Sotsil

Love that Crunch (from Bean Sprouts) May 20, 2010

Filed under: Meals — sotsil @ 8:59 pm
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I don’t know that many people who like bean sprouts.  Asians buy them regularly to add to soups and to green salads.  They spell b-o-r-e-d-o-m to some, and their taste doesn’t tingle the taste buds.  But there’s one way to enjoy bean sprouts and that’s to dress them up with meat or shrimp with a handful of other crisp greens.  The trick is to saute them but not to the point that they start to wilt and get soggy.

 

bean sprouts with shrimps1

 

I also remember bean sprouts stuffed into egg rolls – we called them "lumpiang togue" back home and we used to douse them in spicy vinegar.  Heavenly taste!  I’d have a hard time getting any of my North American friends to enjoy it so I don’t really serve them to invited guests for dinner.  They would accuse me of serving rabbit food, or insulting their culinary sensibilities or something absurd like that, and that I’m sure would ruin my reputation. 

 

Food has a way of making or breaking friendships.  One upon a time I gave one of my French Canadian friends a box of six steamed buns, thinking she would enjoy them with gusto.  A few weeks later, after I had not heard anything from her, I had to ask her if she liked them.  Her face turned red and she confessed that she spit them out so violently and threw the whole box away.  She said the taste and appearance of the inside of the bun were revolting.  Oh dear, never again…

 

The lady is still my friend although that incident haunts me every now and then.  The only time we break bread together is to have scrambled eggs for breakfast when we meet twice a year four our birthdays.  I guess there are people who don’t like to get out of their comfort zone when it comes to food.  I wonder if she’ll drop me like a hot potato if I served her the dish above.

 

Anyway, if you do care to venture into bean sprouts, here’s the recipe:

 

1 supermarket bag of bean sprouts (maybe 1-2 pounds)

1 cup shrimps (medium size)

1/4 cup green bell pepper, diced

1/4 cup red bell pepper, diced

2 tbsp onions, chopped

1 tbsp of garlic (I dare you to put more!)

2 tbsp canola oil

4-5 tbsp of soy sauce

salt and pepper to taste

 

Method:

1.  Wash the bean sprouts thoroughly in cold running water.  Set aside.

2.  Heat some oil and saute your onions and garlic – about a minute.

3.  Add your green and red bell peppers.  Continue to saute until soft but not soggy.

4.  Add your shrimps.

5.  When shrimps are cooked (be careful not to overcook the shrimps), add your bean sprouts, lowering the heat.  Mix the bean sprouts with the ingredients vigorously – about 1-2 minutes.  Make sure they still have their crunch.  Once they get soft and have shed off lots of water, I’m afraid you’ve overdone it!

6.  Flavor with the soy sauce and salt and pepper.  Remove from heat and serve immediately.

 

Note:  a cup of fresh bean sprouts contains 31 calories.  They’re low in fat and cholesterol.  They’re very high in riboflavin and manganese.

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Another star recipe from Folks at King Arthur Flour May 17, 2010

It’s good to be back!  I haven’t posted anything since mid-April.  I was knee-deep in work.  Wish I could say I was away, spending my days and nights basking in the flavors of Provence or Florence, but I was right here, banging away furiously at my computer.

 

 

When deadlines loom large, the kitchen gets a break.  Instead of churning butter and scalding milk, I was feverishly churning words and translating documents instead.  When the folks at King Arthur Flour in Vermont sent me their usual blog, I was charmed by the picture of their cinnapineapanana – try saying that without twisting your tongue!  This cinnapineapanana was inspired by Ricardo Neves Gonzalez’s Jewish Strudel.  The winning combination of cinnamon, dried pineapple and fresh bananas was a palate pleaser.  I’ve eaten a lot of strudles in my life and some of them leave that sticky, over-sugary feeling.  Not this one.

 

 

After I read the instructions and looked at the pictures, I was convinced that this was something I had to try.  I had never made a strudel before.  With my tired mind awash in words, I needed to get my hands on dough and this recipe came at about the right time.  Successful?  You bet!  Delicious recipe?  Yes, yes, yes!  It worked like a charm.  You too can learn to make it, KAF explains the steps in detail.  It may look complicated but I breezed through it.  Get it here. http://www.kingarthurflour.com/blog/2010/05/02/lets-hear-it-for-cinnapineapanana/#more-15478

 

 Here’s my version:

 

KAF's jewish challah1

I should have taken shots of the slices but after our first bite, I forgot about the camera.  The only changes I made to the recipe were:

  • replaced the honey with 1/4 cup white sugar
  • made my own cinnamon filling ) by mixing 1/4 cup of sugar with 1 tbsp of cinnamon, 3 tbsp of water and a knob of butter (as KAF suggested).  I’m sure KAF’s cinnamon filling would give this strudel that extra oomph taste-wise.
  • sprinkled a few almond slices on top

 

I think I will use the dough recipe as a master recipe for other sweet breads because the taste was perfect.  And in spite of the 45-minute baking time, it came out soft and chewy.  I was a tad apprehensive about the long baking time (as you can see some parts of it are too dark) so I’ll reduce baking time by 5 minutes the next time I make it. 

 

This was a jewel of a strudel.  Making it was also a stress-releaser.  After my first slice, I was ready to start banging away at my computer again!