The Ultimate Vegetable Stir-Fry Tower, Three Vibrant Sauces

ultimate vegetable stir-fry, stir fry, vegetable tower

The Ultimate Vegetable Stir-Fry Tower
Pea Sprouts, Shiitake, Soybean Sprouts, Pickled Japanese Cucumber & Red Jalapeño
Chinese Chives, Tofu, Ginger, Cilantro
Over an Organic Short Grain Rice Timbale
With Three Vibrant Sauces: Cilantro Juice, Chile Oil, Miso Sauce

ultimate vegetable stir-fry, stir fry

Another Sublime Dish Inspired by Charlie Trotter

“The recipes… are only a guide. You can use any or all of a recipe, deviate wherever you like, or indeed substitute ingredients completely if it suits your desires. In fact, you may want to forget about the recipe specifics and use the photographs alone as your inspiration,” penned Charlie Trotter in 1994. Thank you, Chef! No wonder you are my hero. Your words written 17 years ago perfectly describe my cooking style and blog: where the image is meant to titillate and inspire the cook!

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“Truffle Heaven” Crostini

“Truffle Heaven” Crostini
Fresh French Black Winter Truffle, Italian Truffle Cheese, Truffle Oil
with Shiitake and Frisée

A framed description of our “black diamond” is placed on the buffet.

This one ounce beauty is from Gourmet Attitude, importer of fresh truffles and fine truffle products in New York City. It is a good year for truffles, ours hails from the Village of Grignan in the South of France. The subterranean treasure was located by three female yellow Labrador retrievers with a family in its fourth generation of truffle hunting. I was told that dogs are preferred over pigs to hunt  truffles nowadays, for one reason, it’s difficult to get a pig in and out of the car! Also, apparently the pig’s love for truffles is as ardent as ours, so she simply cannot stop herself from eating the $85/oz. delicacy. Dogs are much more obedient!

The black winter truffle is available December through March. This Fresh Black Winter Truffle (Tuber Melanosporum Vittadini) has in intense perfume with a bouquet of wet forest, humus, chocolate, and a hint of hazelnut. Our guests are surely in for a treat!

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Udon – Beef & Shiitake

Japanese Style Noodle Soup
Udon Noodles in a Beef Broth
Shiitake, Roast Beef, Bean Sprouts, Scallions, Chiles

The Udon Noodle package instructs, “Use anything in the refrigerator to create your healthy gourmet meal or snack in minutes.” Well, I don’t know about anything, but here I used my own beef broth instead of the flavor packet, and added shiitake and roast beef.

Udon is a thick, firm, chewy Japanese noodle made from wheat flour.

Heat beef broth then add sliced shiitake. When the shiitake are cooked, add a splash of soy sauce and mirin, and a touch of sugar. Turn off the heat and add the garnishes and beef.

Garnished with bean sprouts, scallions and fiery chiles. This fast, savory soup is different every time, depending on what is on hand. Ladle into a bowl, sprinkle with more scallions, and for more heat, top with Asian hot chili sauce.

Utensils include chopsticks and a soup spoon.
The origin of udon in Japan is usually credited to Kūkai, a Buddhist priest, who traveled to China around the beginning of the 9th century to study Buddhism. When he returned, he also brought back the knowledge of udon soup to his farmer neighbors in the Sanuki region of Japan. (from Wikipedia)
itada kimasu
P.S. If you like Beef Noodle Soup, you might want to take a look at this post on Pho Bo.

Shiitake Mushroom Risotto with Shrimp

I’m making no apologies for this dish. It comes from a box.
Cooking time approximately 20 minutes.
Active cooking time approximately 60 seconds!

Take raw peeled deveined shrimp from the freezer and run under cold water.
Active time 15 seconds.

Meanwhile add the contents of a box of shiitake mushroom risotto to a pot along with water and cook according to package directions (I substituted one cup of beef broth for a portion of the water), a generous tablespoon of butter, and a splash of tamari.
The beef broth and the tamari enhance the umami flavors.
Active time 30 seconds.
Stir occasionally, 10 seconds (5 seconds X 2).

Add shrimp to the pot about 5 minutes before the risotto is done.
Active time 5 seconds.

Gourmet, no.
Tasty, yes.

If I had some snipped chives, I might have added those…hmmm, and maybe a drizzle of truffle oil, 10 more seconds 🙂

This is Safeway brand risotto. Flavored with onion, garlic, herbs, and spices.

From the box side panel, “With Safeway Select you’ll feel like a culinary genius.”

Your Culinary Genius, signing off…