Friday evening, 6 p.m. We're both tired, and we're hungry. Aries brought home some fish fillets, so I put them over a bed of chopped shallots and mushroom stems, splash on a bit of dry sherry, salt & pepper, and get them into a 350º oven to bake for 15 minutes. Toss the mushroom caps, with a bit of butter, into the skillet for a sauce for the fish. Now for a quick veg side dish.
Shading the pea roots with lettuce plants alongside (and the netting over the entire bed) has worked very well. My pea plants are still going strong into the middle of July. Peas and carrots sounds good. But this ain't yo' mama's little cubes of boiled-to-death veggies. Adapted for the microwave, this is a fast, healthy version of that old staple side dish (and makes for a great lunch, all by itself).
So I stir up the soy sauce glaze, and sprinkle some flour over the mushrooms in the skillet. The carrot slices cooking, I string the pea pods (picked this morning). Add some milk, salt & pepper, and a dash of paprika powder to the mushroom skillet; add peas to the carrots. The fish cooked, I dump the base of chopped shallots and 'shrooms and fish juices into the simmering skillet and give it a few more stirs. Toss the veggies with the glaze, and dish up the plates. A loaf of bread, and a bottle of wine (from Murphys California, just the other side of scenic Ebbetts Pass to the south) - gourmet dinner, on the table, in less than half an hour!
Chinese Pea Pods and Carrots (serves two)
¼ cup water
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 teaspoon cornstarch
1 carrot, thinly sliced on the bias
1 cup of flat Chinese pea pods (fresh or frozen)
2 tablespoons walnut pieces
1 teaspoon butter or margarine
Stir together water, soy sauce and cornstarch in a small microwave-safe bowl. Micro-cook in 3 30-second increments, stirring after each time. It should be thickened, clear, and bubbly. Set aside.
Place carrots with a splash of water in covered casserole dish and micro-cook 2 minutes. Drain. Add pea pods, walnuts, and butter or margarine, cover and micro-cook another minute or two, until veggies are crisp-tender. Toss with the soy sauce mixture.