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Mediterranean stir fry

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 

I know that this should come easily to me but I can't think of a good way to make stir fry mediterranean.  I might be over thinking this but a few suggestions are very welcome since I'm drawing a blank.  I love stir fry but it always goes down the road of soy sauce/ginger/sesame oil.

"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."

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"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."

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post #2 of 10

Mediterranean as in terms of "diet" or "flavors" ?

 

on the flavor front, "Mediterranean herbing" centers around thyme, sage, oregano, parsley (to some), lambs ear....
(likely omitted a few.)

 

the oil from salt packed sardines will do for the soy "taste" component.  a bit of sardine itself would not injury my taste buds... but a little bit goes a long way.

 

the "mediterrean diet" itself is heavy on the fruits and vegetables, olive oil, and protein predominately from fish/seafood vs. "red meat" aka beef/lamb/goat.

 

heavy on the vegetables is not unlike the Asian stir fry.

 

if you search "fish stir fry" there are quite a number of suggestions.  I've done some homespun take-offs over the years - shrimp sliced long-wise vs chunks, slivers/chunks of octopus / squid (just don't tell anybody about that....) - langosta / lobster if the budget allows.  tuna is harvested in the Mediterranean - that I cook separately and add at the end - it's too tender / gets broken up if you cook in the veggies.

post #3 of 10

You could do a freeform souvlaki as a stir fry pretty easily so think about similar dishes you could repurpose the same way. Or some tapas maybe could be tweaked this way.

 

The same principles apply:

 

Cut things so they cook at the same rate.

 

Make sure they're dry, liquid is  the enemy of a stir fry.

 

Don't overload the pan. 

 

Now pick seasonings. Garlic, lemon, well at this point, rosemary would be a pretty classic combination but many herbs could work here.  Zest the lemon, set aside the juice to finish with. use the zest with

 

Protien. Shrimp or chicken or fish  would be my first picks. But even drained and rinsed canned garbanzos could work as a protein base I think. 

 

Accent with vegetables. Frozen artichoke hearts, summer squash, green beans, peppers, tomatoes... Keep it simple, not too many. Stick with just one or two I think would be best for this region and concept in general. 

 

Consider wine or verjus or maybe a specialty vinegar for seasoning towards the middle/end. I probably wouldn't thicken with corn starch slurry, but might use fine bread crumbs, a little rice or bean powder (toss dried beans rice into a coffee/spice grinder and grind finely) and so on. 

 

To marinate or not?  The souvlaki example I would marinate, but I'd probably lean more to a dry seasoning just for the speed and simplicity most of the time. Za'atar would be one I'd reach for a lot I think. 

 

If I was doing a fish, I'd likely try to use a thin fillet. Stir fry the basics together, lay the fish on top, add a little liquid. cover, and steam to a finish on a low heat. Then pour on some hot olive oil with some aromatics in it like garlic, green onion, citrus zest and such for a final sizzle and flavor finish. 

Palace of the Brine -- "I hear the droning in the shrine of the sea monkeys." Saltair
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Palace of the Brine -- "I hear the droning in the shrine of the sea monkeys." Saltair
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post #4 of 10
Thread Starter 

I really want to give this a try.  A deconstructed souvlaki sounds about right.

 

Dillbert, do you mean anchovy paste?  Not sardines?  I find sardines to be too fishy.  The idea of anchovy paste as a replacement for the soy sauce sounds kinda awesome.  Funny story, I once attempted to make a tapenade and used canned sardines instead of anchovies.  It was kinda gross lol.

"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."

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"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."

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post #5 of 10

anchovy vs sardines...

 

either, I suspect.  agreed, they are different. 

 

the only way I've done fish stir fry is using the salt packed oil as a flavoring.  using a paste may need a tweak - diluted/mashed into an oil, methinks?

 

sardines I typically "stock" due to a fondness for sardines+cream cheese on a fresh broetchen.  but, tastes account.

may not work for you.  just polished off my last batch of home made broetchen.  fond memories . . . .

 

I can readily find/get frozen squid "rings" - so it's more a matter of "going with what you got/can get"

now octopus, for example,  takes a lotta' hunting to turn up "locally".....

unless you're in a commercial situation doing a high end "no limits" type dish.  click on one from column A and one from . . .

 

I did some work in Las Vegas for years-extended; my "transportation" contacts revealed the Las Vegas airport (LAS) lands two or three 747 size cargo planes chocked to the brim with "fresh seafood" daily - pilot, copilot, couple thousand tons of seafood in the back.....

then again, LV is a "destination of many high end eateries...." - and menu pricing reflects "how to get a four pound lobster in the middle of a desert."  here's a clue:  the lobster don't walk in on their own..... (g)

post #6 of 10
Thread Starter 
Just be careful with those frozen squid rings. There have been some very questionable practices regarding those lately. Thankfully I find fresh close by, octopus too.

"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."

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"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."

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post #7 of 10

What's up with the squid rings? They are such a convenient and inexpensive protein. I was afraid it was too good to be true.

post #8 of 10
Thread Starter 

Unfortunately I was sitting in my car listening to NPR as usual.  In a program called "This American Life" they brought up a segment of imitation calamari.  Here's the jist of it http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/01/16/imitation-calamari-sliced-pig-rectum_n_2482063.html

 

It's hard to believe, I know and I'm sure there must be a way to tell the difference but I can't unhear what I heard.  Not sure if I really wanted to hear it in the first place.  I was victimized by NPR.

"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."

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"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."

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post #9 of 10

Oh, you know... I heard that when it ran --and then promptly blocked it from my consciousness.  Now I remember that it was quite grotesque but I don't remember the details. I'll have to listen again when I get home from work tonight.

post #10 of 10

it seems to fall into the "urban legend" bucket - widely circulated, widely claimed "true" - but no one / no 'agency' can find any real truth to it.

 

that this particular "cut" is used in "other cuisines" - that I can believe.  not much of the porker goes to waste....

 

I buy either the whole "shell" or non-breaded / "as is" non-breaded, no-nothing, cut frozen rings.  those I don't have a lot of trouble recognizing.

what's under the breading in a $2 all you can eat buffet, that could be a different story - except that no evidence has yet turned up.....

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