So tell me – have you gone out and taken a big deep breath? I mean a BIG breath – really filling your nostrils and lungs with the air outside. Can you smell it? It may be distant but it is there – at least for us folk in the Northern Hemisphere. Spring is in the air.
It’s March! Already! Wasn’t I just writing my Retrospective for 2009? Boy I am glad winter is finally in it’s closing chapter. It’s been the coldest winter here in Germany in 50 years! It has snowed perpetually since the middle of December. It has melted again now – there was a lot to go but it is gone and although I know it could come back I am trying to be an optimist.
Time to unravel Spring in all it’s beautiful glory. I am getting impatient though. Can’t wait for the first rhubarb, apricots, asparagus and of course later the strawberries, raspberries and cherries. I sing this song every year! My step is lighter as I literally dance my way to the markets. Oh the flowers and the produce. Ideas upon ideas – wish I could transport the entire market into my back yard so I could experiment at free will with all the produce at my finger tips.
I am so looking forward to my CSA man bringing me a weekly box packed full of lovely organic produce again. It might sound weird - but I go into an “oooh!” and “ahhh!” delightful ecstasy at the sight of all the good stuff in the box. OK as you all are food mad too – it’s not weird but picture the poor CSA man leaving, probably thinking how a few vegetables and fruit can make a gal that excited. But what he does not know - I am seeing tarts, quiche, crumbles and other delectable things I will be preparing in my kitchen.
While I am waiting for all this to happen I tend to rely on a mix of fresh winter vegetables and frozen spring/summer vegetables I put away last year. Then I use them in a quick light way. Not overcooking them, but instead preparing them to provide their fullest aromas. Like this simple but comforting beef and tofu stir-fry with colorful mixed vegetables. Makes the waiting game a little easier.
Beef Vegetable and Tofu Stir-Fry
Printable version of recipe here
500g beef – rump, thinly sliced
250g tofu, cut into strips
250g mixed vegetables of choice, cut into strips
4 spring onions, thinly sliced
small piece of ginger, cut into strips
1 1/2 teaspoon cornflour
2 tablespoons soy sauce
Drizzling of sesame oil
1 red chili, deseeded and finely chopped
65 ml stock
2 tablespoons peanut oil
ground black pepper
fresh Thai basil, chopped – to garnish
- Mix cornflour, 3 teaspoons soy sauce, ginger and a good drizzling of sesame oil in a bowl. Add the beef strips and marinate for at least a few hours.
- Heat about 2 teaspoons of the peanut oil in a wok until just smoking. Add a portion of the beef and stir-fry until brown. Remove with slotted spoon. Heat another 2-3 teaspoons of peanut oil and brown the rest of the beef.
- Heat the rest of the peanut oil and stir-fry the tofu, then add the vegetables, spring onions and chili. Continue to stir-fry for approx 2 minutes, until the tofu has heated through and the vegetables are soft but not over-cooked.
- Pour the stock and remaining soy sauce, then add the beef back to the wok and cook through for another minute, until the sauce boils and thickens. Season with pepper and serve sprinkled with chopped Thai basil and steamed rice.
Yes it makes the waiting easier. It’s not entirely spring but with all the good hopes that it will be coming around the corner. I do not use garlic in this as I want the vegetables and tofu to present themselves in all their perfect flavor. Ginger adds a slight tang and complements the entire dish perfectly.
H2Ope For Haiti update
The deadline for entering the H2Ope for Haiti charity raffle has been extended until midnight GMT on Sunday 7 March. The event is raising money for Concern Worldwide, a well-established charity that was already operating in Haiti at the time of the January 12th quake, meaning they could mobilize faster than most to receive and distribute aid to those in the greatest need, including hundreds of thousands of liters of clean drinking water. So, please take a moment to browse through the prizes and bid. My prize is the sensational Ottolenghi cookbook and 2 color prints of choice from my photo collection. Enter HFH18 while giving your bid and you have the chance to win this great prize!
You might like these Asian style dishes from WFLH:
|Szechwan Pepper and Ginger Mixed Sprouts||Root Vegetable Stir-Fry on Quinoa||Asian Style Tilapia|
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