ORIENTAL BLACK BEAN AND GARLIC SAUCE FOR ASPARAGUS
Can be prepared in 45 minutes or less.
2 teaspoons vegetable oil
1 Tablespoon minced garlic
1 Tablespoon grated peeled fresh gingerroot
1/3 cup minced red bell pepper
2 Tablespoons fermented black beans (available at Oriental markets
and specialty foods shops), rinsed, drained well,
and crushed slightly
1 1/2 Tablespoons medium-dry Sherry
1 Tablespoon soy sauce
1/4 teaspoon sugar
1 1/2 cups chicken broth
2 teaspoons cornstarch
In a skillet heat the oil over moderately high heat and in it stir-fry
the garlic, the gingerroot, and the red bell pepper until the pepper is
softened. Add the beans and stir-fry the mixture for 2 minutes. Add the
Sherry and boil the mixture for 1 minute. Stir in the soy sauce, the
sugar, and the broth and simmer the mixture, stirring occasionally, for
10 minutes. In a small bowl dissolve the cornstarch in 2 teaspoons cold
water, whisk it into the mixture, and simmer the sauce until it is
thickened slightly. Add black pepper to taste and serve the sauce over
Makes about 1 1/4 cups.
THAI-STYLE BEEF AND ASPARAGUS CURRY
Serve this intensely flavored curry -- made with Thai red curry paste
and coconut milk from the supermarket's Asian foods section -- over
steamed jasmine rice. A side salad of bean sprouts drizzled with Asian
salad dressing would be a cooling accompaniment; follow it with mango
1 pound top sirloin, cut crosswise into thin strips
2 teaspoons Thai red curry paste
4 Tablespoons Asian stir-fry oil or peanut oil
12 ounces asparagus, trimmed,
cut into 1 1/2-inch lengths (3 1/2 cups)
1 1/2 cups canned unsweetened coconut milk
1/3 cup fresh basil, chopped
Place beef and curry paste in medium bowl. Stir to coat beef thoroughly.
(Can be made 8 hours ahead. Cover; chill.)
Heat 2 tablespoons oil in large skillet over high heat. Add asparagus
and sauté until crisp-tender and beginning to char slightly, about
3 minutes. Using slotted spoon, transfer asparagus to bowl.
Add remaining 2 tablespoons oil to skillet. Add curry-coated beef in
single layer. Cook over high heat without stirring until bottom of beef
begins to char slightly, about 2 minutes. Add coconut milk and cook,
stirring often, until sauce is bubbling and slightly reduced, about
2 minutes. Add asparagus and heat through. Stir in basil. Squeeze lime
wedges over mixture and serve.
Makes 4 servings.