My parents came to visit and I made a couple veggie dishes that were quite good, if I do say so myself. One was sauteed bok choy. We all know that this vegetable can be bitter, but if you sear it over high heat and use the right sauce - given that you have chosen young enough specimens - you get something great. I managed to make this dish great. It makes me extra happy when that happens for guests. I just hate it when I mess something up when people are coming over. I want to ensure everyone that I am better than that, really.
Bok Choy: 1lb. baby bok choy, cut into quarters; 2 T chicken broth, 1T oyster sauce, 1.5 tsp. soy sauce, 1.5 tsp. cornstarch, 1/2 tsp. sugar, 3T veg oil, 2 ginger slices (optional), 1 clove crushed garlic. Procedure: Combine broth, oyster sauce, soy sauce, cornstarch, and sugar. Heat a wok or large skillet over high heat until definitely hot. If using ginger, add half of the oil and ginger, and fry for 10 seconds until fragrant. Add the rest of the oil, bok choy and garlic. Let the bok choy sear before stirring for 2-3 minutes total until leaves are limp but still green. Add sauce and let thicken for 1-2 minutes. Note: you can double the sauce, but only use 2 tsp. cornstarch.
The other dish was out of Bon Appetit. There was a glut of greatness in the last issue. The current one looks promising too. This is green beans and zucchini in a sauce verte. I don't normally like zucchini, but if you caramelize and cover it in a nice sauce, what's not to like?
Sauce verte: 1/3 cup basil leaves, 1 green onion, 1T parsley, 2 T capers, 1T lemon juice, 2tsp. Dijon, 1 garlic clove, 3T e.v. olive oil. Puree the first 7 ingredients, adding the oil slowly.
Vegetables: 1T olive oil, 1lb. green beans, trimmed; 12 oz. zucchini, in strips; 3 T water (optional - see below), 2 T parsley. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add veggies and stir until coated in oil. Sprinkle salt and water over and cover. Cook about 4 minutes, until crisp-tender. Uncover and cook through to tender, about 2 minutes more. Alternately, you can omit the water and simply saute the veggies until seared and tender, about 5 minutes. Stir in sauce, season to taste, and garnish with parsley.