Thursday, March 31, 2011

[HOH Recipe Box]: Weeknight Stir Fry

A Stir-Fry is a great dish for any night of the week - fast, no-fuss, and can be made out of just about anything you have in the fridge. To that end, it's always good for the end of your shopping cycle - when that bell pepper you bought 5 days ago is starting to look just a tiny bit questionable.

Before you start, here are some general Stir-Fry tips:
  • Heat your pan on medium-high before you add the oil
  • Once the oil is added, you want to heat it until just under smoking point. (Since cooking temperatures have never been my personal strong suit, this typically translates to me seeing the oil smoking in the pan and backing it off of the heat for a minute or two so as to avoid burning everything)
  • Add whatever protein you're using to the oil first, and cook it most of the way. Then remove it from the pan and set aside before adding in the more slow-cooking vegetables. This means more flavorful vegetables and no over-cooked shrimpies
  • Add your sauce at the end of the process when you recombine the protein and vegetables otherwise you'll end up with a gloopy, yucky mess.

Suggested Ingredients
*Remember, it can really be anything you like/have on hand. Chicken, beef, pork, mushrooms, carrots, baby corn, water chestnuts... you name it!
  • 1 bag of frozen shrimp (21-25), peeled and deveined. (Side note: frozen shrimp are a great staple item - you can typically find them on sale for about $8-$9 a bag and they make for an easy, quick meal in any form, any night of the week
  • 1 red pepper, julienned
  • 2 celery stalks, large chop
  • 1 small/medium onion
  • 1 package sugar snap peas
  • 1 small head of broccoli, chopped
  • peanut, sesame, or vegetable oil
  • soy sauce
  • rice wine vinegar
  • store-bought marinade of your choice
  • salt, pepper, crushed red pepper flakes - to taste
  • your largest skillet/wok if you've got one

  1. Defrost shrimp in colander. Once they're pliable, peel, devein, and de-tail them. No idea what that means? Watch here.
  2. Set shrimp to marinate in whatever you like (10-15 minutes should do it, but more time is always better). Sweet chili sauce works great, as well as any store-bought marinade you have on hand. I personally like Lawry's marinades - they're inexpensive, pack a lot of flavorful punch, and come in just about any flavor under the sun. Don't forget salt and pepper, and the crushed red pepper flakes are great for a spicy kick if you're so inclined.
  3. While that's getting all nice and cozy in the refrigerator, prep your veggies
  4. Get your pan ready (see instructions above) and add about 2 tbsp of whatever oil you're using
  5. Once nice and hot, add your shrimp and saute for about 1 minute, until mostly pink. Set aside, and try to reserve some of that marinade-goodness to start your vegetables in
  6. Add said vegetables and saute, being careful to saute rapidly so as to prevent burning/sticking.
  7. Add your sauce - be it more marinade, a combination of soy sauce/rice vinegar, whatever you like. You only need about a 1/4 cup so don't over do it (gloopy, yucky mess)
  8. Cover the pan and let everything steam up together in the sauce - probably about 4-5 minutes should be enough
  9. Uncover, add your shrimp back in and give it a stir.
  10. Serve with steamed rice or lo mein noodles, as you please!
Chopsticks Optional!

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