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November 2004 Issue
Fusion Cooking
by Philip R. Gantt
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Welcome to Seasoned Cooking and to Phil's International Flair!

Many of you have probably heard the term fusion cooking if you have watched cooking shows on television or read cooking-related magazines. So, what exactly is fusion cooking? Here is my definition: Fusion cooking is a style that blends one or more ethnic styles of cooking, ingredients, or types of cuisine.

Most of us have eaten some form of fusion cooking whether we realized it or not. One simple example of this might be the sushi item, a California Roll. This roll contains avocado, a fruit that is not native to Japan, but rather typically used in Mexican cuisine. Another example of fusion cooking might be pizza using a tortilla as the crust. This combination would blend traditional Mexican and Italian cuisine together. And the list goes on.

Having learned and practiced a number of cooking styles, European, American and Oriental, I find myself blending cooking techniques and styles to create dishes that are a little out of the ordinary. Often, I find ways to save time or simplify the preparation of a dish by applying a different method. For example, using a pressure cooker I can make a beef stew in 1 hour instead of several hours.

This month I present a simple yet elegant recipe that blends Mexican and Oriental ingredients and styles of cooking. I call it Mexican Stir Fry! Try it and enjoy

Now, on to the recipe! Be well, and good eating!

 

Mexican Stir Fry

Combining some Mexican and oriental ingredients together with an oriental style of cooking, I came up with this fusion recipe for readers to enjoy. You could substitute chicken, turkey or pork for the beef or chorizo.
  • 1 lb. marbled raw beef, sliced thin (broken pieces of chorizo may also be used)
  • 1/2 cup zucchini, sliced
  • 1/4 cup carrots, thinly sliced
  • 1 large tomato, quartered and sliced
  • 1 can Ortega whole green chili, thinly sliced (include juice from the can)
  • 1 onion, sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed, peeled and chopped
  • 2 green onions, diced
  • Several sprigs of cilantro, chopped
  • 1 can beef broth
  • 2 Tbsp. corn starch
  • 1 Tbsp. soy sauce
  • 3 Tbsp. bacon grease or vegetable oil
  • 3 Tbsp. mirin (Mirin is a sweet rice wine. Sweet sherry may be substituted.)
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
Heat the bacon grease or vegetable oil in a wok or large skillet or pot. Over medium to high heat, add the onions and stir fry until the onions become translucent. Next add the garlic and sliced beef or chorizo. Stir until heated or slightly browned and then add the carrots, zucchini and tomato slices. Add soy sauce and stir for 1 minute. Add the sliced green chilies and stir for 1 more minute.

Next, combine the corn starch with the beef broth (or stock) and pour into the wok or skillet. Stir until the gravy begins to thicken and then add the sweet rice wine. Stir for an additional minute or two until simmering and the gravy thickens. Pour the beaten eggs over the top and cover immediately. Reduce the heat to minimum and allow the eggs to steam for about 2 to 3 minutes. Then turn off the heat and keep covered until ready to serve.

Top this dish with the diced green onions and sprigs of cilantro. Serve hot over Spanish or steamed rice.

  • Yields: 4 servings
  • Preparation Time: 20 minutes
 



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