Teresa Hatchell 2005

For many people, stir frying is a growing trend as it makes for faster meal preparation and fewer pots and pans to wash. To make the cooking method even more appealing, consider the fact that stir frying meats and vegetables yields flavorful entrees with much less fat content than deep-fried foods.

Keep in mind that you may use a large skillet if you don't have a wok, and you can throw a handful or two of broccoli florets or shredded cabbage and a cup or two of whole kernel corn into any of the following recipes to increase their flavor and nutrition value. Actually, you can throw almost any raw vegetables into your stir fry.

Some of you may decide to try the following recipes. Just remember one key thing, if you like your stir-fried vegetables crisp, don't toss them in the pan or wok until the last five to eight minutes of cooking time.

Tasty pepper steak

2 pounds round or sirloin tip steak, cut in thin strips

3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1 clove garlic, chopped

Salt and pepper to taste

1 envelope Lipton beefy onion dry soup mix

1 cup boiling water

2 cans stewed tomatoes

1 large green bell pepper, sliced in to thin strips

1 large red bell pepper, sliced in to thin strips

3 heaping tablespoons cornstarch

1/2 cup cold water

3 tablespoons soy sauce

In a large skillet or wok, brown steak strips in olive oil. Add garlic and brown another two minutes. Season with salt and pepper. In a measuring cup, combine beefy onion dry soup mix and one cup boiling water. Stir well and add to meat. Cover and simmer for about 15 minutes, stirring every five minutes. Add stewed tomatoes and pepper strips. Cook on low heat for 15 minutes, stirring every five minutes. In the measuring cup, combine cornstarch, 1/2 cup cold water and soy sauce. Stir this mixture into the skillet and cook on low heat for five minutes. Simmer until time for dinner, stirring frequently. This is delicious served over rice or over egg noodles. This recipe makes six servings.

Simply delicious shrimp-fried rice

1 cup chopped onions

1 cup chopped green bell pepper

5 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

2 eggs, scrambled and lightly salted

2 pounds cooked and cleaned shrimp

2 cup cooked rice (firm)

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Soy sauce, to taste

In a large skillet, saute' onions and pepper in three tablespoons olive oil until the onions are transparent. Add eggs and cook for about three minutes on low heat. Pour this mixture into a bowl.

Add two tablespoons olive oil to skillet and stir in rice and shrimp. Cook for about five minutes on low heat. Pour vegetable/egg mixture into skillet and dash with soy sauce. Cook on low heat, tossing every minute or two, for about five minutes. Serve with fresh, green salad. This recipe makes six servings.

Skillet chicken tropicale

2 pounds chicken tender strips, cut in 1/2-inch cubes

1 tablespoon peanut oil

15-1/4-ounce can pineapple chunks, drained

3 heaping tablespoons cornstarch

1/2 cup cold water

1 teaspoon soy sauce

1 teaspoon sugar

In a large skillet or wok, heat one tablespoon peanut oil. Add drained pineapple chunks and stir fry. Add chicken to the pan and stir fry for about five minutes. Meanwhile, in a measuring cup, combine cornstarch and water to make a paste. Add the paste, soy sauce and sugar to the skillet or wok and cook on medium heat, tossing every minute, for about three minutes. This is delicious served over rice. This recipe makes six servings.

Contact the writer at tgmhatchell@yahoo.com.

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