Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Stir fry redux

I had two big bunches of bok choy, some cilantro, some mushrooms, and an open container of tofu.

Lately when I cook bok choy I'm disappointed by how watery it seems. I just saute it the way I do chard or beet greens, but then it's watery in a way that those other greens aren't. Even if I raise the heat at the end to cook off the excess liquid, it sits and becomes juicier than I'd like. Soggy, even.

So I decided to change my tactics. I cooked it with a little oil and some minced ginger and garlic, and then at the end I poured on some sauce that I usually use with a stir fry: soy sauce, sherry, corn starch, hoisin, brown sugar, hot sauce. It thickened up the "watery" pan juices and worked really well. Plus it was yummy. Bok choy is so delicately flavored; it could stand a little boost for a change.

I seared the mushrooms with some salt and pepper and then sprinkled on chopped cilantro after I took it off the heat. I could have combined the 'shrooms with the bok choy, but then they would have sort of steamed, instead of searing. I love doing this with mushrooms, on high heat till they get really brown and even a bit chewy.

The tofu I pan-fried, mostly for Arij, who loves it that way.

And then I made some scallion crepes from a recipe in Deborah Madison's Local Flavors book. I've made them several times before, and they're awesome. Plus they provide a nice way to present stir fry components that's entirely different from plain white rice.

Of course, it was in the high 80s and I had all four burners going on the stove. Phew. Is it any wonder that I stopped making the crepes, saving the rest of the batter to make this morning to eat with butter and jam?

And the chopped scallions I saved to make raita either today or tomorrow.

I've been thinking that stuffed chard leaves would make another good dinner one of these days, with feta and brown rice and the spring leeks I sill have from last week's pickup. Maybe tonight.


After my last post with my impromptu bean review, I was thinking some more, and talking to Jon. I think that I will still order from Rancho Gordo, despite its distance and expense. They're just too good to miss. The variety is just dizzying, and I want to support the farmers who are preserving that diversity of heirloom stock.

And did I mention that they have flat-fee shipping? One big order a year, I can handle.

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