I’ve been traveling a lot this summer – something many people from Arizona do to get out of the oppressive, desert heat – so I have been cooking out of the fridge to cull down the stock before I go. Then I get back, load up on groceries again, and the cycle repeats.
Before I left on my last adventure to LA to help my son Mitchell move apartments, I cleaned out the vegetable drawers by making a tasty “booke-style” shrimp stir-fry.
For more information on what “booke” is, check my blog post from February 28, 2013. As my friends say, “booke” is a “Plynnism” (part of my own personal, made-up language).
The idea is this – use whatever the heck you have in your fridge! I happened to have the following ingredients in mine (but I did buy the fresh shrimp):
¼ brown onion, loosely chopped
2 cloves of garlic, minced
2 carrots, sliced in ¼ inch rounds
1 stalk of celery, sliced
4 baby peppers, sliced
¼ cucumber, quartered and cut in ½ inch pieces
4 leaves of romaine, loosely chopped
2 spring onions, diced
½ package of whole grain pasta
½ bag of shelled edamame
20 large shrimp, shelled, cleaned and deveined
1 small pad of butter or margarine
Toasted sesame oil
Minced ginger (fresh or from the jar … if you have it on hand)
Seasoned salt & pepper
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and cook pasta as directed, adding edamame for the last 5 minutes of cooking. Drain, then put in a large heat-proof bowl, sprinkle with a teaspoon of olive oil, a teaspoon (or more) of toasted sesame oil, a few dashes of rice vinegar and a good shake of soy sauce. Toss and let sit while you prepare the rest of the ingredients.
In a non-stick frying pan, over medium heat, sauté onion and garlic; then add carrots, celery and peppers. Cook for about 5 minutes; add cucumbers and cook for about 3 minutes; add romaine and stir until just wilted. Add this mixture to the pasta, toss and let sit while you prepare the shrimp.
In the same frying pan, on medium heat, melt butter and a small round of olive oil. When it begins to gently bubble, add shrimp, a ½ teaspoon of minced ginger, a dash of seasoning salt and pepper, and sauté until shrimp are pinkish-white. Add to pasta mixture, toss, taste, add any of the seasonings to suite and toss again.
Serve in wide bowls. Sprinkle with chopped spring onions for garnish. Awesome!
Cucumber and Romaine lettuce in a stir-fry, you ask?
Think of it this way: cucumber is similar to zucchini; romaine is similar to kale or spinach.
The answer is: Yes! It works!
And, best of all, it tasted delicious AND my fridge was empty. No shriveled carrots or mushy cucumber, no limp romaine or moldy peppers to come home to on my return from LA.
Eat well. Be happy, my friends.