Tag Archive for stir-fry

Presto Garden Buckwheat Noodles

garden-buckwheat-noodle-002

I don’t know about you, but when I am home working and need a quick lunch, I want it QUICK. It’s often throwing together a green salad & omelet, or fajitas (or quesadillas), or – in winter – reheating some soup and making a sandwich (tomato soup and grilled cheese sandwich being a favorite). Sometime, I want a little more, though, and that’s when stir-fry come to the rescue. Like today.

All one need is some noodles, a couple of veggies to keep the taste simple, some seasoning, and a little protein – today, it was eggs. At other time, left over meat or chicken works just fine.

So I put a big pot of water to boil. Run to the the garden to see what I can get and settle on some baby kale and tatsoi (raiding the fridge will do, in a pinch); I’ve got plenty of shallots, garlic and ginger on hand (I know, it amazes you that I keep ginger on hand); soy sauce? here. Sesame oil? check. Looks like we are leaning towards “Asian” flavors here, so let’s use some buckwheat noodles… yes? yes! Let’s go. Stir-fry eggs, then the veggies as the pasta cooks, add pasta, add seasoning. Serve. Eat.

Oh, and do note, that this is very flexible. Adjust the quantities to fit your needs and appetite. I only provide quantities for those people who can’t do without. You know who you are. Ah, yes, I need to call this something too, right? How about Presto Garden Buckwheat Noodles? I am hungry, so that’s good enough. Read more

Chayote by Any Other Name

Cut shoots of chayote

I know. It’s not in season. But I am dreaming of it, because of a post from Elise on Simply Recipes. Chayote shoot is a taste of my childhood. Around the holidays, don’t we reminisce about good memories?

At some point I’ll post more info on the chayote, of which the young shots & leaves, the fruit and the tubers are edible, and on how to grow it in Virginia. In the US – at least here in Virginia – , I have only seen the fruit for sale. It’s easy to grow, is not bothered by pest – it just take time to get it started. Once it starts growing after the weather warms up, it will swallow a trellis in very little time, providing plenty of shoots for the kitchen: the more you pick, the more it branches, the more shoots there are – and shoots is what I want to talk about today.

While the fruit is very mild, easily absorbing other flavors, the shoots have a more pronounced taste of their own. It’s worth checking ethnic market for them. They might be carried there. Otherwise, come back here and read what I will write about growing your own. By the way, other name under which chayote (botanically Sechium edule) is known are: christophine or, christophene in the French Caribbean, mirliton in Louisiana, chocho in Australia, chouchou on Reunion Island. It originates from Mexico but has spread to many cuisines of the world, especially in Asia.They braise beautifully – or is that stir-fry since they need cook only 20 minutes or so after the initial few minutes in the hot oil – acquiring an unctuousity that’s hard to describe. A quick and tasty way to have them is Chayote Shoots with Ginger Pork.

Disclaimer added 12/13/08: Both photos were taken in the summer. As of December, here in Virginia, my chayote vine is dead, killed by cold. I will plant a new one out come next spring. You could freeze the shoots, once cooked.

Chayote shoots with pork

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Chicken on Sunday = Fall Rainbow Stir-fry on Day 3

Continuing our series of Roast Chicken on Sunday means easy tasty meals for the week… This is day 3 and we are using one cooked breast from our Roast Chicken. You can still make this stir-fry using an an uncooked chicken breast. You just need to stir fry it longer to ensure it’s cooked through, before adding back the vegetable.

The idea behind stir-fry is to use what you have. Pick 3 or 4 vegetable with contrasting colors, that remain firm when cooked (not tomatoes), that cook quickly (not potatoes) and that do not “bleed” (not beetroot). I picked yellow beans, broccoli florets and red Italian peppers (in addition to onion), because they made a pretty colorful plate, and I had all of them on hand. Other choice at this time of the year might be: corn, green beans and orange bell peppers. Or green bell pepper, shredded cabbage and julienned carrots… you get the idea.

When making stir-fry, it’s important to have all the ingredients trimmed and cut to size, i.e. ready to go into the pot – that, by the way is called “Mise en place” in restaurant lingo - because each ingredients cooks fast. It’s also important to cut/slice/dice each ingredient into the same size to ensure even cooking. Finally, while a wok is nice, it’s not necessary: a cast iron skillet (which is what I use) works just as well. However, do not overcrowd the pan, or the result will be steamed ingredients, not stir-fried. Much better to cook in small batches! Each ingredient is first cooked separately, and set aside. Finally everything is added back to the pan with the seasoning liquid and cooked for a couple of minutes.

A plate of Fall Rainbow Stir-Fry

Fall Rainbow Stir Fry Read more