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Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Spicy Red Onion, Bok Choy And Snow Peas With Brown Rice

This is a fantastic dish. Full of flavor and spice! It normally calls for okra but I couldn’t ‘t find any because of the weather.
I substituted snow peas and bok choy and it turned out better I think. I will always use these ingredients and add the okra when it comes back.
You will need.

Red onion
Tomato both canned and fresh
Garlic -- lots
A little tomato juice from the tinned tomatoes..
Mustard seeds
Cumin seeds
Tablespoon or so of vinegar
Snow or snap peas
A little olive oil
Brown rice

Prepare everything.
Trim and blanche the bok choy.
Top and tail the snow peas
Slice the red onion
Grind the mustard and cumin seeds
Quarter the fresh tomatoes
Etc etc,

Start by slowly cooking the sliced red onions in the olive oil. Add the canned tomatoes that you have quartered and allow to cook for a few minutes or until all the liquid has gone. Then add the vinegar and reduce it out. Add the garlic, crushed of course. Add the turmeric and the ground seeds and then add the tomato juice with a little water. This will be your base sauce so you season it as you like and cook it out for a few minutes. Add a bay leaf and some thyme.
This should turn into a red sauce with tomato pieces and red onions in it. Correct the seasoning and the garlic. Sometimes the garlic cooks out so it needs to be refreshed. Just add a little chopped garlic to it and the garlic taste will come back.
Add the quartered fresh tomatoes at this time. The objective is to cook them but keep their shape so don’t add them too soon.
Sauté the bock choy and the snow peas and remember to season as you go. Put the vegetables into the sauce: let them sit together for a bit so the flavors combine and season one final time without breaking the vegetables.
One last thing is to make sure that you make enough sauce to the amount of rice
Put the brown rice into a deep bowl and spoon the mixture over the rice. Garnish with cilantro and serve.

You can use any type of vegetable you want. I used these because they were cheap. 80 cents for the peas and the same for the bok choy.
Don’t cook the vegetables too much or they will lose their crunchiness and disappear in the sauce. Think of heating them in the sauce rather than cooking them.
Try to have everything ready at the same time so nothing sits around and overcooks.
You can add and subtract as you wish. If you don’t have turmeric or don’t know what it is add something else like a pinch of paprika or cumin powder or even curry powder?
Turmeric is easy to find and very handy as a lot of Indian and Middle Eastern dishes call for it.
The brown rice is great. It is chewy and the perfect balance for the vegetables.
Remember that the mustard and cumin seeds will create a stay in the sauce unless you grind them really well. If that is unpleasand for you then buy them already ground. I like to use the mortar and pestle. It reminds me of the Gresham Hotel.
One last thing is to make sure that you make enough sauce to the amount of rice
This was a great dish. I will definitely make it again but next time I will make more of it.

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