Here in Rhode Island, when snow is on the way, everyone runs to the store for milk and bread. My pantry always holds a full complement of Asian condiments, plus several types of rice to steam up in my little rice cooker, so I run to the store for fresh ingredients to mix and match in enough stir-fry dishes to see us through any storm. This recipe takes one of my basic stir-fry sauces and gives it a twist with the addition of peanut butter. The amount of Sriracha makes this moderately spicy, so adjust for your own heat tolerance. These days, you can find Sriracha in most grocery stores, but if you don't have it on hand, a few red pepper flakes will stand in nicely.
Continue reading "Recipe for tofu and green bean stir-fry with spicy peanut sauce" »
In Adam's Rib, one of my favorite (albeit dated) movies, married lawyers Katherine Hepburn and Spencer Tracy find themselves with the late-night munchies. They head to the kitchen of their posh apartment, where Kate, in her evening gown, raids the refrigerator and comes up with an armful of leftovers. "How about curry?" she asks, and in a Hollywood second, she's got a beautiful lamb curry on the table. With a little help from ingredients in the pantry, you can whip up a curry in a Hollywood second -- well, in 20 minutes -- and you don't need to be wearing an evening gown or tuxedo to do it. This recipe is moderately hot, so feel free to reduce the amount of curry paste for a milder version. I like medium-hot Thai red curry best, but this recipe will be delicious with any curry paste you have on hand. Look for the Mae Ploy or Amoy brands in an Asian grocery store.
Continue reading "Recipe for red curry tofu with spinach and mushrooms" »
Authentic Asian cooking requires a pantry-load of smelly ingredients.
Fish sauce (also called nuoc mam or nam pla).
Fermented black beans.
Shrimp paste (also known as belacan or blachan, which always makes me think of blecchhh, the sound you make when you're trying to expel a bug that flew into your mouth, which seems totally appropriate when describing the taste of shrimp paste).
Smelly, one and all, but absolutely necessary to achieve the real taste of real Asian food.
And then there's hoisin sauce.
Blissfully not smelly. Not at all.
Continue reading "Hoisin sauce (Recipe: grilled tofu with soba noodles)" »
Sometimes I spend hours researching an ingredient in my pantry, reading about food history or science or legend or nutrition.
Montreal steak seasoning should have been easier.
Tehhhhhhhhhd, what's Montreal steak seasoning?
That should have done it, one holler up the stairs, from my desk to the desk of my Montreal-born husband.
Maybe he didn't hear me.
Montreal steak seasoningggggg? I tried again.
Never heard of it.
So much for shortcuts.
Continue reading "Montreal steak seasoning (Recipe: grilled tofu wraps)" »