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Make it Simple, Make it Fast – Stir-Fried Shrimp with Sugar Snap Peas and Mushrooms

The mantra for me right now has been busy, busy, busy. It seems like every time I might have an easy day coming up something pops along to disrupt it. I guess it’s a good thing when it’s work because it at least means I am staying busy instead of trying to scrounge around for more work. Anyway, all of the busy days means trying to find fast and simple dinners more and more, especially when Michelle is away and it is just Sean and I for dinner. I try not to do takeout dinners if I can avoid it, which makes dinners like this one great because they are easy to do with just a few ingredients and cost less than getting fast food, pizza, Chinese or going to some other casual restaurant. This recipe is from Williams-Sonoma and is for stir-fried shrimp with snow peas and mushrooms and makes use of really basic ingredients and is done in under twenty minutes, including time to make some rice to go with it.

Stir-Fried Shrimp with Sugar Snap Peas and Mushrooms

2 pounds large shrimp, peeled and deveined

1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil

1 tablespoon light soy sauce or tamari

Salt

2 tablespoons peanut oil or canola oil

2 garlic cloves, minced

1 tablespoon peeled and grated fresh ginger

1/2 pound mixed fresh mushrooms, such oyster or cremini

1/2 pound sugar snap peas, halved crosswise

2 green onions, white and tender green parts, cut into 1-inch pieces

2 tablespoons rice wine or sherry

Fresh cilantro leaves, for garnish

Cooked white rice for serving

In a non-reactive bowl, combine the shrimp, sesame oil, soy sauce or tamari and 1 teaspoon of salt. toss the ingredients gently to coat the shrimp.

In a wok or large frying pan, heat the peanut or canola oil over medium-high heat until it is just smoking. Add the garlic, ginger and shrimp and stir-fry the ingredients until the shrimp are evenly pink on both sides, about 1 minute. Using a slotted spoon, remove the shrimp and transfer it to a separate bowl.

Add the mushrooms to the pan and stir-fry them over medium-high heat until they are softened, about 3 to 4 minutes. Add the sugar snap peas and stir-fry until the peas are a bright green, about 1 to 2 minutes. Add the green onions and the rice wine or sherry. Cover the pan and cook until the snap peas are crisp-tender, about 2 to 3 minutes. Return the shrimp to the pan and stir-fry the shrimp just until they are heated through, about 1 minute. Garnish the stir-fry with the cilantro leaves and serve with the white rice.

It is a great, fresh dish that comes together very quickly. Shrimp cooks very quickly when you stir-fry it so you want to watch it carefully so you do not overcook it and make it rubbery. The sauce gives some great flavor to the shrimp and the simple mix of the snap peas and mushrooms are all you really need to round out the dish. Sean and I both really enjoyed it and I was able to have the leftovers for lunch the next day and they seemed even better after the shrimp had a chance to really absorb the sauce. I think it would be great with chicken or pork as well or even just with some extra vegetables and use the mushrooms as your main source of protein.

That’s all I have for today. Check back next time for another recipe. until then, enjoy the rest of your day and enjoy your meal!

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Posted by on May 6, 2015 in Cooking, Dinner, Seafood, Stir Fry, Vegetables

 

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Take a Turn at Teriyaki Pork Stir Fry

When you need a fast and easy dinner it has not to think of making a stir fry. It does not matter what type of protein you have on hand (or none at all if you want a nice vegetable stir fry), all you need is a good sauce to use and some vegetables and you are good to go. I have always found that sir fry dinners work really well with leftover vegetables much like it is when you want to make a hash. At any rate, since Mondays are hectic days around here (although lately they all seem pretty hectic), a stir fry was a very easy way to go for dinner that could be done quickly. I had a pork tenderloin on hand and decided this would be the perfect foil for a nice stir fry meal so I found this recipe at food.com for a simple pork teriyaki stir fry, rounded up my ingredients and went ahead with the recipe.

Teriyaki Pork Stir Fry

2/3 cup soy sauce

1/4 cup brown sugar

1 tablespoon cornstarch

2 teaspoons fresh ginger, grated

2 garlic cloves, minced

1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes

1 pound boneless pork loin chop or 1 pound pork tenderloin

1 red, yellow or orange pepper, cut into thin 1-inch strips

6 ounces snow peas

4 green onions, chopped

1 teaspoon sesame oil

1 (8-ounce) can bamboo shoots, drained

White or brown rice, for serving

In a medium bowl or large measuring cup, whisk together the soy sauce, brown sugar and cornstarch until the mixture is smooth and well blended. Add the ginger, garlic and red pepper flakes and whisk again to blend the ingredients. Cut the pork into thin strips and add it to the soy sauce mixture. Toss the pork to coat it well in the sauce and cover and refrigerate the pork for at least 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, make the white or brown rice according to the package directions and set the rice aside.

Heat 1/2 teaspoon of the sesame oil in a large skillet or wok over high heat until it is smoking. Remove the pork from the marinade and add the pork strips to the skillet, reserving the marinade for later. Stir fry the pork for 2 to 3 minutes until it is no longer pink. Remove the pork from the skillet with a slotted spoon to a bowl and cover the bowl to keep the pork warm. Add the remaining sesame oil to the skillet. Add the bell pepper, snow peas and green onions and stir fry the vegetables for 2 to 3 minutes until they are crisp-tender. Return the pork to the skillet with the vegetables and stir in the reserved marinade and the bamboo shoots. Bring the mixture to a boil and cook for 1 to 2 minutes or until the sauce has thickened. Remove the stir fry to a large bowl or platter and serve with the warm rice.

Of course the great thing about a stir fry is that you can use any vegetables you have on hand. I had some multi-color peppers so I went with red, yellow and orange and I also had a pack of frozen stir fry vegetables on hand that I added to the vegetables at well to make it a full meal. the sauce was perfect for the pork and the vegetables and everything smelled great and tasted even better. As a matter of fact, there was very little left over from the meal, just enough for Michelle to take for lunch with her. it’s a fast one pot meal (well 2 with the rice) that you can have made in under 30 minutes for any night of the week.

That’s all I have for today. Check back next time for another recipe. Until then, enjoy the rest of your day and enjoy your meal!

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Sweet and Sour Pork Stir Fry

I try to do a different stir-fry each week for one of our dinners. It gives us a chance to have a good meal loaded with vegetables and it usually only takes about 15 or 20 minutes to actually cook. The cleanup from a stir-fry meal is also very easy as there are usually only two pots to clean, one for this stir-fry and one for the race. The leftovers are also make a great lunch for the next day or so. This past week, I used the recipe I found on Food Network for a sweet and sour pork recipe.

Sweet and Sour Pork

1 pound pork tenderloin, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
2 1/2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
Kosher salt
2 teaspoons low-sodium soy sauce
1 tablespoon cornstarch
3 tablespoons ketchup
3 tablespoons sugar, plus a pinch
3 tablespoons of vegetable oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 carrots, thinly sliced
3 scallions, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
3 cups snow peas, cut in half

Toss the pork with 1/2 tablespoon of the balsamic vinegar and a pinch of salt in a bowl. Mix the remaining 2 tablespoons of vinegar, the soy sauce, cornstarch, catch up, 3 tablespoons of sugar, 1/3 cup of water and half a teaspoon of salt in another bowl.

Heat 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil in a large skillet over high heat. Add the pork and slowly stir until it turns mostly opaque, about two minutes. Remove the pork with a slotted spoon and transfer it to a plate. Discard the oil and wipe out the skillet.

Keep the remaining 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil in the skillet, then stir-fry the garlic with the pinch each of salt and sugar, about 15 seconds. Add the carrots and scallions and stir-fry until crisp-tender, about two minutes. Add a little water if the garlic starts to stick to the skillet. Add the pork, snow peas and soy sauce mixture; stir until the pork is cooked through and the sauce is thickened, about three minutes.

As usually happens when I am making a stir-fry, I don’t always use the vegetables that are exactly in the recipe. As I’ve said before, I usually have the bag in the freezer of mixed frozen vegetables that are packaged specifically with a stir-fry in mind. This is what I ended up using this time as well. The mixture had broccoli, carrots, water chestnuts, snow peas, peppers and onions. You can always use whatever vegetables you like where keep things simple and just use the carrots and snow peas that are in the ingredients for this recipe. I served it with white Rice, but you could certainly use brown rice or any of the type of race you like or no rice at all if you are trying to eliminate the starch.

That’s all I have for today. I need to get back to work to try to get as much done as I can. Sean and I are heading out to the Mets game tonight at Citi Field. Were hoping to see a good game and of course we always enjoy whatever food happens to be available while we watch the game. I know they have a few new places as far as eating this year, so I’ll have to check it out and see what they have and report back. Until the next time, enjoy the rest of your day and enjoy your meal!

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Posted by on May 7, 2013 in Cooking, Dinner, One Pot Meals, Pork

 

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Monday’s Simple Stir Fry

For most people, Monday turns out to be the one day of the week where you really don’t want to do any cooking. It’s back to the weekly routine of school, work, after school activities and by the end of the day, you’re too exhausted to even think about having to cook something for dinner. That’s why Monday makes the perfect day to do something like a stir-fry  It’s quick, easy and gives you the chance to use either leftovers or any abundance of vegetables that you may have lying around the house. For me, yesterday turned out to be one of those days. I happen to have just a small package of beef in the freezer so it lent itself perfectly to this stir-fry recipe I found at America’s Test Kitchen for stir-fried beef and broccoli with oyster sauce.

Stir – Fried Beef and Broccoli With Oyster Sauce

1 pound flank steak, cut into 2 inch wide strips with the grain, then sliced across the grain into 1/8 inch thick slices
3 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon dry sherry
2 tablespoons chicken broth
5 tablespoons oyster sauce
1 tablespoon light brown sugar
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1 teaspoon cornstarch
6 medium cloves garlic, pressed through a garlic press or minced (about 2 tablespoons)
1 inch piece fresh ginger, minced (about 1 tablespoon)
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 1/4 pounds broccoli, florets cut into bite-size pieces, stems trimmed, peeled, and cut on diagonal into 1/8 inch thick slices
1/3 cup water
1 small red bell pepper, cored, seeded, and cut into 1/4 inch pieces
3 medium scallions, sliced half-inch thick on diagonal

Combined the beef and the soy sauce in a medium bowl; cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least ten minutes or up to one hour, stirring once. Meanwhile, whisk the sherry, chicken broth, oyster sauce, brown sugar, sesame oil, and cornstarch in a measuring cup. Combine the garlic, ginger, and 1 1/2 teaspoons of vegetable oil in a small bowl.

Drain the beef and discard the liquid. Heat 1 1/2 teaspoons of vegetable oil in a large nonstick skillet over high heat until smoking. Add half of the beef to the skillet and break up any clumps; cook, without stirring, for one minute, then stir and cook until the beef is browned around the edges, about thirty seconds. Transfer the beef to a medium bowl. Heat 1 1/2 teaspoons of the vegetable oil in a skillet, and repeat with the remaining beef.

Add 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil to the now empty skillet; heat until just smoking. Add the broccoli and cook for thirty seconds; and the water, cover the pan, and lower the heat to medium. Steam the broccoli until tender – crisp, about two minutes; transfer to a paper towel – lined plate. Add the remaining 1 1/2 teaspoons of vegetable oil to the skillet; increase the heat to high and heat until just smoking. Add the bell pepper and cook, stirring frequently, until spotty brown, about 1 1/2 minutes. Clear the center of the skillet; add the garlic and ginger to the clearing and cook, mashing the mixture with the spoon, until fragrant, about 15 to 20 seconds, then stir the mixture into the peppers. Return the beef and broccoli to the skillet and toss to combine. Whisk the sauce to recombine, then add it to the skillet; cook, stirring constantly, until the sauce is thickened and evenly distributed over the beef and broccoli, about thirty seconds. Transfer to a serving platter, and sprinkle with scallions and serve.

As with most stir-fried dishes, I served this one with white rice. Of course you could easily substitute brown rice for the white if that is what you prefer. Also, I did not have any fresh broccoli on hand; however, I did have a package of mixed frozen vegetables in the freezer which were ideal for a stir-fry  I try to keep one of these on hand to make a quick stir-fry whenever we need an easy meal and it worked last night. This bag in particular had broccoli, water chestnuts, snap peas, and carrots. It was a very simple meal, the sauce tasted great and I was all done with the cooking within fifteen minutes. It is a perfect meal for a day on the run.

That’s the only recipe for today. Tonight I have the fish tacos planned, which I have posted on here before. If you want to check the recipe for that, you can always check out the previous post I did. I do have a couple of other meals planned for later on in the week, including one for a fried chicken sandwich with spicy slaw and mayonnaise. We are also planning on having some chicken salad sandwiches later on in the week and I am looking to see if there is something new like can do with them or something new and interesting for a side dish. We’ll have to see what I can come up with. Until next time, enjoy the rest of your day and enjoy your meal!

 

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Posted by on April 23, 2013 in Beef, Cooking, Dinner, One Pot Meals, Vegetables

 

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4 Tips for Perfect Stir-Fries | The Feed

4 Tips for Perfect Stir-Fries | The Feed.

Stir fry dinners are a staple in our house. We eat them about once a week and I try to vary them as much as possible between chicken, seafood, beef and pork and sometimes just vegetables. here are some good tips to follow from Cook’s Illustrated on how to create a really good stir fry. Check it out!

 
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Posted by on July 18, 2012 in Cooking, Cooking Websites

 

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A Few Good Articles and Stir Fry Chicken

I’ve been busy the last couple of days so I haven’t had time to post anything, but tonight I’ll write about a couple of good things I saw today and our dinner tonight, which was Stir Fry Chicken and Vegetables. The first article was one posted by the Food Network and was all about what should be in your pantry for every day use. I have written about this before myself, and if you want to read my post on it, you can check it out right here. The Food Network pantry has a few things in it that I don’t usually have in mine, but they are all good staples to have around. If you have all these things, you can pretty much make dinner on a moment’s notice for yourself, your family and any unexpected guests. If you want to see what they suggest, you can check out there article right here.

The second article I read today was in the New York Times today. It’s written by Julie Moskin and it is all about being a cookbook ghostwriter. She writes about how the days of the famous chefs sitting down to impart their cooking wisdom on everyone are over, and that most cookbooks may have the name of a famous chef on the jacket, but they are actually written by someone else who gets a lot less money and no recognition for their work. It’s a very interesting article to read. What she says makes sense in that today’s chefs with television shows and multiple restaurants couldn’t possibly crank out books as fast as people like Martha Stewart and Rachel Ray do in today’s marketplace. It’s nice to see the little guys get a little recognition for their work. If you’re interested in checking out the article, you can find it right here.

Lastly, tonight I made a simple stir fry chicken and vegetables with white rice, which I have made before and posted about on here. I’ll post the recipe again, and you can also check it out here if you want. The nice thing about stir fries is that you don’t really need any recipe at all to make one. You can add any kind of protein (or none at all), whatever vegetables you may have on hand or left over, make a little sauce, and you have a great meal pretty quickly. We eat a lot of stir fry dinners for these reasons.

Stir-Fried Chicken and Vegetables

2 cups broccoli or cauliflower florets and stems, cut into bite size pieces

1 carrot, peeled and diced

1 pepper (any color), seeded and sliced into strips

1/4 cup vegetable oil

2 tablespoons minced garlic

1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger

1 medium onion, sliced

1/2 cup chopped scallions

1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breast, sliced into 1/2-inch wide strips

1 teaspoon sugar

2 tablespoons soy sauce 1/2 cup chicken stock, white wine or water (your choice, I am using stock)

Put a large, deep skillet over high heat. Add half the oil, swirl it around and immediately add half the garlic and ginger. Cook for 15 seconds, stirring, then add the onion and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes. Add the broccoli, cauliflower, carrot and pepper and cook over high heat until the vegetables are tender but not at all mushy, about 5 minutes. Add the scallions and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes.

Turn the heat down to medium and remove the vegetables. Add the remaining oil to the pan, then the remaining garlic and ginger. Stir, then add the chicken. Raise the heat to high, stir the chicken once, then let it sit for 1 minute before stirring again. Cook stirring occasionally, until the chicken has lost its pink color, 3 to 5 minutes.

Return the vegetables to the pan and toss once or twice. Add the sugar, then the soy sauce; toss again. Sprinkle with salt and pepper, then add the liquid. Raise the heat to high and cook, stirring and scraping the bottom of the pan, until the liquid is reduced slightly and you’ve scraped up all the bits of chicken, about 30 seconds. Serve over rice.

So that’s all I have for today. Tomorrow is our meat-free meal of the week and I’ll be making Cream of Broccoli Soup for dinner. It promises to be very tasty. I’ll have to pick up some crunchy bread in the morning to go with it. Enjoy your evening and enjoy your meal!

 
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Posted by on March 14, 2012 in Cooking, Cooking Websites, Dinner, Pantry, Poultry

 

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Open Sesame (Chicken)

Tonight’s dinner is a take on one of my favorite take out dinners, Sesame Chicken. It’s one of my favorite from Chinese takeout and I have tried to duplicate it, but this recipe seems to do it the best. This recipe calls for deep-frying the chicken, but I put it in the oven instead and cook it to try it make it a little healthier. it comes out with just as good results as deep-frying, if you ask me.

Sesame Chicken

2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

2 tablespoons cornstarch

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon baking powder

2 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce

1 tablespoon dry sherry

2 tablespoons water

1 teaspoon vegetable oil

1 dash sesame oil

1 pound skinless, boneless chicken breast meat – cubed 

1 cup chicken broth

1 cup white sugar

2 tablespoons distilled white vinegar

2 tablespoons soy sauce

2 tablespoons sesame oil

1 teaspoon chile paste

1 clove garlic, minced

1/4 cup cornstarch

1/2 cup water

1 quart oil for frying

2 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds

 Sift flour, 2 tablespoons cornstarch, baking soda, and baking powder into a bowl. Pour in low-sodium soy sauce, sherry, 2 tablespoons water, vegetable oil, and a dash of sesame oil; stir until smooth. Stir in chicken until coated with the batter, then cover, and refrigerate for 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, bring chicken broth, sugar, vinegar, dark soy sauce, sesame oil, chile paste, and garlic to a boil in a saucepan over high heat. Dissolve 1/4 cup cornstarch into 1/2 cup of water, and stir into boiling sauce. Simmer until the sauce thickens and turns clear, about 2 minutes. Reduce heat to low, and keep sauce warm.

Heat olive oil in a deep fryer or large saucepan to a temperature of 375 degrees. Drop in the battered chicken pieces, a few at a time, and fry until they turn golden brown and float to the top of the oil, 3 to 4 minutes. Drain on a paper towel lined plate. To serve, place fried chicken pieces onto a serving platter, and pour the hot sauce over top. Sprinkle with toasted sesame seeds to garnish.

If you want to bake the chicken instead of frying, follow all the steps of the recipe except when it comes time to put them in the oil, put them in a baking pan with all the marinade (which made for a nice breading), drizzle 1/4 cup of oil over top, and bake at 375 for 45 minutes.Turn the chicken half way through baking so it crisps up all over.

I am serving this with fried rice, which I have made before and blogged about here. If you would like my method for making fried rice, you can check it out right here. I am also serving steamed broccoli with the meal, since it seems to go well and does come with a lot of Chinese take out meals.

That’s all there is to this meal. The cooking time is a little longer if you want to bake instead of fry, but I didn’t want all the fat from the oil in this meal so it was a good way to go for us. Tomorrow is Friday, so it will be a fish meal tomorrow night. I’ll have to see what looks good at the market in the morning, but I already have a really good idea of what I want to cook. There was a great recipe in the New York Times yesterday for Calamari with Herbs and Polenta, so I think that is what I am going to cook. You’ll have to check back tomorrow to see if that’s what I got. I am also going to show next week’s meal plan if you want to see what I’ll be making next week. If you want to use your own meal plan, you can click family_meal_planner to follow the sheet I use each week. Until then, have a great evening and enjoy your meal!


 
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Posted by on March 1, 2012 in Cooking, Dinner, Poultry, Rice

 

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Jennifer Probst

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