Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Shrimp Lo Mein

"They"--whoever "they" may be--say that necessity is the Mother of Invention.  That would sum up tonight's dinner.  It's approaching the end of the month and therefore, my grocery budget for January has been used up.  Time to get creative and also to use up the odds and ends that are in the fridge and pantry.  What did I have?  Some frozen shrimp, some random veggies, soy sauce...time for stir fry.  Except, I had no rice.  Oops.  What I did have, however, was a box of spaghetti and thus, a stir fry morphed into lo mein.  And, my noodle-loving boys were happier because of it!  Feel free to use this recipe as a springboard to use up what you have on hand--you can substitute a different kind of meat and use up just about any random vegetables that you have threatening to languish in the crisper drawer.

Shrimp Lo Mein
1/2 box (about 8 oz) long shaped pasta (I used a 14.5 oz box of "Ronzoni Smart Taste" thin spaghetti)
1/2 pound medium shrimp, peeled, de-veined and de-tailed
4 tablespoons soy sauce, divided
3 tablespoons sesame oil or combination of vegetable and sesame oil, divided
4 cups desired vegetables, cut into bite-sized pieces (we used broccoli florets, thin sliced red bell    pepper, shredded cabbage and 1/2 a bag of frozen stir fry blend)
1 tablespoon fresh ginger, peeled and minced (about 1" chunk)
3 garlic cloves, peeled and minced (about 1 tablespoon)
1/4 cup green onions (white and green parts), thinly sliced (about three green onions)
1/2 cup chicken broth
optional: 1/2-1 cup leftover cooked meat (i.e. chicken breast or pork--we used leftover pork tenderloin)

In a small bowl, toss shrimp with 1 tablespoon soy sauce.  Set aside until ready to stir fry.  Prepare pasta according to package directions.  Drain, toss with 1 teaspoon sesame oil and set aside.  In a large skillet or wok pan over high heat, heat 2 teaspoons oil.  Stir fry vegetables, in batches and adding chicken broth one tablespoon at a time as needed (for example, sturdier vegetables like broccoli and carrots may benefit from the extra moisture to cook more quickly) until vegetables are crisp tender.  Remove vegetables from pan, set aside and repeat with remaining vegetables until all are stir fried.  Heat one additional tablespoon of oil.  Add ginger, garlic and green onions and stirring constantly, cook until fragrant (about 30 seconds to one minute).  Add shrimp and stir fry one additional minute.  Add remaining chicken broth and soy sauce and bring to a boil.  Add pasta and vegetables back into the pan and toss to coat until heated through.  Drizzle with remaining tablespoon of sesame oil and any additional soy sauce to taste.  Serve immediately.  Chop sticks optional.

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