Monthly Archives: September 2010

Salmon Stir Fry

I’ve been playing with stir-fry a lot lately.  In fact this makes the third time in two weeks that I’ve made stir-fry. There was the apricot and edamame stir-fry (previous post) last week and another apricot-teriyaki stir fry. Regrettably I didn’t jot down any notes for the apricot-teriyaki dish so I was unable to post its recipe. It was amazing though.  So tonight, I’m staring into my refrigerator ignoring the beeping sound that it makes when you’ve left the door open for too long and I decided I would give stir-fry another stab, just for sport. . Tonight, I decided the veggies were to speak for themselves. Bamboo shoots, zucchini, fresh ginger, yellow pepper, carrots, scallions, cabbage, garlic and onions are capable of really amazing things when you just let them be themselves. But what about protein? There was a package of tofu staring back at me from the fridge. How very Asian right? No, I don’t like to do anything by the books so I opted for some Alaskan Salmon from the freezer instead. How very “fusion” of me. …Whatever.

I’ve learned that dividing up the things you put into the pan by three works best.  Start with the things that take the longest to cook like carrots, cabbage, peppers, onions. Then move on to the stuff that burns easily like zucchini , garlic, and bamboo shoots.

Finally, kill the heat and that’s when the major flavor goes in: ginger, scallions, and maybe some cilantro or red pepper flakes.

Vegetables serve two, Rice and Salmon serve one.

Assemble The Following:

  • 1 C. Carrots, thin sliced on diagonal
  • 1 1/2 C. Cabbage, chopped
  • 1 C. Yellow Bell Pepper, chopped
  • 1 C. Onion, diced
  • 1 C. Bamboo Shoots
  • 1 C. Zucchini Ribbons
  • 3 Cloves Garlic, finely minced
  • 1 C. Scallions, chopped, some greens reserved for garnish
  • 1 Inch fresh ginger, finely minced
  • 4 OZ. Salmon Fillet
  • 3 TBSP. Canola Oil
  • 1 TBSP Olive Oil
  • Pinch Cayenne Pepper
  • Pinch Crushed Red Pepper Flakes
  • Cilantro for garnish
  • 1/2 C. Cooked White Rice, formed into balls.

Do this with it.

  • Divide up your ingredients by time required for cooking.
    • Long cooking: Carrots, Cabbage, Bell Pepper, Onion
    • Easy to burn: Bamboo Shoots, Zucchini Ribbons, Garlic
    • Major flavor: Scallions, Ginger, Cayenne, Red Pepper Flakes
  • In large skillet or wok heat Canola oil over maximum heat.
  • When oil is searing hot, add Carrots, Cabbage, Pepper, and Onion. Toss frequently.
  • Just before Onion caramelizes add Bamboo Shoots, Zucchini Ribbons, and Garlic. Toss frequently.
  • Heat olive oil in small skillet over medium heat. Cover and  cook Salmon in this until done, turning frequently.
  • Just as Zucchini begins to brown, reduce heat under the wok or large skillet to low and add Ginger, Cayenne, and Red Pepper Flakes. Cook for three to four minutes more, tossing frequently.
  • Carefully cut salmon into strips, offer whatever remains as well as the pan drippings to a friendly cat. They won’t refuse, trust me.
  • Plate as shown and garnish with Cilantro and scallion greens.

Apricot and Edamame Stir-Fry

Who doesn’t like a good stir fry? They’re flexible, relatively quick and absolutely packed with different flavors and textures. This stir fry is loaded with shelled edamame, bamboo shoots, and fresh ginger.

Serves 2

Assemble the Following:

  • 2 TBSP. Soybean Oil
  • 1/3 C. Onion, Minced
  • 2 Large Cloves Garlic, Minced
  • 1 1/2 Inch Fresh Ginger Root, Minced
  • 1 1/2 C. Bok Choy or Cabbage, Chopped
  • 1/2 C. Red Bell Pepper, Coarsely Chopped
  • 1/4 C. Fresh Cilantro
  • 1/4 C. Bamboo Shoots
  • 1 C. Edamame, Cooked and Shelled
  • 1 C. Broccoli, Blanched
  • 1 Scant TBSP. Soy Sauce
  • 1 TBSP. Apricot Preserves
  • Pinch Cumin
  • 1 TSP. Cayenne Pepper
  • 1 TBSP. Crushed Red Pepper Flakes
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • 2/3 to 1 C. Cooked White Rice

Do This With It:

  • Heat wok or large heavy skillet with oil, very high heat.
  • Add Onions and Cabbage, fry until tender.
  • Add Red Pepper, garlic, and most of the ginger, fry until tender.
  • Add Cilantro, and Bamboo Shoots, reduce to medium heat.
  • Slowly stir in Soy Sauce, reduce to low heat.
  • Add Edamame and Broccoli.
  • Add Apricot Preserves, stir or toss until thickened and reduced.
  • Add dried spices and remaining ginger, remove from heat.
  • With wet fingertips mold heaping tablespoons of rice into little balls for plating.

Notes:

  • I leave the peel on my ginger; you get a much bolder flavor this way.
  • I remember now when Alton Brown did a show on Stir-Fry, he emphasized the importance of having every ingredient ready to go before you even heat the oil. Well, he wasn’t kidding. The good news is I think I may have broken a world speed record for shelling Edamame.
  • You can just pile the stir-fry on a bed of rice and forgo the rice-balls, but they add a flair to the presentation don’t you think?

Apple and Sage Stuffed Pork Loin

It’s not often I prepare meat. I’ll eat seafood, but only occasionally. Once a moth or so my Dad returns home off the road, and while he has no compunctions about eating a few meatless meals here and there , he is decidedly carnivorous. So before he arrived home last week I went to the market and picked up some steak, sausage, pork chops, a pork loin, and ground beef for burgers (I had forgotten how EXPENSIVE meat was!!)  I had stuffed a pork loin in the past, and had recently seen a recipe by (the imminent and SUPER-FABULOUS) Paula Deen that called for an Apple and Sage stuffing for a pork loin. I’ll be perfectly honest: I haven’t eaten meat since December when a friend had some home-made deer-chilli, until I made this stuffed pork loin. I didn’t use Paula’s recipe to the letter, It simply served as inspiration for the following delicious-ness:

Assemble the following:

  • 1.5 LBS. Premium Grade Pork Loin, butterflied (see below for instructions on perfectly butterflying any loin cut of meat)
  • I medium Golden Delicious Apple, Peeled Cored and Chopped
  • 3 TBSP. Dried Sage
  • 1 TSP. Ground Caraway Seeds
  • 1 C. Fresh Focaccia Bread Crumbs
  • 1 Large Egg
  • 1 C. Homemade Vegetable Stock
  • 3 TBSP. Butter
  • Salt and Pepper
  • 1/4 C. Onion, Minced
  • 1 CL Garlic, Minced
  • 1 TBSP. Olive Oil

Preheat oven to 350° F

  • Melt Butter in large pan over medium heat.
  • Sauté Onions and Garlic until tender and caramelized.
  • Add apples, cook briefly.
  • Beat egg in separate container, cut with a little water, reduce heat and add to pan.
  • Before egg sets up add vegetable stock, stirring often.
  • After egg has set, and stock is reduced add bread crumbs.
  • Continue to stir until the stuffing has thickened and come together.
  • Remove from heat and stir in Caraway and 2 TBSP. Sage.
  • Rub remaining sage on the butterflied side of the loin.
  • Close the loin jelly-roll style and Secure with butchers twine, or toothpicks.
  • Grease a Glass baking dish with Olive oil, add loin and bake 35 to fifty minutes, or until the temperature of the meat (not the stuffing) is 160 degrees.
  • Let rest ten to fifteen minutes before slicing.
  • Serve with steamed vegetables and rice.

Regrettably I didn’t photograph this dish. Trust and believe though it’s a beautiful thing to behold.

Perfectly Butterflied Loin: