Vegetarian Sichuan Dry Sautéed Green Beans – Gan Bian Si Ji Dou

I can honestly say that this is my favorite Sichuan dish, second only to MaPo Tofu. I’ve eaten it many times, but had never made it. Well, that has changed. This was really incredible.


I found so many different recipes, but sort of merged a Fuchsia Dunlop recipe and a Wok of Life recipe to create this vegetarian version, which replaces the standard ground pork with Shiitake mushrooms. I’m very happy with how it turned out.

Ingredients

1 pound Green Beans, trimmed.
1 cup Vegetable Oil
1 Tbsp Ginger, minced
3 cloves Garlic, minced
1 tsp Sichuan Peppercorns, crushed
2 Tien Tsin Chilis, crushed
2 ounces dried Shiitake Mushrooms, soaked in hot water and chopped.
1 Tbsp Shaoxing wine
1 Tbsp light soy sauce
1/2 Tbsp dark soy sauce
1 drop of Liquid Smoke
1/4 teaspoon sugar
Dash of Toasted Sesame Oil

You will want to prepare everything up front, because the cooking time is very quick. 

Start your wok and pour your oil in the wok. Once it is up to temperature, add your green beans and cook them for 6 to 7 minutes until they are blistered and softened. Here’s what they will look like at the three stages.

 

 

Set them aside to drain in a colander over a pan. Then drain all of the oil off of the wok except for about 1 tablespoon. Then add your garlic, ginger, shiitake mushrooms, sauté for 1 minute and then add your Szechuan peppercorns and chilies and stir fry them gently on low heat.

Then bring the heat up to high, add in the green beans, and the sauce mixture and stir fry for about one minute Serve with rice and enjoy.

Note: If you want to avoid deep frying, you can make a healthier version by adding the green beans directly to a hot wok with a pinch of salt and stir frying them for 15-20 minutes until they are blistered.

Catfish Couvillion – A Cajun Delight

A couvillion is in the same family of the Creole/Cajun courtbouillon and the French court-bouillon. The major difference is that couvillion starts with a medium dark roux and is thick and almost stew like.

There are many different recipes, but mine is traditional and very good. It’s not difficult to make, but the roux takes time and can’t be rushed. If you burn the roux it is unusable and you will need to start over. So once you start the roux, keep stirring. I will give you a step by step to make the roux. If you feel you need additional info, here is a link. http://www.thepasadenachef.com/2011/02/how-to-make-roux.html

As I had guests over, I was unable to get a pic of the final dish, but the pic above is from the amazing meal I had at Couvillion here in Louisville. Mine looked very similar and tasted almost as good, but not quite.

Ingredients

3 Tbsp Vegetable Oil
3 Tbsp Butter
6 Tbsp Flour
1 Onion, minced
1/2 Red Pepper, minced
1/2 Green Pepper, minced
2 ribs Celery, minced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup White Wine
1 28oz can of Crushed Tomatoes or a large 24 oz jar of Passata
2 cups Seafood stock
1 tsp Salt
1/2 tsp freshly ground Black Pepper
½ tsp Cayenne Pepper
1 tsp dried Thyme Leaves
2 Bay Leaves
1 1/2 lb pound Catfish filets
2 Tbsp scallions, chopped
Rice for serving

Prepare your onion, celery, red and green peppers and garlic and set aside. You don\’t want to be worrying with this, while you\’re making your roux.

Make a medium dark roux by adding the butter, oil and flour to a cast iron pot. It will take between 30-60 minutes to get it the right color. I cooked mine slowly, so it took a full 60 minutes.

When it is the color of dark milk chocolate, add your onion, red and green bell pepper, celery and garlic and sweat it down. Throw in a little salt, and give it 15 minutes to soften it up.

Add your white wine and reduce slightly, 5 minutes and then add your tomatoes, stock and spices and cook until thick. About 60 minutes. I always remember the advice from my very old Creole cookbook. “The mo slow it cooks the mo better it be”. Bless her.

Lay your catfish gently into the sauce, spooning a little sauce over each filet, cover and cook until firm. My filets took about 6 minutes.

Serve with rice sprinkled with your chopped green onions.