Everybody knows that “stir-fry” means “here’s some Chinese food”, right? And many of the recipes in The Complete Stir-fry Cookbook are Chinese. Or Japanese, or Southeast Asian of various cuisines. And they’re good – certainly the one I cooked this week, Chicken with Asparagus (and almonds, it turns out) came out well!
But turn the page and what do you find? Chicken with Tarragon, a yummy-sounding French style dish with fresh tarragon, cream, and lemon juice. Or there’s a recipe for fresh tuna with olives, tomatoes, garlic, green beans, and oregano. Or you can try Greek-style Lamb with feta cheese and pine nuts.
I didn’t notice anything Mexican when I paged through the Stir-fry Cookbook just now, and the majority of the recipes are definitely Asian, but there’s a nice sampler of French- and Mediterranean-style dishes.
What’s going on here? Apparently the writer or publisher – there’s no author’s name, just “bay books” – realized that stir-fry isn’t a nationality, it’s a technique. It can be used for many different styles of food, and that’s what they did. (Okay, this one’s another ringer, of sorts. I’ve used it a number of times, though this particular recipe was new. I knew it was a keeper. Actually, I have several cookbooks from Bay Books, and all of them are generally reliable.)