Cold days of January and wine enriched stew just seem to naturally go hand in hand, don’t you think? The sauce is a deep color, bursting with rich flavor. The mushrooms and onions enhance the wine sauce. The herb mashed potatoes make the perfect base for the luscious stew. And the nutty, seared asparagus tips add color while giving yet another layer of flavor and texture to the dish.
Everyone’s been there, done that – had life go crazy-nuts. And not in the good kind of crazy, what a hoot kind of way. You know how it goes, take a week’s vacation and come back to the insanity of work piled up everywhere. It’s amazing what you accomplish in a week – it’s even more amazing what doesn’t get accomplished while you were gone, right?
Compound that by three. Once upon a time, Hubby, Kiddo and I all worked for the same Event Rental Company. When we took a vacation, it meant three people “gone”. Hubby was (and still is) upper management, I was his assistant and Kiddo was a department lead – that’s three key positions. You can imagine the workload we came home to – unbelievable! A few years back we all took time to explore Wyoming. While vacations are great, there’s the down sides of late nights of playing catch up. My amazing stir-fry dish was born during one of those crazy nights.
One of the meals I had planned was Pepper Steak Stir-Fry over Steamed Rice. I even went so far as to take the meat out of the freezer the night before to thaw in the fridge for the next day. The next day came and went with no home cooking. The following day, same thing. What a dilemma! I had meat in the fridge that needed to be cooked or thrown out. Yeah, After Work Pepper Steak would have been a good plan – even a great plan, but it just wasn’t in the cards.
At last we managed to stagger home just as the last threads of amber light caressed a brilliant evening sky. My guys were hungry and I found myself staring blankly into the refrigerator only to have a package of round steak and some leftover Pork Fried Rice from an earlier take out staring back at me.
“I’m going to cook.” I announced to no one in particular. There were a few spent moans from the other room. It was my kitchen staff in exhausted protest. “I promise, it will be quick and I’ll try my best not to make a big mess.”
It has been a while since I whipped something up without a plan. There are recipes to follow, recipes to inspire and tweak along the way and those committed to memory, having “whipped” them up a time or three before. And then there’s creating on a wing and a prayer, without a clue as to what the end result might be. My only “inspiration” was the fried rice. Whatever I made, it had to have an Asian influence.
This stir-fry beef was amazing. Nothing was measured, so the recipe that follows are “guesstimates”. I gathered a few ingredients and did what I always do when “creating” – I sniffed. I know it sound wacky, but that’s what I do when creating something from nothing – sniff. Yep, if my chosen ingredients smell good together, then I’ll go for it. If not, I’ll keep sniffing until I come up with a scent combination that gets my mouth to water.
Amazing Stir-Fried Beef
1 lb Thin Round Steak
1/4-1/2 Tablespoon Soy Sauce
Salt to taste
1 Teaspoon Worcestershire Pub Burger Seasoning (McCormick Grill Mates)
1/2 Teaspoon Ground Ginger
Flour, about ¼ cup
About 1 teaspoon Crushed Roasted Garlic
Place round steak flat on a rimmed baking sheet. Sprinkle LIGHTLY with soy sauce to moisten meat on both sides. Sprinkle with Worcestershire Pub Burger Seasoning and ground ginger, rub into meat.
Place flour in a zip lock bag. Set aside.
Heat a little olive oil in a wok. Cut round steak into thin strips. Toss on the baking sheet to absorb all the seasoned drippings. Place steak strips into zip lock bag, close and shake.
Dump contents of zip lock bag flour and all into wok and stir fry until beef strips are just cooked, about 2-3 minutes. Add crushed garlic, and a splash more soy sauce, toss well. Heat through.
Serve with fried rice.
My family adores spicy foods. Now that the colder weather is settling in for a long winter’s nap, it’s time to dust off some of those old family favorites. You know what I’m talking about – those dishes that warm you to your toes from the inside out.
This morning I was up early. I needed to get dinner into the crock pot before the family woke up and starter their day. I’ve made my Stroganoff in a crock pot many times before. Usually, I thinly slice an onion and brown it in a skillet. Usually, the base is a combination of beef broth and mushroom soup. Usually.