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25.4.14

STIR FRYING WITH BABY BOK CHOY


I don’t always plan well; on most days I survey the fridge and get an idea. Sometimes I have no idea and just start taking stuff out, start peeling and chopping and somehow a meal grows out of it. The most creative ideas I get when the fridge is close to empty. Pre-planned meals take me longer to prepare and are much more expensive. I have been trying to serve two, sometimes three vegetable sides for dinner with minimal amounts of meat. Sometimes all we have are tastily prepared, colorful vegetables. The darling does the shopping of late, I order vegetables and I never know what he will bring. A couple of weeks ago he brought me a huge bag of baby bok choy, but I wasn't in mood for several days of Chinese.

Well the first time I made a plain chicken stir fry with the bok choy. I have no photo of it, but the only difference between the chicken stir fry and the all vegetable stir fry is you add some chicken strips with the garlic. The following day I made a plain vegetable stir fry. The flavoring I used was the same, olive oil, lots of garlic and pan toasted chopped almonds. The last of the bok choy I simply wilted and combined it with a cup of rice from the day before that was cooked in homemade chicken stock. Once again it was an almost meatless dish and yet very tasty. You do not need to add liquid if you use a non stick skillet. On medium heat the vegetables will sweat off sufficient moisture and combined with the residual heat from the pan and cooking is complete. All the bok choy needs is wilting. Stir fry vegetables should remain crispy and colorful.

I hate the soggy, greasy, stringy vegetables Chinese restaurants serve in Kamloops. The grease makes them sweet, which is an affront to fresh vegetables. The pieces are cut so large; you can’t put them into your mouth with a chopstick. You have to cut them with fork and knife first. Feel free to sprinkle your dish with soya sauce. But I don’t feel the obligation to cook a Chinese vegetable with soya sauce. Its fusion cooking all right: a Chinese vegetable cooked in Chinese style, but with European flavoring. It works for me. Here are two of my recipes.

BABY BOK CHOY STIR FRY

1-1/2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil 
1/2 cup coarsely chopped raw almonds 
4 cloves of garlic 
1 large carrot 2 baby bok choys 
1 red pepper chopped, fresh or frozen 
1 cup sliced red onion salt and pepper to taste  

• Wash, slice and chop all the vegetables. 
• Heat up a non stick skillet on medium. Be patient, if you begin on high heat your pan will be too hot and scorch the almonds. Add the olive oil and the almonds. 
• Sprinkle salt on the top. 
• Lightly toast it, stirring and when almonds start getting a golden hue, remove skillet from the heat.
 • With a large slotted spoon transfer the almonds to a small bowl and set it aside. 
• Put the skillet back on the heat and add the sliced garlic and sprinkle with salt. 
• Sauté the garlic, stirring, for one minute. 
• Add the sliced carrots and sprinkle with salt. 
 • Cook the carrots for 2-3 minutes. 
• Add the chopped baby bok choy and sauté for a couple of minutes. 
• Add the chopped red pepper and the sliced red onion and sauté for a minute. 
• Add the reserved almonds, and give it a stir.
 • Adjust the salt if needed, sprinkle with ground pepper and serve.

BABY BOK CHOY RICE:


1-1/2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil 
1/2 cup coarsely chopped raw almonds 
4 cloves of garlic 
2 baby bok choys 
1 cup sliced red onion 
1-1/2 cups chicken stock cooked rice 
1/2 Tbsp Greek seasoning salt and pepper to taste 

• Wash, slice and chop all the vegetables. 
• Heat up a non stick skillet on medium. Be patient, if you begin on high heat your pan will be too hot and scorch the almonds. Add the olive oil and the almonds. 
• Sprinkle salt on the top. 
• Lightly toast it, stirring and when almonds start getting a golden hue, remove skillet from the heat. 
• With a large slotted spoon transfer the almonds to a small bowl and set it aside. 
• Put the skillet back on the heat and add the sliced garlic and sprinkle with salt. 
• Sauté the garlic, stirring, for one minute. 
• Add the chopped baby bok choy and sauté for a couple of minutes.
• Add the sliced red onion and sauté for a minute. 
• Add the cooked rice and sprinkle it with Greek seasoning.
• Gently stir to combine rice with the vegetables and heat through. 
• Add the reserved almonds, and give it a final stir.
• Adjust the salt if needed, sprinkle with ground pepper and serve.


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It began with posting a few recipes on line for my family. "zsuzsa is in the kitchen" has more than 1000 Hungarian and International recipes. What started out as a private project turned into a well visited blog. The number of visitors long passed the two million mark. I organized my recipes into an on-line cookbook. On top of the page click on the cookbook to access the recipes. I am not profiting from my blog, so my visitors will not be harassed with advertising or flashy gadgets. Feel free to cut and paste my recipes for your own use. Publication is permitted as long as it is in your own words and with your own photographs. However, I would ask you for an acknowledgement and link-back to my blog. Happy cooking!

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