Ginger Shrimp and Asparagus Stir Fry

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An easy stir fry that you can quickly prep ahead of time for the whole week! Simply add jasmine rice and you’re set! If you don’t have a wok, use a saute pan or even a cast irons skillet. Just make sure you get it nice and hot before starting—stir-fry is a high-heat, quick-cooking operation. And, if you do have a wok, gold star goes to you! Use it!

Serves 4

Ingredients:

2 tablespoons soy sauce
4 tablespoons water, divided
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon orange juice
2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
2 teaspoons sugar
1 tablespoon cornstarch
2 tablespoons safflower or other high-heat oil
1 pound large shrimp, peeled and deveined
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tablespoon minced ginger
8 shiitake mushrooms, stems discarded and caps sliced into 1/4-inch strips
1 Fresno chile or jalapeño, sliced into thin rings
2 cups asparagus, cut into 1-inch pieces
Cooked jasmine rice, for serving

 

Directions:

In a small bowl, whisk together soy sauce, 2 tablespoons water, lemon juice, orange juice, rice vinegar and sugar. Set aside.

In another small bowl, combine the remaining 2 tablespoons of water and the cornstarch. Whisk with a fork until the cornstarch has dissolved. Set aside the slurry.

Heat a large wok,  sauté pan or a cast iron skillet over medium-high heat. Add the oil and swirl to coat the pan evenly. When the oil begins to shimmer, add the shrimp, garlic and ginger and stir-fry for 2 minutes. Add the mushrooms and chile and cook for 2 minutes. Stir in the asparagus and continue to cook for an additional minute. Add reserved soy sauce mixture to the pan and cook for 1 minute.

Stir the slurry to be sure the cornstarch hasn’t settled, then add it to the stir-fry. Toss and cook until the sauce begins to thicken, about 1 to 2 minutes.

Serve immediately with jasmine rice.

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Egg Foo Yung

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This lacy golden omelette with a filling of ground pork, shrimp, bean sprouts, and scallions was originally created as a special occasion dish.

The chefs at Shun Lee West in Manhattan have a great trick for forming egg foo yung: They use a wok ladle to place the egg mixture into the oil so that it sets in the shape of the ladle’s bowl to get that perfect dome shape.

Basically, scrounging around in my fridge, I actually has green bell pepper, bean sprouts, carrots and onions on hand, along with a bunch of eggs, so during this COVID-19 quarantine, the ingredients on hand made for an easy substitution.

Makes 8 Omelettes

INGREDIENTS:

For the Sauce:

1 cup chicken stock
3 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons oyster sauce
1 tablespoon dry sherry
1 tablespoons cornstarch
2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
1 1⁄2 inch pieces ginger, peeled and thinly sliced

For the Egg Foo Yung:
1⁄2 pound ground pork
3 tablespoons soy sauce
3 tablespoons cornstarch
1 1⁄2 teaspoons rice wine vinegar
1 teaspoon dry sherry
1 teaspoon plus 1 tbsp. sesame oil
Kosher salt and ground black pepper, to taste
1 teaspoon canola oil, plus more for frying
6 ounces raw shrimp, peeled, deveined, and finely chopped
1⁄2 cup water chestnuts, finely chopped, drained and squeezed dry
1⁄3 cup fresh bean sprouts
1⁄3 cup sliced scallions, plus more for serving
6 eggs, beaten

DIRECTIONS:

To make the sauce: Bring stock, 3 tablespoons soy sauce, the oyster sauce, 1 tablespoon sherry, 1 tablespoon cornstarch, the garlic, and ginger to a boil in a 1-quart saucepan over high heat. Cook, whisking, until thickened, 2-3 minutes; strain sauce and keep warm.

To make the Egg Foo Yung: Mix pork, 2 tablespoon soy sauce, 1 tablespoon cornstarch, the vinegar, 1 teaspoon sherry, 1 teaspoon sesame oil, salt, and pepper in a bowl; set aside for 10 minutes. Heat 1 teaspoon canola oil in an 8-inch nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add pork mixture; cook, stirring and breaking up meat, until it is no longer pink, 3-4 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer pork to a bowl; set aside.

Pour canola oil into a 6-quart saucepan to a depth of 2 inches. Heat until a deep-fry thermometer reads 350°F. Combine remaining soy sauce, cornstarch, and sesame oil, plus reserved pork, the shrimp, water chestnuts, bean sprouts, scallions, eggs, salt, and pepper in a bowl. Using a ladle and working in batches, gently lower 1⁄2-cup amounts of egg mixture into oil; cook, flipping once, until omelettes are puffed and brown, 1 1⁄2-2 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer omelettes to paper towels.

Serve drizzled with reserved sauce; garnish with scallions.

COOK’S NOTES:

For a healthier version of this dish, omit the pork and the shrimp.

A variety of vegetables can be used in the recipe, which can include green bell pepper, julienned carrots, shredded cabbage and mushrooms,

Feel free to substitute a vegetable broth for the chicken broth, in making the sauce.

 

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All photographs and content, excepted where noted, are copyright protected. Please do not use these photos without prior written permission. If you wish to republish this photograph and all other contents, then we kindly ask that you link back to this site. We are eternally grateful and we appreciate your support of this blog.

Thank you so much!


Jerk Chicken with Coconut Saffron Rice and Black Beans

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The best jerk recipe I have ever tasted, delighted the senses, as it was fragrant, fiery hot and smoky all at once.The original recipe was developed by Paul Chung, an adventurous self-taught cook who grew up in Jamaica and has sampled jerk from just about every corner of the island. Making a few adjustments, I added  fresh ginger, dark brown sugar and apple cider vinegar to the marinade. For best results and maximum flavor, let the chicken marinate overnight, covered, in the refrigerator.

As side dishes goes, this saffron rice recipe cooks up pretty quickly, making it a great dish if you are in a hurry. Another added bonus is that is one of those rare dishes that gluten free and vegan. However, if you are allergic to coconut milk, soy milk is a suitable substitute.

Serves 8

Ingredients:
For the Chicken:
1 medium onion, coarsely chopped
3 medium scallions, chopped
2-3 Scotch bonnet chili peppers, stems removed, chopped (or Habaneros)
2-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and coarsely chopped
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1 tablespoon five-spice powder
1 tablespoon allspice berries, coarsely ground
1 tablespoon coarsely ground pepper
1 teaspoon dried thyme, crumbled
1 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1 teaspoon Kosher salt
2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
1 tablespoon white or apple cider vinegar
1/2 cup soy sauce
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
Two 3 1/2- to 4-pound chickens, quartered

For the Saffron Coconut Rice and Beans:
1/4 teaspoon saffron threads
1 tablespoon plain water,at room temperature
2 cups uncooked white basmati rice (or any long grain rice)
2 teaspoons vegetable oil
1 shallot, chopped
1 clove garlic, chopped
1 3/4 cup coconut milk
2 cups water
1 teaspoon agave nectar, (or 1/2 teaspoon of sugar)
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1/4 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon salt, or to taste
a pinch of ground nutmeg
One 15-ounce can of black beans, rinsed and drained
Lime wedges, for garnish

Special Equipment:
Latex gloves for handling the chilis and massaging the marinade under the chicken skin.

Directions:
For the chicken start preparing it a day or two ahead of actual cooking.

Pat chicken dry with paper towels.In a food processor, combine the onion, scallions, chiles, ginger, garlic, five-spice powder, allspice, black pepper, thyme, nutmeg, salt and brown sugar; process to a coarse paste. With the machine on, add the the soy sauce and oil in a steady stream. Put on latex gloves and pour the marinade into a large, shallow dish. Slather the marinade all over chicken, including under skin, and turn to coat. Cover and refrigerate overnight. Bring the chicken to room temperature before cooking and lightly sprinkle with more salt and ground allspice, before proceeding.

Prepare a charcoal grill: Clean and oil grates.Light a grill and preheat to medium heat using one chimney of charcoal. The temperature can start as high as 300°F. For best results, coals should be at least 12 inches away from chicken. If necessary, push coals to one side of grill to create indirect heat. Add two large handfuls of soaked pimento (allspice) wood sticks and chips (See Cook’s Notes) or other aromatic wood chips to coals, then close grill. When thick white smoke billows from grill, place chicken on grate, skin side up, and cover. Let cook undisturbed for 35 to 45 minutes.

Uncover the grill. The chicken will be golden and mahogany in some spots. Chicken thighs may already be cooked through. For other cuts, turn chicken over and add more wood chips, and charcoal as needed. Cover and continue cooking, checking and turning every 10 minutes. Jerk chicken is done when skin is burnished brown and chicken juices are completely clear, with no pink near the bone. For large pieces, this can take up to an hour.

While chicken is cooking, begin to prepare the rice.

In a small bowl, soak saffron threads in the water, at room temperature, for 5 minutes and set aside.

In a large saucepan, heat peanut oil over a medium heat until it begins to shimmer, about 2 minutes. Stir in chopped shallot and garlic, and cook until soft, about 3 minutes. Stir in rice, mixing with a wooden spoon until all of the grains are coated with peanut oil. Fry for 1 minute, stirring constantly.Gently stir in the coconut milk, water, saffron mixture, agave or sugar, turmeric, cumin taking care as the oil will splatter. Season with salt, and gently stir, making sure that nothing sticks to the bottom while everything comes to a boil.

Once liquid achieves a boil, reduce heat to low. Place lid on pot, slightly askew to allow some steam to escape. Stir occasionally to make sure rice does not stick to bottom of pan and the sugar in the coconut milk does not burn. Allow to simmer *very* gently for 15-20 minutes, or until rice is tender.

Stir in the black beans and cook for a few minutes more until hot. Remove from heat and cover the saucepan. Allow to stand for 5 minutes. Fluff with a fork when you are ready to serve.

When the chicken is done, transfer to a platter.Garnish with lime wedges and serve with the rice.

Cook’s Notes:
Pimento wood sticks and chips are available at www.pimentowood.com.

Alternatively you bake the chicken in the oven if a grill is not readily available.After marinating and you are ready to cook the chicken, heat oven to 350°F and bake chicken for 45-55 minutes, until done.

Also, if time is of the essence, you can first bake the chicken at 300°F in the oven then finished off on the grill. This will result in crispy skin, with perfect texture and flavor.

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