this time the rice finished cooking, so he tasted it, then added salt and rice vinegar (because the sushi vinegar I bought last time is nasty).
Then it was time to get cooking. He poured some oil into the hot wok.
The onions went in first.
Then the carrots.
And the peppers … and I think he had mixed the scallions in with the peppers.
Then the broccoli and tofu.
Followed by four pounds of cashews.
Stir fry it all up until veggies are all crisp-tender.
Then pour in the sauce.
When the sauce comes to boil, pour in the cornstarch mixture and mix well.
Then remove from heat.
And celebrate with more orange juice.
Behold your beautiful meal.
Finally, it’s time to taste the fruits of your labor.
Not too bad!
And here is my plate:
My verdict? It was actually pretty good! A bit salty and rather heavy on the cashews, but tasty and cooked to perfection. A job well done, Smark! I’d definitely be willing to let him cook for me again.