Sausage Potato and Veggie Stir Fry with Garlic-Toasted Flax Sauce

Potatoes? In a stir fry?

I know I’ve introduced some odd ideas  to traditional comfort foods, but this one I actually had in a Northern Chinese-style restaurant years ago. If you think about Northern China, they have their fair share of cool weather and snow, so their climate would be hospitable to growing potatoes and other cool weather root vegetables. I loved the heartiness of it at the time, especially for a cold, Prairie Canadian day, and always wanted to replicate the idea in some way.

I’ve been planning to do a stir fry featuring potato for a few days, being suddenly struck by that memory of that particular restaurant…but you know how weeks can go. Suddenly a Monday plan doesn’t happen til Wednesday. So here we are. Since it was potato, I was thinking with my Hungarian side of my brain and added a great sweet paprika Hungarian smoked sausage. You could use any meat in this or just leave it fully veggie. The accompanying sauce that I worked into it has enough flavour to carry the dish. And the rest of the veggies…that’s just one of those “clean out the veggie drawer” moments…

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Sausage Potato and Veggie Stir Fry with Garlic-Toasted Flax Sauce

For the Garlic-Toasted Flax Sauce:

3 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped

3 Tbsp flax seeds, dry toasted in a nonstick pan for 4-5 minutes until deeply golden in colour

5 Tbsp cold pressed canola oil

1 tsp salt

   Add all of the ingredients to a blender or food processor and purée until smooth. Set aside.

For the stir fry:

2 tsp cold pressed canola oil

1 medium potato, cut into long strips about 1 cm wide

1 small red onion, peeled and chopped

2 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped

50g/2 oz Hungarian smoked sausage, cut into strips

1 stalk celery, thinly sliced

1 medium carrot, peeled and thinly sliced

1 medium parsnip, peeled and thinly sliced

6 or 7 radishes, with green tops

50g/2 oz broccoli florets

70g/3 oz baby bok choy

6 or 7 Brussels sprouts

1 sweet banana pepper, or 1/2 bell pepper, cut into strips

1 hot Hungarian banana pepper, cut into strips (if you don’t like it spicy, use a second sweet banana pepper or a full bell pepper), cut into strips

1-1/2 cups chicken (or vegetable) stock, or water

   In a wok over medium high heat, heat the oil until smouldering but not smoking. Add the potato strips and stir fry until deeply golden on all sides.

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   Add the onion, garlic and sausage. Stir fry for 90 seconds to two minutes until the sausage starts to go golden along the edges. Add the celery and stir fry for another minute. Add the carrot, parsnip, bok choy stems, radishes and 1 cup of the stock. Stir and simmer until about half of the stock evaporates (about 3-4 minutes). Add the Brussels sprouts, broccoli, sweet and hot peppers and the Garlic-Toasted Flax Sauce. Toss to coat the entire blend lightly. Add the final 1/2 cup of stock, stir to round out the sauce a little bit as it thickens from the stir frying, stir fry for a further 1-2 minutes and take it off the heat. Add the radish greens and bok choy greens, letting the residual heat of the wok wilt the greens. Serves 2-3. Serve with spelt nokedli (Hungarian egg dumplings) or over rice.

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