Thursday, May 14, 2009

Snow Peas

I rarely purchase snow peas, fresh or frozen, from my grocery store. (Sadly, it's the same story with sugar snaps.) The frozen ones are flabby and the allegedly fresh ones never look particularly fresh. So, you can imagine the squeal of delight when I opened the CSA box this week and spied real, honest-to-goodness, perfect and unblemished snow peas. I used them in a lovely shrimp stir-fry with a basic fried rice -- using carrots, onions and frozen English peas as the veg. The stir-fry's pink and green combination, suitable for Muffy's favorite Bermuda bag or perhaps a Lilly Pulitzer sundress, was dazzling, exceeded only by the taste -- first-rate.

Shrimp Stir-Fry with Celery and Snow Peas

1 lb. raw shrimp, peeled
a tablespoon or two of vegetable oil
1/2 onion, thinly sliced
1 cup chopped celery
1/2 lb. snow peas, trimmed & de-stringed
1 garlic clove
1 1-inch piece of ginger

1. Prep all ingredients and place a wok or 10-inch skillet over high heat and pour in oil. I use a wok skillet, seasoned to ebony nonstick perfection through years of cooking. Using a microplane or other grater, finely grate the garlic and ginger.

2. When oil is just shy of smoking, pour in onion and celery. Stir until slightly softened, a few minutes. Add snow peas and continue cooking for a few minutes. Add shrimp and cook, stirring all the while, until the shrimp are cute pink curls, reminiscent of the giant snail in "Dr. Doolittle" (Rex Harrison version).

3. When the shrimp are cooked through, make a well in the center and pour in the garlic and ginger mixture. Cook a minute or so more, stirring to integrate the garlic and ginger throughout.

4. Serve immediately with steamed rice or fried rice.

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