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cooking experiments

I'm out of cooking wine. so when I made beef today, I had to improvise a little.

I started out normally enough - i took a long pyrex pan and put in chopped onions, beef, some minced garlic, stubb's spicy sauce (sorry... too lazy to make my own today), corn starch, sugar, and a pinch of salt. But for added flavor I usually put in cooking wine. a nice tasting plum sake. (I also take about a half bag of dried red peppers and stick it in there, but that's not important to this Gripping And Exciting Tale.) So instead, I let the beef cook in the oven for about half an hour, and then i added about a half a can of guiness.

The beef turned out fine, but it's hard to say how much the guiness made a difference. Every time I've made this dish, it's involved using the cooking wine. I don't know what it tastes like without the cooking wine, so it's possible that the guiness didn't add anything at all. i'm not sure if I tasted the guiness or not since the stubbs sauce was the most prominent.

Recently I've been doing a lot more oven cooking than stove cooking. I'm not sure why. Well, i take that back. i think some of it has to do with quantity. I've been buying a lot more bulk meat to save on costs, and sometimes I'll do the whole separate-into-freezer-bags thing, but sometimes I just want to cook the whole thing together so i can have leftovers.

The problem with doing that on the stove is that while I love the wok that my parents gave to me for christmsa years ago, it's relatively small. Usually i cook beef or chicken curry in it, and it's hard to get the proper proportion of liquid to contents - a pound and a half of beef with onions, green and red peppers, and carrots doesn't leave a lot of room for the coconut milk and water.

Originally i thought about how nice it would be to have a wok like the one my parents have, but when I think about it again, I'm not sure if it could actually hold more. It has a larger diameter, surely, but I don't think it's as deep as mine. i think that a wok like that is best suited for hot and instant pan-frying... something I love doing, but don't do often.

where was i going with this?

wow. my entries have been sucking lately. lacking focus. like my life. *sigh*

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