April 8, 2009

simple, savvy, successful stir-fry

Remember me saying something about wanting to branch out, to try new things? Here's a start: veggie stir-fry. I love this photo of the carrots all lined up and awaiting the next leg of their journey. They started off in the ground at my mother's home, were picked and rode in the car to Austin, were carried out to the back porch to get cleaned the first time, then spent a few days in the crisper drawer of the fridge, patiently waiting for their culinary expedition. I had to pick something perfect for them--these tiny carrots begged for a special purpose in life. They didn't want to be the stars, but were cut out for the roles of best supporting actresses.

And then it hit me. Stir fry. Veggie stir fry. With organic, Texas-grown brown rice. Mmmmmmm.

The sugar snap peas, while cool and delicious and fresh on their own, also begged for a role in the featured dish du'jour. Add some green onion (the last of the bunch from the garden), garlic, and celery...and voila.

Following Bittman's explicit vegetable stir fry instructions, of course from How to Cook Everything, I tossed together a one-bowl meal that impressed both Ryan and I. Let me pitch HTCE to you again, in case you haven't unveiled my love affair on your own just yet. What is so perfect about it, you may wonder? That it teaches novices like me, who have never been able to pronounce most of the French culinary terms, to accomplish great things in the kitchen. In very plain language. And he doesn't leave any question unanswered...yet remains succinct. How does he do it!? HOW!?

I've never managed to successfully stir fry until this night in the kitchen. Following Bittman's instructions on pages 241-242, step by step, I completed the dish in the wok and wowed our tastebuds. I tossed in a few dried ancho chiles for effect, and some sesame seeds... and this happened. Ahhh. My advice to you, dear readers? Be not afraid. Stir fry is your friend.