This blog has been silent for the last week and a half for one reason: as much as I love cooking, as much as I may be “food obsessed” (to quote a sister-in-law), I think I have to admit that I over did it with the cooking this past holiday season. After baking a couple of cheesecakes, making lots of homemade consumable stocking stuffers, and cooking up several meals for parties of 6 or more, the last thing I wanted to do was talk about food. But having had a few days off (thanks to a cold that sapped any cooking energy out of me) I’m back and am ready to kick off this new year of blogging and hopefully better luck and new adventures!
So let’s jump in by, well, talking about something I made back in September. Yes, the bad thing about a break is I continue to be behind in talking about some cooking ideas I want to preserve for future reference.
I made this stir fry after having a temper tantrum of sorts: after thinking that green bean season was finally over, the CSA delivered a whopping 2lb bag. It basically felt like a giant F-U. But my father saved the day by suggesting that the green beans could be used in a stir fry with ground pork, sort of Szechuan style. I took the sudden appearance of red chili peppers in our garden as a further sign that this was indeed what had to be done.
Also included in the CSA box that week were what I thought were very odd looking, giant green onions. Turns out, those were cippolini onions. I remembered seeing that on the list of produce, but didn’t put 2 and 2 together that those were the cippolinis since I thought those were supposed to be tiny onions, kind of like pearl onions. The onion pictured above? That’s one of the cippolinis– seriously– it was as big as my hand!
Anyway, this was a really delicious and satisfying stir fry. The green beans were crisp which was a great texture contrast to the soft morsels of pork. I marinated the ground pork in a mix of cornstarch, soy sauce, rice vinegar and garlic. The cooked pork was combined with blanched green beans, thinly sliced mushrooms and the onion. Some Siriacha and XO sauce lightly glazed the green beans so that everything was nicely balanced between sweet, salt, and spice. XO sauce, if you haven’t had it before, is made from dried red peppers and scallops– sounds gross but it’s quite delicious. You can pick some up at an Asian grocery if you want to give this spicy stir fry a try.
- 1.25 lb green beans, trimmed
- 8 oz cremini mushrooms, thinly sliced
- 1 giant cippolini onion (or 1 medium regular onion) thinly sliced
- 2 large garlic cloves, minced and divided
- 2 red chili peppers, thinly sliced crosswise into little circles
- 1 tbsp ginger, minced
- 2 tbsp XO sauce
- 2 tsp Siriacha
- 1 lb ground pork
- 1 tbsp Tamari soy sauce
- 1 tsp rice vinegar
- 2 tsp corn starch
- 1/2 tsp sesame oil
- Canola oil
In a bowl, combine the ground pork, soy sauce, rice vinegar, cornstarch, sesame oil and 1 of the minced garlic cloves. Let this marinate while you prep your other vegetables.
Bring a medium pot of water to boil. Have a large bowl of cold water and ice ready. Add the green beans and cook for 3-5 minutes or until bright green. Drain and dunk the beans in the ice water to shock them. Drain the green beans and set aside.
Heat about 1 tbsp of canola oil in a wok or large skillet over medium high heat. Add the sliced onions, ginger, the other garlic clove, and red chili peppers, stir frying for 30 seconds or until the oil is fragrant. Add the mushrooms and stir fry until soft and shiny. Add the ground pork and stir fry until browned. Lastly, add the green beans, Siriacha, and the XO sauce, cooking until the beans are heated through.