Blog Archives

Stir-Fry Vegetables in a Bread Bowl

My favorite way to have vegetables is to quickly stir-fry them, so they are still crisp. A restaurant I used to go to a lot, served them in a beautiful woven lattice bread bowl and it was the perfect lunch. These veggies can be served over rice, rice noodles or as a side with stir-fried meat, poultry or tofu.

If you’re feeling creative I found a recipe for a lattice bread basket here.

Stir-Fry Vegetables

  • 1 tbsp cornstarch
  • 1 cup water or broth (vegetable or chicken)

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    Photo by ddpiesslice.blogspot.com

  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 6-8 mushrooms, washed and sliced
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • ½ tsp ground ginger or 2 tsp fresh minced
  • ¼ tsp crushed garlic
  • 8 oz broccoli crowns
  • 8 oz sliced carrots, or baby carrots
  • 8 oz snow peas
  • 6 oz can sliced water chestnuts or bamboo shoots, drained
  • salt & pepper to taste

wok or deep skillet

Mix cornstarch, soy, water, lemon and honey together. Set aside. Heat wok, add oil add all the remaining ingredients. Stir-fry quickly, about 2 minutes, until vegetables are tender-crisp. Add sauce, bring to boil for 1 minute or more until thickened. Let simmer 2 minutes.

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Thursday Night Menu: First Day of Fall Edition

Happy first day of autumn. According to my sources summer officially ended yesterday at 10:55 pm MDT. Sigh. I’ve pulled out the sweaters, but have not put away the shorts. JeffW updated us on Homer yesterday. His cast has been removed. No word yet on his permanent placement.  But more cute pix.

On to dinner. This is not a very fall oriented menu, I’ll get to those in later weeks.  This menu is a quick and flavorful stir-fry of no particular origin. If you can’t find the broad rice noodles, whatever you like will do just fine. I like the broad ones because they hold the sauce and lots of sesame seeds. I keep sesame seeds around like salt and pepper, so I add that at the table and it’s a nice touch to both the carrots and beef dish.  The yogurt and pineapple provide a cool finish.

On the board tonight:

  1. Spicy Beef & Broccoli
  2. Rice Noodles (broad style)
  3. Sweet & Sour Carrots
  4. Crushed pineapple and vanilla yogurt

Spicy Beef & Broccoli

  • 1 lb sirloin or London broil, sliced very thin (easiest to do if slightly frozen)
  • 1 green pepper, chopped
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 4 green onions, chopped
  • ½ tsp crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 tsp crushed garlic
  • 1 tsp ground ginger or 1 tbsp minced fresh ginger
  • 2 tbsp cornstarch
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • ½ cup or more of chicken broth
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 2 cups broccoli crowns
  • ½ cup Spanish peanuts

large skillet or wok

Heat 1 tbsp of oil and sauté onions, peppers,  fresh ginger and garlic quickly. Add more oil as needed, add beef and stir quickly until beef is cooked through. Combine red pepper flakes, cornstarch, soy sauce, broth, honey, and mix well. Add to meat, bring to boil, reduce heat and let simmer 5 minutes. Add broccoli crowns, cover and steam for 2 to 3 more minutes (you want broccoli bright green, but still slightly crisp). Toss with peanuts. Serve over rice noodles.

Sweet & Sour Carrots

  • 16 oz pkg. sliced frozen carrots
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 2 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 2 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp corn starch
  • 2 green onions, sliced

small skillet or wok and small bowl

Mix ½ cup broth with cornstarch, vinegar, sugar and set aside.

Heat remaining broth, add carrots and onions, cook until carrots are tender, yet crisp. Add cornstarch mix, heat to quick boil, stirring constantly until sauce thickens and then remove from heat.

Shopping list:

  • 1 lb sirloin or London broil
  • 1 green pepper
  • 1 tsp ground ginger or 1 tbsp minced fresh ginger
  • 16 oz broccoli crowns
  • 4 oz Spanish peanuts
  • 16 oz pkg. sliced frozen carrots
  • 16 oz chicken broth
  • 1 bunch green onions
  • 16 oz vanilla yogurt
  • Fresh crushed pineapple
  • Rice noodles

Also: red wine vinegar, brown sugar, cornstarch, olive oil, soy sauce, crushed garlic, honey, red pepper flakes, sesame seeds (opt)

More Stir Fry

Most of the fun cooking these things is coming up with a sauce.  I had lots of fun today.  Started with a cup of chicken stock, poured in some sesame oil, about a tablespoon.  I have some tamarind paste that has been skulking in the refrigerator door for months.  I scooped about two tablespoons into the mix.  Added half a tablespoon of ginger root paste.  A few dried red peppers.  Hmm…need some corn starch, two tablespoons ought to do it.  A splash of dark soy sauce, maybe a tablespoon.  Two tablespoons of hoisin sauce.  Maybe some Splenda for sweetness?  Yup…maybe two tablespoons.  Ah, some dry sherry, another glug added.  OK, simmer for a bit, set aside.  It’ll be the last thing to go into the pan.  I’ll let the pictures do the rest.

Enjoy!

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Chicken and Snow Peas

Spent most of the day thinking about this dish.  Didn’t think hard enough, as we’ll see.  The dish was going to be relentlessly green/brown and I needed something to relieve that.  Trouble was I really didn’t have much to hand that would work.  It wasn’t until too late I remembered that dried red chilies would be perfect.  You’ll see where I remember them in the slide show.  And then only when I tasted a bit of the chicken and thought “needs more heat”.  Face palm.

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More Rice Noodles

Trying the wide rice noodles this time.  I’m happy with the dish, even Mrs J couldn’t complain that it was too hot.  Sniff.  Needed some red peppers in there ya ask me.  Anyway, the rice noodles need to be boiled before they go in with everything else, I gave them 7 minutes and then drained them.  Since I used them right away I didn’t bother to rinse them in cold water.

I marinaded the chicken in some soy sauce and ginger paste and soaked the dried mushrooms in water for a good while before I started this.  Get the pan hot before you add the oil.  When the oil is hot toss in some minced garlic and ginger and then the chicken and the drained mushrooms.  Let them cook a few minutes, the chicken should be getting browned though it need not cook all the way through, it’ll get more time in the pan to finish.

Add the veggies and give them a few minutes to cook, cover the pan if you need to.  I also ladled in a few ounces of broth to help cook the broccoli.

Now add the sauce.  This is a combination of sauces:  Hoisin, soy, and oyster sauces along with some mirin and Chinese cooking wine.  I also added some more chicken stock for the volume.  It needed thickening so after the sauce came to a boil I stirred in some corn starch in a bit of stock.  Stir it all about as the sauce thickens.

I started the water for these noodles in a large pot before I ever warmed the pan the dinner cooked in.  I fired that pan when the water came to a boil and waited to put the dry noodles in until it seemed the rest was well on the way. Drain and dump in the noodles when they are done, get them coated with the sauce.  No real need to try to combine the noodles and the other stuff, just swish them around in the center.  Grab a bunch of the coated noodles with some tongs and plate them, use a spoon to cover them with chicken and the veggies.

Enjoy!

Beef and Rice Noodles Stir fry

This is another “Adventure with Google Recipes” piece.  I wanted to use up some of the rice noodles I had on hand and thought beef would be a good meat to go with them.  My recipe today is a synthesis of recipes I found.  I looked at a dozen at least, and this one is probably the closest to what I did today.

First I sliced some beef while it was semi frozen, easier that way.

Grate some garlic and ginger over the meat, and add some light soy, some dark soy, sriracha sauce, a bit of oil, a teaspoon of corn starch, and some Chinese cooking wine.  The bottle I have spells it “Shao Shing”, but I have seen other spellings.  Any dry sherry type cooking wine will substitute.

Let the beef marinate for a couple of hours or for as long as you can.  In the meantime soak some dried Shiitake mushrooms. In a small bowl mix three tablespoons of light soy and three of dark soy, set aside.

Slice an onion and a bell pepper, a red pepper would work fine, I had a green one so I used that.  Take a few green onions and chop them 1-2″ long.  Put the dried noodles in a big bowl and soak them in hot tap water for 15 minutes or so, then drain, rinse in cold water, and drain them again.  Set aside.

Cook the meat in a suitable pan.  I used two pans for this meal to save cleaning this one.  Set the meat aside when done.

In a clean pan, heat some more oil to just short of smoking and dump in the veggies, stir them for a minute.

Splash in a few ounces of the cooking wine, followed by the soy sauces you mixed earlier.

Dump in the noodles and stir them about to coat.

Add in the beef, stir everything about while it comes back to heat and toss in the green onions.

Enjoy!

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