flash in the pan

food detective

Categories: Poultry, Veggies and Sides, Dinner for Two, Supper, Posted on August 22, 2022 by Sandy Bergsten

My youngest just started a new job, one with lots of travel. She asked me for some fast, easy, and healthy meals to balance out what she might be consuming on the road. This would be a perfect challenge for me as well. As a former educator my “new year” begins after Labor Day. Time to hit the summer reset button and begin a healthy mealtime resolution.

To start I thought I’d give her recipes for a couple quick stir fries. An added bonus, everything can be prepped ahead of time when you have WFH break. If you do dinner literally comes together in about five minutes.

This recipe for charred snow peas is as delicious as it is easy. 

Place a tablespoon of vegetable oil in a large nonstick pan over high heat. When the oil looks wavy add a half pound of snow peas and one inch pieces of scallions, season well with salt and pepper. Cook the vegetables over high heat, stirring constantly, until cooked through and lightly charred, 2 to 3 minutes. The peas should be bright green and crisp-tender. Add a pinch of red pepper flakes.

Add two minced cloves of garlic, a quarter teaspoon of grated ginger and a quarter teaspoon sesame oil.

Toss well and cook for 1 minute more. Transfer to a serving platter or plates and sprinkle with chopped peanuts, if desired, and roughly chopped cilantro. 

Here’s a fast and light take on kung pao chicken. Cut three quarters of a pound of chicken breast into half inch chunks.

Combine two teaspoons soy sauce, three quarters of a teaspoon of cornstarch, and a pinch of salt and pepper in a bowl.

Add the chicken and mix until evenly coated. Let sit while you prepare the sauce.

Stir one tablespoon of balsamic vinegar, one and half teaspoons sugar, one and a half tablespoons soy sauce and three quarters of a teaspoon of cornstarch in a small bowl. 

Heat two tablespoons of grapeseed oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add the chicken in a single layer. Cook, without moving the pieces, until the bottoms are dark golden brown, three to five minutes. 

With a large spatula flip the chicken in portions. Cook just until the meat just loses its pinkness, about one to two minutes more. Add a pinch of red pepper flakes. Stir the sauce and pour it into the pan. Stir until the sauce thickens and evenly coats the chicken. If desired stir in a couple tablespoons chopped peanuts.  

An easy hack, next time you order take-out get an extra container of rice and freeze it. Transfer the rice to a microwave safe dish, break into pieces, cover and heat on high for two to three minutes until heated through. Fluff with a fork.

In a snap you have a satisfying meal.

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