The weather turned warm last week. I have no place to keep my food.
Before I go further… Have you voted yet? For me? in the Food Blog Awards? Please?
Shameless begging out of the way…
Have I complained about the refrigerator in Vlad's House yet?
I realize that I was going to stop complaining…
But, then I realized that I may not have expressed my opinion about the refrigerator.
I certainly wouldn't want the poor, pathetic, refrigerator to feel neglected, or picked on.
It's small enough as it is. That kind of treatment might make it shrink right into oblivion!
There's nothing particularly unusual or noteworthy about it. It's a typical, under the counter, refrigerator.
It has a freezer just large enough for an ice cube tray, or 2 of those cute little ice cube baggies so popular here. (Think of a cross between a sandwich bag and bubble wrap that you put water in to freeze).
The refrigerator can easily hold a 6-pack of Coke Light, a 12 pack of yogurt, milk, juice, 1 or 2 small packages of meat (2 chicken breasts, 6 sausages) and, if I squeeze, a head of cauliflower and a chunk or Parmesan. And, I think, a jar of pickles….
If we weren't living out in the middle of nowhere it would be fine.
If we really wanted to go out of our way to stop at the local Shopi every night on the way back from working on our house it would also be fine.
If the weather stayed cold it would be fine – but, then, I'd have that to complain about….
You see, when the weather is cold, I can store a lot of food in the living room (lounge), also known as the 'big fridge'. It's cold enough in there, well below 40F (4C), that I can confidently keep any leftovers for a day or three, as well as juice, yogurt, cheese, produce, etc.
I got careless; some might say I was in a rut.
Not like the ruts of mud surrounding Vlad's House, but that's another story…
During the 2 weeks of miserably cold weather, I grew accustomed to being able to buy freely at the supermarkets, confident that all would be properly chilled in the living room.
I made food that generated leftovers: soup, the Beef Provencal, lasagne.
Panic set in last night when I realized that the temperature in that room was approaching 50F (10C). A veritable heat wave!
Fortunately, it didn't last. It's cold again today.
Which clearly presents a dilemma:
Do I hope for warm weather so mon mari can finish the plumbing but I have to figure out what to do with the food?
Do I hope for cold weather so we don't waste the food but I don't get the shower in our house hooked up…
You're right: No dilemma here. Feed the food to the dogs…
This, however, will not go to the dogs: Beef and Mushroom Lo Mein
One of the tenants of most Asian cuisines is that the food should be attractive: pleasing to the eye as well as the palate. One way to achieve this is to make certain that your ingredients are colorful; another is to cut the ingredients into varied shapes. This Lo Mein is as delicious as it is pretty.
Be sure to visit her blog on Friday, for the complete Pasta round-up – and to see some of her gorgeous photos….
Beef and Mushroom Lo Mein
10oz (300gr) beef flank steak or any beef suitable for stir-frying
2 cloves garlic
1/2 green bell pepper
1 tbs minced ginger
1 stalk celery
1 medium carrot
4oz (125gr) mushrooms
4oz (125gr) spaghetti, about 1" (2.5cm) circle
1 tbs sesame oil
1 tsp soy sauce
1 tbs olive oil
1/2 cup beef stock
2 tbs sherry
1 tbs cornstarch (corn flour, Maizena) dissolved in
1 tbs soy sauce plus 1 tbs water
Cook pasta according to package instructions.
While pasta water heats:
Cut the beef at an angle across the grain into bite-size strips. Mix 1 tbs sesame oil with 1 tsp soy sauce. Toss with beef and set aside to marinate.
Clean and thinly slice leeks. Mince garlic. Mince ginger (peel first). Cut the pepper into matchsticks. Slice the celery and carrot thinly, at an angle. Clean and thickly slice the mushrooms.
While pasta cooks:
Heat 2 tsp olive oil in large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add mushrooms and sauté 3 – 5 minutes, until they start to brown. Remove to a plate and set aside. Add 1/2 tsp oil and leeks to skillet, stir-fry for 3 minutes. Add garlic and ginger, stir-fry another 2 minutes. Remove leeks/garlic to plate with mushrooms. Add 1/2 tsp oil, carrot, pepper, celery to skillet and stir-fry 3 minutes. Remove to plate with the other vegetables. Add beef to skillet and stir-fry 3 minutes, until browned. Return vegetables to skillet. Add stock and sherry. Bring to a boil, cover and simmer for 2 – 3 minutes.
Drain pasta. Dissolve cornstarch in soy sauce. Uncover skillet and add cornstarch mixture, stirring until thickened. Put pasta into a large bowl. Pour beef mixture over top, toss to combine and serve.
Oh… and go vote for me…. Pretty please?