Back in the late 1960s and early 1970s, my oldest sister and my mother took a Chinese cooking class. From that point onward, I had the distinct éclat of being the only person in my neighborhood that could have Chinese food home cooked. When I went off to live in California, my mom purchased two things for my first apartment: a blender and a wok. I still own that wok and its well seasoned and well used!
( I still maintain, as she did, that the best and quickest way to make scrambled eggs is in a wok. )
The notebook has a few stir fry recipes and after cooking 6 hours a day for school kids and teachers, I can understand the appeal of coming home and whipping up a meal in less than 30 minutes. This episode of My Mother’s Notebook features one of those Americanized stir frys, courtesy of the Dole Corporation, the company famous for its tropical fruits and its running of Latin American governments in the 1950s and 60s.
1 can (20 oz) Dole chunk pineapple
1 chicken breast (boneless and skinned)
2 large cloves of garlic
2 tablespoons of minced ginger root
2 Tablespoons vegetable oil
2 medium carrots, sliced
1 green bell pepper, slivered
4 oz of spaghetti, cooked
3 green onions chunked
1/3 cup of reserved pineapple juice
1/3 cup of soy sauce
1 Tablespoon corn starch
3 Tablespoon sesame oil
Drain pineapple reserving 1/3 cup of juice for sauce. Cut chicken into chunks. In a large skilled, stir fry the chicken with the garlic and ginger in oil for 2 minutes. Add pineapple, carrots and bell peppers. Cover and steam for 2 – 3 until vegetables are tender crisp. Stir in spaghetti, Combine sauce ingredients and pour into skillet along with green onions. Toss until ingredients are thoroughly mixed and heated through. MAKES 4 servings.
Both the vegetarian and the chicken version were a hit (once again, Trader Joe’s mock chicken to the rescue!). This dish took literally 30 minutes to make, including the vegetable prep work, if you multi-tasked and cut up the vegetables while your pasta cooked.
I did have to make one last-minute change. I discovered that I had no spaghetti in the house. Not wanting to have my Yankee loving husband to miss the Yankee – Red Socks game by running down the street to the market, I substituted some rice noodles from Trader Joe”s that I was going prepare for a lunch this week. It was a good substitution, and I imagine a little less heavy tasting than spaghetti. And drummer boy got to watch the Yankees tie up the game. Win win all around.