|Sugar Snaps have joined the Asparagus
at The Farmer’s Market
You may wonder how much more asparagus I can possibly eat this asparagus season. The answer is I’ll eat as much as I can. I love the fresh flavor and texture that asparagus brings to the dinner plate. And the season is all too short for asparagus fans like me. Now another Spring favorite has arrived. Sugar Snap Peas are in! This Asian inspired dish uses them both in a crunchy dish that cooks in all of 15 minutes. You could make this dish with boneless breasts of chicken or, for a meatless meal, use tofu. I chose pork tenderloin for a weeknight dinner recently. Because this recipe is for 4, we ended up with enough for Andrew to enjoy a second helping a couple of nights later. One note: While there are red pepper flakes in the recipe, when Andrew re-heated the dish, he gave it a shot of Sriracha Chile Sauce and loved the spicy result. If you’ve got children, proceed with caution if you decide you want more heat.
The Stir Fry is the kitchen’s gift to the time-frazzled cook. Once the prep has been done, it’s a simple matter of layering the ingredients in a wok or sauté pan and building your sauce as you do. That’s not to say that there isn’t prep here – the pork has to be sliced, the asparagus need trimming, the snap peas have to have their tips shaved and there’s the slicing of a couple of shallots, the mincing of a little garlic and ginger. The sauce is simply the stirring together some readily available pantry items straight from their bottles. Although it would be more authentic, a wok is unnecessary. The largest family skillet can be pressed into use with excellent results. You don’t need to serve it with rice if you’re on Dr. Dukan’s diet but I did. It soaks up the sweet and salty sauce and acts as a bed for your stir-fry. Another thing I recently learned was pressed into service here: If you put the pork in the freezer for about 20 minutes, the slicing will be infinitely easier. I had just done this with some raw tuna and it really is a godsend. Here’s the recipe:
Recipe for Stir-Fry of Asparagus, Sugar Snap Peas and Pork Tenderloin
1 12-16 ounce pork tenderloin
1 cup rice ( I prefer Basmati or Jasmine but any long-grain rice will do)
1/4 cup soy sauce
2 tablespoons sherry, ruby port or madeira.
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 tablespoon rice vinegar
2 tablespoons Canola or other Vegetable Oil, divided
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1 teaspoon corn starch
2 shallots, sliced thin
1 pound asparagus, trimmed and sliced into 1-inch pieces
1 1/2 cups sugar snap peas, tips trimmed
1/4 cup water
2 cloves garlic, minced
1-inch piece ginger, peeled and minced
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes or Sriracha Chile Sauce
Salt and pepper
Place the pork in the freezer for 20 minutes while you prep the rest of the ingredients. When ready, slice the pork into medallions about 1/4-inch thick. Season the pork with salt and pepper.
Bring two cups of water to a boil. Add a half teaspoon of salt and the rice, and return to a simmer. Cover, reduce the heat to low, and cook the rice for 20 minutes (or follow package instructions). When done, remove from heat. Flluff with a spoon, and leave covered until ready to serve.
While the rice is cooking, prepare the stir-fry. Whisk together the soy sauce, sherry, brown sugar, rice vinegar, sesame oil, and corn starch. Set near the stove.
Heat 1 tablespoon of the canola or other vegetable oil in a large (14-inch) sauté pan over high heat. Add the pork and cook, stirring and turning strips once or twice, until edges begin to brown and they are just cooked through, 5 to 7 minutes. Remove from pan and set aside.
Add the other tablespoon of oil to the pan, and cook the shallots until they have softened, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the asparagus, cook for another 30 seconds to 1 minute, and then add the sugar snap peas. Pour half of the water into the pan, and scrape the bottom of the pan to pick up browned bits. You may need to add all of the water, depending on how high the heat and how brown your pan.
Sauté the vegetable mixture for another 4 to 6 minutes, until asparagus and peas are bright green but still crunchy. Add the garlic, ginger, and red pepper flakes or chile sauce and cook for another 30 seconds. Stir in the sauce and the cooked pork. Continue stirring until the sauce has thickened and the meat and vegetables are coated.
Serve immediately with rice. Leftovers will keep for a week.