My Stir-Fry Corn with Chile Peppers Recipe

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When I announced on my Twitter feed yesterday afternoon that, because both Mrs. Beatrice and I have colds, I would be making my stir-fry corn with chile, I got a couple responses—enough to make me think it would be worthwhile to share the recipe with you, especially since I originally got it from Beyond the Great Wall, a travelogue and cookbook by Jeffrey Alford and Naomi Duguid. (Actually, I found the recipe in the book after spotting a variant of the dish on the China episode of Anthony Bourdain’s No Reservations and saying, “That sounds good; I wonder if I can find a recipe close enough.”) So here’s my quick, slightly modified version of this dish:

Put on a wok on high heat; when it’s ready, add a tablespoon of peanut (or canola) oil. Toss in about two or three cloves of minced garlic; stir it quickly and then add about 1/2 pound of pork loin, which you’ve cut into 1-inch by 1-inch chunks, and some freshly ground Szechuan black pepper. Give it a few minutes, then add some thinly sliced pepper. [The recipe calls for cayenne, but we end up using serranos because they've been easier to find. You don't want to go much milder than that, or I don't, anyway. I've also substituted chicken breast for the pork loin, and it's okay, but the pork's better.] Add a bit of salt, and keep cooking until the meat’s changed color all over.

Then add corn—in the summer, we like to cut it straight off three cobs, but in a pinch one bag of frozen kernels ought to do the trick. Salt it a little further and then cook it all for another 3-4 minutes.

We find this is enough for the two of us, but I eat big portions, so you could probably get a meal for three, maybe four people from the recipe as described above. And, as I said, it’s a great dish to make when you have a cold—I’m breathing more freely than I have at any point in the last 48 hours.

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10 January 2009 | cooking |