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Pollo Stefania

12 Jul

Another retro restaurant recipe clipped from a 1990s newspaper:

To die for’ Pollo Stefania requires monthly fix

If Italian food is your particular weakness, then you’ve probably long since discovered Chianti Cafe & Restaurant.

Pat Stokes wrote us to say that the Pollo Stefania is ”to die for.” Stokes can be found at Chianti’s ”at least once a month,” getting her fix of Pollo Stefania. ”I have to have my chicken and pears.”

And is Pollo Stefania, in fact, a dish to die for? ”It is,” confirms Barb Masterson, assistant manager at Chianti’s on 17th Avenue S.W. — the original Chianti’s location. In fact, the whole menu is exceptional, she says.

”We have been voted the #1 Italian restaurant in The Herald’s Readers’ Choice Awards for the last seven years — that says a lot about us.”

Daily specials go up on the chalkboard, and there’s something new to try every day of the week. ”Mondays and Tuesdays are our $5.95 Pasta Frenzy nights at all three locations,” says Masterson (there’s also a Chianti’s on Macleod Trail South, and a new location at Crowfoot Crescent N.W.). The best-seller for Pasta Frenzy is usually Fettuccine Supremo, an irresistible combination of smoked salmon and scallops in a curried cream sauce. ”At this location only we offer Saturday lunches from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at $5.95, as well.”

Some customers have become like family, says Masterson, always dropping in. ”We have such a loyal following with some people in here four times a week.” Not surprisingly, the staff is loyal to Chianti’s, too. Masterson has been on deck for eight years (after years as a regular customer herself), ”chef Quan has been here from Day One; our other chef, Yen, has probably been here for 11 or 12 years. The two of them are fabulous,” she says.

“Staff tend to stay because it’s such a great place to work,” says Masterson, and customers tend to come back time after time because it’s such a great place to eat.

The dining experience goes well beyond the impressive menu. ”Everybody seems to love coming here. People love the upbeat, busy atmosphere,” combined with the decor of a Euro bistro. “A lot of people come in here to people-watch. A lot of local celebrities eat here, they tell us this is their favourite restaurant.”

Pollo Stefania
Chianti Cafe & Restaurant

4 4 oz. chicken breasts, skinless and slightly tenderized

6 canned pears cut lengthwise and 3 tablespoons of pear juice

3 tablespoons crumbled gorgonzola cheese

2 teaspoons parmesan cheese

3 tablespoons curry powder

1 cup 32-per-cent cream

2 oz dry sherry

Salt and pepper to taste

Dust the chicken in flour, saute both sides with olive oil until meat is cooked (about 2 minutes).

Drain the oil and add the pears and 3 tablespoons of pear juice, then add the parmesan, gorgonzola, cream, curry and sherry. Stir for 3-4 minutes, or until sauce is well reduced, add salt and pepper to taste; serve with top sprinkled with parsley and with a side of spinach fettuccine in tomato sauce. Serves 4.

 

Savoir Fare Meatloaf

2 Jul

More for the meatloaf files:

Calgary Herald
Sun May 11 1997

Grayson Sherman is one chef who can add high style to almost anything.

At his restaurant and catering company Savoir Fare (with partner Octavia Melanosky) Sherman is putting new twists on old favorites — food he’s dubbed ”21st Century Diner” cuisine.

This new age home cooking ranges from old-fashioned roast chicken and mashed potatoes or an open-faced tuna Nicoise sandwich to lemon meringue pie. But you won’t see that pie the same anymore once you’ve had Sherman’s creation — a lemon curd-topped meringue with a towering cone of pastry on top.

And you’ll always find meatloaf on the menu, but you can count on it being just a notch more exciting than Mom’s.

Herald editor Beth Burgess says it’s the best meatloaf she’s ever tasted and asked us to uncover Sherman’s secrets.

”The secret is using regular ground beef, not lean,” says Sherman who has updated his grandmother’s recipe by adding such things as marjoram and fennel to the mix and serving it with a sundried tomato gravy.

Sherman says he’s ”done 10 different kinds of meatloaf” at Savoir Fare, from Cajun-flavored loaves to Mediterranean meatloaf with cracked wheat or Indian meatloaf flavored with raisins, cumin, cardamom and cloves.

You can also try his food until June 1 at the Designers’ Showcase home at Elbow Drive and 29th Ave. S.W. (a fund-raiser for the Kid’s Help Phone) where Savoir Fare on the Park is set up with a 48-seat outdoor restaurant.

Here’s his recipe:

Savoir Fare Herbed Meatloaf with Sundried Tomato Gravy

Serves 8

Meatloaf:

1/4 cup canola oil

1/2 cup celery, finely diced

21/4    cups onions, diced

13/4    pounds regular ground beef

11/2    cups bread crumbs

1/4 cup barbecue sauce

1 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce

3 eggs

1   tablespoon sausage spice (Sherman’s mixture of salt, pepper, garlic and fennel) or Clubhouse Pepper Medley

1 tablespoon granulated garlic

1 tablespoon beef soup base

1 tablespoon coarsely ground black pepper

1/2 tablespoon fennel seed

1/2 tablespoon marjoram

Heat oil in a large saute pan and add onion and celery. Saute until vegetables are translucent and tender.

Cool slightly and puree in food processor. Transfer to a large bowl.

Add the remaining ingredients and work with your hands until a smooth paste-like texture is achieved. Form mixture into a 6-inch wide by 12-inch long domed loaf (like a biscotti). Cover with parchment and bake about 30 minutes at 325 degreesF until firm but not overcooked. Drain fat and cut into 8 portions.

Sundried Tomato Gravy:

Makes 4 cups

1/2 cup oil from sundried tomatoes

6 tablespoons flour

2 cups milk

1/2 cup sundried tomatoes, minced

2 cups water

4 tablespoons beef soup base

1/4 cup sherry

1 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper

2 tablespoons garlic, minced

1 tablespoon basil

4 tablespoons thick tomato puree or tomato paste

1/2 cup fresh basil, shredded

Place sundried tomatoes in the water in a measuring cup and heat in microwave for 4 minutes. Remove tomatoes, reserving liquid, and set aside. Heat the sundried tomato oil in a saute pan and stir in the flour, cooking to form a roux. Stir in the tomato water, tomatoes, soup base, sherry, pepper, garlic, dry basil and tomato puree. Stir over medium heat to form a smooth gravy. Stir in milk and fresh basil. Serve over meatloaf.

 

Savoir Faire’s mushroom, pancetta, grain soup

2 Jul

Calgary Herald
Sun Jun 18 2000

I had the most heavenly soup at Savoir Fare,” wrote Sophia Lang. ”Could you get and publish the recipe?”

Lang, a psychologist whose office is near Savoir Fare, had recently had wisdom teeth removed, and the soup — made with tomato, pancetta, grains and wild mushrooms — left a lasting impression.

The owners of Savoir Fare must be used to compliments by now.

About four months after the Savoir Fare restaurant opened, John Gilchrist, food critic for the CBC and a Herald food columnist, reviewed the restaurant on the radio and give it 9 1/2 out of 10 — the highest score he’d ever awarded.

”You can’t imagine how that felt,” says Peter Fraiberg, who heard the review in his car on the way to work. ”I play the review every now and then for the kitchen people so they don’t forget that people who dine here are expecting a lot,” says Fraiberg.

Of course, Gilchrist’s rave review kick-started the new restaurant. ”The place exploded,” says Fraiberg, who owns and operates Savoir Fare catering and the restaurant with Octavia Malinowski. ”Everyone wanted to come to Savoir Fare.”

It was a dream come true for the partners but it also put the restaurant ”under the microscope,” in the sense that everyone who comes in is expecting 9 1/2 out of 10, says Fraiberg. So, he adds, that’s just what they get.

”We’re going for 10. That’s our philosophy — service, taking care of people.”

”A lot of people think Savoir Fare just happened four years ago” when the restaurant end of the business was opened.

In fact, Savoir Fare has been a going concern for about 12 years, says Fraiberg. It started as a catering business operated from the apartment of one of the owners.

Slowly business grew, until a restaurant seemed like a logical progression — a way to gain some street presence, give people a chance to sample Savoir Fare’s menu, and get out of the kitchen at home and into a great catering facility.

”Catering is what we do — that’s who we are,” says Fraiberg. ”There are a lot of restaurants in Calgary but there aren’t a lot of catering companies like Savoir Fare.”

These days, Savoir Fare has gone one step farther. ”What we’re able to do is to take the restaurant to people’s homes.” During the oil show, for example, the staff was busy doing several dinners at several different homes.

”Our food style is a North American style of cooking, using a global pantry of ingredients,” says Fraiberg. He believes the style suits the cosmopolitan city Calgary is becoming.

”Things have changed in Calgary — we can compete with the world.”

There are two menus at Savoir Fare. Lunch is casual but at night the table linens and candles come out, along with a menu better suited to a special dining experience. (However, favourite lunch items are available on request.)

”We’ve discovered this place is a special place for people — it’s a place people like to come to for birthdays and anniversaries,” says Fraiberg, mentioning there are customers who regularly fly from Edmonton to dine at the restaurant.

Whenever possible, make reservations to assure a table will be available. ”We only have 34 seats, it’s a small place. Big is not always better,” says Fraiberg. ”We work on quality, not quantity.”

 

Wild Mushroom, Pancetta and Seven Grain Soup

1 clove fresh garlic (minced)

1 oz (28g) pancetta (chopped)

1/2    tbsp (8 mL) olive oil

1 1/2 cups (375 mL) Vidalia onions (chopped)

1 1/2 cups (375 mL) chicken stock

3/4    cup (176 mL) chopped Italian plum tomatoes

4 oz (114 g) assorted mushrooms

1 1/2 cups (375 mL) grain rice mix (cooked)

1 tbsp (15 mL) Thyme

1 oz (28 g) cabbage

Sugar (to taste)

Chiffonade basil (chopped for garnish)

Preparation: Sweat onions for about 10 minutes. Add pancetta followed by garlic and mushrooms. Add tomatoes and chicken stock. Bring to a boil and add grains, cabbage, thyme and sugar. Season with salt and pepper. Garnish with basil. Serves 4.

 

 

Finally! Frank’s Seafood

18 Jun

A random retro recipe find sent us down a rabbit hole.

We started with this:

Seattle seafood

Which looks like a good excuse for baguette. And it got us reminiscing about Frank’s place in Cochrane. The calamari and seafood in a spicy tomato broth for sopping up with said bread was incredible. Frank’s, which was officially Cucina Amore, was a taste of heaven and now I remember why: Frank Lucente operated Caffe dello Sport in Calgary for years. The hot frutta di mare dish of seafood in a garlicy, spicy, (salty) concentrated tomato broth (not red sauce) with plenty of olive oil. I remember spooning the goods onto my plate, the broth, rendered tomato and oil pooling, which I soaked up with good bread. The dish was so memorable, cravable, that I jotted down details to try to recreate.

Then today, I actually FOUND the recipe from Frank himself.

Pleased to see my earlier recollection is pretty close to the recipe itself:

“The tomato was likely canned romas broken down by heat and liquid. Can’t remember if there were onions melting into the broth but they would not be out of place (ooh or thin slices of fennel!). Calamari rings, shrimp, scallops, mussels, maybe clams. So spicy and garlicy. Wonder if there was white wine in there too. Maybe clam juice or a Walter-like clamato mix would be good to try. Would love to serve with lemon slices and freshly snipped parsley. Serve on a warmed platter.”

Behold, the real deal:

SEAFOOD APPETIZER CAFFE DELLO SPORT

3 or 4 large squid slices

8-10 each: fresh mussels and clams, scrubbed

1/2 tablespoon minced garlic (wondering about shaved garlic slices?)

2 tablespoons fresh Italian parsley

1/4 cup clam juice

1/4 cup butter

pinch of crushed red chilies

1 teaspoon oregano

1/2 teaspoon dry parsley

black pepper and seasoning salt

1/4 teaspoon sea salt

1/4 cup dry white wine

1/4 cup chicken stock

1/2 cup tomato sauce (Frank combines crushed Roma tomatoes with red pepper, onion, garlic, basil and Italian parsley and simmers his sauce for 4 hours to reduce by one quarter)

Combine seafood, garlic, Italian parsley, clam juice, butter, chilies, oregano, parsley, pepper, seasoning salt and sea salt in a saucepan. Cover and place over high heat for 3-5 minutes. Add white wine and cover, cook a few minutes more. Add chicken stock and tomato sauce and simmer 2 minutes longer. Set seafood on a platter and drizzle sauce over top.

Makes one serving.

From the newspaper column Dec 31 1995:

When Frank Lucente opened his little Italian coffee shop in Calgary in 1974, he literally had the first cappuccino maker in town.

And when he expanded to serve a full Italian menu, it was some of the first ”foreign” fare meat-and-potatoes Calgarians ever saw.

His little restaurant across from Ralph Klein’s favorite watering hole, the St. Louis, drew diners in droves. Klein and his political pals would line up at Caffe Dello Sport for Lucente’s scampi and Italian sausage — even actors like Paul Newman ate at the little Italian eatery. Calgary was still beef and beans land, and Italian was exotic.

Well, times have changed. Calgary now has lots of Italian restaurants and even trendy spots have discovered the wonderful flavors of fresh basil, virgin olive oil and sun-dried tomatoes.

But Lucente and his family are still there, serving up their homemade specialties to their loyal, long-time customers.

The decor is simple — a mural of the Bay of Naples, red checkered table cloths and wood trim.

”It’s nothing fancy, but it’s good,” says Lucente of his trattoria. ”Nobody can beat my food because it’s homey.”

It’s also a little different. The veal stuffed with prawns comes in his green onion and mushroom sauce. The pasta for his lasagne and canneloni is homemade. Frank makes his own chicken stock and bakes his own bread.

Herald Food & Wine reader Dianne Mahura says she gets ”terrible cravings” for the food — both the seafood appetizer and Linguini Alla Vongole top her list. We ferreted out Lucente’s recipe for seafood in a rich tomato sauce, the perfect dish for a Christmas Eve or New Year’s meal. Serve it with lots of fresh bread for dipping, or over pasta.

And while we’re talking calamari, here is caterer Savoir Fare

Savoir Fare Cornmeal Crusted Calamari

Serves 5

2 1/4 pound calamari, sliced into 1/4-inch rings

2    cups cornmeal

2 1/2    cups bread flour

1/2    teaspoon whole thyme leaves

2    tablespoons granulated garlic

1    tablespoon salt

1    tablespoon coarse black pepper

1 1/2    cups buttermilk

1    egg

Combine cornmeal, 1 1/2 cups flour, thyme, garlic, salt and pepper in a bowl. Whisk the egg and buttermilk together.

Place remaining 1 cup of flour in a bowl. Dredge calamari rings in flour, then dip in buttermilk, then dredge in cornmeal. Place cornmeal crusted calamari on a parchment lined baking sheet. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate. When ready to serve, deep fry calamari in small batches in hot oil until just golden — no more than a minute. Serve with aioli.

Aioli

5    peeled cloves of garlic

1    egg

1    egg yolk

2 tablespoons lemon juice

1/2    teaspoon salt

1/2    teaspoon black pepper

1/2    cup olive oil

1/2    cup canola oil

Place 4 cloves of garlic in saucepan, cover with water, bring to a boil and simmer until soft, about 10 minutes. Place boiled cloves, fresh clove, lemon juice, egg, egg yolk and pepper in food processor. Process to combine and, with machine running, slowly drizzle in oils to form a thick, emulsified mayonnaise. Cover and refrigerate. Serve with hot calamari.

 

 

 

 

Monterey Chicken

6 Mar

cookbookcherie.wordpress.com

There’s good reason Chili’s removed Monterey Chicken from its menu: with a side of mashed potatoes and gravy (and broccoli) it topped the scales at a whopping 3,000 calories. Yeesh.

We managed to recreate the delicious combination of smokey sweet grilled chicken with monterey jack cheese and bacon but showered it with juicy diced tomatoes and green onion. We served it with a side of roasted vegetables (mushrooms, broccoli and mixed peppers) so tasty on their own that they needed no embellishment. Pictured below: crispy smashed baby potatoes roasted with olive oil and fresh rosemary.

C94969B3-A6BF-4296-921E-86527BDCCF3F

IMG_4029

Monterey Chicken

6 chicken thighs

1/2 cup barbecue sauce (We used Stubbs)

6 slices monterey jack cheese (we used deli counter slices)

1/2 lb applewood smoked bacon, baked on an elevated rack for 20 minutes at 375F, and blotted after cooking

container of grape tomatoes, diced

3 green onions, chopped

parsley or cilantro (if you have)

Grill chicken on medium heat, basting with barbecue sauce.

When done, turn heat on low and top chicken with cheese slices to melt. Remove from grill onto a warmed platter and immediately top with bacon (slices or crumbled – we put the bacon underneath the cheese the first time and learned it’s better on top). Scatter tomatoes and green onion and greens on top.

IMG_4028

We also found this, which features a green chili cheese stuffing and a crispy parmesan/cumin breading:

Chicken Monteray

Remoulade redux

16 Jan

Two rémoulades, no waiting:

GALATOIRE’S SHRIMP REMOULADE

Shrimp Remoulade is in every New Orleanean’s arsenal of favored dishes for relaxed entertaining. This is our most popular dish and most frequently requested recipe. Tip for the home cook: The sauce is definitely best made a day in advance and refrigerated. Then all that’s left to do is toss in the shrimp, plate and serve. It’s a snap to make, yet it’s always impressive.

¾ cup chopped celery

¾ cup chopped scallions (white and green parts)

½ cup chopped curly parsley

1 cup chopped yellow onion

½ cup ketchup

½ cup tomato purée

½ cup Creole mustard or any coarse, grainy brown mustard

2 tablespoons prepared horseradish, or to taste

¼ cup red wine vinegar

2 tablespoons Spanish hot paprika

1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

½ cup salad oil

4 dozen jumbo (15 count) shrimp, peeled, boiled, and chilled

1 small head of iceberg lettuce, washed, dried and cut into thin ribbons

Mince the celery, scallions, parsley and onions in a food processor. Add the ketchup, tomato puree, Creole mustard, horseradish, red wine vinegar, paprika and Worcestershire. Begin processing again and add the oil in a slow drizzle to emulsify. Stop when the dressing is smooth. Chill for 6 to 8 hours or overnight. Correct the seasoning with additional horseradish, if desired, after the ingredients have had the opportunity to marry.

In a large mixing bowl, add the sauce to the shrimp and toss gently to coat. Divide the lettuce among 6 chilled salad plates. Divide the shrimp evenly atop the lettuce and serve.


GALATOIRE’S rémoulade blanc

1 cup mayonnaise

2 tbsp. Creole mustard

2 tbsp. dry white wine

12t tbsp. fresh lemon juice

1 tbsp. grated horseradish

2 tsp. minced parsley, plus more

14 tsp. cayenne

14 tsp. freshly ground white pepper

4 scallions, minced

Kosher salt, to taste

2 lb. medium cooked shrimp, peeled and deveined, tails removed, chilled

12 head iceberg lettuce, thinly sliced

Stir mayonnaise, mustard, wine, juice, horseradish, parsley, cayenne, pepper, scallions, and salt in a bowl; stir in shrimp. Divide lettuce between plates; top with shrimp and garnish with parsley.


GALATOIRE’S CRABMEAT MAISON

12 cup mayonnaise

2 tbsp. high quality olive oil

2 tsp. white wine vinegar

1 tsp. Creole or Dijon mustard

1 tsp. small capers, rinsed, drained, and finely chopped

12 tsp. finely chopped flat-leaf parsley

12 tsp. kosher salt

18 tsp. freshly ground white pepper

3 green onions, finely chopped

1 lb. jumbo lump crab meat

12 large leaves butter lettuce

4 slices tomato, halved

Whisk together mayonnaise, oil, vinegar, mustard, capers, parsley, salt, pepper, and scallions; add crabmeat and fold gently to combine. Place 3 leaves lettuce each on 4 salad plates. Divide crab mixture evenly among plates and garnish with two half slices tomato.


GALATOIRE’S TARTAR SAUCE

2 egg yolks
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon Champagne vinegar
1 ½ cups vegetable oil
2 tablespoons dill pickle relish
2 tablespoons petite nonpareil capers, drained
Salt and white pepper

In a medium size-mixing bowl, whisk the egg yolks, Dijon, lemon juice and vinegar until they are incorporated. Slowly pour the vegetable oil into the mix in a thin steady stream while continuously whisking until a mayonnaise is created. If the mayonnaise gets too thick before all of the oil has been incorporated whisk a tablespoon of room temperature water into the mix and then resume with the oil. Fold in the dill relish and capers. Add salt and white pepper to taste. Chill until needed.

Cooking in the movies

13 Nov

four seasons

We are on a weird nostalgic 1970s/80s California cooking and gourmet revolution kick. There’s a scene in Alan Alda’s The Four Seasons movie (1981) where the husbands in a group of married friends are cooking Chinese food for their wives at a cabin. They make a big show out of having packed proper woks, obsessively sourcing Asian eggplants and fresh ginger root. Rice noodle sticks explode into a cloud and the men are nearly smoked out of the kitchen trying to get the oil to a proper cooking temperature:

“The oil’s not hot enough. You cannot cook Chinese food properly unless the oil is 480 degrees. It’s a scientific fact.”

“Who said that, Einstein?”

“Newton. Isaac Newton, inventor of mu shu pork.”

The scene takes up only a few minutes of the movie but it has stuck with us all these years. Thanks daytime television. The group’s excitement and pleasure over their exotic creation of Chinese chicken salad, rice and eggplant makes us appreciate the exploding gourmet food trends and cooking craze of the 1970s and 80s. It makes us imagine the treasures to be found at Williams and Sonoma, New York’s Silver Palate, Berekely’s Chez Panisse, in the pages of Gourmet magazine, but especially inside Barbara Tropp’s China Moon Cafe:

STIR-FRIED SHRIMP WITH FENNEL, LEMON AND ANGEL-HAIR NOODLES

The shrimp and the marinade:

1 tablespoon egg white
2 teaspoons Chinese rice wine or quality dry Sherry
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 pound medium (25 to 30) shrimp, shelled and deveined

The sauce:
1 1/2 cups unsalted chicken stock
1/8 cup Chinese rice wine or quality dry Sherry
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 tablespoons soy sauce 1 tablespoon sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon Chinese chili sauce (Koon Yick Wah Kee brand recommended)
1 1/2 teaspoons cornstarch
1 tablespoon cold water

The noodles:
1/3 pound Chinese egg noodles (or any thin, fresh pasta)
1 1/2 tablespoons chili oil
The minced zest from half a lemon

The vegetables:
3 1/2 tablespoons peanut oil
1 small yellow onion, cut into 1/4-inch-thick rings
1 medium red bell pepper, cut into 1/4-inch-thick strips
1 cup 1/4-inch-thick slices fennel bulb
4 teaspoons minced fresh ginger
4 teaspoons minced garlic
2 slim scallions, the green and the white part cut in very thin rounds
1/2 teaspoon dried hot pepper flakes
The julienned zest from half a lemon
2 teaspoons thinly sliced rings of hot fresh chili pepper, such as Fresno or Serrano (optional)
2 cups 1/2-inch-thick strips of Napa cabbage

The garnish: Fennel sprigs 2 scallions, the green and the white part cut in very thin rounds.

1. Mix together the ingredients for the marinade in a medium-sized bowl until thoroughly combined. Add the shrimp, toss so they are coated with the marinade, cover and refrigerate for 8 to 36 hours.

2. Whisk together all of the sauce ingredients, except the cornstarch and water, in a large bowl and reserve. Whisk together the cornstarch and water in a small bowl and reserve.

3. Bring four cups of water to a boil in a medium-sized saucepan over high heat, then remove from the heat and add the shrimp. Leave them in the hot water just until they turn pink, about 20 seconds. Drain and reserve.

4. Bring a large pot of water to a rolling boil. Add the noodles and stir to separate, then cook until al dente. Drain, run under cold water to cool them and drain well. Toss in a large bowl with the chili oil and the minced lemon zest. Reserve.

5. Heat one tablespoon of the peanut oil in a large skillet or wok over medium-high heat until nearly smoking. Stir-fry the onions just until they turn golden at the edges, about one-and-a-half minutes. Add the bell peppers and stir-fry until they become slightly limp, about two-and-a-half minutes. Add the fennel and stir until it begins to turn limp but is still crisp, about three-and-a-half minutes. Transfer the vegetables to a plate and return the skillet to the heat.

6. Add the additional oil to the skillet and, when the oil is nearly smoking, add the ginger, garlic, scallions and hot chili-pepper flakes and lower the heat to medium so they foam without browning. Cook just until they release their fragrance, about 30 seconds. Add the lemon zest and the hot pepper slices, stir, then add the Napa cabbage and stir-fry until it becomes glossy and is slightly cooked, about 30 seconds. Add the cooked noodles and stir-fry just until they are hot, about two minutes, then add the cooked vegetables and toss until all of the ingredients are mixed. Increase the heat to high and add the sauce mixture. Cover and bring to a boil, then add the shrimp and toss until they are incorporated into the mixture. When the mixture returns to a simmer, add the cornstarch mixture and stir, then cook just until the sauce becomes glossy and slightly thickened, about one minute. Transfer to a serving platter or bowl, garnish with the fennel sprigs and scallion rings and serve immediately.

Yield: Four servings as a main course.