Tuesday, April 27, 2010

2 for 1

Today I went with two mini Periplus cookbooks.

First up was "Spicy Cucumber Salad" from the book "Spicy Sichuan Cooking"

You will need:
1 lb small cucumbers, washed
2 tsp salt
2 tbsp finely chopped garlic (I omitted this because I had none on hand, which is a travesty in this house)
2 red chilies, seeded and cut at an angle into thin slices

For the dressing:
1 tbsp sugar
1/2 tsp Sichuan peppercorn powder (I used sichuan pepper and salt from Penzey's; I thought I had just regular pepper, but I couldn't find it)
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar or other vinegar (I used rice vinegar)
2 tsp sesame oil
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper (I did not add this)

Cut the cucumber in half lengthwise, then cut each half into 1 1/4 in sections. Place the cucumbers in a bowl, add the salt, toss to coat. Let stand for 15 minutes, then rinse with cold water and drain in a colander.

Meanwhile, combine the dressing ingredients, mix well and set aside.

Place the drained cucumbers into a serving bowl, add the garlic, chili and dressing. Stir to blend.

I didn't think I would like this, so it was more for J because he's into this kind of thing. But it ended up tasting pretty good and it's something I would make again, only making sure I had garlic to add.

Next up was "Vietnamese-style beef with bamboo shoots" from the book "Simple Stir-Fries"
You will need:
1/4 cup vegetable oil (I used only 2 tbsp)
14 oz lean beef fillet, thinly sliced across the grain (I just used leftovers from the rib roast I made yesterday; I cut it into bite sized chunks)
8 oz slice bamboo shoots, drained and rinsed
3 garlic cloves, crushed with 1/4 tsp salt (again, no garlic on hand so this was not used)
2 tbsp fish sauce (I actually used the amount the recipe called for)
8 spring onions, cut into 1 1/2 inch lengths on the diagonal
1/4 cup sesame seeds, lightly toasted (I used about 2 tbsp because J isn't too much of a fan).

Heat a wok over high heat; add 2 tbsp oil and swirl; when hot, add the beef and stir-fry for a minute until it starts to turn pink. (I did not do this step because the meat I used was already cooked). Remove from the wok. Add a little extra oil in necessary, then stir-fry the bamboo for 3 minutes or until they start to turn brown. Add the garlic, fish sauce and 1/4 tsp salt and stir-fry 2-3 minutes. Add the spring onion and stir-fry for 1 minute. Return the beef and cook for 1 minute. Remove from heat and toss with the sesame seeds.
I didn't like this a bit, but then I'm not a fan of fish sauce, so that was where this went wrong for me. It did work for J on the other hand and he ate it all.

In other news, I went to work this morning and had a request for a job interview for a position at Tinker Air Force Base in Oklahoma. I always apply for jobs for positions that are a higher grade than the one I currently have. I have had quite a few requests for interviews but always turn them down. I have even had some email my Commander asking about me. He is used to getting these requests because he knows that I do this, but he always comes and asks me if the position is something I am interested in before he replies.
Anyway, back to the Tinker job. I sent the requester an email stating I was not interested, but thank you for the consideration.
Today, J printed out his paperwork at work to get started on out processing. In order to leave here, he has a list of things to do. On the paperwork, there was a special indicator. When he looked up what it meant, it said in order to pcs (military talk for moving to another base) to Tinker AFB, he needed to have an official government passport. Keep in mind, everything we have seen states Holloman AFB in New Mexico.
He said he was on the phone all day long trying to find out what that means, but got nowhere. It would be just my luck to turn down an interview and have the Air Force divert us to Oklahoma. What are the chances that I would get that email and he would see this indicator all on the same day? Let's hope he gets is resolved tomorrow and I didn't end up doing something stupid.
In other, other news, K1 will no longer be working on Blackhawks, but rather Apache helicopters. I don't know what the difference is or what it means.
Hopefully I have an update on our situation tomorrow.

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