Stew's Kitchen

Learn Your Spices!

Chinese Egg Rolls 
*Use only 'Egg Roll' wrappers!

4 Tablespoons = 1/4 cup
T = Tablespoon
t = teaspoon
c = cup

Great Guacamole Dip

Milanesa Breaded Steak

Grilled Onions

If you're like me you love grilled onions. They're easy to make and enhance any meat. I put them over rib-eye steaks, pork chops and boneless chicken breast.

To make grilled onions, simply slice up an onion or two and cook slowly in a frying pan  under medium heat. I usually cook onions in 2 T of extra virgin olive oil (the oil has a robust fruity smell). Grill the onions until they turn golden brown.

Balsamic Vinegar is a popular ingredient used by restaurants. Just add 1 T per onion to your grilled onions WHEN THEIR DONE (not before or the onions won't cook). Sprinkle in a little salt and pepper (just a dash of each). A dash is 1/8 teaspoon. Stir well and pour over meat.

You can also add a dash or two of sugar if you'd like some sweetness. If you're using sweet onions then they're already sweet. I just use yellow or white onions.

I don't add anything to the grilled onions if they're going on top of Kosher hotdogs (emmm). For chicken, pork or steak I add either balsamic vinegar.

Another recipe is to mix 1 T of white vinegar, 1 T of soy sauce, and 1 t of brown sugar into the grilled onions WHEN THEIR DONE (not before or they won't cook).

I suggest sprinkling a little rosemary over your meat and onions for flavor if you use Balsamic Vinegar. Rosemary is a great spice for chicken and beef. Thyme is also a popular spice to add. Try them both.

How To Caramelize Onions

Swedish Bread

*  *  *  *  *  *  *  Caramelized Bananas

Try sliced bananas fried in butter with some brown sugar and a teaspoon of vanilla extract. Serve over French vanilla ice cream! Em, em good! Here's a great recipe I found for Broiled Bananas with brown sugar-vanilla atop Ricotta cheese. Good stuff!

Swedish Pancakes

World's Tenderest Chicken

One of my favorite recipes is to fry some chicken thighs (4) in a hot large pot (with enough olive oil to coat the bottom of the pot). Brown both sides on high heat. Dice up a medium sized yellow onion and 5-6 cloves of garlic. Let it all sauté and brown nicely.

Season your chicken (both sides) with salt, pepper (I sometimes use tarragon and all spice). Choosing spices is simple, if it tastes good use it. Albeit, my favorite is just good ole salt and pepper.

When browned, turn heat to low. Add a cube of chicken bullion. Add one cup of water. Let simmer for about 2-hours or until chicken becomes tender. Then add carrots, potatoes and celery in desired amounts.

I usually buy a bag of frozen vegetables called “Stew vegetables,” which comes with carrots, pearl onions, carrots and celery. You don't want to add the veggies too early or they'll cook to mush.

Cook everything until the chicken falls apart by pressing down on it. The meat will fall off the bone and it's awesome with some mashed potatoes from the box (yes, I love boxed mashed potatoes). Pour some juices from the pot over the potatoes. You'll love this meal. I like to sprinkle “Smoked Paprika” in a bottle on my potatoes. I add some real butter to my potatoes also.

Sometimes I'll make this chicken recipe and then break it all apart off the bone. Then I make chicken fried rice with it.

The secret to making delicious and tender meat is to cook it for a couple hours at low heat in a small amount of water. Never let the pot go dry or your meat will burn.

You can use beef or pork instead of chicken for the above recipe. If using beef I use a beef bullion cube. If chicken or pork, then I use a chicken bullion cube.

I add plenty of salt and pepper to both sides of my chicken when frying at the beginning. That's the only time I add salt and pepper. I add a little Accent (MSG), but some people get headaches from it. I don't and it tastes good, so I use it.


Family Meals, Country Style

Tips On Losing Weight

Fried foods are always fattening, so we should limit them. Dill pickles contain NO calories (or very few, depending on the brand) and are great for dieting. To lose weight, I eat 1,000 calories per day. The body burns about 3,000 to 4,000 per day, depending on one's activities. A pound of weight equals 3,500 calories. So you can safely lose 8 pounds per month and still eat 1,000 calories a day. Buy a wide digital scale and watch it daily to monitor your weight. It's normal for weight to fluctuate up and down by 5 pounds while losing weight, so don't panic if it jumps up or down. One gallon of liquid equals 8 pounds!

A Wendy's hot-n-spicy chicken sandwich is 530 calories. Wendy's small chili is 220, and their BLT cobb salad is 600 calories. 1/2 cup of old-fashioned oatmeal is 150 calories. Progresso Light soups are 140 calories per 18.5 ounce can. Drink lots of water of Japanese Green Tea (no calories). Avoid rice, pastries and pasta (carbohydrates which turn into sugar in your body). Sweet potatoes are okay (which contain only 114 calories each). Glucose sugar is energy which the body stores in excess amounts. To lose weight, reduce carbohydrate intake. Make sure to eat a variety of foods to get protein, fats, fiber and good carbohydrates daily). Avoid processed foods.

Fried Fish Is Great!

Fresh Tilapia fish is great with salt and lemon-pepper seasoning on both sides, fried in a couple Tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil or butter. Bottled Cilantro also goes well sprinkled over the fish. Fish is low in calories, but watch the oil. Just one Tablespoon of oil is 120 calories!

Having said that, you need to reward yourself for healthy eating once in a while. I loved these as a teenager in Chicago...

Order The Original “PIZZA PUFF” from Chicago
(I deep fry them in sunflower oil)

Some Of My Favorite Recipes

Uno's Chicago-Style Deep Dish Pizza

Pizza! Pizza! Pizza!

Chicago's Pizzeria Uno is the best deep-pan pizza in the world in my opinion. After years of effort, my recipe comes real close. I make a lot of comments, because I've learned a lot through trial and error. Em good stuff! The secret is to freeze the dough and then thaw it overnight! Drain your tomatoes in a strainer to prevent soggy crust after baking for 45 minutes.

After many years of eating 'Tombstone' brand pizza's from Wisconsin, I've come to the conclusion that one of their primary secret ingredients in their pizza sauce is Chinese 'FIVE SPICE' seasoning. Smell the ingredient and then taste their pizza again and you'll see for yourself. Albeit, I never use five spice on my deep-pan pizzas.

Fantastic Flan

How To Caramelize Sugar

Measurement Equivalents

1 dash = 1/8 tsp
1 pinch = 1/16 tsp (1/2 dash)
1 smidgen = 1/32 tsp (1/4 dash)
1 nip = 1/64 tsp (1/8 dash)

Most measuring spoon sets come with a 1/8 teaspoon measure, however, there are special measuring spoons made if you need to accurately measure anything less than 1/8 teaspoon.

Cooking Perfect Fried Rice

The Secret is No Soy Sauce!

Take-Out Beef Pepper Steak


Helpful Cooking Timer

If you're like me, you stay busy. It's easy to burn food in a boiling pot that you forgot about. But a kitchen timer, or find a free digital timer online. I use a timer for my pizzas.

Tasty Meals & Treats

Learning How To Cook

60 Minute Rolls

Catabolic Foods That Burn Fat Fast!
(an apple a day makes fat go away!)

Better Burger Tips

The next time you barbeque, add an egg to each pound of fresh ground beef. This will prevent your burgers from falling apart on the grill.

You can also add some finely diced onions, carrots or celery to add to the mix. Here's a great recipe, which also adds a little garlic, salt and pepper to flavor the mix.

Salt & Boiling Water

Contrary to traditional rumor, salt does NOT lower the boiling point of water. The opposite is true. Water normally boils at 212º Fahrenheit. If you add salt, the boiling point raises to 216º. The difference is unnoticeable for practical cooking purposes. But salt is great for flavor!

Put A Lid On It!

For a tasty and healthy meal, I often cook frozen vegetables as a side dish to go along with some meat. By putting a lid over the pot, it contains the heat and brings the water to a boil quicker.

Add 1/4 teaspoon of salt for flavor. I usually add 1 Tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil or butter for flavor. If I have bacon bits, I sometimes add 1/2 teaspoon. When cooked, I dump the veggies into a strainer over the sink to drain the water. The flavor of the salt, olive oil and bacon bits remain (so don't use too much salt).

I usually boil green beans, carrots, broccoli or black-eyed peas (my favorite). But I like frying my Brussels sprouts.

Pork Tenderloin Roast

Basted w/Chinese BBQ 'Char Sui Sauce'

 No Rubber Shrimp

If you overcook shrimp, they will have a rubbery texture. It ruins a meal. The rule is simple: When shrimp turns pink, it's cooked. That's it! I add my uncooked shrimp to a pot of boiling water for 30 seconds until it turns pink, then dump them into a strainer. Place them into a bowl for use (or to eat as is with shrimp sauce).

When I cook a rice stir-fry, I make the stir-fry in my wok and then when I turn the heat off at the end I add the bowl of cooked shrimp. This prevents the shrimp from shrinking tiny and turning like rubber.

I do the same thing with red meat for meals like beef pepper steak. I fry the meat for 30 seconds (medium rare) and then set to the side. When the pepper steak is done, I add the meat. This prevents tough and chewy beef.

Swedish Meatballs

Spinach With Cheese

I like frozen spinach, which comes in a square package. When done boiling I lay a slice of cheddar cheese in the middle of the spinach and cover it with some hot spinach, which melts the cheese quickly. It's a great meal that's high in nutrients. The whole box of spinach is only 105 calories, and then then slice of cheese is another 90 calories. Your body needs vegetables.

Did you know that canned and frozen vegetables are actually more healthy for you than fresh vegetables! Verify what I say online with dieticians, who will tell you that harvested vegetables are immediately canned or frozen, locking in nutrients and freshness; whereas, depending on where you live and seasonal changes, fresh vegetables may not be so fresh after sitting for weeks. Most canned vegetables contain only water and sea salt. It's a good deal.

Learn Your Spices!

I love McCormick's seasonings and they have a great section on their website which explains how to use the different spices. This is very important if you really want to learn how to cook. Spices to a chef are as available materials to a carpenter.

Mom's Roast Turkey

Cook that bird upside down for the most tender turkey meat you've ever tasted!

Here's A Nice Turkey Recipe

Homemade French Bread

Ladies, to cook a Turkey that your family will love, cook it UPSIDE DOWN! The juices will drain through the turkey meat, making it very tender. There's nothing worse than a turkey that requires gravy because it's so dry. —RECIPE

Helpful Frozen Vegetables

Vegetables are important to have in one's diet. I buy frozen vegetables and store them once opened in freezer bags. When I cook, I just pour a cup of frozen vegetables into a pot of water and boil it for 15 minutes with the lid on. I add 1/4 teaspoon of salt and perhaps a T of unsalted butter to the pot. I usually combine black-eyed peas with mixed vegetables, or I'll boil broccoli alone.

When I make fried rice, I just remove the bag from the freezer and add a little mixed veggies to the wok. The same if I cook a stir-fry. Add a pinch of bottle bacon bits to the water and it'll give your peas green beans or carrots a nice bacon essence. Dump veggies in strainer to drain water and serve.

I also freeze my bag of peeled garlic, so I always have fresh garlic and it never spoils after a week. Just run a few cloves under water for 10 seconds when I want to use them. They cut easily after 30-seconds under water. If you use a hand garlic press, use the frozen garlic right away, because once thawed, the garlic will become soft.

I also chop up a few bundles of fresh green onions and then freeze them in a gallon-sized freezer bag. Freezer bags are double thick to prevent freezer-burn. When I need green onions, I just grab a handful and toss them in the recipe. I also freeze fresh bean sprouts. I got tired of fresh vegetables spoiling after a couple days, and running to the store to buy more, so by freezing them, I always have fresh frozen vegetables!!! You can freeze almost any food.

George Foreman Grill

You definitely want a George Foreman grill in your kitchen. I have a small unit, model GR10WSP1 (pictured above). It's great for small meals. By grilling your meats, fat drains into a little tray placed in front of the unit. It grills lines into burgers and steaks... great flavor! Red and yellow peppers are a favorite to grill (and chicken breast). Excellent for your kitchen! READ MORE...

Grilling Recipes

Counting Calories

I've learned the secret to losing weight (which is really no secret). You have to care enough about yourself to have the determination to COUNT YOUR CALORIES. It's the only way.

By counting your calories and becoming FAMILIAR with the calorie content of various foods, it will help you choose lower calorie foods to assist you in losing or keeping your weight at bay.

For example: Did you know that you can eat an ENTIRE jar of garlic dill pickles (in the refrigerated section of your supermarket) and it all totals only 110 calories? That's for the whole jar! You can eat all the pickles you want on a diet!

Did you also know that just two 'Chips Ahoy' chocolate-chip cookies have the same amount of calories? Just 2!

Did you know that an 11 ounce bag of 'Doritos' chips contains 1650 calories!!! Danger Will Robinson!

You can drink a 12 ounce can of V8 vegetable juice and it's only 70- calories. Not bad. This is how to lose weight... know your foods and change what you eat. Over time, you'll lose weight properly and be able to stick with your healthier diet.

Splattering Water

I often run packages of frozen meat under warm water in the sink to thaw it out. But I used to get frustrated when the water splattered all over the place. I learned a trick. Take your strainer and turn it round side facing up over the meat and the water will flow through it without splattering all over the place. No more slippery floor!

Fried Boneless Beef Shortribs
(vinegar, soy sauce, Dijon Mustard, cloves)

One of My Favorite Meals

This is a VERY easy recipe to make, but I want to explain how to make it in detail. I love fresh beef. Ladies, your husband will love this! Here's one of my favorite meals, which takes only 10-15 minutes to make.

What I do is buy a big pack of Flap Steak (Carne Asada) or Rib-eye, and then use scissors to cut it into personal portions. I use quart-sized plastic freezer bags. I usually get about 6-bags from one big steak. Then I freeze them. I plan my meals a day or two before. I'll remove the frozen beef the day before and let it thaw in the refrigerator overnight. This is a great way to always have beef on hand for a meal, without having to thaw the whole pack. If you need more beef for more than one person, then you can thaw multiple packs. Rib-eye and Flap Steak are tender, which is why I use them. Cheaper cuts of meat WILL be tough. The only way to make tougher cuts of meat tender is to cook them for 3-4-hours!

Ok, here's the heavenly recipe for one person (double the ingredients for more people). I combine the following ingredients in a little bowl and set aside:

  • 1 Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 Tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 Tablespoon Worcestershire Sauce
  • 1 Tablespoon Balsamic Vinegar
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon Mustard

In a separate little bowl, add 1 Teaspoon of corn starch to about 1/4 cup of water. Don't use more cornstarch, or your gravy will become thick like pudding. Stir and let the corn starch dissolve in the water. You're making a gravy here to pour over your beef. It's awesome!!!

I love onions, but you can make this without onions if you'd like. You can cook the onions separate, or just push them to the side when you cook the beef. Using a knife, cut up 1/2 of a medium yellow onion (or the whole onion if you like a lot of onions). Put about 1 Tablespoon of corn oil in the pan. Sauté the onions until your preference. I like them to cook them for about 5-7 minutes, just until they start to shrink and turn dark.

Cut the raw beef (about 1/4 pound) into bite-sized pieces (I always use sharp scissors - it's much easier, quicker and I think safer). I always cut my meat with scissors. Dump the beef into the hot pan. After about 20 seconds, I use tongs to turn the beef over piece-by-piece to let the other side cook. DO NOT OVERCOOK the beef unless you want it tough. I like my beef medium-RARE! So as soon as the outer red is gone, it's done! This takes about 45-60 seconds total in a hot pan. You can taste one piece of beef if you'd like to check it for doneness. Immediately remove the beef, so it won't keep cooking.

Now, in the same empty pan, under LOW heat, add your mixture of flavorings that we made earlier (stir the bowl to make sure you get all the spices into the pan). Let it warm for about 30-45 seconds.

Now stir the other bowl with the corn starch and water mixture. The corn starch is a thickening agent. Anytime that you want to make something thicker, use a teaspoon of cornstarch. ALWAYS dissolve the corn starch in a little water first, otherwise IT WILL CLUMP into white chunks and ruin your meal. Stir the dissolved corn starch/water mixture and add to the pan, stirring it around until it thickens (which happens almost right away). I usually turn the heat off when I add the cornstarch. Pour the gravy over your beef and onions.

I usually have some frozen vegetables on the side with this meal. I like the frozen 5-minute quick-cook vegetables available at any supermarket. They're microwavable. There's buttered-corn, Brussels sprouts, peas and carrots, spinach and many more. I love eating a whole small box of leaf spinach. You just boil 1/2 cup of water and the spinach for 8 minutes in a covered pot. I add 1/4 teaspoon of each of these four spices: salt, pepper, onion powder and garlic powder. Very delicious!

Tarragon Chicken Recipe (pictured below)

Above: An actual photo of my Tarragon Chicken Recipe! Em' Good!

Note on cooking chicken: It's important for flavor to fry both side of your chicken before simmering for an hour. In the above photo you can see where I nicely browned both sides of the chicken in olive oil. I start out by adding 1/4 cup of extra virgin olive oil to the frying pan (if you can't smell the fruity flavor, you've got cheap oil. Don't use oil that doesn't have the fruity olive oil smell). Also add 1/4 cup of butter (which is not as much as it sounds). I then sauté one yellow onion and 4-5 cloves of fresh garlic (I use a hand garlic press to shred it). Once the onions begin to brown, add the chicken to the pan and fry both side until golden brown. Salt and pepper both sides and use plenty of tarragon spice (see recipe for exact amounts that I use). Be paring on the pepper unless you like it peppery.

I recommend simmering the chicken for 20 minutes after your done frying, but if you want the meat to fall off the bones tender, then simmer it for an hour on low-heat.

When I make pot roast, I do the same thing, that is, I brown all four sides in a frying pan of sizzling sautéed olive oil, onions and garlic. I use this same basic base for my Black-eyed Peas and Smoked Ham Hocks and for other recipes. Sautéed onions and garlic in olive oil can be used as a base for many different recipes.

McCormick Spices & Recipes

I usually cook this meal with Turmeric Rice; thus I call it, “The Double-T Special”

Tips on Chinese Stir-fry Cooking

I love Chinese food—it's tasty, fresh, healthy and not difficult to make if you know how. God is amazing to have given us so many varieties of foods to choose from and the taste buds to enjoy them. Evolution could not have done this marvellous miracle of life. Thank God for all the wonderful foods, spices, flavors and the science and art of cooking.

First, you need good rice that is not gooey. Some people use “overnight rice” kept from a Chinese restaurant the day before; however, you need to make your own fresh rice. I use a rice cooker. It's better to invest in a $115 unit for quality rice. I have the ZOJIRUSHI NS-VGC05 model, which is compact with a nice carrying handle and able to cook as little as 1/2 cup at a time, which is nice. I always make at least one cup (dry), as 1/2 cup isn't enough for a normal stir-fry. 1 cup uncooked (dry) rice equals 2 cups when cooked (moist).

If your rice comes out gooey, you either forgot to rinse the starch off the rice before you began or you added too much water into the cooker pot. Rinse your rice thoroughly in a strainer and then add less water if your rice came out gooey and pasty. If your rice cooker is the same as mine, use the “Sushi Rice” line instead of the “White Rice” line for water if your white rice is coming out gooey like mush.

Also, don't stir the rice around when done in the rice cooker pot, because it's still moist and you'll mush it up. I just turn off the rice cooker and let it sit for 20-30 minutes with the lid open, then toss it all into my stir-fry wok when ready for it. Then I use the plastic spatula to break apart the rice in the wok. By then the rice has dried somewhat is breaks apart easily and cooks nicely.

Second, you should blanch all your meats and vegetables before adding them into the wok to stir fry. “Blanching” simply means to put the meats and vegetables into a strainer and then dip them into hot boiling water for 30 SECONDS. Don't go beyond 30 seconds or your vegetables will become withered and mushy in the wok.

Blanching is a technique to keep vegetables crisp and tender. This method means dipping food into lightly salted boiling water to moderately cook it and then immediately cooling it. Blanching lightly cooks only the skin of the vegetable. Blanching slows or stops the action of enzymes which is continued even after harvest of vegetables. It prevents vegetables from loosing color, texture, and flavor before you serve them. Just 30 seconds!!!

You don't need to blanch rib-eye (or other tender cuts of beef) if it's cut really thin (which it should be). Less expensive portions of beef should be cut thin and blanched. You don't want to over-blanch beef or it will get tough, so do just a quick 15 second blanch. When done blanching, drain water and pour the meat and veggies into a bowl by the side. Chicken should be blanched for at least one minute to cook it pretty good. Shrimp is done blanching when it turns pink.

Third, a secret in Chinese cooking to tenderize chicken is to rub a teaspoon or two of dry baking soda (not baking powder) onto the sliced up chicken and allow to marinade for 15 minutes. To prevent shrimp, chicken and beef from becoming tough during the stir-fry, it is advisable to rub the meat with baking soda 15 minutes before blanching, then rinse in strainer and blanch. The 8.2 alkali breaks down the acid in the fiber strands in the meat and tenderizes it. Make sure to rinse thoroughly after 15-20 minutes are finished. The baking soda method of tenderizing works BEST for chicken. Thin cut ribeye and more expensive cuts of beef are already tender and can be left alone. Blanch chicken for 60 seconds until cooked. Blanch shrimp until it runs pink (which is cooked). Blanch beef for 30 seconds.

Fourth, don't overcook your food or the meat will be tough and all your vegetables will be withered, shriveled and salty (because all your moisture evaporates). Overcooking is the fastest way to ruin a meal next to adding too much salt. DON'T OVERCOOK YOUR MEAL!!! A stir-fry takes a about one to two minutes, that's it. The goal of stir-frying is to give your meal a nice hot wok flavor on the surface of your foods from the high heat (yet without burning). So the key is to STIR, hence, a “stir-fry!” Stirring keeps the food from burning. You add your liquid flavorings at the end usually, to avoid the moisture evaporating. If the brown sauce is made first in the wok, it is very important that the food is removed from the wok almost immediately after adding the meat and vegetables (such as in my beef and broccoli recipe).

Here's my great tasting Beef Pepper Steak Recipe (tastes just like takeout Chinese)

Fifth, I know it is frustrating for many people to read “salt and pepper to taste” in a recipe. I know the lonely feeling, believe me; however, you need to learn how to flavor your foods using salt and pepper, just as with sugar and salt. You'll learn quickly in cooking that MANY recipes call for both salt and sugar, often in equal amounts (such as Chinese shrimp or chicken friend rice). It's just the chemistry magic between the two ingredients that produce one of the most delicious flavors in foods. Likewise, there is a balance between salt and pepper that must be found. As a general rule you want to use only half as much pepper as salt. It's easy to salt and pepper by taste and I'll teach you how. The key is to add a little at a time and then with a spoon, after stirring your meal, taste it. If it is bland, then add a little more salt. Notice that I said a little. You can even turn the heat off if need be and flavor the food at the end, but this is the most critical step in your meal, that is, adjusting the flavor.

Sixth, sesame oil is not for cooking, it is only for flavoring. Corn oil is for cooking. Only use sesame oil as a flavor enhancer in your recipes. Extra virgin olive oil is fantastic for many recipes and I prefer it for Chinese cooking too. You won't taste the olive essence in your food. I like the way olive oil handles in the wok. Corn oil pops in a hot wok, but olive oil doesn't. Vegetable oil has a hotter smoking point and needs to get hotter than corn oil to be effective, so I wouldn't use it. Corn or olive oil is best.

Seventh, I use an electric wok and it works great. It gets hotter than I need for cooking Chinese food. Those people who say gas burners and hand-held woks are the only way to cook Chinese are wrong. I was very skeptical at first, but I was delighted with my electric wok. I use a Breville Model EW30XL Gourmet Wok. The dial goes up to 15 (sear), but I never go higher than 12 and don't need to. On a setting of “12,” the wok gets super hot in 90 seconds (enough to make the oil crackle when added to the pan).

Granted, if you like shuffling a hot pan over the fire then you need a gas stove (or propane burner) and a wok. It's not a matter of food and flavor, but rather, of enjoying the art of cooking with a gas stove. Some people like to see the flames and feel the pan while cooking, flipping the pan's contents, making the experience more enjoyable. I understand completely; however, sometimes you may just want to eat and not have to go through all that. I have peripheral neuropathy (nerve damage) in my neck that extends down both arms and legs 24/7. I appreciate the electric wok that doesn't move. I can just work the food with a plastic spatula (it comes with the wok).

There are several different woks available. I like the wok I chose and am happy with it. The wok certainly fries the food well. It gets so hot on a setting of “12” that your food will all brown (or burn) quickly if left unattended. So it's important to flip your food every 10-15 seconds. When I make Chinese shrimp fried rice (recipe to follow), I let it sit for about 30 seconds before I flip (this is after adding all the meat and vegetables), because I want the rice slightly browned for flavor. But I don't want it burned, so I have to be present and not go do something else around the house. When you use a wok, you have to have everything prepared BEFORE you begin, because you won't have time to cut veggies, blanch anything, or measure spices and flavorings while cooking at such high temps.

The following recipes are just like a Chinese restaurant (if it's a good restaurant)...

Beef Pepper Steak  |  Beef and Broccoli

My friend rice is still in the perfecting process, but it's close to the restaurant (and better than some I've tasted)...

Chinese Shrimp or Chicken Fried Rice

Above: An actual photo of my Chinese Egg Rolls! Em' Good!

My Restaurant Style Take-Out Chinese Egg Rolls