Thursday, May 19, 2016

Stir-Fried Chicken, Squid, and Four Vegetables (serves 3-4 as part of a shared meal)

Recently I met Tony, salesman for Myco Terra Farm at the farmer's market in the South End (Boston). I have always wanted to try to grow mushrooms so the opportunity came when I met him. After talking to him I purchased a shiitake mushroom kit (which came with clear instructions) for $25 (USD). I brought it home and thought I would wait a week or two before growing them. Things have been a bit hectic with me since I am in the process of transferring to work in a clinic closer to my home (6.5 miles to be exact!!). My days off have been consumed with filling out lots of paperwork in order for me to practice in New Hampshire as a Nurse Practitioner. However, these mushrooms were not waiting for me! After about 2 days I noticed the mushroom caps were already sprouting. Luckily the growing process is very simple and these mushrooms are low maintenance. I remove the plastic bag that it came in. I poke tiny holes in the bag (for the mushrooms to breath and keep the environment humid), mist the block with water (using a spray bottle), and gently place the bag over the block. Every day I spray the block with water a few times to keep it moist. Once the mushrooms grew bigger I had to use another larger plastic bag. Within 2 days some of the mushrooms were large enough to harvest. I keep the block on my kitchen counter so when I come home from work I can see how it is progressing. It has been a really interesting experiment and I have already made 3 different dishes with some of the harvest! These mushrooms are fresh, tender, safe to eat, and clean. If you have an interest in learning more about mushroom farming you can check out Myco Terra Farm's website: mycoterrafarm.com

Little caps sprouting on the block. I prop this (block) on 4 chopsticks
in order to yield more mushrooms.

2 days later (glad that I prop this on sticks!!)
home grown shiitake mushrooms
This Stir-Fried Chicken, Squid and Four Vegetables dish is quick and easy to make. I add chicken thigh to this dish for extra protein and the bell peppers for colors and vitamins. Spring is asparagus season and these are amazingly tender and tasty. I barely had to trim much off the ends of this bunch. Traditionally I eat my stir fried dishes with freshly steamed rice. However, you can eat this with another type of grain or pasta.

fresh asparagus: peel 1 1/2 to 2 inches at the base of each stalk
and trim off the woody end
(this process will yield more asparagus!)
cut each asparagus stalk into 1 to 1 1/2 inch lengths
cut vegetable pieces (asparagus, bell peppers, shiitake mushrooms)
cleaned whole squid
cut the squid into bite size pieces
stir-fried chicken, squid, and four vegetables
Stir-Fried Chicken, Squid, and Four Vegetables (serves 3-4 as part of a shared meal)

Ingredients:

1 Tbsp olive oil
2 large garlic cloves, smashed and finely chopped
About 1 Tbsp grated ginger
4 pieces of boneless chicken thigh fillet (about 12 oz), cut into bite size pieces
1 red bell pepper, seeds removed and cut into bite size pieces
1 orange bell pepper, seeds removed and cut into bite size pieces
1 lb asparagus, peeled the ends (roughly the last 2 inches of the base), trimmed, and cut into about 1 to 1 1/2-inch lengths
6 oz fresh shiitake mushrooms (about 15 mushrooms), trimmed the tip of the stems and cut in half
7 squid (about 13 oz), cleaned, cut into bite size pieces (see How to Clean Squid post)
1/4 tsp sugar
1/4 tsp crushed sea salt
1 Tbsp soy sauce
1 1/2 Tbsp oyster sauce
1 Tbsp cornstarch mixed with 2 Tbsp water (thickener)

Method:

1) Heat a large wok (pan or pot) over high heat.  Add oil.
2) Add garlic, grated ginger and chicken. Saute about 2 minutes.
3) Add peppers and saute about a minute.
4) Add asparagus and saute about 3 minutes or until the interior of the asparagus is somewhat cooked.
5) Add squid, season with sugar, salt, soy sauce and oyster sauce. Stir and cook about a minute.
6) Add cornstarch mixture and cook another 1-2 minutes until the squid pieces curl up and turn opaque. Stir and turn off heat.

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