Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Do You Smell Smoke?

Oh my God! Have you ever seasoned a wok? I received a wok from my dad last Christmas...and I hadn't used it yet, because it sounded like a big hassle to 'season' it. Evidently, with woks, as is with all non-nonstick cookware, you have to heat it up and get it all oily a few times before you can cook with it. But, I wanted to use it to make stirfry tonight, so I was ready to try it out.

I lost my little sheet off the packaging on how to actually do this, so I consulted the EHow website, to see what they said on the matter. Step one...wash the wok. Check. Step two...put wet wok on stove and turn up the heat REALLY high. Okay. Check. Step 3...feel with hand (above wok) to see if wok is hot enough. Yes it is. Check. Step 4, add oil and swish around. Okay...got it. Step 5...prepare rag or paper towels to rub oil into wok. Alright...I dig around to find a rag...paper towels just doesn't seem thick enough for me. Step 6....OIL AND WOK HAVE BURST INTO FLAMES! Okay, that wasn't in the directions, but that IS what happened in real life.

I stand there with my jaw dropped open. Rag in hand, looking at the 8-inch flames leaping from the wok. My fiance walks into the room at this point, and looks at me, takes a cookie sheet and puts it over the top of the flames. It took a second, but the fire went out. All I could say was, That was NOT in the directions!

I re-read the directions again, looking for some precaution, or step I'd missed. It appeared I had followed their list as written, yet somehow my oil caught on fire. One interesting note, it said, don't worry if your wok turns black on the inside, that is the way it is supposed to look. Okay, blackened, burnt-looking wok. Check.

Moving on...I decided it was 'seasoned' enough for my tastes, and proceeded with the stirfry. I did garlic, chicken, edamae, carrots, water chestnuts, and soy sauce at the end. I couldn't believe

how fast this thing cooked. The garlic was browned in a minute, the chicken pieces cooked in less than 3 minutes, and the veggies were done in less than 5. I threw in the soy sauce, mixed with some brown rice I had leftover in the fridge, and VOILA! Very yummy. Altogether, only about 10 minutes cooking. I had to make sure and prep everything in advance, because it cooks so fast, you don't have time to chop while you're cooking. I will definately be using this a lot, now that is is 'seasoned'. Very impressive.

On another note, I have conferences this week, then spring break. Woo-hoo! I get to stay inside and stare outside at the cold for 10 days! No...hopefully it will be nice enough I can get out. I would love to work in the yard. I will be going away overnight with my fiance, taking my son to visit my brother and his family, and going to the garden show in des moines next week. All very exciting, with or without super warm temperatures. Stay tuned for more cooking adventures with Garden-MOM!!!!!!

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