Sunday, December 29, 2013

Chop Suey

Bok Choy! Oh boy oh boy oh boy!!! I searched the SLO Veg site for some ideas using bok chop and decided on chop suey. Its always a favorite in our house, and I figured I could incorporate a lot of vegies into the dish. Today I am using bok choy, celery, carrots, yellow onion, green onions and bell pepper. I am heading out to the store to pick up some mung bean sprouts and mushrooms to finish it off. (I am skipping the snow peas because our kid thinks he is allergic to them, as well as avocados, snap peas and regular peas.)
I prepped the celery, carrots, bell peppers and onions ahead of time so I can be ready to stir fry tonight. I also cubed the pork and put the meat into a bowl to marinate with the soy/oyster sauce mixture.Once the prep work is done, the actual cooking goes pretty fast. Start the rice in the steamer, then start the stir-fry. It'll be ready to serve in less than 20 minutes!

Chop Suey (Celery/Bell Peppers/Onions/Bok Choy) 

Servings: 6  Total Time: 1 1/4 Hrs.
2 garlic cloves, minced 
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon oyster sauce 
1/2 tablespoon soy sauce 
1 teaspoon salt 
1 1/2 teaspoon cornstarch 
1 pound pork tenderloin, cut crosswise into 
  1/8-inch-thick strips 
2 celery ribs diagonally cut into 
  1/4-inch-thick slices 
6 oz snow peas diagonally cut into 
  1/4-inch-thick slices 
1/2 lb bok choy, cut into 1/4-inch-thick slices 
  (leaves and ribs separately) 
1/4 lb mushrooms cut into 1/4-inch-thick slices 
1 onion, halved lengthwise and into
  1/4-inch-thick strips 
1 green bell pepper cut into 
  1/4-inch-thick strips, then halved crosswise 
1/4 lb mung bean sprouts, rinsed and drained 
1 (5-oz) can sliced water chestnuts 
1 (5-oz) can sliced bamboo shoots 
1/4 cup chicken broth 
Vegetable oil 
Salt and pepper to taste 
Preparation: Stir together garlic cloves, 1 tablespoon oyster sauce, soy sauce, salt, and 1/2 teaspoon cornstarch in a bowl. Stir in pork and marinate 15 minutes. Keep cut vegetables separate. Heat a wok over high heat until a bead of water dropped onto cooking surface evaporates immediately. Drizzle 1 teaspoon vegetable oil around side of wok, then stir-fry celery, seasoning with salt, until crisp-tender, about 2 minutes. Transfer celery to a large bowl. Reheat wok and stir-fry each remaining vegetable separately in same manner (but allow only 1 minute for bean sprouts), adding 1 teaspoon oil to wok before each batch and seasoning with salt. When stir-frying bok choy, begin with ribs, then add leaves and 1 tablespoon water after 1 minute. Transfer each vegetable as cooked to bowl with celery. Stir together chicken broth, 1 teaspoon oyster sauce, and 1 teaspoon cornstarch. Reheat wok over high heat until a bead of water evaporates immediately. Drizzle 1 tablespoon vegetable oil around side of wok, then stir-fry pork until just cooked through, about 2 minutes. Return all vegetables to wok and toss. Make a well in center, then stir broth mixture and add to well. Bring sauce to a boil, undisturbed, then stir to combine with pork and vegetables. Serve immediately, with cooked rice.  

Braised Red Cabbage

Cabbage keeps for a long time in the refrigerator. I think I got the red cabbage from SLO Veg at least 3 weeks ago and I have had it in the vegetable bin, staring back at me every time I opened the refrigerator door, all that time. I had a few remaining apples that either needed to be cooked or tossed. Last night I decided it was time. Actually, last night I was looking for something simple and satisfying to cook for dinner, and sausages are always a hit with my man. The cabbage I forced on him.

No, really, my husband likes cabbage, if it is sauerkraut, anyways. But I made a recipe from Martha Stewart Living that called for bacon, so I think it will be alright. It pairs well with beer. It came out slightly sweet, mildly tart and I thought it was pretty darn good. The only thing was, the recipe could feed about 10 people. There were only two of us tonight.

I really like how the cabbage looks on these Corelle dinner plates with the all fruit on it. Very wintery.

Thanks, Martha. 

Braised Red Cabbage

Martha Stewart Living, November 2012
  • Prep Time 10 minutes
  • Total Time 1 hour
  • Serves 8


    • 4 ounces bacon (about 4 slices), cut crosswise into 1/2-inch pieces
    • 1 medium onion, thinly sliced
    • 1 head red cabbage (2 1/4 pounds), halved, cored, and cut lengthwise into 1/2-inch-thick slices
    • 1/2 cup cider vinegar
    • 1/2 cup dry red wine
    • 3/4 cup water
    • 2 tablespoons dark-brown sugar
    • Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
    • 1 Golden Delicious apple, peeled, cored, and cut into 1/2-inch pieces


  1. Cook bacon in a large pot over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until fat renders and bacon is crisp, about 8 minutes. Add onion, and cook, stirring occasionally, until translucent, about 3 minutes. Add cabbage, vinegar, wine, water, sugar, and 1 1/2 teaspoons salt; stir to combine. Raise heat to medium-high, cover, and cook 5 minutes.
  2. Reduce heat to medium-low, and continue to cook, covered, stirring occasionally, 30 minutes. Stir apple into cabbage, and cook, covered, until cabbage and apples are tender, 25 to 35 minutes. Season with pepper.

Chicken with Red Curry Peanut Sauce

Red Thai curry paste...that's the key to a good homemade Thai curry sauce. It comes in a little jar, and a tablespoonful is all you need.

I found a recipe from Sandra Lee that had just what I was looking for: coconut milk, red curry paste, chicken, green beans and bell pepper. I had previously frozen some vegetables from our SLO Veg boxes, so I searched through the freezer for those tri-colored string beans and bell peppers. I also took out a chicken breast which had been defrosted earlier today, so I was ready to get cooking. 

First thing is to cut the chicken into bite-sized chunks and brown it in some coconut oil. Then the semi-frozen green beans and bell peppers went into the big skillet. I let it cook until the chicken was no longer pink. I mixed up the sauce ingredients like Sandra said to, except for the red curry paste. That I held out and did something different. I made a little well in the middle of the chicken and vegies and put a scoop of red curry paste right into the pan. It sizzled and heated up the paste, releasing all those spicy flavors which I then stirred around to mix into the chicken. Then I poured in the rest of the sauce ingredients after I had whisked them together in a large measuring cup.

I served this chicken curry over a mound of hot spaghetti squash. Lotsa vegies here without all the starch!

2 tablespoons canola oil
1 1/2 pounds chicken breast, cut in 1-inch pieces
Salt and pepper
8 ounces frozen cut green beans, thawed  
8 ounces frozen pepper strips, thawed
1 tablespoon red curry paste

For sauce:
1 1/2 cups light coconut milk
1/2 cup low sodium chicken broth,
1/3 cup chunky peanut butter
2 tablespoons brown sugar
2 tablespoons lime juice, plus wedges for garnishing
Cilantro sprigs for garnishing

Heat oil in a large frying pan over medium-high heat. Add cut up chicken, season and saute until cooked through stirring occasionally, about 5 minutes. Add green beans and pepper strips and continue cooking for 3 minutes. Make a well in the center and add a tablespoon of red curry paste. As it melts down, blend into the chicken and vegetable mixture.

While chicken cooks, start the peanut curry sauce. In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together all ingredients for the sauce. Pour sauce into a frying pan over the chicken and vegetables, stir to combine. Turn heat up to high and bring to boil, stirring occasionally. Reduce heat and simmer until sauce thickens slightly, about 6 to 8 minutes. Serve over steamed rice or noodles (or spaghetti squash).