Wednesday, December 26, 2007

The Light Side of Things

For Christmas I received The Best Light Recipe cookbook by Cook's Illustrated. I was browsing through it today and came across this recipe and it sounded pretty good so I headed out to the store and bought all the ingredients to make it.

I used chicken as my protein and broccoli, carrots and water chestnuts as my vegetables. My husband and I both enjoyed the dish but we also both agreed that it needed a little something else. I was thinking more of a kick, so if I make it again I would add a pinch more red pepper flakes.

Basic Stir-Fry
(Source: The Best Light Recipe by Cook's Illustrated)

3/4 pound protein (such as flank steak, pork tenderloin, chicken breasts, shrimp or extra-firm tofu), cut into small, even pieces
2 tsp low-sodium soy sauce
2 tsp dry sherry
3 medium cloves garlic, minced or pressed
1 tbls grated fresh ginger
3 scallions, white parts only, minced
5 tsp peanut or vegetable oil
1 1/2 pounds prepared vegetables, cut into small pieces and divided into batches based on cooking times
1 recipe for stir-fry sauce (below)

1) Toss the protein with the soy sauce and sherry in a medium bowl. In a small bowl, combine the garlic ginger, scallion whites and 2 tsp of the oil.
2) Heat 1 more tsp of oil in a 12" non-stick skillet over high heat until just smoking. Add the protein and cook, stirring occasionally and braking up the clumps, until lightly browned, 1 to 4 minutes. Transfer the protein to a clean bowl.
3) Add 1 more tsp oil to the pan and return to a high heat until shimmering. Add the first batch of longer-cooking vegetables and cook, stirring occasionally, until crisp tender, 1 -5 minutes. (for very tough vegetables like broccoli and green beans, add 1/2 cup water to the pan with the vegetables , cover, and steam for about 2 minutes. Remove the lid and cook off the water, about 3 minutes, before continuing)
4) Add the remaining tsp oil and the faster-cooking vegetables, and cook until the vegetables are crisp tender, about 30 seconds to 1 minute.
5) Clear the center of the pan and add the garlic mixture. Cook, mashing the garlic mixture into the pan with the back of a spatula, until fragrant, about 45 seconds. Stir the mixture into vegetables. Add the protein back into the pan and toss to combine. Whisk the sauce to recombine, then add it to the pan and bring to a simmer. Off the heat, toss until the protein and vegetables are well coated with the sauce and sizzling hot. Serve immediately.

Garlic Sauce
(Source: The Best Light Recipe by Cook's Illustrated)

1/2 cup low-sodium chicken broth
1/4 cup dry sherry
3 tbls hoisin sauce
1 tbls low-sodium soy sauce
2 tsp cornstarch
1 tsp toasted sesame oil
3 medium garlic cloves, minced or pressed
1/8 tsp red pepper flakes

1. Combine all ingredients except garlic and red pepper flakes in a small bowl and set aside.
2. Add the garlic and pepper flakes to the garlic mixture in step 1 of the stir fry recipe.


Anonymous said...

YAY! I love that book! Merry Christmas! This looks great!

Bexxie said...

mmm yummy! I love stir fry!

Jaime said...

it looks great; sorry it didn't taste as good as you had hoped; instead of adding more red pepper flakes, try getting some sambal oelek garlic chili paste from the int'l aisle at the grocery store... it adds great flavor :)

Anonymous said...

Hmmm - I think I need to hunt out this book if I am to make my New Year's resolution come true. This stir fry looks delicious.