CARROTS AND ZUCCHINI STIR-FRY WITH PEANUT SAUCE

Five days without our faithful goofy companion. I want to thank for all the comments in my previous post. I read each one, but cannot bring myself to answer them. Please consider yourself hugged.

This key to this recipe is slicing the carrots in ribbons, which is a bit of a labor of love, but worth it. Couple that with spiralized zucchini, and you’ll hit a jackpot. If you do not have a spiralizer, slice the zucchini very thinly and that will do. It is surprisingly hearty, and would be a great vegetarian meal if you add perhaps some farro and a slice of bread.

CARROT AND ZUCCHINI STIR-FRY WITH PEANUT SAUCE
(inspired by many sources)

3 carrots, sliced in ribbons (with a large veggie peeler)
2 large zucchini, spiralized fine
1 tablespoon grapeseed oil
grated ginger to taste
1 shallot, minced
salt and pepper

for the sauce:
2 tablespoons smooth peanut butter
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tsp sesame oil
1 tsp or more Sriracha sauce
drizzle of agave nectar
juice of 1/2 lemon
water to adjust consistency

Heat the oil in a non-stick large wok. Sautee the ginger and the shallot until fragrant. Add the veggies, stir-fry for a couple of minutes in high heat. Drizzle the sauce, you might not need the full amount, so that the veggies are not drenched. Cook for a couple of minutes more, stirring constantly to distribute the thick sauce well into the veggies.

Add the peanuts, and serve.

ENJOY!

to print the recipe, click here

Comments: If you want to make a bigger amount, you might have to stir-fry the veggies in two batches, then join them and finish with the sauce. As I mentioned, slicing the carrots is not the most enjoyable activity in the world, but it is a game changer. Just incorporate the Zen and go for it. The sauce is pretty delicious and would be awesome added on top of grilled pork tenderloin, which I intend to do soon.

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TIGER SHRIMP IN CHILI SAUCE

Tiger Cookies, Tiger Shrimp. Both very appropriate for this time of the year, don’t you agree? This is a super simple and quick recipe, with intense flavors. Contrary to most Chinese-inspired stir-fries, this one does not take any thickening agent like cornstarch, so don’t expect that kind of a sauce with some texture and body. We loved it this way, it felt lighter and without any compromise in flavor, quite the contrary. It seems that without any cloying sauce, the spices spoke louder.

TIGER SHRIMP IN CHILI SAUCE
(adapted from The Woks of Life)

1 pound jumbo tiger shrimp (or another type of jumbo size shrimp, peeled and de-veined)
1 tablespoon tomato paste
2 tablespoons ketchup
2 tablespoons chili garlic sauce
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon Szechuan peppercorns, smashed
1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 teaspoon ginger (minced)
1 shallot, minced
1 tablespoon Shaoxing wine (or dry Sherry)
1/3 cup water (you may not use it all)
cilantro leaves

Rinse the shrimp under running water and pat dry with a paper towel.

Make the sauce by mixing the tomato paste, ketchup, chili garlic sauce, salt, pepper and sesame oil in a medium bowl.

Heat the oil in your wok until smoking hot. Fry the shrimp on both sides for 30 seconds each side. Remove the shrimp from the wok and set aside on a plate. Lower the heat to medium-low, add the ginger and shallots. Sautee for a couple of minutes, add the sauce, Shaoxing wine, cook stirring for a minute. Add half the water, let everything simmer together for another minute, add the shrimp and cook gently in the sauce until just cooked through. If needed, add the rest of the water. Add the fresh cilantro and serve over white rice with a favorite side dish.

ENJOY!

to print the recipe, click here

Comments: This was a super vibrant dish, and it is hard to find a simpler and faster way to have dinner at the table. Cooking the rice to go along took a lot longer… We enjoyed it with broccoli, prepared in one of my favorite ways (check it out here) because it is also super quick and very tasty. This one goes into our rotation, for sure! I hope you’ll give it a try…

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SHRIMP STIR-FRY WITH SNOW PEAS AND CASHEWS

You simply cannot beat the speed and convenience of a stir-fried meal and I also love the fact that contrary to what the name suggests, very little oil is needed. I do a very quick brining step for the shrimp, 10 minutes is more than enough, but you can omit that if you don’t mind a slightly less tender texture.

SHRIMP STIR-FRY WITH SNOW PEAS AND CASHEWS
(from the Bewitching Kitchen)

1 pound large shrimp, peeled and deveined
2 cups water
2 Tablespoons salt
1 Tablespoon sugar
squeeze of lemon juice
1 Tablespoon grape seed oil
minced garlic (optional)
grated ginger
6 to 8 ounces snow peas
1 yellow bell pepper, sliced thin
1/3 cup cashews, lightly toasted
salt and pepper to taste

for the finishing sauce:
1/2 cup water
2 Tablespoons dry sherry
1 Tablespoon soy sauce
1 tsp sugar
1/2 Tablespoon cornstarch

Dissolve the salt and water in 2 cups of water in a medium bowl. Add the shrimp and leave in the solution for 10 minutes as you prepare the other ingredients. Make the finishing sauce by whisking all components in a bowl. Reserve.

Drain the shrimp, rinse very briefly and pat dry.

Heat a wok or large nonstick skillet over high heat for 2 minutes. Add the oil to the pan and swirl to coat. Add the ginger and garlic (if using), when fragrant add the snow peas and bell pepper. Stir-fry for a couple of minutes, add the shrimp, and cook for a couple more minutes, stirring frequently. Add the cornstarch mixture and cook until the sauce has thickened. Adjust seasoning with salt and pepper. Top with the cashews and serve right away.

ENJOY!

to print the recipe, click here

Comments: Normally this dish would be served with plain white rice, but sometimes we cannot resist the appeal of the quick version of tahdig. So that ‘s how we enjoyed this delicious stir-fry. Also, maybe you’ve noticed a red pepper in the first photo? That was a Serrano from our garden, I added without knowing how hot it would be. If you feel brave, add some hot peppers to yours too. I often talk about how good a recipe can be a couple of days later as my lunch. No luck this time, zero leftovers!

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REVELATION VEGGIE-OR-NOT EGG ROLL BOWL

Food bloggers are like cookbook authors, you get to trust some and try “daring” or “unusual” recipes if they recommend it, because you realize their palate matches yours. Kelly, from Inspired Edibles is one example. When she posts a recipe and raves about it, I just know I will love it too. This one used an ingredient that might make you run away screaming and promising never to stop by my site again: textured soy protein, aka TSP. Now before you click away, let me tell you I used ground turkey the first time. It ended up as one of the tastiest things I’ve cooked in months. I truly urge you to give it a try, and if you feel particularly brave, go for the TSP. I made it a second time using it, and it would make a vegan dance the happy dance. Extended version.

VEGGIE-OR-NOT EGG ROLL BOWL
(slightly modified from Inspired Edibles)

for the egg rolls:
3 large carrots, sliced
1 red bell pepper, chopped
280 g premixed bag of coleslaw (about 4 cups)
Large handful (about 1 cup) chopped fresh spinach
3/4 pound plant-based crumbles/rehydrated TVP or ground turkey of choice
sesame seeds for topping

for the egg roll sauce:
2 Tbsp olive oil
2 Tbsp soy sauce or tamari
1 Tbsp Chinkiang vinegar (Chinese vinegar)
1 Tbsp fresh grated ginger
1 round tsp Sriracha
1 tsp hoisin sauce
1 tsp Chinese five-spice powder
¼ cup water

Combine the egg roll sauce ingredients in a container with fitted lid: olive oil, soy or tamari, vinegar, ginger, Sriracha, hoisin sauce, Chinese five-spice powder and ¼ cup water giving it a good shake to combine nb: it’s good for sauce to gather flavor while you assemble/cook the rest of the ingredients (you can also make ahead and store in fridge).


Sauté carrots and red peppers in a large skillet with a little olive oil just until the carrots begin to soften.
Add ground turkey (or hydrated TSP crumbles) saute for a couple of minutes, add half the sauce. If using turkey, cook until no longer pink. Add cabbage and spinach, cook a minute or two, add the remaining of the sauce. If the sauce/mixture appears too thick/dry add a little more water but not too much (you don’t want to overly dilute the wonderful taste of the sauce). Continue mixing over heat until cabbage/spinach begin to wilt and mixture is warmed through. Top with sesame seeds and serve. Great with rice, but excellent on its own.

ENJOY!

to print the recipe, click here

Comments: The only modification I would make is – more spinach! Spinach tends to do what spinach does best, disappear into the dish, so double it, no problem. The sauce is magical. I advise you to go the extra mile and search for the specific vinegar called for, because its flavor is unique and very prominent in the sauce. As to TSP, Kelly recommends this brand. I think if you are familiar with other brands, go for it. I find this one quite convenient because the bag sits at room temperature, you rehydrate what you need, and it lasts forever. I see a “fake-Bolognese” in our future.

The second time around I went wild and tried the TSP. That’s what you see in the photo above, and I promise you it was excellent. It soaks up the sauce and the texture is quite pleasant.

Kelly, thanks again for opening my horizons,
I love trying new things, and you never disappoint!

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