Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Stir-fry From The Farmer's Market

Farmer's Market Vegetables
This time of year you find a great selection at the farmer's market regardless of your latitude. A little touch of fresh herbs added with the sauce (or, in the case of basil, upon serving) is nice, too. Here are some nice potential vegetable combinations:

Summer squash, carrots, new potatoes, kale (1-inch strips of the leaves only, no stems)

Beets (these will take longer to cook so add them first), zucchini, green beans

Shucked corn, new potatoes (these will take longer to cook so add them first), garlic scapes OR green beans

Broccoli, carrots, shucked corn, peppers


Basic Stir-fry
1 cup water
2 Tbsp cornstarch
3 Tbsp soy sauce
¼ tsp Chinese five spice (optional)
1 tsp miso paste or bullion granules
2 Tbsp sesame oil
1 medium onion, halved and sliced thin
2-3 cloves garlic, pressed
3-4 cups vegetables, cut up into approximately 1-inch pieces
8-12 oz protein of choice, marinated in 2 Tbsp brown sugar/honey and 2 Tbsp soy sauce

Whisk together the water, cornstarch, soy sauce, spices, and miso/bullion. Heat a large sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add one tablespoon of the oil to the pan and tilt to coat evenly. Add the protein and cook for one minute without stirring or otherwise agitating the pan. Stir and continue to brown on all sides. Remove when just cooked and set aside. Add the remaining tablespoon of oil to the pan. Add the onion and stir fry until it just begins to wilt. Add the garlic and vegetables and fry, scraping the pan and turning the vegetables frequently but not constantly because you do want your vegetables to get a little caramelized. If you are using a combination of hard and soft produce, such as carrots and summer squash, add the hard produce before the soft produce. Return the protein to the pan and pour the sauce over all. Cook, stirring constantly until the sauce thickens. Sprinkle sesame seeds or peanuts on top if desired. Serve with hot rice.

An over easy fried egg over all might be really nice, but I have yet to actually try this so it remains merely something I have read about.

VEGAN NOTES: Tofu is fabulous in stir-fry but it is best if it has some time to marinade so think about starting it in the morning before you plan on stir-frying. Cut the block of firm or extra firm (super firm is too firm as far as I'm concerned) in half so you have two 1-inch thick squares and press between towels for 10 to 15 minutes to remove some of the excess water. Combine 2 Tbsp brown sugar, 2 Tbsp soy sauce, 1 Tbsp grated fresh ginger, 1 clove pressed garlic, and 1 Tbsp corn starch in a shallow dish. Place the pressed tofu into the dish and rub with the marinade. Allow the tofu to sit in the marinade for 30 minutes to several hours. Cut the tofu into 1-inch squares and use in the recipe as outlined. Use miso for the stir fry sauce.

GLUTEN NOTES: Be sure to use gluten free soy sauce. 

© Katherine C. Otterstrom, August 2012

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