My Stir-Fry Corn with Chile Peppers Recipe


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.

10 January 2009 | cooking |

The New Dan Simmons Novel May Make Your Hat Explode

picacio-drood-cover.jpgLast year, I interviewed illustrator John Picacio about his work on the first volume in a new edition of Michael Moorcock’s Elric series—and a collection of Moorcock’s Seaton Begg stories called The Metatemporal Detective. It’s the Victorian-askew look of the latter that came to mind this morning when I got a look at Picacio’s artwork for a limited edition of Drood, the new Dan Simmons novel that asks the question, “Did the famous and loveable and honourable Charles Dickens plot to murder an innocent person and dissolve away his flesh in a pit of caustic lime and secretly inter what was left of him, mere bones and a skull, in the crypt of an ancient cathedral that was an important part of Dicken’s own childhood?”

Well, now that the question’s been put on the table, we’ve got to know, right?

Subterranean Press will be publishing 500 signed, numbered copies of Drood for $80; for $500, you can get one of just 26 copies that comes in a custom traycase. If those options seem too steep, there’s always the regular trade edition from Little, Brown coming in a few weeks. Although the cover art to that edition, while suitably atmospheric, isn’t quite as… arresting, shall we say, as Picacio’s take on the story.

8 January 2009 | uncategorized |

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