Thursday, March 25, 2010

Food Experiment.... WIN!

I was at a loss for what to make for supper last night. As I was rummaging around in the freezer to find some sliced cheese to make Nathan a grilled cheese sandwich, I found a package of stir fry. I thought that sounded good, especially considering we needed a healthy meal to offset the deep-fried extravaganza we had on Monday.
Even though I usually buy stir fry 4 bags at a time, because I use two each time I make it, I could only find one bag. So I thought I'd "beef it up" with other vegetables we had. I threw in some kidney beans, corn, and peas, and stood looking at it. I was talking to Paul on the phone, and I said, "This doesn't look like Asian. It looks more.... Mediterranean." I have no idea what that meant, just that it didn't look like the typical stir fry that you put soy sauce on and eat with chopsticks and rice.
So that brought up the question of how to season it. My first thought was balsamic vinegar. But what else? A quick perusal of several recipes brought the decision to add basil, oregano, garlic, and Parmesan to the mix. Paul suggested olives, and we had a winner! We spent the first half of the meal chewing slowly and thoughtfully, trying to decide what we thought of it. It was definitely not like anything I've made before!
I'll shut up and get to the recipe. And because this is how I cook, I have no idea how much of anything I put in. I just shook stuff in 'til it looked good. Obviously, adjust to suit your own tastes.

1 bag vegetable stir fry (the usual - broccoli, green beans, carrots, water chestnuts, etc)
frozen corn (a couple handfuls)
frozen peas (a couple handfuls)
chicken (cut into bite-size pieces)
1 can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1 carrot, cut into thin sticks
basil (1/2 tsp?)
oregano (1/2 tsp?)
minced garlic (1/4 tsp?)
balsamic vinegar (2-3 tablespoons?)
cayenne (a few shakes)
Heat a few tablespoons of olive oil in skillet. Add chicken, cook until done. Add carrot. Add frozen vegetables and stir fry for 5(ish) minutes. Add beans. When vegetables are done, add seasonings and vinegar. Top with parmesan cheese and crumbled olives.

Changes I would make: We ate it over rice, because I was planning an asian stir fry. But in retrospect, I think it would taste great over pasta - maybe bow-tie pasta. And I think it would taste better with thin-sliced beef. (Although I didn't really add enough chicken to even taste it this time. ) Also I'm not sure if I would add the cayenne... It gave it a kick, but the main reason I added it was because Paul is having sinus congestion, and I wanted to see if that would clear it out. (I've heard it does... But it didn't.) Oh, and the only reason I used a raw carrot, was because Nathan said he wanted to eat itit, and walked around the house nibbling it, but only ate like 1/2 inch off the end. So I just chopped it up and threw it in. And it does need the parmesan on top when you serve it. It really changes the taste. Normally, I don't necessarily care for parmesan, but this time, it made the dish.


JC said...

Um, it had chicken in it, and Paul ate it? Oh, and 86 the water chestnuts. Those things are nasty. And if you 86 the cayenne, I would go with something like paprika or something else to give it just a little kick. Oh, and if you really wanted to be Mediterranean, you might go with feta instead of parmessan. Parmessan is too Italian. Not that there's really anything wrong with that. There's just a fine like where Parmessan is too Italian and feta is too Greek.
But whatever. I'm getting cheese fries. Oh, and what the deuce was this "deep-fried extravaganza"? Sounds delightful!

Rachel said...

Thank you, resident food master.
I stick to ingredients that we actually keep in the house... And Feta is not one of them.
Deep-fried extravaganza: Boneless chicken "wings" with bbq, and brown fried rice balls. (I should make those for a family get-together sometime... Kind of addictive.)
And Paul is getting better at the chicken. He will eat around it if possible, though. I think to him it's a matter of principle: "I say I don't like chicken, therefore I can't eat it, even if it does taste good."