Tuesday, September 02, 2014

On meal portability ... plus a recipe for stir-fried pork, cashews and vegetables

For a long time now, more than ten years, my partner and I have regularly met up with friends to share a home cooked meal. We've always taken it in turns so that one couple provides the main course while the other makes dessert, and vice versa the next time. In the early days we'd also alternate between houses, eating at the home of whoever had cooked the main meal. That became complicated when they had kids and we didn't, so now we always eat at their place. (Chaotic but fun!)

It has meant that I've had to cook dishes that are easily portable and reheatable, or able to be finished in someone else's kitchen. Often I end up making something that fits in one pot or casserole dish, such as boeuf bourguignon, lasagne, eggplant bake, ratatouille, or a hearty soup, curry or salad. Last weekend I tried something else. I wanted to make a stir-fry, but realised that precooking it at home then reheating at our friends' place could make it less appetising. So, I prepared all the ingredients, grouped them according to the order in which they'd be added to the pan, and cooked the meal in not-my-kitchen! It worked surprisingly well. The ingredients were:

carrots, red capsicum [bell pepper], celery
pork fillet *, soy sauce * (or tamari), cornflour *
fresh ginger, spring onions and garlic
olive oil
white wine
cashew nuts *

Firstly, I fried the chopped ginger, spring
onions and garlic in olive oil in our friends' wok

Then I added the pork, which had been
tossed in tamari and cornflour

Then I added the chopped carrots, capsicum and
celery. When they were partially cooked ...

I added the mushrooms and wine ...

... and last but not least, the lightly-toasted cashew nuts went in


* This recipe is very flexible. You could exchange the pork for a different meat, or leave it out altogether for a vegetarian option. Leave the cashews out (or offer them on the side) if someone is allergic to nuts. The recipe is gluten free, provided you use tamari (rather than soy sauce) and gluten free cornflour. Be creative ...

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