Curried Coconut Noodles with Early Summer Vegetables

This is a recipe I modified from the book From Asparagus to Zucchini.  Other veggies can be easily switched out based on what you have.  You can use either regular or light coconut milk and the dish still works.

8 ounces egg noodles
1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup chopped spring onions (reserve some of the green tops and slice to use as a garnish at the end)
1/2 cup carrot, julienned
1 cup cut up green beans or broccoli cut into florets
1 tablespoon minced garlic (or 5 garlic scapes, sliced)
1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
1 teaspoon cumin
1/2 – 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon turmeric
salt and pepper
1 cup peas (or sugar snap peas or snow peas, cut in half)
1 cup sliced zucchini (cut lengthwise, then slice into half moons & cut in half)
1 can (14 ounces) coconut milk – shake well before opening
juice of 1 1/2 limes (or 1 lime and 1/2 lemon)
1/2 cup basil leaves, pile up the leaves and slice into strips (chiffonade)
garnish: lime wedges, additional basil strips, and sliced green tops from onions

Cook noodles in salted water until barely tender (do not overcook).
Drain noodles, rinse with cold water, and shake off excess water.
Heat a large ceramic coated heavy pot or a wok over a high flame for about 1-2 minutes.
Add the olive oil, swirl to coat the pan, and heat until very hot but not smoking.
Add onions, carrons, and green beans or broccoli, stir fry until they begin to soften, about 3 minutes.
Add garlic, ginger, cumin, red pepper flakes, turmeric, and salt and pepper to taste.
Continue stir frying 1-2 minutes.
Add peas, zucchini, coconut milk, and lime juice.
Boil mixture until sauce thickens and vegetables are barely tender, about 10-12 minutes.
Add noodles and basil and stir until all the noodles are coated.
Heat through, stirring gently.
Taste for seasoning and add salt if needed.
Serve immediately and garnish with lime wedges, basil strips, and sliced green tops from the spring onions.

Makes 4-6 servings

Stir-Fried Beef with Snow Peas and Cashews

When stir-frying, we use a nonstick skillet, which puts more surface area in direct contact with the burner than a traditional wok. This translates to a hotter pan and better browning. Placing the raw flank steak in the freezer for 15 minutes makes it easy to slice the meat thin. Serve with steamed rice.  From Cooks Illustrated

Serves 4

Ingredients

1 1/4 pounds flank steak, sliced thin (see note)
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1/3 cup Hoisin sauce
1/3 cup water
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes, or more to taste
2 tablespoons peanut oil or vegetable oil
8 ounces snow peas, stem ends trimmed
4 cloves garlic, minced [Editor’s Note: How about diced garlic scapes?]
1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
1/2 cup roasted unsalted cashews, chopped

Directions

Combine steak and soy sauce in medium bowl, cover, and refrigerate while preparing other ingredients.  Whisk Hoisin sauce, water, and pepper flakes together in small bowl.

Heat 2 teaspoons oil in large nonstick skillet over high heat until just smoking.  Add half of steak, break up clumps with wooden spoon, and cook, without stirring, for 1 minute.  Toss steak until browned around edges, about 30 seconds.  Transfer to clean bowl.  Heat 2 teaspoons oil in skillet until just smoking and repeat with remaining beef.

Add remaining 2 teaspoons oil to now-empty skillet and heat until just smoking.  Add snow peas and cook, stirring once or twice, for 2 minutes.  Clear center of pan and add garlic and ginger.  Cook, mashing garlic mixture with back of spatula, until fragrant, about 45 seconds.  Stir garlic mixture into snow peas, then toss in steak. Whisk hoisin sauce mixture to recombine, pour into pan, and cook until thickened, about 1 minute.  Stir in cashews and transfer to platter.  Serve.

Garlic Scape, Radish and Chicken Stir-fry Recipe

This is a super simple way to use this early week CSA share of garlic scapes (what the heck are they!?) and radishes.  Adapted from a recipe from Chicken Thistle Farm.

Ingredients
garlic scapes cut into 1″ long pieces
radishes sliced into thin rounds (save some of the really tender leaves and rip them into small pieces)
2c. optional –snow peas, sugar snap peas, broccoli or even a stir fry mix
boneless pieces of grass-fed chicken
½ to 1 whole bottle of  beer
1/4c. soy sauce
2 TBS Worcestershire sauce
1 1/2 t. onion and garlic powder, each
2T. sesame oil
pinch or 3 of optional hot pepper flakes
1/2 T. corn starch
coconut oil

Directions

To a large zip-top bag, add the beer, soy, Worcestershire, onion and garlic powders and mix.  Then add sesame oil and pepper flakes.  Marinate the chicken pieces in the sauce for 1- 3 hours.

Heat skillet on medium-high and sauté the chicken pieces on both sides. Place cooked chicken on plate and cover.

Pour about 1/2 the marinade juice into a sauce pan and bring to a simmer.  Cook marinade for 5-8 minutes.  You want to let this cook down.

In a large skillet add oil and heat.  When the oil shimmers add the garlic scapes and cook for about 2 minutes.  Add sliced radishes and any of the optional veggies you may have and toss.  While this is cooking, slice chicken pieces into thin strips and add them to the skillet – toss.  Turn skillet heat down to low.

In a mixing cup, mix corn starch and about 1T cold water.  Stir until it’s a thin paste – pour that into the simmering, cooked-down marinade and whisk to mix.  The mixture should bubble with the heat and start to thicken.  Pour the mixture into the skillet.  Toss the fresh veggies and chicken together to coat well.  Throw in the small torn radish leaves and toss again.

Serve with brown rice and a spring green salad.  Break out the chopsticks and enjoy!