Wednesday, February 23, 2011

"We Got More Bounce In California Than All Yall Combined"

Clockwise from the top : Big Bang Theory, Chinese takeout, Gilmore Girls, The O.C.

Confession time: I have some weird habits. I love to get whole seasons of TV shows on DVD and watch all the episodes back to back. This is not without some side effects. I tend toward funky dreams where I share intimacies with the characters from the show, I imagine that I've spotted members of the cast out in random places they would never be (driving a garbage truck?), and I start to crave the food they're eating in each episode.

Now the dreams, the imaginary appearances, I can deal with, but the food... well that part really knocks me out. Certain shows like say Supernatural, or X files, don't really focus on food all that often so they didn't exactly worm their way into my life, but the Big Bang Theory? Gilmore Girls? They're eating ALL THE TIME, and mostly Asian. Mmmmmmmm. And don't even get me started on The O.C., that show is single-handedly responsible for our fat period as a couple. When my boyfriend and I were in the throws of our  first O.C. marathon we'd order Chinese at least twice a week. If we order from China Moon these days, they recognize our voices and ask if we want "the usual".

Thoroughly scarred from this experience, this week when the summery O.C. Asian food vibe struck me again, I decided I would skip the trip to Lycra Land and try and cook something lighter at home. This recipe, found by chance in the pages of Food and Wine, was spicy, crunchy and light enough to keep my taste buds entertained, and my eyes off the takeout menu. It definitely won't replace the nirvana that is real greasy,fishy, funky, orgasmic Asian food, but it kept me from ordering for at least one afternoon. Tomorrow though.... WHAT? Don't look at me like that! MODERATION! BABY STEPS!

Fair warning, this tasty and extremely non-photogenic dish (yeah, I know) is extremely gingery. If you are in any way ginger averse, just skip this recipe.

Gingered Stir Fry with Shrimp and Snow Peas
Food and Wine 
March 2011

1/2 cup Chicken stock or low sodium broth
2 tbsp Low Sodium Soy Sauce
1 tsp Chinese chili garlic sauce
1 tsp cornstarch
2 tsp vegetable oil
1/4 cup fresh ginger, cut into fine matchsticks
1/2 pound medium shrimp, shelled and de-veined
4 small scallions, thinly sliced on the diagonal
Steamed rice, and extra soy sauce for serving

1. In a small bowl, add soy sauce, cornstarch, Chinese chili garlice sauce, and chicken stock, whisking until thoroughly combined.

2. In a large nonstick skillet, heat the veg oil until shimmering. If you don't have a non-stick pan, coat the skillet with a little spray oil first, then add the vegetable oil (it makes a difference in the flavor and keeps things from getting hairy) Add your tiny ginger matchstick guys to the pan and fry them a little ( about 1-3 minutes) over medium high heat until they're soft. Then add the snow peas in there too and stir fry  them  for about 3-5 minutes til they're crisp-tender and the ginger starts browning, (directions said 2 minutes, but it can take longer. Just keep a close eye and keep everything moving so it doesn't stick). Add the shrimp to the skillet then, the scallions and stir fry for a minute or two more. Get your little bowl of pre-made sauce and whisk it a little in case anything settled.Then add it to the skillet and stir fry until your shrimp are done (pink and opaque) and the sauce had thickened up a bit. Serve over steamed rice.

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