A couple of weekends ago my good friend Wayne Brown found himself in Northern California for a little work related training. I got the chance to spend a few hours in San Francisco's famous Chinatown checking out the sights, sounds and smells of one of my favorite parts of "The City." Since the BBQ Grail blog is making a transition to all types of outdoor cooking, including cast iron cooking, on January 1st, 2013 I took the opportunity of my visit to pick up a cast iron wok. I seasoned the wok as soon as I got home and have been looking for a chance to use it. Today was the day!
I wasn’t quite ready to spring for a a new gas burner for outside so I decided to give my Big Easy a go as a wok burner. The opening at the top was a perfect for the wok and it got hot enough to cook. I was very pleased with how well it worked. I’ll probably just use the Big Easy for a while after I build a little stand to raise it up about 18 inches so there’s not as much bending over.
Due to some health issues, I’ll be writing about in the near future, I need to eat a little (okay, a lot) healthier. Once of the diet changes is more grains and less “starchy” vegetables. I’ll be using Grain Mains: 101 Surprising and Satisfying Whole Grain Recipes for Every Meal of the Day for inspiration and guidance as I make this eating transition.
I stopped by a local Japanese grocery store and picked up a package of, made in Taiwan, Sunway Black Rice with Mixed Grains and decided to try a little experimenting. The experiment turned out to be very tasty. I’ve purchased a couple new cookbooks to help begin my road to recovery.
The mixture I bought contained black rice, black beans, rye, brown rice, oats, whole wheat, buckwheat and pearl rice and provided not only a great mixture of flavors but also different textures that make it easy to eat.
I think the idea is to eat this type of thing as a “main dish,” but I’m not quite ready to abandon my “this kind of stuff is a side dish” school of thought. This is one of the “Bob” moments for me…you know, Baby Steps! If I can do away with 75% percent of the starchy potato dishes I eat and use healthier rice and grains I’ll be making tremendous strides towards my goal to eating better.
The brussels sprouts were shaved in the food processor and then par-boiled in some salted water. The par-boiling will remove take the bitterness out of the sprouts and would then allow them to cook faster in the wok. The black rice and mixed grains were steamed and cooled prior to stir frying.
The Wild Alaska Scallops were so flavorful and juicy. I grilled them with just a bit of Todd’s Crabby Dirt and they came out wonderful.
The only thing I would do differently is try to come up with a way to give the dish a little more crunch. The black rice and mixed grains had a similar texture as the scallops so something that added a little crunchiness would have been a nice touch.