- The Washington Times - Tuesday, December 14, 2004

Food authority Mark Bittman has great credibility when he offers a recipe for making a tasty dish with a minimum of time and fuss. Usually, he has refined its ingredients and their cooking down to the essentials.

That’s Mr. Bittman’s culinary forte. He’s famous as the Minimalist, the title of his weekly column in the New York Times — and to further inspire confidence, remember that one of the most popular books he has written is “How to Cook Everything” (Wiley).

Mr. Bittman here turns his attention to pork with a recipe that will take about 20 minutes to put on the table. What basics should the cook keep in mind?

“I rely heavily on fresh ingredients, but having the right pantry staples around makes daily life much easier,” he says. This recipe combines the fresh meat with simple items — soy sauce, garlic and onion. Pork is often his choice for such recipes, he says, because its distinctive flavor marries well with countless others.

“The key is to start simple and get yourself comfortable with the cooking basics.”

Stir-fried pork in garlic sauce

The preparation and cooking time is 20 minutes.

2 tablespoons peanut or vegetable oil

2 tablespoons peeled and chopped garlic

2 dried hot red chilies, or to taste (see note)

1 to 1½ pounds boneless pork tenderloin or shoulder, cut into thin shreds

1 bunch scallions or green onions, trimmed and cut into 2-inch lengths (separate the white parts from the green parts)

3 tablespoons soy sauce

4 cups cooked white rice

Put oil in large, nonstick skillet (12 inches is best) and turn heat to high; a minute later, add garlic and chilies; cook, stirring occasionally, until the garlic begins to color, just a minute or so.

Add pork and stir once or twice. Cook until it begins to brown, about 1 minute. Add white parts of the scallions and stir; cook another minute, stirring occasionally.

Stir in the green parts of the scallions and stir; cook for 30 seconds, then turn off heat and add the soy sauce. Serve immediately with white rice. Makes 4 servings.

Note: Mr. Bittman suggests standard hot red chilies or any variation of dried chilies you like, to taste. They are left whole — but not eaten, presumably, he says.

ASSOCIATED PRESS

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