Monday, November 02, 2009

Stir-Fried Green Beans with Peanut Sauce, Fresh Tofu, and Chiles

I have a few cookbooks on my shelf that are completely under-appreciated. Tyler Florence's Eat This Book has been gathering dust there for years. No excuse, I just sort of forgot it was there.

Green Beans

Starting today, neglect no longer! This book is dynamic, colorful and approachable. It has a great variety of recipes from all over the globe, and while most of them have scarily long ingredient lists, the techniques themselves are mostly quite simple. I had almost all of the ingredients for this recipe on hand already.

Tofu

This dish, Stir-Fried Green Beans with Peanut Sauce, Fresh Tofu, and Chiles, is a study in contrasts. Flavorful and mellow, hot and cold, colorful and pale, spicy and mild. Each of these contrasts complements the others. It hit the spot perfectly on a chilly fall night. I especially like that the tofu is served on the side, rather than incorporated into the stir-fry; something new that I'll try more often. To make this dish vegetarian, substitute vegetable broth or water for the chicken stock.

I prepped ahead for this dish using mise en place, and it really expedited things once I started cooking. I highly recommend this method with such a long ingredient list. Not only is it efficient, but it lowers the stress level and ups the fun level.

Stir-Fried Green Beans with Peanut Sauce, Fresh Tofu, and Chiles
Adapted from Eat This Book by Tyler Florence
Printable Recipe

1/2 cup peanut oil
1 1/4 pounds green beans, trimmed and halved
1-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and grated
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 green onions, white and green parts, thinly sliced
2 dried red chiles
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
1/2 cup chicken stock, homemade or storebought (vegetarians: substitute vegetable broth or water)
1 tablespoon cornstarch
2 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
1 tablespoon rice vinegar
1 tablespoon sugar
3 tablespoons creamy peanut butter
2 strips of orange zest
1 (15-0unce) block or firm tofu, cut into 1-inch cubes
1 fresh jalapeno pepper, sliced crosswise into rounds
1/4 cup roasted peanuts, chopped
Handful fresh cilantro leaves, optional

1. Heat the peanut oil in a wok over high heat. When the oil is smoking hot, at the beans and stir-fry for 2 minutes. Remove to a plate lined with paper towels to drain. Very carefully, drain all but 2 tablespoons of the hot oil into a heat-proof bowl (Amy's note for the klutzy: I drained it all into a bowl and then put 2 tablespoons back into the wok).

2. Add the ginger, garlic, green onion, and chiles to the oil remaining in the wok and stir-fry until you can smell the fragrance of the aromatics, 30 seconds to 1 minute. Return the green beans to the wok and season with salt and pepper.

3. In a small bowl, stir the chicken stock with the cornstarch to make a slurry and add that to the wok. Add the soy sauce, vinegar, sugar, peanut butter, and orange zest (Amy's note: I had these all pre-combined in one bowl). Simmer until the sauce is thickened and the beans are tender, 5-7 minutes.

4. Garnish with the tofu, sliced jalapeno, peanuts, and cilantro, if desired. Serve with steamed rice.

5 comments:

EthidiumBromide said...

Did you just leave the tofu uncooked? I can't wrap my head (tongue?) around cold, uncooked tofu with a spicy stirfry. Would you recommend leaving it this way rather than giving it a quick saute on its own?

Amy I. said...

Yep, it was cold and uncooked, that's how the recipe was written. Feel free to prepare it however you feel would be the best-tasting for you, but we enjoyed it.

Lauren said...

Yum. Just... yum.

Anne said...

Interesting. I haven't had much success with stir-frying tofu, so I think I like this as an alternative method. Looks delicious! I love spicy green beans.

Sara | Stinkerpants! said...

Wow, yummers!! This looks delish!

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