Friday, 16 March 2007

Kitchen Diaries: Stir-fry for a spring day

Before even the crack of dawn is a twinkle in Saturday’s eye we’ll be heading off to Gatwick and this means I’m trying to run down fridge supplies. Today I am looking to Nigel to use up the best parts of a packet of mushrooms and spinach. The man does not disappoint.

A well put together index (multiple listings for each recipe) leads me straight to page 100 - March 29 in the Kitchen Diary and before leaving for work I realise that I only really need some lemongrass to try out “a stir-fry for a spring day”. On the way home I try a hit and run on Sainsburys. Can I manage to leave with only one purchase? I fall at the first hurdle and have to carry my scallops on the long walk of shame home.

Preparation is monkey work though. Chop all the stuff and chuck it in a really hot pan (I forgot about spring onions but they’d have added to fridge stocks anyway – and I don’t care that my mushrooms aren’t chestnut and that my chilli is the wrong colour). I worry I’m over cooking my slightly misshapen scallops because I thought it would all be more complex. And then I worry about the stir-fry because the scallops take longer than I’d anticipated…

But it’s all fine, white rice soaks up the extra soy from the stir-fry and the scallops’ sweetness and firmness goes well with the spinach and mushrooms. The “stir-fry for a spring day”, to be fair, isn’t a show stopper though and not really worth following a recipe for. It’s nice nonetheless, salty and smoky and would be a good supporting role to many a fresh and lemony dinner star. Perhaps I add too much soy but the lemongrass is overpowered and I suspect Nigel’s suggestion of a hot red chilli would have been better than my medium green one, it’s not hot at all. Maybe the spring onion was all important after all. I’m afraid that Nigel loses the battle for my Wednesday to a few showy griddled scallops.


Buy the book cheap through our Amazon store and you can make your own stir-fry for a spring day.

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