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Sunday, August 7, 2011

Denver to Atlanta

A day in the life of the gypsygourmet……

This day starts with your gypsygourmet oversleeping in a parking lot in Oak Grove, MO. The first thought running through my mind isn’t “Oh crap, this load’s gonna be late!”, as it's a simple relay to our terminal in Atlanta. No, the first thoughts running through my head revolve around what I’m making for dinner; sad but true. At 8:45 EDT thoughts of stir fry are dancing through my coconut. Log book updated, trash taken out, dog walked (all very quietly as to not disturb the love of my life still sleeping in the bunk), and coffee in hand, I set out on I 70 east bound for Atlanta. Our truck is well equipped to handle the challenge of stir fry, 2500 watt inverter, 4.4 cubic foot refrigerator/freezer combo, electric skillet, every necessary utensil at hand, so I now wonder how I can put an eclectic spin on this oft used idea to make it fresh and interesting.

As I mentally rifle through the contents of my pantry, wondering if I have any cornstarch on hand, I realize with a start that I have crawfish tail meat straight out of Louisiana! Hmmmm, this could be an epic twist on an old favorite J I have fresh garlic, ginger, scallions, and tri colored bell peppers. I also have some broccoli florets, and some baby portabella mushrooms. I have concluded that cornstarch exists in my cupboard along with chicken base and soy sauce.  So, here’s the recipe I’ve come up with. There are a few fast and easy shortcuts if you don’t want to go through the extra effort of making the sauce, and remember folks; this is all made in the cab of my semi-truck.   

Crawfish Tail Stir Fry

2 T Classic Olive oil + ½ tsp. toasted sesame oil
(Say “No!” to EVOO!!If I want fruity, I’ll eat a salad J)

(1pkg)Boudreaux’s brand crawfish tail meat 12oz

½ each red, orange, and yellow bell pepper (julienned/cut into ¼ in strips)

½ pkg. baby portabella mushrooms (1/4 in slice)

12 each green onions (1/4 in bias cut/diagonal cut)

2 Cups broccoli florets (bite size)


(Feel free to use Kikkoman’s stir fry sauce in place of homemade; it can be a bit easier.)

½ tsp. toasted sesame oil

2 cups prepared chicken stock (I like the convenience of Better than Bouillon’s brand chicken base)

¼ cup Kikkoman’s soy sauce

1 T Fresh grated ginger

2 T Minced garlic (Spice World prepared is great)

¼ - ½ tsp. chili sauce (I like sriacha)

2-3 T. Cornstarch dissolved in as little water as possible


Heat electric skillet to medium high, when it’s good and hot add both your olive oil and sesame oil. Next add your broccoli florets, cooking them until they start to change to a brighter green 2-3 min. The bell pepper strips will follow, again cooking for an additional minute. Last are your baby portabellas. You don’t want to overcook your vegetables, unless you like them that way. Me, I’m not a player.  When these have combined and are cooked “al dente” or semi crispy, remove them immediately to a paper plate/bowl, gently wipe your skillet out with a paper towel and continue on to the sauce.

If you’re using the prepared sauce, add the crawfish meat and the green onions to the vegetables still in the skillet, and enough sauce to coat evenly. Warm crawfish meat through, keeping in mind it’s already cooked. It’s ready as soon as it’s warm, serve it over any flavor prepared rice that you like. I prefer the easy 90 sec microwave Uncle Ben’s Wild & Brown Rice blend. It’s tasty and a healthier alternative.

If you’re preparing the sauce, add the prepared chicken stock to the fresh clean skillet, add the sesame oil, ginger, garlic, soy sauce, and chili sauce. Bring to a boil, and add the cornstarch slurry. As it bubbles, add your vegetables, crawfish meat, and green onions. Heat through, as mentioned above, and serve over rice.

I think it’s a great dish, not too complicated, and an awesome healthier alternative to some of the crap truckers like us are subjected to every day. I just got really tired of paying for food that just wasn’t “IT”. Until next time, eat well, laugh often, and drive safe.


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