WRITTEN ON April 21st, 2009 BY Meredith AND STORED IN Dinner, Pork, Stir Fry

Let’s face it. The economic downturn we’re currently stuck in sort of, well, blows. But every cloud has a silver lining (the violin playing in my head has just turned into a full score…and, oh, look, is that the sun starting to peak through?). I figure this is the best time to stay home and work on your own skills. Nothing tests creativity like being on a budget. Check out this stir fry recipe for a quick weeknight meal on the cheap. You can likely get it done in under $20, and if you already have some of the essentials in your pantry, then you can get it done for a lot less. If you don’t have some of the staples already, I urge you to splurge, because I have a feeling you will like this so much that you will make it often, and many of the dry pantry items like cornstarch, soy, sesame oil and Sherry can be used in lots of other things. Think of it as building your inventory. Either way, it will cost you less than take out, and you can save the tip for your morning coffee. What’s that? You’re feeling better already? Aw, shucks…

All this, and no MSG!

All this, and no MSG!

Pork and Veggie Stir Fry
2 tbsp Sherry (in a pinch you could also use white wine)
2 tsp cornstarch
4 tbsp low sodium soy sauce
1 tbsp sesame oil
¾ lb thin cut boneless pork chops (you can also use chicken breast, lean steak or shrimp)
2 tbsp Canola oil
1 tbsp minced fresh ginger
1 tbsp minced garlic
½ tsp red pepper flakes
½ large red bell pepper, cut into think strips
½ lb snow peas, trimmed
1 small can bamboo shoots, drained
½ cup salted cashews, roughly chopped
3 scallions, thinly sliced

Combine first 4 ingredients in a medium sized bowl. Cut pork chops into thin slices, add to Sherry mixture. In the meantime, place wok or large frying pan over high heat. You want your pan very hot but not smoking. Add 1 tbsp Canola oil, garlic, ginger and red pepper flakes for just a few seconds. Add snow peas and peppers, cook, flipping the vegetables, about 4 minutes until cooked but still crisp. Remove from pan into a bowl. Heat the second tbsp Canola oil, add the pork and Sherry mixture. Cook about 4 minutes until just cooked through (not too long, or the pork will dry out). Add veggies, plus bamboo shoots and cashews, and cook about 2 minutes more. At the last second, add the scallions. Serve over brown or purple rice.

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