Monday, July 2, 2012

Green Beans and Peaches...Cooking What's In Season

Honestly, I could become a vegetarian in the summer. I buy fresh fruits and vegetables at the Farmers Market and use them in the recipes that I cook all week.

The vegetables and fruits you purchase from the Farmers Market will last two to three times longer than the ones you get in the grocery store. They are usually fresh picked the day before the market unlike the ones from the supermarket that have to travel through the food chain.

One of my favorite meals is chicken or fish piled high with fresh fruit salsa.You can use the basic recipes and add just about any fruit in season. This week it was peaches.

Ask me the key to healthy eating and I will tell you that it is eating the right things at the right time.
I made a meal later that day of Szechuan Green Beans. I used a shallot instead of scallions and it really gave this dish a lot of flavor.

No matter what you cook, do it fresh.

 Happy 4th and Bon Appetit!
Szechuan Green Beans
1 pound green beans
1 tablespoon garlic, chopped
1 tablespoon ginger, chopped
2 scallions, white parts only or ½ shallot, chopped
1/2 teaspoon chili paste
1tablespoon dark soy sauce
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt, or to taste
Pepper to taste
2 tablespoons vegetable or peanut oil

Wash the beans, drain thoroughly, and trim the tops and bottoms.

Chop the garlic, ginger and white part of the scallions or a shallot

Heat 1 tablespoon oil over medium heat. Add the beans and Stir Fry until they start to shrivel and turn brown (5 to 7 minutes).

Remove the beans and drain in a colander or on paper towels.

Heat 1 tablespoon oil in the wok on high heat. Add the garlic, ginger and scallions. Stir-fry for a few seconds, then add the chili paste and stir-fry for a few more seconds until aromatic.

Add the beans and the rest of the ingredients. Mix together and serve.

Peach Salsa
3 or 4 ripe (but firm) peaches, washed, pitted, and cut into ½-inch (or smaller) dice
½ of a red onion, peeled and cubed
1 or 2 jalapeño peppers, washed, seeded, and minced
3 - 4 tablespoons minced cilantro leaves
juice of 1 lime
¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
sugar to taste  

Dice peaches into cubes of ½-inch or smaller. Place in mixing bowl.

Peel and mince your red onion.
Wash jalapeño peppers and cut lengthwise. Chop into very small dice
Finely mince the cilantro. Add to the mixing bowl.
Juice a lime, add juice to mixing bowl.

In the mixing bowl, toss peaches, onion, jalapeño pepper, cilantro, and lime juice together.
Add salt, freshly ground pepper, and the optional cayenne pepper until the salsa tastes good to you.
If your salsa is too spicy, add a little sugar.
Chill for at least an hour.
On Sunday when I cheat and eat a little fried chicken, I fill half my plate with this salsa so the rest of what I am eating is really healthy.