It's an age-old question that we have all asked of someone else at one point in our lives. Sometimes its hard to find inspiration and easier to just take the path of least resistance by serving up one of my go-to dishes.
But, that's boring. And one of the reasons why I blog about cooking is to challenge myself to get creative in the kitchen.
I pour over my many foodie magazines and scour the internet looking for that one recipe that speaks to me. Tonight I decided to not work so hard at it and randomly picked an ingredient as a theme for dinner. Ginger. Once I decided, it actually didn't take me long to choose these two recipes. Prep time was brief and the number of ingredients was very manageable, with most items already in our pantry and fridge. While my pictures turned out a bit yellow (I'm currently using a point-and-shoot number and quickly finding that I need to reconsider my equipment), the food was bright and elegantly understated. No muss, no fuss. Just robust flavor.
Chicken with Ginger
from Martha Stewart
1 three-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and cut into 1/8-inch-thick matchsticks (1/2 cup)
2 tablespoons canola oil
1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1 1/2-inch chunks
1 large onion, thinly sliced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup soy sauce
2 tablespoons white vinegar
2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 cup sliced scallions
- Soak ginger in cold water 10 minutes; drain.
- Heat oil in a skillet over high heat; brown chicken in two batches, 6 to 8 minutes. Set aside.
- In same skillet over medium heat, cook ginger, onion, and garlic, stirring until browned, 8 to 10 minutes. Add soy sauce, vinegar, and sugar; cook over high heat until thick, 3 to 4 minutes. Add chicken; stir to warm. Remove from heat; stir in scallions.
Ginger-Sesame Bok Choy
from Martha Stewart
1 tablespoon rice vinegar
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1/4 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
5 thin slices peeled fresh ginger
4 to 5 heads baby bok choy, (1 pound), each halved lengthwise (I ended up using one large head of regular bok choy, since the baby heads in my store looked a little wilty)
- In a small bowl, whisk together vinegar, soy sauce, and sesame oil. Set aside.
- In a large skillet with a tight-fitting lid, bring 1 cup water and ginger to a boil. Add the bok choy; reduce to a simmer. Cover and cook until leaves are vibrant green and stems are fork-tender, 3 to 5 minutes. Drain well; discard ginger.
- Transfer bok choy to a serving platter; drizzle with the vinegar-soy mixture, and serve immediately.