Posts Tagged ‘ginger’

Ginger Chick’n & Fig Stir-Fry

It’s been quite awhile since I posted any recipes to this blog. That’s in part because I’ve tried to make it more about writing, and maybe because I haven’t tried out many new meals — until tonight! And I apologize for not taking a picture, but I wasn’t 100% sure it would turn out good enough to blog about, but it did. And it looked as good as it tasted.

Here’s what led to the recipe: This summer we’re having a bumper crop of figs. We’ve already had our favorite Fresh Fig and Gorgonzola Pasta three times, and we’ve frozen figs to make it again later. So this morning, after picking another batch of fresh figs from the trees in our yard and putting some of them in the freezer, I wondered what to do with the rest. There were more than I wanted to just eat raw (though I did have some), and more will be ripening soon, so I figured I should cook with them and decided to give a stir-fry a try. It was delicious! (Try it if you have figs and don’t believe me — I dare you.)

You already know the main ingredients from the title, and really, I expect you couldn’t go too wrong no matter what else you throw in, but let me explain what I did.

Since we’re vegetarians, the protein base of this meal is called Quorn. They make two varieties: a ground beef substitute and a chicken substitute. To be honest, it’s been so long since I’ve eaten actual chicken, I don’t know whether it’s much like the real thing or not, but that doesn’t really matter. Quorn has a firmer texture than tofu, which makes it a good candidate for this dish. Tempeh or seitan might work well, too, and tofu would be all right but a little soft in texture, even if you get extra-firm. Ginger adds a little bite, and the figs add sweetness. The combination was great, especially with the other vegetables I threw in.

I always start a stir-fry with some onion and garlic in oil. In this case, I added a generous amount of diced ginger, at least a tablespoon, probably more for 1-2 servings. Then I added one small Thai eggplant (the long skinny kind), one small yellow squash, a small sweet pepper, and a couple of mushrooms. I let those fry in a wok for several minutes while my pasta water boiled.

Tonight, I used linguine because that’s what I had on hand, but it would be good with a sturdy rice noodle or bean thread or even asian egg noodle— anything as think as linguine or thicker ought to do well. Boil or soak until soft (follow the cooking directions).

To the stir-fry, I added curry powder, cayenne, and cumin as it was cooking, then added the Quorn Chick’n pieces. Since they’re pre-cooked, all they really need is some time to heat up (you store them in the freezer) and absorb the cooking juices. I also added soy sauce and a little bit of sugar to the mix.

Near the end of the stir-frying, I added one small tomato, chopped, and several quartered fresh figs (about as much volume as the tomato). Then I tossed in a few fresh basil leaves that I had cut into large pieces and a little Sriracha for good measure. Once the noodles were ready, I drained them and then tossed in the wok with the stir-fry to absorb the liquid.

The first bite was to die for — a little sweet, savory, and picante. The heat wasn’t too much (for me), so the basil stood out, especially when I got a bite with a good piece. The tomato and fig didn’t cook too much, so they didn’t lose their shape, and the Quorn gave it just the right texture.

As always with my recipes, it’s more about the principle than the exact ingredients. If you have other veggies on hand or if you prefer to cook with tempeh (its nutty flavor ought to pair well in this dish), then go for it! If you have more fresh figs than you know what to do with, then give this concept a try. It’s hard to go wrong with figs as long as you don’t overcook them. Next time I might try throwing in a little lemon or lime or even orange juice, just to give it a little citrus tang. Or a little cooking sherry to bring out the sweet side even more.

 

 

Valentine Variation (Ginger Beets)

Ginger Beets and Soba Noodles This evening for Valentine’s Day, I decided to reprise the Ginger Beets recipe with a few slight variations. Mainly, I added rutabaga, chard, cilantro, and broccoli. Most of this came from our local farmer — only the broccoli was from the store. Mushroom soy sauce helps the sauce, since it is so dark. And I added peanut butter to make the sauce a little richer. Siracha sauce helps spice it up.

And what would Valentine’s day be without chocolate? We had a truffle from our favorite chocolatier in Spirit Lake, Iowa, Goodies. I discovered them one year when trying to get some good chocolate to my mother in time for the holiday. We’ve been addicted ever since, so it’s fortunate that Valentine’s day comes but once a year (and that it falls in the winter months, when we can have it shipped without dry ice and overnight mail!).

Ginger Beets and Soba Noodles

Here’s a Valentine’s Day recipe to try, if you dare. I made it the other night for fun and out of desperation, not having gotten to the store yet for supplies–but Kim and Aidan had been to the Enlow’s (formerly organic) farm. (Mississippi changed it’s regulations on how to be organically certified, so our only local grower who was certified, can now no longer afford to maintain it, even though he hasn’t changed his practices.)

Ingredients:
canola oil or other stir-fry oil
2 small red beets and tops
1 large carrot (or 2 smaller ones)
a few leaves of kale
tofu
one small onion
garlic
ginger
1 tbs sugar
curry, garam massala
soy sauce and lemon juice
siracha sauce
soba noodles (Japanese buckwheat noodles)

Sauté the onion, garlic, and ginger in a wok, then add sugar, carrots, and beets, cut into small pieces. Saute a few minutes, then add spices, tofu, lemon juice and soy sauce. Add beet tops and kale. Add other vegetables, if you wish. Add siracha sauce to taste (it’s hot).

Meanwhile, start water to boil and cook soba noodles according to directions. When finished, serve with stir-fry over noodles. Due to the beets, everything will be a deep red color, except the kale and beet tops, which remain green. Since I only used a couple relatively small beets, the beet taste wasn’t too strong. The ginger and curry spiced it up a little. Siracha sauce added to the heat (though cayenne or other hot pepper would do as well).

We enjoyed it, though it was definitely a unique experience. The flavors were good, and the red/pink color of the dish was a little much, which is why I suggest it for Valentine’s Day.