Nancie McDermott’s 300 Best Stir-Fry Recipes is full of great ideas for last minute weeknight dinners, such as this Sweet-and-Salty Shrimp with Pineapple and Carrots. A copy of this cookbook was provided to me in exchange for an honest review; affiliate links were used in this post to link to items I am discussing.
Unfortunately I do not have a recipe for you today, as Robert Rose (the publisher) prefers reviewers not share any but a handful of recipes–and being the contrarian I am I always want to make one not on the list. Alas.
I’ve mentioned before with Robert Rose publications–the packaging is not really what you buy a Robert Rose book for. They are very utilitarian, with a smattering of photos and not much in the way of headnotes. But for someone looking for a good selection of any particular kind of recipe (I’ve enjoyed cookies, bars and brownies, healthy slow cooker dishes, and easy Indian dishes so far), Robert Rose cookbooks are a great starting point.
I was instantly intrigued by 300 Best Stir-Fry Recipes because I am familiar with Nancie McDermott’s work; her The Curry Book: Memorable Flavors and Irresistible Recipes From Around the World is the book that launched my love affair with Thai food, for example. Real Thai: The Best of Thailand’s Regional Cooking and Quick & Easy Vietnamese: 75 Everyday Recipes were both early introductions for me to those cuisines. So the first big plus to the book is Nancie McDermott–she knows her Asian cuisines.
The other great thing about 300 Best Stir-Fry Recipes is just the sheer breadth of choices for a style of cooking that is by its very nature fast. As long as ingredients are not a problem–and these recipes do not call for lots of unusual ingredients–you can choose and make dinner within an hour or less depending on your prepping/knife skills. And not all of the dishes are Asian, although clearly many are. Some other examples include Linguini with Hot Italian Sausage and Sweet Peppers; a Southern influenced Egg Noodles with Spicy Ham and Greens; Stir Fried Rice á la BLT; Hoppin’ John’s Stir Fried Rice; and Jerk Style Catfish with Cherry Tomatoes. There are meat, poultry, seafood and vegetarian options, as well as chapters on both rice and noodles.
I chose to make the Sweet-and-Salty Shrimp with Pineapple and Carrots; I love the sweet and salty combination, and was intrigued by the pineapple and carrots. Also, as I have mentioned before, canned pineapple is one of my pantry fallbacks that I look to for inspiration. The dish is a unique take a on a Thai stir fry, balancing sweet, salty and sour flavors with refreshing ingredients. The entire family loved it. I loved that it used ingredients I have on hand–frozen shrimp, canned pineapple, onions, cilantro, carrots, fish sauce, oyster sauce and soy sauce–and required no special trips. Served with Jasmine rice, the dish was a winner. And so is the book.
I love the sweet salty sour combo in Thai food! And this cookbook sounds like it has a lot of inspiration in it. I could always use more stir fry recipes!
Nancie McDermott says
Laura, you make me so proud and so happy. I cannot believe you just up and sang this beautiful song in the key of stir-fry, and with such kind words about my work. You photo of sweet and salty shrimp with pineapple and carrots absolutely sizzles with beauty, and I am so happy and grateful. Happy cooking to you and yours!