After college, away from the dining commons, and with a little money to experiment, I perfected my stir-fry recipe. My central cooking principle has been to combine vegetables and oil in pursuit of flavor, always accompanied by cheese. One day, in my little apartment kitchen, I added lemon zest, which launched that tasting experience into an entirely different stratosphere. Here is the recipe:
In olive oil, sautee finely chopped onion until lightly browned. Add chopped tomatoes. Add two cloves of garlic, super-finely chopped. (Don't pre-chop the ingredients. If you chop and then add, in order, then the onions will brown just enough, the tomatoes won't get too limp, and the garlic won't burn.) Cut a lemon in half. Subdivide a half into eight slices. Squeeze the juice from at least one slice into the pan. Add freshly grated pepper. Finely grate lemon peel over the pan. (At least two tablespoons.) Grate on an aged cheddar (at least eight years old). Dash salt. Mix. Allow to sit in skillet, with the burner off, so that the mixture just browns. The color of the tomatoes may bleed into the cheese, but don't be bothered by that.
Serve with white rice. Serve with pinot griggio or some other very acidic white wine, as it will have fun with the sharp cheddar and lemon flavors. Bon appétit!