Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Happy Stir-Fry of Zucchini, Corn, and Peanuts

This recipe from Fast, Fresh, and Green uses up the last of the dozen ears of sweet corn I bought at the farmer's market on Saturday. I've been making recipes from that cookbook seemingly constantly lately, but I'll be slowing down since I made it through almost of the top tier of ones I wanted to try.

Overall, this was a good recipe, but just a bit too sweet for me. Hoisin sauce is very sweet by nature, and I'm not sure if my hoisin sauce was particularly sweet or if it's just my general preference for less-sweet foods than most people. Next time I would add more lime juice or rice vinegar in place of some of the hoisin sauce to make it just a tad less sweet. This will definitely take center stage at a meal, so serve alongside a simply-prepared protein (we had mahi mahi burgers).

Happy Stir-Fry of Zucchini, Corn, and Peanuts
from Fast, Fresh, and Green by Susie Middleton

serves 3 to 4

1 large zucchini (10 to 11 oz.)
1.75 c. fresh corn kernels (from about 3 large ears)
6 large scallions (white and green parts), sliced 1/2 inch thick
2 t. thick hoisin sauce
1 t. fish sauce
1 t. fresh lime juice
1 T. finely chopped fresh ginger
1.5 t. minced fresh garlic
1/4 t. chili-garlic sauce
2 T. peanut oil
1/3 c. unsalted peanuts
1 t. kosher salt
1.5 T. finely chopped fresh mint
1.5 T. chopped fresh cilantro

1. Trim the ends off the zucchini and cut in in half crosswise. Put on half on the cutting board, cut side down, and cut panels off all four sides, revealing the inner core of seeds. Discard the core, and cut the panels in to medium (1/2-inch) dice. Repeat with the other half. Combine the zucchini, corn, and scallions in a bowl and set by the stove.

2. In a small bowl, combine the hoisin sauce, fish sauce, lime juice, and 1 teaspoon of water. Whisk to combine, and set by the stove. Combine the ginger, garlic, and chili-garlic sauce in another small bowl and set by the stove.

3. Heat 1 tablespoon of the peanut oil in a large (12-inch) stir-fry pan over medium heat. When the oil is hot (it will loosen up), add the peanuts and stir-fry them until they have all browned in spots, 2 to 3 minutes. Watch carefully, as they go from browning to burning quickly. Remove the pan from heat to stop the cooking and use a slotted spoon to transfer the peanuts (and any partial peanuts) to a plate or bowl.

4. Add the remaining 1 tablespoon of the peanut oil to the pan and set the pan over medium-high heat. When the oil is hot (it will loosen up and shimmer), add the zucchini, corn, scallions, and salt. Turn the heat up to high and cook, stirring infrequently at first but more frequently as the vegetables start to brown, until the corn is all nicely browned and the zucchini is somewhat browned and starting to look translucent, 5 to 6 minutes.

5. Add the ginger-garlic mixture and stir-fry until well mixed, about 30 seconds. Add teh hoising mixture, scraping all of it out of its bowl, and immediately remove the pan from heat. Stir to incorporate the sauce. Stir in the reserved peanuts, the mint, and cilantro. Mix well and transfer the vegetables to a serving plate to stop the cooking. Serve hot or warm.

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