HELPING FAMILY FARMS FLOURISH. HELPING FEED THE HUNGRY.
Showing posts with label Stir Fries. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Stir Fries. Show all posts

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Ginger Chicken Stir-Fry with Asparagus, Peas and Cremini Mushrooms


         Spring has been notable here for tempting us to believe it’s actually arrived. This is followed by plummeting temperatures the next day convincing us all it has not.  In New York City, you can count on the oddest collection of outfits this time of year.   The winter weary—mainly males—can be counted on to don their shorts and tee shirts the minute it gets close to 60 degrees.  They are accompanied by vast numbers of people who resist any wardrobe change until it’s at least 75.  At least that’s the impression I get standing on line in Trader Joes’ between a guy who looks ready for a run in the park and a woman who is wearing a wool hat, coat, scarf and gloves.  Ah well. 

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Stir-Fried Chili Scallops with Baby Bok Choy Adapted from Fine Cooking



When I wrote about our culinary adventures in St. Barthelemy, FWI in March, one of our readers, “Mike”, got into a spirited discussion about how the scallops I’d waxed poetic over, were not local.  In fact, he was pretty irate about seafood in general and posted as a comment:  “Why the lack of eating local seafood?  Scallops multiple times mentioned (frozen and cryovaced from America)...so really as a foodie...how good can it be?" Now “Mike” is a Massachusetts native and his knowledge of seafood is impressive.  In a subsequent comment, he explained: “ Scallops do not freeze well…they shrivel and such...and because of that the frozen ones are not "dry" scallops, they are the ones that have that phosphate solution added to them to plump them up and make them hold water and look better after they defrost.” All that being said, I still loved my St. Barth’s scallops.  And when we got home and I came across a recipe for a Stir Fry with scallops, I couldn't wait to get my hands on some fresh scallops.

Monday, April 1, 2013

Sichuan Stir-Fried Pork in Garlic Sauce from Cook's Illustrated Magazine



Sichuan Province, Land of Plenty
         In one of their masterpieces of science and cooking combined, Cook’s Illustrated chose to take on one of my favorite Chinese Restaurant dishes: Sichuan Stir-Fried Pork in Garlic Sauce.  Sichuan cooking is immediately associated with hot and spicy flavors. The odd thing is that these flavors are relatively new. And initially at least, they were only popular among the poorer segments of Sichuan society.  There was so much else available. Sichuan Province is known as a land of plenty. While landlocked and therefore without seafood, it has an abundance of pigs, poultry, beef cattle, freshwater fish and crayfish.  And it’s been known for its masterful cuisine for hundreds of years.  The first Sichuan restaurant opened in what is now called Hangzhou, its capital city, over 800 years ago. 

Monday, March 4, 2013

Brussels Sprouts and Steak Stir Fry from Bon Appetit


         Confession time: I used to loathe Brussels Sprouts. When I was growing up, I even made up a story to explain the Brussels Sprout.  It was, I told myself, a vegetable forced on wartime Europe.  I reasoned this lowly member of the cabbage family was so undesirable, it escaped the ration book.   What it was doing in post-World War II Canada was beyond all understanding.  My attitude towards Brussels Sprouts remained unchanged until only recently.  Two things  changed my mind.  The first was the Brussels Sprouts my cooking pals like Keith and Jeff served recently were not just palatable, they were downright good. And I would likely make a special trip out to the beach to dive into Almond Restaurants' "Brussels Sprouts Two Ways".  The second was that when searching for local late season produce, our Hamptons farm stands are positively rife with Brussels Sprouts.  Of course, the farm stands have long been closed for the season.  But the Brussels Sprouts are green and glorious in the supermarket—even if they hail from much further than Bridgehampton.  And when I was doing some research into the Brussels Sprout, I discovered why those Canadian Brussels Sprouts of long ago weren’t at all what I was raving about today. 

Thursday, January 3, 2013

David Tanis' Twice-Cooked Duck with Pea Shoots



David Tanis 
         I wasn’t familiar with David Tanis at all until he started writing the City Kitchen column in Wednesday’s Dining Section in the Times. Clearly, I’d been missing a lot.  While David’s recipes have often peaked my interest, this is the first one I’ve tried.  And what an introduction!  This is a stir-fry with a twist.  The duck used in the dish is first braised in an Asian inflected broth.  Then the meat is cut up and crisped in oil before being joined in the pan by a blizzard of Asian flavors—ginger and orange, garlic, cumin, and hot peppers. The sauce and the broth from the braise bring it all together.  And finally, pea shoots, a vegetable I’d never used before, are tossed into the mix where they wilt and bring an rich earthy quality to the finished dish. It’s sweet and spicy and satisfying.  It’s one of those dishes that comes with a supreme sense of pride: You’ve made something that tastes so authentic and so good the very first time you’ve cooked it.  So why haven’t I heard of David Tanis before?

Monday, July 2, 2012

Asian Noodles with Roast Pork



Sandra Lee with another plate of
SemiHomemade food 
         My friend Barbara gets practically apoplectic when she hears the name “Sandra Lee”.   Whether this has anything to do with the “Semi Homemade” hostess’ debacle over something Ms. Lee called her “Kwanzaa Cake”, I am not sure.  But given that Anthony Bourdain referred to the recipe as “an edible hate crime”, it very might well be.  Ms. Lee’s confection consisted of an angel food cake with chocolate and cinnamon flavored vanilla icing, corn nuts, popcorn, pumpkin seeds and apple pie filling.  One reviewer told the tale of taking the cake to a party only to have her fellow guests gag and spit it out.  And Mr. Bourdain of the ‘edible hate crime’ label said “The most terrifying thing I’ve seen is her making a Kwanzaa cake. Watch (the video clip) and tell me your eyeballs don’t burst into flames. It’s a war crime on television.  You’ll scream”.  Apparently, it still makes Barbara scream every time she hears the woman’s name. 

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Stir-Fry of Asparagus, Sugar Snap Peas and Pork Tenderloin


  
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.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Spicy Pork with Asparagus and Chile


Farmers Market Asparagus
Spicy Pork with Asparagus and Chile

West 66th Street and Broadway

The Farmer's Market in Richard Tucker Square
        We live in a very urban setting in New York and it comes as somewhat a surprise to visitors that there’s a thriving Farmers Market in our midst three days a week.  It's just a couple of blocks down from us and right in front of Lincoln Center. Its presence really shouldn't be a surprise. New York has the largest and most diverse outdoor urban farmers market network in the country.  What began in 1976 with 12 farmers in a parking lot on 59th Street and 2nd Avenue in Manhattan has now grown to 54 markets with over 230 family farms and fishermen participating, and over 30,000 acres of farmland protected from development. 

Monday, April 18, 2011

Filipino Fried Noodles with Chicken and Vegetables courtesy of “The Asian Grandmother’s Cookbook” by Patricia Tanumihardja



        I have some good friends whose families are Filipino. And although for some time, my friend Ethel has threatened to kidnap me and take me to Queens for some Filipino restaurant food, we haven’t made it yet.   Come to think of it, there are far more Korean and Thai and Vietnamese restaurants all over the place than there are Filipino. And until this dish came along, I’d never cooked anything from there.  But this stir fry is well worth making for its subtle fresh flavors.  It’s absolutely not hard to make at all. There’s just some dicing and chopping and you’re good to go.  And you certainly don’t need a wok; You can easily use a big non-stick frying pan like I did.   For those of you averse to heat or feeding young children, this is a really wonderfully mild dish that no one’s going to find too spicy.   
        Filipino cooking is all about combinations of sweet, sour and salty generally combining all three in one dish.  However, it is not heavily spiced. I even had to send the recipe to my friend Ethel to see whether there was any chance I'd left something out or that the recipe had been spiced down for the American palate.  No, she said.  It was very much on the lines of what her grandmother prepared on her last trip to the Philippines.  I found this quite amazing given that Hispanic, Chinese and other Asian cultures have all influenced Filipino food.  The earliest Filipinos came from Southern China and Taiwan.  Trading with other Asian countries led to a lot more blending of cuisines.  It was the Spanish who brought chili peppers and tomatoes into the Phillipines.   But even then, the peppers were frequently used just for their leaves and not for their punch. After the Spanish established themselves, there was an even greater influx of ethnic Chinese.  In fact, Chinese food became the staple of the panciterias or noodle shops that burst onto the scene in the 19th century.   The recipe I am sharing with you today could have come right from a panciteria. It even gets its Filipino name from there: Pancit.
        Pancit is probably one of the best known Filipino dishes. But Pancit has about as many recipes as there are Filipino cooks.  This one, from a marvelously instructive cookbook called  “The Asian Grandmother’s Cookbook” by PatriciaTanumihardja (Sasquatch Books, 2009) uses both Rice noodles and and Chinese wheat noodles. But if those aren’t readily available you can use flat egg noodles and cellophane noodles which are relatively easy to find if your supermarket has an Asian aisle. Here’s the recipe:


Recipe for Pancit, Filipino Fried Noodles
Rice Noodles
8 oz dried vermicelli (rice noodles) (1/2 package)









Chinese Wheat Noodles
8 oz pancit canton noodles (you can also use Chinese egg noodles)








2 tablespoons vegetable oil (I like canola)
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 small onion, chopped finely (about 1-1/2 cups)
1 pound chicken breast or thigh, cut into bite-sized pieces
1/4 cup toyomansi (if you don’t have toyomansi, use 1/2 cup soy sauce and squeeze in 1 to 2 tablespoons of lemon or lime juice to taste)
1/4 cup soy sauce

1/2 head small cabbage, shredded (about 4 cups)
2 large carrots, peeled and shredded (about 1-1/2-2 cups)
2 stalks celery, trimmed and chopped
2 stalks green onions, cut into ‘O’s (optional for garnish)
Soak rice noodles in warm water for 10-15 minutes until soft, then cut into 4-inch lengths. Place the egg noodles in a large heat-proof bowl. Pour boiling water to cover. Let stand 1 minute. Drain and set aside.
In a wok or large skillet, stir fry garlic and onions in oil until fragrant and onions are translucent, about 2 minutes, over medium-high heat. Add chicken and fry until no longer pink. Add toyomansi and soy sauce. Toss to coat chicken. Add vegetables and stir fry until cabbage wilts. 



Add noodles and keep stir frying until well coated and heated through. I know it looks very unprofessional but I recommend using the two-handed method to evenly toss the noodles like below.
Add water or stock a few tablespoons at a time if noodles are looking too dry. Test rice noodles for doneness. Scatter green onions for garnish and serve.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Singapore Lamb Curry with Stir-Fried Noodles





Before you read today’s post, please take a look at the New York Times
Dining and Wine section published yesterday. It will give you some idea of what Monte’s Ham is all about.  And don’t forget our Friends and Family discount which will automatically take 10 percent off your total order. Just enter promotional code FNF10.  But hurry, Christmas is 16 days away!
http://www.nytimes.com/2010/12/08/dining/08charity.html?ref=dining




        I remember a friend telling me that once she gave her husband a Wok for Christmas, it was pretty much Wok-around-the-clock from that point on. As I remember, he was one of the first men I knew who’d taken over the kitchen and cooked almost everything his family of 5 ate.  Since he worked full time, I am sure he was as time-pressured as the rest of us and the Wok must have been a gift from heaven via his wife.  Stir-fries really can save the day.  Aside from much chopping, slicing, dicing and peeling, no cooking technique is as quick to yield delicious meals in very little time.  In fact, you have to really organize your ingredients since they are used at lightning quick speeds.  And what I really like is that you don’t need a wok to make these dishes.  Any large skillet can work on a stir fry.  And this particular recipe really gives you a curry in a hurry, a one-dish wonder that we paired with some kale.  Next time, we’ll likely go with spinach as the kale was not a success around our table.