Posts made in November, 2015

The Art of Stir-fry at Home

Posted by on Nov 18, 2015 in Asian and Vegetarian | 1 comment

At least one time a year I write about superb stir-fried vegetables from Asian vendors at the farmers’ market. No two wok dishes are the same, but they are fresh and tasty and as respectable as can be-- from home.

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Having a vast wok and high heat is essential, but so are aromatic flavors and elevated umami sauces.  Here are links to previous posts carrying the steps:

Stir-fry Methodology

Choy Joy

Prepping the vegetables and mixing a sauce clears the way; creating a final dish in minutes with minimal clean-up.  The brown rice for this dish, fortunately, steams away in a rice cooker; ready when you are. While sticking to veg only is my usual mode. Proteins are best cooked first in a sizzling wok and added back in at the end so factor that if you are using meats.

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I tend to cook lots of veggies so the aromatics are cooked first.

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Then, proceed adding more dense vegetables first, getting a head start by steaming with a little stock or water to become tender;

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whereas those with higher moisture content like summer squash, leafy greens, reconstituted dried mushrooms and other fun crunchy things like baby corn and water chestnuts cook quickly at the end.

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Finally, make a well in the center and swiftly add the sauce.

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Keep it moving, stirring to coat the veggies completely.

On this occasion, my stir-fry sauce consisted of:

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2 Tablespoons low sodium Tamari Sauce

2 Tablespoons water

1 Tablespoon Rice Wine Vinegar

½ Tablespoon Fish Sauce

2 teaspoons cornstarch

Hefty squirts of Sriracha for heat--

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#nomnomnom!

 

 

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Candle for Paris

Posted by on Nov 16, 2015 in New | 2 comments

Hearts Broken in the City of Light

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The light shines in the darkness,

and the darkness has not overcome it.

--John 1:5

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It’s in the Pocket

Posted by on Nov 13, 2015 in Pasta | 3 comments

Orecchiette can be tricky to find; since Real Simple Orecchiette with Red Onions, Almonds, and Green Olives suggested, small pasta, I leaned on penne pasta for this unusual matchup.  It was one of those “no clue what’s for dinner” sort of nights.  I was already dreading the coming day when a crew-of-dudes was coming to install thirty-six replacement windows in our home.

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The whole lot needed for the dish was hanging around; and besides, I had already focused on a few changes.  Use plenty of diced red onion.  It is the basis of the sauce when the final cup of pasta water is added.

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I also added a hefty pinch of crushed red pepper before

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tumbling the chopped olives into the mix.

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Finally, I suggest using only 8 ounces of pasta—creating an improved ratio of sauce, and dolloping on whole milk ricotta (part-skim was what I had on hand) in addition to Parmesan cheese.

Make sure you take the time to toast the almonds; they are the star crunch factor alongside the briny olives, bright citrus, and savory cheeses.  Indeed, this simple and quick combination fills your vegetarian weeknight Pasta Pocket.

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Eat it in front of the TV;

Hallmark Channel holiday flicks are back!

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Fruits of the Spirit Loaf

Posted by on Nov 11, 2015 in Breakfast and Brunch | 2 comments

It seemed odd to me; comparing English muffins to a quick bread, that is. Nevertheless, when Real Simple Gluten-Free Carrot Coconut Bread was 19 minutes shy of done, I got it. Rather than a moist, fragrant slice with a cappuccino or cup of hot tea on an unhurried afternoon —this loaf smelled of breakfast on a lazier than usual morning.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Who knew a few weary carrots left from a road trip could partner with overripe bananas and ever-present pantry coconut flakes. All at once, gluten-free or not; childhood at Grandma’s LA Wilshire apartment flurry throughout house and heart.  In retrospect, this sweet smelling loaf doesn’t require a big gun mixer.

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Instead, set the ingredients out ready to roll;  then, with a bowl, whisk, and a spatula combine in order, beginning with melted butter and brown sugar.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mix the eggs, vanilla, banana, and sour cream into the butter mixture.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Toss in the shredded carrot and coconut. (I didn't have unsweetened coconut on hand and used the common Baker's brand).

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Lastly, mix in the dry ingredients.

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Load the prepared pan and bake.  My bread baked for 55 minutes in a ceramic dish and tested done; which is contrary to the instructions; begin testing it after 50 minutes.

Allow 30 whole minutes (even if patience is not on your fruit list) for the loaf to cool before carefully drawing it open. Bake a loaf or two—wrap and freeze when completely cool. Thaw this marvelous bread and toast a few slices on Thanksgiving morning; escorted by a soft boiled farmer’s market egg perhaps.

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Aunt Dot and Peg would slather on cream cheese too. However in the 1960's, it would have been Date Nut Bread with Tom and Jerrys holding court!

 

 

 

 

 

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Forty Three

Posted by on Nov 9, 2015 in New | 0 comments

How can it be?

Happy Birthday to this guy tomorrow!

Coco and Ty

November 10, 1972

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 Ty, we love you up to the stars and back.

♥ ♥ ♥

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