Happy Year of the Horse!
Tomorrow is the first day of the Chinese New Year celebration, which lasts until Feb. 17th.
I realize that many, if not most, people in the U.S. are giving more thought to the game coming up than celebrating the Year of the Horse but it’s a big event chez nous.
Not the actual holiday, but the fact that the stores are filled with Asian foods for the duration.
I learned early on to take advantage of things in their season.
I also learned that seasons are brief. On Dec. 26th I went in to a shop looking for a last minute Christmas bit…. Everything was already packed up and put away. No after-Christmas sales here!
For the two weeks of the Chinese New Year I can buy all sorts of wonderful foods that are not on the shelves the other 50 weeks.
I also learned to stock-up.
Here are a few favorite recipes if you feel so inclined to ring in, or out, the Year of the Horse.
Stir-Fried Scallops with Leeks
Total time: 30 minutes
- 10oz (300gr) large scallops
- 1 leek, cleaned, trimmed and julienned
- 2 carrots, julienned
- 1 rib celery, julienned
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tbs minced fresh ginger
- 1/4 cup (2oz, 60ml) dry sherry
- 1/4 cup (2oz, 60ml) chicken broth
- 1 tbs orange juice
- 1 tbs soy sauce
- 3 tsp olive oil
- 2 tsp cornstarch (maizena) dissolved in 2 tbs water
- 1/2 cup Basmati rice
- 1 cup chicken broth
- Basmati rice:
- Cook rice in chicken broth until done, app. 15 minutes.
- Heat 2 tsp olive oil in a large skillet.
- Add vegetables and stir-fry until just starting to get tender, 6 – 8 minutes.
- Add soy sauce and stir-fry briefly.
- Remove to a plate and keep warm.
- Add remaining 1 tsp olive oil, scallops and stir-fry quickly until scallops turn opaque.
- Add sherry, broth, juice and heat to simmering.
- Dissolve cornstarch in water.
- Add cornstarch mixture to skillet and until thickened, less than a minute.
- Return vegetables to skillet and heat through,
- Serve over rice.
Sweet and Sour Pork….. This is not the American version made with stick-sweet canned pineapple, but an authentic Chinese version.
Noodles with Egg Sauce…. I used spaghetti, but cellophane noodles would be more appropriate.
Fried Rice.… I make it with Basmati because I usually don’t have sticky rice available.
Sesame Carrots…. The carrots are roll-cut to give more surface for the glaze.
Now I have to go play….. We have guests.