Vegetable and Shrimp Stir Fry

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If you love vegetables, stir fry is the perfect meal. You can use almost  any combination of vegetables you have on hand. I more often than not make stir fry without meat but tonight I added some pre-cooked shrimp. You can also use left over chicken, beef or pork. But the stars of this dish, for me, are the vegetables. There really is no right or wrong combination of ingredients but this is what I used tonight.

Vegetables:

Baby bok choy

Celery

Carrots

Mushrooms

Onion

Red bell pepper

Snow peas

Canola oil and toasted sesame oil

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Sauce Ingredients:

6 T water

3 T catsup

2 T soy sauce

1 tsp grated ginger

1 tsp grated garlic

2 tsp honey

1 T cider or rice vinegar

1 T cornstarch

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Cut up all of the vegetables into bite size pieces.

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Heat a tablespoon of canola oil in your wok until it’s very hot. Add the vegetables and drizzle with a tablespoon of toasted sesame oil.

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Cook the vegetables until tender crisp stirring frequently. Be careful not to overcook them.

Mix the ingredients for the sauce in a small bowl. With a microplane grate the ginger and garlic.

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Whisk in the water, catsup, soy sauce, honey, and corn starch.

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Add the shrimp to the wok with the vegetables. They’re already cooked so they just need to be heated.

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Add the sauce, stir and cook over high heat until it thickens a bit. Serve over rice and enjoy!

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Stir fry. It’s what was for dinner tonight.

NOTE:  Shredded green cabbage, summer squash, broccoli, green onions, green beans, baby corn, water chestnuts. Any of these vegetables are great for stir fry.

Seared Tuna with Mushrooms, Snow Peas and Sweet Red Peppers

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My absolute favorite ocean fish is tuna. The only kind of tuna I was exposed to growing up came in a can and was packed in oil. We ate it with miracle whip, chopped onion and maybe a little pickle relish on Bunny bread…Bunny bread was the UP Wonder bread. We also ate it mixed with egg noodles, cream of mushroom soup and peas.  The infamous tuna noodle casserole. In the early 1970s I was following a Weight Watcher’s diet which required 5 fish meals a week (shell fish for only one meal a week) and tuna in a can was my best friend. I wish I still had my Weight Watcher’s recipe cards because there were some truly bizarre concoctions using tuna!

This recipe is pure awesomeness and involves neither a can nor Weight Watchers.

Ingredients:

8-10 oz tuna steak

1/2 cup soy sauce

1/4 cup rice vinegar

4 scallions sliced thin

2 cloves garlic grated

1 1/2 inch piece of fresh ginger grated

2 T peanut or canola oil for searing

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With a microplane grate both the garlic and ginger.

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Whisk together all of the ingredients.

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Place the tuna in a shallow dish and pour the marinade over the tuna.

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Allow the tuna to marinate for 30-60 minutes. While the tuna marinates prepare the vegetables.

Ingredients:

2 T canola oil

1 1/2 cups sliced mushrooms

1 1/2 cups snow peas

1 sweet red pepper sliced thin

1 inch piece of fresh ginger grated

2 cloves of garlic sliced thin

1/4 cup soy sauce

2 T hoisin sauce

1 T pickled ginger

1/2 cup ginger ale or fresh squeezed orange juice

green onions thin sliced for garnish

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Heat canola oil in a heavy skillet over medium high heat. Add the mushrooms and peppers and cook until lightly browned, 4-5 minutes.

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Add the garlic and snow peas and cook until the peas are lightly charred.

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Add soy sauce, hoisin sauce, and stir to combine. Deglaze the pan with the ginger ale or orange juice. Keep warm while searing the tuna.

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Heat 2 T peanut oil or canola oil in a heavy skillet like cast iron. Remove tuna from the marinade and pat dry. Season both sides with fresh cracked pepper. When the oil is very hot sear the tuna, one minute per side.

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Remove the tuna from the skillet and allow it to rest for 5 minutes. Slice the tuna.

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Serve with rice. Spoon the vegetables over the rice along with some of the sauce. Put the tuna on the plate and garnish with the green onions.

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One of my favorite meals!

NOTE:  When I buy a piece of ginger I peel it, cut it into pieces and put it in zip lock bags in the freezer. Ginger is easy to grate when it’s frozen.

 

Beef Short Ribs Asian Style

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I’ve been on holiday, so to speak, but I’m back to cooking and baking and blogging!

Last year I asked for and received an electric pressure cooker for Christmas. Like a lot of kitchen appliances I used it a lot at first and hadn’t taken it out for awhile. While we were visiting our daughter and her boyfriend over Christmas they reminded me how awesome this electric pressure cooker is and I remembered why I asked for it in the first place. It was late and we hadn’t planned on what was for dinner that night. They took a soup bone out of the freezer…yes, the freezer… put the frozen bone, some vegetables, broth and spices into the pressure cooker and in less than an hour we had truly awesome, tasty soup.  Just before serving they added some cooked kale and gnocchi and garnished the soup with Parmesan.  How great to be able to prepare great food with complex flavors in no time at all when you’ve worked all day.

Sometimes we can learn things from our kids!  When I came home the pressure cooker was put back in service.

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Tonight I made beef short ribs Asian style with rice and stir fried vegetables. The pressure cooker is easy to use and makes the meat fall off the bone tender.

Ingredients:

Beef short ribs, approximately 3-4 pounds with bone in

kosher salt and course ground pepper to taste

3 T olive oil

5-6 garlic cloves minced

1 T fresh grated ginger

1/4 cup soy salt

1/4 cup hoisin sauce

1/4 cup catsup (or 2 T tomato paste)

1 1/2 cups beef broth

2 T cornstarch

1/4 cup water or broth

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Heat 2 T of the olive oil in the pressure cooker. Generously salt and pepper the ribs, add to the pressure cooker and brown.  Transfer them to a plate as they get done.

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Heat the remaining 1 T of oil and add the garlic, ginger, soy sauce, hoisin, catsup, and broth to the pot.

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Stir to blend. Return the browned meat to the pot. Lock the lid and cook at high pressure for 25 minutes.

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Release the pressure naturally.  Remove the lid tilting it away from you to avoid escaping steam. Skim off any excess fat from the top of the sauce. Bring the sauce to a boil. Whisk the 2 T of corn starch into the water or broth and add to the sauce stirring until it’s thickened. Cover and keep on the warm setting until ready to serve.

While the ribs are cooking prepare the rice of your choice (jasmine, brown, long grain white).

Choose some of your favorite vegetables and do a quick stir fry. I used carrots, celery, onion, red pepper, pea pods, and broccoli.

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Heat 2 T olive or sesame oil in a wok or heavy skillet. Cook your vegetables until tender crisp.

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Plate your food. First the rice topped with the vegetables and short ribs. Ladle the sauce over the dish. I garnished with green onion, basil, and sesame seeds.

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Short ribs with rice, stir fried veggies, and a rich, tasty sauce. It’s what was for dinner tonight.

NOTE:  When I buy ginger I peel it, cut it into several pieces and freeze it in zip lock bags. I always have fresh ginger and it grates easily when frozen.