Monday, September 30, 2013

Stir-Fried Water Spinach and Garlic (serves 3-4 as part of a shared meal)


Water Spinach is a very common vegetable found in many countries across Southeast Asia.  It is one of the favorite vegetables in my family.  I have made a similar dish previously but using ground bean sauce. Here is a dish that my parents often made for our family.  It is one of my comfort food dishes and it always reminds me of home.  This dish is typically served with other cooked dishes as part of a meal. Although this recipe can serve 3-4 I can actually eat it all myself in one sitting!  You can check out Stir-Fried Water Spinach with Ground Bean Sauce on how to prepare the water spinach before cooking.  The two pound of water spinach may appear to be more than what your wok or pan can handle but don't worry.  Once the leaves and stalks are wilted the contents will reduce in size.

Stir-Fried Water Spinach and Garlic (serves 3-4 as part of a shared meal)

Ingredients:

2 Tbsp canola oil
4-5 large garlic cloves, smashed with the back of a knife and chopped
2-lb  water spinach, cut into 2-inch length, washed and drained
2 Tbsp fish sauce (or according to taste)
1 tsp sugar

Method:

1) Heat oil in a large wok or pan over medium high heat.
2) Turn wok or pan is hot add garlic, sauté for 1 minute, avoid burning the garlic.
3) Add the water spinach a handful at a time, once the leaves are partially wilted add a little more until all the water spinach is in the wok or pan. Stir and cook for about 10 minutes or until all the leaves and stalks are completely wilted.
4) Cover the wok/pan for 1-2 minutes to cook further if needed.
5) Add fish sauce and sugar to taste, stir for 1 more minute and serve immediately.

*If you are not fond of fish sauce you can substitute with some chicken powder (low sodium) or soy sauce, add according to your taste.


pink peony,
one of my favorite flowers
(photo taken in Quebec City 2013)

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Maine Lobster & Home-Grown Herb Pasta (serves 2-3)



It has been a while since my last post.  I recently changed jobs and have nearly completed two months of work at a community health center, both in Urgent Care and in Family Medicine.  This position is challenging because health care is so complex and there is constant updating and learning.  However, I like all the education that comes with the territory but it is taking up most of my time.  For the next few months as I get acclimated to my job I will have less postings to share.  Hopefully this is temporary.

A year has passed since I started writing and posting my blog.  Initially I wanted to preserve some of my family's not-yet written recipes.  Looking back I have written a few recipes such as Fried Rice--Auntie's Style and Mom's Curry Crab and Chinese Vermicelli.  However, moving forward for the second year I will try to work hard at writing down more family recipes to share.  I would like to thank all of you for continuing to follow my blog.  

It is already September here in New Hampshire and I am amazed that I still have plenty of fresh herbs from my garden.  Since I have limited time I decided to make a quick and simple dish using freshly harvested home-grown herbs and Maine lobsters.  If you find that this recipe a little on the drier side you can add a little more olive oil.  You can use other herbs such as basil if you have available or prefer. Before serving be sure to stir well so the oil from the bottom of the pan incorporates in with pasta. You can serve this with grilled vegetables such as asparagus. Enjoy!

Maine Lobster & Home-Grown Herb Pasta (serves 2-3)

Ingredients:

12 oz cooked lobster meat, cut into bite size
1/2 C olive oil
3/4 C chopped scallions
6-8 fresh sprigs of thyme
8 fresh Chinese chives (optional)
4 garlic cloves, smashed and finely chopped
1 pat (1 Tbsp) unsalted butter
A large pinch of salt and black or white pepper
White truffle oil (optional)
1 pound dried angel hair pasta or your favorite pasta (cooked as directed on box)

Method:

1) Heat oil in a large pan over medium high heat.  Once the pan is hot, add scallions, thyme, chives, and garlic. Stir and cook for about 1 minute.
2) Add the lobster meat, cook for about 1-2 minutes.
3) Add the cooked pasta, salt and pepper.  Stir until all the pasta is mixed in well, cook for another 2 minutes.  Drizzle some truffle oil on top right before serving.