Hang in there, those of you facing Hurricane Igor!
The main trick in food photography, I have learned, is to always, always, always use natural light in your photographs.
The problem with living in Canada is that half the year, the sun sets really early and your good afternoon light turns blue. Unless you want to start cooking your dinner at two in the afternoon, you have to put up with a lot of noise in your now blue-tinged shots. I apologize in advance.
A downside to cooking in other people’s kitchens is that friends my age often live in quirky apartment buildings and so don’t have the enormous picture window with which I have been blessed in my own kitchen back in St. John’s. The light quality in these places, therefore, isn’t all that great. I should really start using my low ISO feature. Some kitchens don’t even HAVE windows, which is a real shame, both for the sake of my pictures, and for the cooks themselves. How can you enjoy cooking if you don’t like being in the room where cooking takes place?
Anyway, tonight I went over to visit Cait and iPM. You may remember them from their visit to St. John’s in June. Cait is a computer guru and she is in the process of making my laptop able to survive the extra two or three years of service I need it to give me before I can afford to replace it. Their kitchen is fortunately roomy enough for my purposes, but as it was late in the evening, the light’s not all that great.
In the middle of the produce section of Loblaws, Cait and I decided on a stir-fry, so I picked up some broccoli, mushrooms, green onions, snow peas, and fresh garlic. Cait already had chicken, carrots, soy sauce, vinegar, and brown sugar, so it was a simple matter of adding hoisin, black bean, and teriyaki to the basket and off we went.
At home, Cait set to haranguing my computer and making it do her bidding and I set to chopping. Cait owns neither a cutting board nor a non-serrated knife so it was an adventure trying to julienne the carrots and broccoli stalks. But I did it.
I also sliced up three boneless, skinless chicken breasts as well. Nice and thin.
Ruby, who is only a puppy, tried to convince me that chicken was the best thing for her and that what we thought was her proper dog food was actually poison. She failed. But she’s cute.
In a small bowl, mix together about two tablespoons each of brown sugar, vinegar (I prefer rice vinegar but Cait only had balsamic), hoisin, teriyaki, black bean, and soy sauce.
Slice up about three cloves of garlic and plop them in a pan with olive oil. Heat that sucker up.
Add the chicken, and stir until just cooked through, between 5 and 10 minutes.
Add the sauce mixture and stir to coat all the chicken.
Plop in your vegetables and stir to get them all coated, too.I ran out of room in the pan and therefore had to transfer half my cooking to a nearby pot.
Let the vegetables cook a little bit, but not too much. You want them still crisp, but brightly coloured. Probably you want to cook them for about seven minutes or so.
Serve over rice, and if you have lovely Fiestaware to do it on, all the better.
iPM went back for seconds so I know it was good.