Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Dear Lord, It's April (stolen stir fry with curry)

I just realized my last post was in February - where I promised to write about my recipe for bread sans the beer.  Well, I'm still working on that.  I've been trying to bake a bread that's higher in protein so I can feel good about sending my daughters out the door in the morning with nothing more than a piece of toast in their hands.  I've been experimenting with adding things like eggs instead of oil, quinoa flour for half the white flour, whole wheat and then the pretty good King Arthur white whole wheat flour - but I can't quite get the crunchy crusty crust I'm looking for with my substitutions.  And you know what, dear readers?  You deserve perfection, and dammit, I'm going to give it to you - I refuse to post until I like the bread myself, and, perhaps even more challenging, until my daughters like my bread.  So there.  My bread still lives in the land of the experiment.  I wish I had one of those test kitchens like Martha Stewart and Chris Kimball have, but I don't.  I have a kitchen that has to make breakfast, lunch and dinner for my hungry horde.  And I don't have time to mess around for hours on end.  That's all I'm going to say about it for now.  I'm not bitter.  Not at all.

However, last night I will admit to making a darn good stir fry - and I'm hoping I haven't posted this one here before - or something like it.  If I have forgive me - it's because I'm still wrapped up in bread -

I took the basics from a Cooks Illustrated recipe for a Stir Fry with Curry Sauce, and then, because once again I didn't have most of the ingredients, substituted all sorts of things.  If you want the un-bastardized recipe, go to the link - but you can make it my way too -

1/4 - 1/2 lb or so boneless chicken breasts *see note
1TLBS soy sauce
1TLBS Marsala wine (cuz that's what I have - Cooks calls for sherry - I almost never have sherry.  A dry white wine would not be out of place here either.

3 TLBS soy sauce
2 TLBS Marsala wine
1/2 tsp refined sugar
2 TLBS low sodium chicken  or veg broth
1 Tsp of curry
1 tsp Garam Masala (ok, so here's part of where Cooks and I differ - they call for 2 tsp of curry - but I happen to have this jar of garam masala - which, I just want to point out that my auto correct wants to correct to gram nasal - you could happily go with the curry, or add another spice of some type)
1TBLSP of grated fresh ginger.  I keep a knobby ginger root in my freezer and just grate it frozen when I need it.

1-2 TBLSP of Canola or Peanut or Grapeseed Oil (all these oils can take high heat - I don't recommend olive oil, which can't)
1 sliced spring onion - kinda looks like a scallion on steroids, has a lot of the properties of a leek, but with a nice little fresh oniony bite
1 carrot, sliced
1 - 2 cups of a frozen vegetable medly, thawed in a sieve under running water.  I used green beans, peas,  broccoli and cauliflower- garbanzo beans would be good, what ever you have .  Most people have broccoli.
1 clove of garlic chopped fine

First - put the chicken in a bowl and toss with the soy and marsala and just leave it there to marinate while you get every thing else together.  (this works great with raw shrimp too)

Then make the sauce - dump all the ingredients into a bowl or a measuring cup.

Chop all the stuff that needs chopping.  Thaw all the stuff that needs thawing.

Take out a skillet or maybe a wok if you have one (I don't).  Get the skillet super hot so it's smoking a little.  Swirl the 1st TBLSP of oil in the pan and dump all the chicken and the marinade into the hot pan.  Make sure the chicken is all spread out so that every piece gets a nice sear.  If you have a lot of chicken you should do this in batches.  Let it sit 30 seconds or so.  Stir and let it sit again.  It should be cooked through after 2-3 min.  Take it out of the pan and put it in a clean bowl to sit.  Pour in another TBLSP of oil, let it get hot, tip your onions and carrots in, stir them for a while, until the onions are almost translucent.  Tip in all your veggies, stir them for a minute or so, then add your garlic.  Let this cook about 30 seconds, then return the chicken to the pan, and stir the sauce over all of it.  Cook about 30 seconds more, and serve ASAP  - it's not good if you let it get cool.  Serve with rice or rice noodles.

So sorry I don't have a picture.  It all got eaten pretty quickly.

*Note: so, these days, because I'm feeling cheap, I try to make one pack of 4 boneless chicken breasts last over several meals. One pack is about 2 whole breasts divided - and comes to about a pound or pound & 1/2 or so.  For this you can use as much or as little (or none) chicken as you like.  For this recipe, plumped the whole thing up with vegetables.  OF COURSE you can leave the chicken out all together and just go with veggies - And OF COURSE you can substitute Shrimp for the chicken.  In fact I think shrimp would be OUTSTANDING in this and I wish I'd thought of it last night because I have tons of frozen shrimp in my fridge and shrimp is one of my favorite foods ever.