Friday, October 14, 2011

Daring Kitchen - Moo Shu Pork

This month's daring kitchen challenge was a much easier one!  Not as technical as consomme, or as hands on as homemade pasta.  It was a one dish meal, essentially a stir-fry, served with home made Hoisin sauce and fried "pancakes".
Blog-checking lines: The October Daring Cooks' Challenge was hosted by Shelley of C Mom Cook and her sister Ruth of The Crafts of Mommyhood. They challenged us to bring a taste of the East into our home kitchens by making our own Moo Shu, including thin pancakes, stir fry and sauce.
The first thing I made was the Hoisin sauce.  The recipe called for either black bean paste or peanut butter. Since we had peanut butter on hand, I went with that.

After following the recipe, I found it tasted too much like peanut butter.  So I started adding a bit more of this, a dash of that, tasting as I went.  I finally got it to taste how I wanted, but it had become quite thin.  So I threw it in a pot and heated it till it had reduced to a nice thick consistency.

The stir fry itself was rather unremarkable to make.  Chop a lot of stuff into matchstick sizes, add one by one to the pan and, stirring constantly, cook until done.

The pancakes seemed easy enough; they only had 2 ingredients - water and flour.  And they did work out very well, the first night.  The problem we have with most recipes is that they always make too much for just the 2 of us.  We each ate 3 pancakes with our meal, but the recipe made 20+.  Since you have to cook them just as you eat them so that they don't dry out, I put the extra dough in the fridge to have the next night with our left over Moo Shu Pork. That part didn't work out very well.  The dough on the second night was VERY sticky, hard to roll out and needed the addition of a LOT of flour to be able to work with it.  That led to flour burning in the frying pan (you dry fry each pancake) and was overall frustrating to work with.  They still tasted pretty good though!

It's great to have another relatively simple recipe to add to my repertoire.  With each month I'm feeling more and more confident in my cooking and even have found myself cooking on the weekend without the push of a Daring Kitchen challenge.
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