Tuesday, December 28, 2010

A Blizzard Stir-Fry

After indulging all weekend with yummy holiday dinners, we decided to cook up some stir-fry as a bit of a break - that and all the ingredients we either had or could get at Savenor's on Charles Street due to the blizzard.  We had some uncooked frozen shrimp, cous cous (rice would have been too easy!), and some stir-fry sauce, soy sauce, and honey.  At Savenor's I picked up some broccoli, summer squash, zucchini, onion, and cremini mushrooms.

The Ingredients

Since I am a bit OCD, I chopped all the veggies so they would be ready to go when needed and so I would not forget anything, which can easily happen to me.  Also, I never know how long these mundane tasks can take me - I often misjudge those things.  Oh! and something I learned from Ina Garten is to wipe the mushrooms with a damp cloth.  Do not wash them with water, all that will do is leave you with water logged mushrooms.  Also, while I bought two smaller yellow onions, I only needed/used one.  Amounts of ingredients is something else I am still learning - I often over estimate.

All chopped up
To start, I added about two tablespoons of olive oil to the pan and added some of the frozen shrimp - enough to cover the base of the pan so that none of them overlap. 

Note to self: I should have rinsed the shrimp to remove off the icy bits.  The water and oil mixture left in the pan was not the best for all the rest of the cooking!  Once the shrimp was more or less cooked, I took it off the heat and placed it all in a bowl for later.

I then added the diced onions to the pan with a spoonful of minced garlic (the jarred stuff) and let it saute until the onions began to brown.  I only like really caramelized onions, so I let them cook much longer than everything else.

Browning onions and garlic
I then added the sliced mushrooms and let them cook down a bit before adding the rest of the vegetables.  It was about this time that I realized I totally forgot to cook any sort of grain.  I reached into the cupboard and grabbed the first box that said ready in five minutes and ripped it open and began cooking it.  I assumed it would be rice (it just said "flavor - original").  Instead, I actually grabbed cous cous, which is why we ended up having cous cous with our stir-fry rather than rice...

Somewhere during the preparation of the cous cous, I added the veggies and a small can of water chestnuts to the pan.

All components sauteing
The next step was to dress up the sauce I had on hand.  While I love everything Savenor's has, sometimes it lacks just a bit in its offerings.  The whole place only consists of two aisles, so I cut it a bit of slack.

This sauce has a nice flavor but is a bit thick.  So, I spooned a couple of tablespoons into a bowl and stirred in some soy sauce - enough basically to thin out the consistency.  Next, to sweeten the sauce, I added some honey.  I really just did this to taste, but I had to add more than I initially thought - one more squeeze.

Not the most appetizing looking thing, but it tastes good!  Once the sauce was all mixed together, I added the shrimp back into the pan and then added the whole bowl of sauce to the pan and allowed everything to saute together for a couple of minutes.

For plating, I added some cous cous to the base of the bowls and then added the stir-fry to the top and served!

All Done!
Stir-fry is really my go-to for any night.  It was actually my first adventure in cooking for Nick.  Its a bit tough to screw up and really can make anything available at the grocery store work.  After lots of big holiday meals this was a welcome change.

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