Mise-en-place …… say whhaatt??
This quick stir-fry recipe is healthy and flavorful with some heat, sweet, and crunch. It is a great way to use up lots of veggies, but mise-en-place is essential for the success of this dish.
Mise-en-place (pronounced meez ahn plas) is a French culinary term that literally translates to “everything in its place”. However, in culinary terms it means a process by which ingredients are prepared and organized before cooking. Doing effective preparation is the barometer of success for any line cook. The organized station that good mise-en-place creates becomes an extension of the chef’s nervous system and a place they can work almost with their eyes closed! At home, meez is the first step in being a confident and stress-free cook.
At its most basic, it means reading (and re-reading) the recipe, laying out all your ingredients, measuring, chopping and setting everything out in the order in which you will need it to make the dish. The value of this is ensuring that all components are ready for addition to the dish at the appropriate time. Important for all dishes, but especially so for quick stir fry dishes where fast cooking ingredients can easily be ruined without precise timing. With stir-fries there is no time to backtrack, no second chance, no forgiveness!
So BE BRAVE, make this dish not only for its amazing flavor, ease of preparation and health benefits, but also to practice that all important skill of mise-en-place – a skill for your kitchen and for your life!
Meez it up chefs!
Summer Squash Sweet-Spicy Stir-Fry
1 ½ tablespoon O&V Aged Balsamic *
1 tablespoon O&V Marc de Champagne vinegar *
3 tablespoons soy sauce (or tamari)
¾ teaspoon cornstarch
4 tablespoons O&V Roasted Sesame oil *
2 cups yellow squash, cut in half lengthwise and sliced in half moons
2 cups zucchini, cut in half lengthwise and sliced in half moons
2 Japanese eggplants, cut in half lengthwise and sliced in half moons
4 scallions, white part cut in 2-inch pieces, green parts thinly sliced
1 red jalapeno or serrano pepper thinly sliced
¾ cup roasted peanuts
4-5 cloves garlic, minced
1 -1 ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper (more or less to taste)
2 cups cooked white rice
Parsley leaves for garnish
In a bowl, whisk together the aged balsamic, Marc de Champagne vinegar, soy sauce and cornstarch till smooth. Stir in a tablespoon of water and set aside
Heat one tablespoon of oil in a large saucepan on medium high heat. Add the squash and cook stirring well until browned (about 4-6 minutes). Transfer to a bowl.
Repeat, heating one tablespoon of oil and adding the zucchini. Cook until browned (4-6 minutes) and transfer to the bowl with the squash.
Heat an additional tablespoon of oil in the saucepan and add the eggplant. Sauté for 3-4 minutes until lightly browned and transfer to the bowl with the squash and zucchini.
Add the remaining tablespoon of oil to the saucepan and sauté the scallion whites and sliced jalapeno/serrano pepper for a minute. Add the minced garlic, crushed red pepper and peanuts and cook until garlic is fragrant.
Return all vegetables to the saucepan and add the cornstarch mixture stirring continuously until the sauce thickens and coats the vegetables (about 2 minutes).
Serve with white rice and top with the sliced scallion greens and parsley
Total Time: 25 minutes
* The O&V Roasted Sesame oil (available at most O&V stores) gives great toasted sesame flavor to the vegetables. The Aged Balsamic adds a nice balance of sweet and acid — I recommend our aged Bronze, Silver or Gold – they get sweeter as they mature, but even the Bronze will add nice flavor. Together with the Marc de Champagne vinegar they provide a flavorful coating on the vegetables.
Categories: Entrée, Dessert, Snacks & Sides, Vegetarian, Vegan, Gluten Free, Dairy Free, Aged Balsamic, Marc De Champagne Vinegar, Roasted Sesame Oil, Squash, Zucchini, Japanese Eggplant, Sweet Spicy Stir Fry, Quick Meal, 30 Minute Dinner, Weeknight Dinner, Quick Cooking, Summer Vegetables, Plant Based