May 02, 2008

cabbage with tapenade

I was just about to write that I seemed to be binging on stir-fries when I realized that "binge" and "stir-fry" don't really belong in the same sentence. Binge on ice cream, binge on chocolate, binge on linzer cookies...but stir-fry? So, I'm on a stir-fry kick, streak, obsession...or maybe it's a stir-fry rut. I've been making stir-fries for days because they're so fast, only use a wok and maybe another pot to boil or steam a grain. Easy, easy, easy. And endlessly versatile, allowing me to use whatever I find in the pantry. I posted the first one, the second was made in ten minutes and eaten while watching American Idol before I could photograph it. (Yes, I admit to being hooked on AI) The third was the weirdest but best tasting of all. I've gotten really fond of adding prunes to the wok so I added those, and while looking for interesting ingredients among my husband's almost empty jars of things, I found green olive tapenade and black olive spread. (One of these days, Ricki, I'll make the actual tagine instead of just borrowing parts of it.)

I started with thin slices of tofu, since it was leftover from the past few nights, and stir-fried it with leftover bun salad sauce (strained of solids and stored in a glass jar)
and a spoonful of sucanot. I shredded hard green cabbage with my santoku and stirred it in with two chopped green onions from the garden, dried tomatoes from last summer, the aforementioned cut-in-half prunes, a few sliced mushrooms and some thinly sliced baby carrots. With everything still crispy, I added the two olive spreads. I served it over thin rice noodles. This tasted delicious, even heated at work the next day for lunch.

Rice noodles taste really good are are fast to make. I put on a pot of water when I first started to cook and by the time the veggies were crisp-tender, the water was boiling. Pop the noodles into the pot and WATCH CAREFULLY, testing every 30 seconds or so for doneness. Don't turn your back as these noodles go from perfect to goo in a very short time. Drain them and add to the wok to soak up the sauce. Now, I promise not to write up any more stir fries.


  1. This is a really intriguing idea--olive spread in stir-fry! Funny you think of it as easy and fast, whereas I shy away from stir-fries because of all the time-intensive chopping (but I don't have a santoku--must look that up!). Don't worry about the tagine--I think this use of prunes is just as interesting!

    Oh, and that Brooke--she really did have to go, don't you think?

  2. But I LIKE it when you write about stir-fries!

  3. Yes, Ricki, stir fries are what I cook when I'm short on time. I focus on one main veggie, and add only a few others for taste and/or color. I add a protein like tofu, tempeh, seitan or canned beans. Throw together a flavorful sauce and a quick-cooking grain like quinoa, couscous, buckwheat or rice noodles and you have a meal in minutes.

    David Cook should be the winner, if you ask me.

    Thanks, Claire. I just never write down the ingredients when I'm speed-cooking.


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