Tag Archives: stir-fry

Short Cut Ham and Veggie Fried Rice

26 Oct

The Race to Nowhere is on at my house…soccer, violin, Spanish school, Cub Scouts, catechism, writing, teaching, giving workshops, and of course making lots of food!….It has been tough to find time to catch my breath (and clean the bathroom). When we do have down time, we dial it waaaaay down, and I haven’t wanted to interrupt our relaxation with blogging, but of course when you are a writer and a teacher by nature, there is only so long you can go without reaching out via the written word.

I just like taking pictures of eggs. I think they are so very, very beautiful and perfect.

I just like taking pictures of eggs. I think they are so very, very beautiful and perfect.

So I am back, with a recipe that saves my butt when I don’t have a menu plan, want to use up bits and bobs, and want it all to come together quick. Cooking the egg separately is definitely an added step, but well worth it in the final result. The egg looks nice because it hasn’t got all yucky with the stir fry sauce and holds its own flavor and texture nicely. I add an extra bit of honey for the little guy that I might not have used for me, but I have come to really appreciate.

autumn muttontownI hope everyone’s autumn is going well; the weather has been spectacular by us and so today’s two-hour Cub Scout hike in the Muttontown Preserve was fantastic. And now we are shot and hunkering down for Saturday night…so enjoy the rest of the weekend!

A bowl that will make you feel good

A bowl that will make you feel good

Short Cut Fried Rice with Ham and Vegetables

1 Tbs oil

2 eggs, beaten with a pinch of salt

1-2 Tbs chopped onion

1 clove garlic, minced

¼ Cup diced ham steak or sandwich ham

1 Cup mixed vegetables (carrots, broccoli, etc)

Pinch sugar (optional)

1-2 tsp soy sauce (preferably low sodium)

1-2 tsp honey

1 Cup or more leftover cooked rice

Heat a teaspoon of the oil in a skillet. Pour in the egg mixture and allow it to cook at medium-low, flipping once or folding in half and flipping a couple of times until cooked through (about 4 minutes). Remove from skillet and set aside to cool before cutting into small rectangles.

In the same skillet, heat the remaining oil at medium, then sauté the onions until tender. Add the garlic and ham and cook one minute, then add the mixed vegetables and optional sugar and sauté, stirring occasionally, until vegetables begin to soften. Make a space in the center of the skillet by pushing aside the sautéed ingredients and add the soy sauce and honey. Stir to combine all ingredients and then add the rice and stir till covered in sauce and heated through. At the end, add the reserved egg and stir to combine. Adjust seasoning and serve.

I have no idea what these plants are, but the color of the leaves was spectacular!

I have no idea what these plants are, but the color of the leaves was spectacular!

 

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Easy Stir-Fried Rice (with the secrets for tasty, good-looking egg bits!)

25 Sep

I have always loved stir-fried rice, but as I’ve gotten older, I am less and less satisfied with the greasy stuff at the Chinese takeaway. And as I’ve gotten older, I cook more meals and therefore have more bits and bobs laying around getting ugly in the fridge. You know, half an onion here, a bit of cold rice there, some veggie bits that aren’t quite enough for one serving on their own, but make a pretty good pile if thrown together. And I always have eggs.

Just pour the lightly beaten egg in and leave it cook on medium.

Stir-fry, therefore, is perfect. It uses everything up (virtue), fulfills my veggie quota (more virtue), and gives us a vacation from my usual seasonings to go more Asian (variety). And now that I know the easy secret of how to get the egg bits looking and tasting great, well I think I am positively gourmet. It’s already vegetarian; vegans can skip the eggs and pan-sear super-firm tofu instead. Continue reading

Asian Stir Fry Sauce (this time with vegetables and your choice of noodles or rice)

27 Jul

One of my favorite prepared sauces comes from Sang Lee Farms in Cutchogue, on the North Fork of Long Island http://sangleefarms.com/. Their Asian Stir-Fry Sauce is all organic and adds incredible Asian pop to stir fry dishes, without the annoying cloying sweetness and goopiness of other seasonings in a bottle.

However, I run out of it pretty fast, so I am in the process of trying to recreate it at home. I haven’t quite got it, but this version is very yummy and does the job pretty damn well. When I hit exactly the combination I want, I will make larger batches, but for now, the amount in this recipe will season a couple of pounds of vegetables – enough for two to four people, depending on what you serve it with.

We used soba noodles (Leandro’s request, cause the curly noodles and Japanese writing on the package caught his eye and he absolutely loved them). We also had enough left over to drizzle over some cold chicken wraps I made the next day (and which will be the next post, haha!).

Do you make your own stir fry sauce? Please add your ideas in comments in this post!

Soba noodles make a worthy (and fun) accompaniment to stir fry veggies

Asian Stir-Fry Sauce

¼ Cup soy sauce or tamari (preferably low-sodium)

½ tsp crushed garlic

Scant ¼ tsp sesame oil

¼ tsp grated ginger

½ tsp lemon juice

Mix ingredients together and refrigerate overnight if possible.

When you are ready to cook the dish, begin preparing a cup or two of white rice or a package of soba noodles or other pasta of your choice, following package instructions.

Vegetables

2-2.5 lbs mixed stir-fry vegetables, cut into ¾ inch pieces (we used onions, carrots, some leftover chard stems and a beautiful purple pepper, all from Restoration Farm, plus broccoli from the supermarket)

Generous ½ tsp sugar

Heat the  vegetable oil in a 12 inch skillet with a heavy bottom, until just rippling and just beginning to smoke. Add vegetables and sprinkle the sugar over, coat with the oil and cook, stirring frequently, for about eight minutes, looking for caramelization on the vegetables. Lower the temperature to medium if you get a lot of sticking.

Push vegetables to the side and add a tablespoon of the stir-fry sauce , stir to heat, then mix with the vegetables. Add two to three more tablespoons as desired, being wary of making it too salty.

Serve over rice, noodles or pasta.

Stir-fried Vegetables (Faster and better than ordering out)

2 Apr

Saturday lunch -crisp and light and zippy

When I am in the mood for some crunchy, spicy Asian vegetables, my first instinct is not to pick up the phone, but to open the refrigerator door.

I am forever buying virtuous items that I mean to use right away, but that slip into the deep recesses in of my mind and the even deeper recesses of the fridge. A good stir-fry is a way to use up just about any crunchy vegetable in a way that will bring the virtue right back (nothing should go to waist or waste!).

Such was the situation today, when my dad started pulling out vegetables for a raw salad, and my mom and I convinced him it would have more flair in a hot and spicy variation.

So we got to chopping and measuring and whisking and in very little time (about 20 minutes) we were crunching and nodding and going for seconds. While there is a place in every household for Chinese takeout menus, it is so easy to make your own, without the gelatinous goopiness that passes for brown sauce, that this is really worth making part of your repertoire. I can see tossing in some peeled shrimp just as the vegetables have cooked in the first step….on this occasion, my dad seasoned and sauteed strips of chicken breast separately as the vegetables were cooking, rather than incorporate the chicken. As a result, the chicken played a gentle counterbalance to the sizzle of the vegetables.

Here’s what we did (adapted from a Cook’s Illustrated recipe for Stir-Fried Broccoli)

Stir-fried vegetables in brown sauce (serves four for a light meal or as a side)

A:

1/2 Cup low sodium vegetable broth

2 Tbs dry white wine (or dry sherry, if you’ve got)

4 tsp low-sodium soy sauce

2 tsp olive oil (or one toasted sesame oil)

2 tsp cornstarch

2 tsp Thai chili sauce (can be increased, depending on your sauce AND your tolerance for hot and spicy; the one we used is already prepared as a marinade, so is sweet. If you use straight Thai chili – like a sambal – it could be stronger!)

B:

6 cloves garlic, minced (you can play with this proportion, especially if your chili sauce has a lot of garlic)

¼ tsp red pepper flakes

2 tsp vegetable oil

C:

2 Tbs vegetable oil

2-2.5 lbs mixed stir-fry vegetables, cut into ¾ inch pieces (we used onions, broccoli, carrots, cabbage, red peppers, green peppers, but you can play around with this!)

½ tsp sugar

Whisk ingredients in A (broth, wine, soy sauce, olive/sesame oil, cornstarch and chili sauce) in a small bowl. In another small bowl, mix up ingredients in B (garlic, pepper flakes, and 2 tsp vegetable oil).

Now for the ingredients in C. Heat the remaining two Tbs vegetable oil in a 12 inch skillet with a heavy bottom, until just rippling and just beginning to smoke. Add vegetables and sprinkle the sugar over, coat with the oil and cook, stirring frequently, for about eight minutes, looking for caramelization on the vegetables. Lower the temperature to medium if you get a lot of sticking.

Push vegetables to the side and add the garlic mixture (B), stir to heat, then mix with the vegetables. Add vegetable broth mixture (A) and stir for a bit less than a minute, or until warmed and the sauce gets a bit thicker. Serve with rice.

 

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