Tan-tan chicken and snow peas

Tan Tan chicken with snow peas

In the spirit of trying to eat all things local, I’m posting this recipe as snow peas are now available in our local fields. At the very least I know that Red Fire Farm has them because they’re on the list for CSA members for Pick Your Own crops this week. If they’re not available yet in your area, these crisp, flat peas are typically out in loose bins at most grocery stores.

Between its sweetness and its crunch, the snow pea is a great snack in raw form. They’re also fantastic steamed or stir fried, and they do not require the accompaniment of any sauce or spice. In this case, I’ve tossed them in a peanut sauce that is just a little sweet, a little savory and has a touch of heat. This dish is fine on its own, but would be great served over rice too.

Ingredients:

1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breasts

1 Tbsp sesame oil

2 Tbsp peanut butter

2 Tbsp rice vinegar

1-1/2 Tbsp soy sauce

1 Tbsp honey

2 medium cloves garlic, chopped

2-1/2 TBS peeled & grated fresh ginger

2 Tbsp water

pinch of cayenne to taste

Salt and pepper to taste

2 cups Snow peas, ends trimmed

1/2 cup minced scallion

Directions:

  • Bring a fry pan up to a medium heat and sauté the chicken breasts in sesame oil
  • When the breasts are cooked, remove them from the pan and set aside to rest while you prepare the sauce
  • Blend all of the remaining ingredients, except the scallion, together in a blender
  • Cut the rested chicken breasts up into bite-sized chunks and return them to the pan and toss with the snow peas, sauce and scallion

 

Pork and Kimchi Sliders

While perusing through my pile of recent magazine recipes I came across one from Food and Wine for “Crunchy Pork Kimchi Burgers” and I thought well, this sounds weird, but oddly good at the same time.  Then I went to the Northampton Tuesday Market  and there was a vendor sampling fresh kimchi which was nothing like the shelf-stable stuff that I had eaten in the past- a little less crunchy, a little less bitter, more sweet, and simply lovely.  Just a hop-skip-and jump up from her stand was Mockingbird Farm who had ground pork for sale and I just knew that I had to give this recipe a try.   I grabbed some baby spinach from Enterprise Farm and now had the makings for this lovely sounding dish, locally sourced.  Since I was on a roll, and they looked fantastic, I grabbed some white turnips too (from Old Friends Farm)- I figured they’d be great for roasting.

Since I’ve eaten primarily grain-free since the beginning of this year, I adjusted the recipe to omit the flour and panko and obviously had a different end product than what was advertized in the magazine.  I really loved the dish the way that I made it and will definitely make it again this same way.

Ingredients

1 tablespoon fresh ginger, peeled and grated

1 large garlic clove, pressed

2 scallions, chopped

1 lb. ground pork

3/4 cup finely chopped kimchi (I ran it through the food processor rather than hand-chopping)

Sprinkle of Kosher salt

Vegetable oil, for frying

10 oz. baby spinach

1/3 cup mayonnaise

1/2 teaspoon toasted sesame oil

1 tablespoon soy sauce

sesame seeds (for garnish)

Directions

  • In a bowl combine the ginger, garlic, scallions, pork and kimchi with the salt

ginger, garlic, scallions, pork and kimchi with salt

  • Form the mixture into eight small patties, about half an  inch thick (to get these all a uniform size, I used a number 2 scoop)

Add the patties and fry over moderate heat...

  • In a large skillet (cast iron if you’ve got it), heat 1/4 inch of vegetable oil. Add the patties and fry over moderate heat, turning once only, until you have a beautiful crisp on each side and there is no more pink visible from the outside(you want them to be cooked through)
  • Set aside to drain on paper towels and let the juices finish distributing
  • Pour off all of the vegetable oil from the skillet and add some toasted sesame oil and the baby spinach, season with salt and pepper and cook over a medium-high heat until wilted (about 1 minute)

baby spinach wilting in toasted sesame oil

  • In a small dish, mix the mayonnaise, sesame oil and soy sauce
  • Pile the spinach on plates and top with the sliders, drizzle with the sauce, sprinkle with sesame seeds and enjoy

Pork and Kimchi Sliders over wilted sesame spinach with roasted white turnips

I will admit to eating two left-over patties the next day, straight out of the fridge.  A different experience, but good still.  The sauce is a bit salty, so be sure not to over-do it.

J

Sticky Glazed Shrimp and Broccoli with Brown Rice

This recipe is really well balanced, both in flavor and in nutrition.  I chose to buy uncooked shrimp so that they would not be tough in the finished dish.  Feel free to use precooked, just be sure to add them at the last possible minute so that they heat through, but not overcook.   Also note that if you use a commercial kind of dried apricots which are sweetened then you will have a sweet and sticky sauce.  If you purchase just dried apricots (like the kind in the loose bins at Whole Foods) which are unsweetened, you will have a less sweet sauce and may wish to add some simple syrup, or karo syrup, or even a tablespoon of brown sugar.

Ingredients

4 dried apricots

3/4 cup water, divided

2 tablespoons coconut milk

1 tablespoon tamari

1 clove garlic

1 1/2 teaspoons freshly peeled ginger

1 pound small broccoli florets

3/4 pound peeled and deveined medium shrimp

2 tablespoons sesame seeds

1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper

3 cups cooked brown rice

1 tablespoon cooking oil (I used hot sesame oil)

Directions

  • Place the apricots in a small bowl with 1/4 cup boiling water and let soak for half an hour
  • Heat ½ of the oil in a frying pan and lightly toast the sesame seeds
  • Remove the seeds from the pan and set them aside, add the remaining oil, and cook the shrimp until they just orange on the outsides (about a minute per side), then remove from pan and set aside
  • Transfer the apricots and their soaking liquid to a food processor and zip until a paste forms, scraping the sides of the bowl occasionally
  • Add the garlic and ginger and pulse
  • With the processor running, add the coconut milk and tamari and process until just combined, then set aside
  • Bring the remaining 1/2 cup water to a simmer in a skillet over a medium-high heat. Add the broccoli and reduce the heat to medium. Cover and cook for 5 minutes
  • Uncover, add shrimp and apricot mixture and stir until shrimp and broccoli are coated. Continue to cook about 3 minutes or until heated through
  • Stir in crushed red pepper
  • Plate over rice and garnish with sesame seeds

This recipe found its inspiration from this Whole Foods Market post.

J

Ginger Pork Tenderloin with Asian Vegetables

This meal was inspired by a recipe posted on WHF for Asian Sauteed Cauliflower.  I say “inspired by” because, of course, it grew into something very different.  The stand-out element here is the dressing that you make for the vegetables.  It’s a little salty and a little sweet, and it’s made almost buttery, if you will, with the addition of cilantro at the end.  I used many of the same ingredients to dress the pork with.

Ingredients:

Pork:

1 pork tenderloin

1 Tablespoon olive oil

1/2 teaspoon grated fresh ginger

1 Tablespoon rice vinegar

1 Tablespoon honey

1 Tablespoon tamari

salt & pepper

Vegetables:

1/2 of a medium head cauliflower, trimmed & florets cut into bite-sized pieces

1 decently-sized carrot, sliced into rounds

1 medium zucchini, cut in half lengthwise, then sliced into half-rounds

½ of a large onion, cut into ½-inch pieces
5 Tablespoons chicken broth
1/2 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
2 medium cloves garlic, diced small
2 Tablespoon rice vinegar
1 Tablespoon honey
2 Tablespoon tamari
1 Tablespoon olive oil
salt and pepper
1/2 Tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro

Directions:

  • Preheat the oven to 425 degrees
  • Season the pork with salt & pepper
  • Heat a cast iron fry pan on the stove top at a medium-high heat, add the oil, then begin searing the pork tenderloin
  • While the pork sears, mix the ginger, vinegar, honey & tamari, then pour it over the seared pork
  • Pop the frying pan, with pork & dressing, into the oven for 23 minutes (adjust up or down depending on size)
  • While the pork finishes in the oven heat the chicken broth in a large skillet at a medium to medium-high heat and when it begins to steam add the cauliflower, carrot, zucchini, onion & ½ of the garlic, cover and allow to steam for 5 minutes
  • While the veggies steam, mix together the ginger, remaining garlic, vinegar, honey, tamari, olive oil, salt & pepper
  • After the veggies have cooked for 5 minutes, uncover them and add the dressing
  • Turn the heat off under the pan, and stir the veggies every couple of minutes to distribute the dressing
  • Serve the veggies topped with cilantro

This meal was very tasty 😉

J

Chicken & Bok Choy

High in protein and vitamin C this dish surprised us when it hit our tongues.  Not that we thought it’d be gross or anything, we just didn’t have terribly high expectations.  Succulent chunks of chicken, slightly crunchy bok choy, velvety shiitake mushrooms, a well-rounded flavor that’s slightly salty and powerful with ginger- this dish is lovely.

Ingredients:

2 TBS chicken broth

1 cup chopped scallions

2 TBS fresh minced ginger

2 skinless, boneless chicken breasts, cut into bite-sized chunks

1½ cups sliced fresh shiitake mushrooms

4 cups chopped bok choy

2 TBS soy sauce

1 TBS rice vinegar

salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

  • Heat broth in a skillet
  • When the broth begins to steam, add scallions and sauté for 2 minutes
  • Add the ginger and sauté for another minute
  • Add chicken and continue to sauté
  • After 2-3 minutes add the shiitake mushrooms and bok choy and cook for another 3-4 minutes
  • Add soy sauce, rice vinegar, salt, and pepper

We opted to have this over brown rice but it would also be great over noodles, or wrapped up in a tortilla.

Inspired by this recipe from WHF.

J