The rest of the food blogging world is currently blogging and tweeting and all sorts about flat peaches.
Flat peaches, I tell you.
Peaches. That are flat.
Well, I tell you one thing, I am not.
This is because I live in Belfast. The local greengrocer isn’t a likely candidate for a peach that is flat (he still looks at my like I’m a bit shifty when I ask about ginger), the veg box doesn’t have them (Helen’s bay is lovely, but not exactly peach growing territory), and, while I might strike gold at St. George’s market on Saturday or Sunday, it’s an awful lot of effort for a peach. Even if it is a flat one.
Instead I shall write about things that actually happen in a real person’s kitchen.
This week, for me, it was this tasty pork and aubergine stir-fry.
I adore this stir fry. Its been totally bastardised from a vaguely authentic Chinese recipe to one I can knock up in a few minutes in my kitchen at home, using ingredients I can buy round the corner.
Line up the ingredients: pork mince, an aubergine, ginger, garlic, soy sauce, Marsala/sherry/chinese rice wine, cornflour, sugar and oil.
For once, lining up the ingredients is actually kinda important. With stir-fried things, its best to have everything to hand, because you are cooking so quickly. I knew these ingredients shots would come in handy one day *does dance of VICTORY*
Take the ginger and garlic and peel it. Yes, I know the garlic isn’t actually peeled in this picture, but that makes it awfully pretty.
Grate it finely.
TOP TIP! Do the garlic first, and then you don’t get so much of that garlicky fingers smell for the rest of the day. Although, if you cook with as much garlic as I do, your friends and family are probably used to it.
Cut the aubergine into batons. You can discard the seedy bit if you really want, but I never bother. Lazy, I am.
Combine the soy, water, sugar and booze in a bowl.
I used Marsala, because that is what I had. Dry sherry or Chinese rice wine are also good here. Whatever is lying around/ available in the shop at the end of the street, basically. This is the dinner we are aiming for, remember? If you are going to get all fancy and go to the Asian supermarket, you might as well eat flat peaches.
Mix the cornflour with a little water in a mug.
Heat the oil in a wok.
Add the ginger/garlic mush.
Break it up quickly with a spoon, like so.
Add the pork mince, breaking it up, too.
I have no idea why these pictures are so close up by the way. I must have been hungry and on the verge of climbing into the pan of food, cursing my need to take pictures of it all.
Now, add the soy mix. Don’t wait until the mince is browned. The flavour and texture are nicer this way. I promise that for once, it has nothing to do with my own laziness.
Well, almost nothing.
If I wasn’t lazy, I would have had rice wine, not Marsala.
Then, add the aubergines.
Stir it all up well.
Turn the heat down. If you have a fancy wok with a lid, put the lid on about now. If you use a cheapo Asian supermarket wok, create a lid out of tin foil. Like so.
After about ten minutes, take the tin foil hat off.
And add the cornflour mixture.
Stir well, cooking for just a couple of minutes longer.
Serve, with rice and steamed greens.
Pork and aubergine stir fry
Serves 4. Cooking time 20 minutes.
4 cloves garlic
Piece of ginger the size of your thumb
4 tbsp chinese rice wine/Marsala/dry white wine
4 tbsp soy sauce
2 tbsp sugar
250g pork mince
2 tbsp cornflour
2 tbsp oil
1. Peel and grate the ginger and garlic.
2. Cut the aubergine into batons.
3. Combine the soy sauce, Marsala, water and sugar in a bowl.
4. In another bowl or mug, combine the cornflour with a splash of water.
5. Heat the oil in a wok.
6. Add the ginger and garlic, stirring quickly to break it up.
7. Add the pork mince, stirring quickly, followed by the sauce soy mixture.
8. Add the aubergine, stirring well.
9. Turn the heat down, and cover with a lid or tin foil.
10. Simmer for 10 minutes.
11. Remove the lid or foil and stir in the cornflour mix, allowing to heat through.