Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Oven-Roasted Baby Bok Choy

Getting tired of the same old vegetables for dinner and kale just isn't your thing?

Doing some research on nutrient-rich vegetables recently,  I found that bok choy was quite the nutrient powerhouse! It's a great source of vitamin A, vitamin C and Vitamin K and also provides folate, B6 and a moderate amount of calcium!  It was ranked 2nd for nutrient density out of 41 nutrient-rich plant foods!

Thankfully, baby bok choy is easy to find and most major grocery stores today.

Since so many vegetables taste better when roasted,  I decided to try roasting baby Bok Choy.  All I can say is, Wow!  I'm not sure I'll prepare it any other way from now on!

I sliced some baby bok choy in half lengthwise, tossed the halves with a little olive oil, salt, pepper and my latest favorite ingredient, Togarashi.  Also called schichimi Togarashi or nanami Togarashi, (the words nanami and schichimi both mean 7, which is the number of ingredients that go into the togarashi).  Mine includes chili pepper, orange peel, black sesame seed, seaweed, white sesame seed, Japanese pepper and ginger.  A delightful blend with just the right amount of 'heat'.

Also, check out my recipe for Won Ton Soup with Noodles and Bok Choy!

Oven Roasted Baby Bok Choy

Printable Recipe

Baby bok choy (allow at least 1 per person)
Olive Oil
Salt and Pepper
Togarashi Seasoning*
Soy sauce and sesame oil to garnish (optional)

Preheat oven to 425 F.

Cut each baby bok choy in half lengthwise.  Rinse and pat dry with paper toweling.

Place the halves in a large bowl, and sprinkle with a couple of tablespoons of olive oil, salt and pepper, and togarashi to taste (about 1/2 to 1 teaspoon).  Toss until well-coated.  Add more oil and seasonings if needed.

Arrange the bok choy on a baking sheet with sides and roast in the preheated oven for 8-10 minutes (depending on your oven) or until a shart knife can easily be inserted into the thickest end of the bok choy.

*The Togarashi seasoning I use is S & B brand

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Barbara's Stir Fry

Pork fried rice is one of our favorite things to order in a Chinese restaurant. With just a little prep work, this wonderful stir fry can be made in less than 15 minutes. 

Loaded with veggies, this delicious and easy recipe was inspired by my friend, Barbara, at Moveable Feasts.  Although Barbara doesn't actively blog any longer, you can still find her on Instagram where she shares the wonderful archive of recipes from her website.  Recently, she shared this stir-fry recipe, which she learned from a Chinese women during her family's Air Force years in the 50's.

I adapted the recipe slightly and used frozen peas and fresh pea shoots.  I also added diced, slow-roasted pork shoulder (a great recipe which lends itself perfectly to stir fry recipes). Recipe below.

Chinese New Year is coming soon (The Year of the Dog) and begins on February 16!

Barbara's Stir Fry

3 cups cooked brown rice (or any rice you have left over) 
2 or 3 eggs 
2 tablespoon canola or peanut oil, divided
1 large shallot, chopped, or regular onion - about 1/4 cup
2 cloves garlic, diced or minced
6 scallions, sliced very thinly  
1/2 cup shredded carrots (I use a box grater)
1/2 cup diced water chestnuts (optional)
1 cup peas, (defrosted if frozen) or ready-to-eat edamame 
1 cup diced, previously roasted pork shoulder (you may also use diced shrimp or chicken) 
2 tablespoons soy sauce 
salt and freshly ground black pepper 

Garnish with Fresh Pea shoots, if available, or, with thinly sliced green onion tops

Note:  Diced bok choy or small broccoli florets would also be great vegetable choices in the stir fry.  Add when adding the shredded carrot.  

Heat a saute pan or wok large enough to hold all the above ingredients over medium-high heat and add a little neutral flavored oil. When the oil is heated, add the eggs and scramble them briefly, breaking into small pieces. Remove the cooked eggs from the pan and set aside. 

Reheat the pan until hot. Add a little more oil, then add the shallots, scallion whites, carrots and garlic. Cook, stirring, for about a minute. Add the cooked meat and rice and continue to stir for another few minutes until the rice and meat are hot and begin to brown slightly. 

Add the soy sauce, water chestnuts, scallion greens and peas or edamame, salt and pepper to taste and fry together for another minute or two. 

Garnish with some fresh pea shoots, scallion greens or other micro greens, if available. 

Pass additional soy sauce at the table when serving.

Slow Roasted Pork Shoulder with Brown Sugar

SERVES: 10-12

1 3-1/2 to 5 pound pork shoulder (butt) roast
2 whole garlic cloves, sliced or minced (optional)
1/3 cup Worcestershire Sauce
3/4 cup light brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme or oregano
1 cup unsweetened apple juice (I didn't have juice so I used 2 fresh apples, peeled and diced) 
1/2 teaspoon salt, and 
1/2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper, or to taste

Make small slits all over the roast then insert a slice of garlic into each slit. Alternately, you can mince the garlic and rub it over the meat). Place the roast in a Dutch oven with lid.  I used my enameled cast iron Dutch oven.

Sprinkle the roast on all sides with Worcestershire sauce. Let sit at room temperature for 1 hour.

Preheat oven to 425 F.

At the end of the hour, spoon any Worcestershire sauce that has accumulated on the bottom of the pot back over the meat. Mix together the brown sugar, black pepper and thyme or oregano and press the brown sugar mixture firmly onto the top and sides of the meat. Pour the apple juice into the bottom of the pot and cover tightly.

Place the roast in the oven and immediately reduce the temperature to 225 F.

Roast for about 4 to 4-1/2 hours or until the meat is fall-apart tender (cooking time will vary depending on the size of the roast).

Remove the meat to a platter, tent with foil and set aside.  Stir the salt into the pan juices and taste test. Adjust seasonings if necessary. Strain juices and reserve. 

Slice meat as desired and pour strained juices over the top of the meat.  

Note:  This can easily be made a day or two ahead and refrigerated.  Juices can be easily defatted after chilling by scraping congealed fat off the top.  When ready to serve, warm meat in a 350F oven in a covered pot for about 30 minutes, adding the reserved juices.  

Adapted from Genius Kitchen