Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Welcome Back with Stir Fry

Well helllooooo blog world! I can't believe I was gone for so long. Often life gets in the way of blogging. It can be a problem: illness, a family issue, or a work issue. Sometimes it can be fun: vacation, moving, or entertaining family and friends. Sometimes the real cause of the problem is simple: sports. I love sports. I love the atmosphere, people together cheering for a common outcome. But there are only two sports that I follow obsessively a normal amount. College basketball and hockey are my true loves.

This only becomes difficult for the months of March and April, as the NCAA tournament starts and the hockey season winds down toward the play-offs. As the basketball tournament is over and my beloved Carolina Hurricanes didn't quite make the play-off push this year, I can now begin to focus back on other things, such as the neglected Racey kitchen.

Now that's not to say I didn't cook anything during this sports season. I surely did make some excellent food, but what failed me was my picture taking. It happened too often that something was ready to be eaten at the moment the game was about to start and I couldn't spare a second. Tonight was much more reasonable. Here I sit watching another hockey game, but dinner was ready thirty minutes into the game. I took a few photos and sat down to enjoy myself without having that heart-clenching feeling I get when watching my own team in the post-season!

This was a fabulous dinner to welcome myself back. I thought I was so over stir fry, but it turns out, I'm not! This is a delicious combination of beef, sauce, and snow peas. Served over rice it makes a perfectly easy yet substantial dinner. I can't wait to start using my Kung Pao Chicken and this beef stir fry in our usual dinner rotation!

I didn't really change the recipe, it's fabulous as is. I would say no salt is necessary if you use regular soy sauce. Also, I'm not sure how a veggie version of this would turn out, but be sure to let me know if you decide to give it a go!

Beef with Snow Peas
not really adapted from The Pioneer Woman

1 lb. flank steak, thinly sliced against the grain
1/2 c. soy sauce
3 tbsp. sherry
2 tbsp. brown sugar
2 tbsp. cornstarch
1 tbsp. grated (or minced) fresh ginger
1/2 lb. snow peas, trimmed
5 - 6 scallions, sliced
2 tbsp. olive oil
crushed red pepper, to taste
salt, to taste
rice, cooked according to package directions

In a medium bowl, mix together the soy sauce, sherry, brown sugar, cornstarch, and ginger. Add the sliced flank steak and let marinate for at least 10 minutes. Heat a wok or other large pan (I used a cast iron pan) with 1 - 2 tbsp. olive oil. Cook the snow peas for about a minute. They will be crispy but not overcooked. Remove the peas and set aside on a plate.

Let the pan get back up to a fairly high heat. Add a little more oil if needed. Add the steak, if it will all fit in one layer on the bottom, while leaving most of the sauce in the bowl. Otherwise, just add half. Add half or all of the scallions. Cook for one minute and flip the steak to cook on the other side. Cook for an additional minute. When cooked through add the snow peas and leftover sauce. Heat this for another minute. Add salt if needed, although if you are using regular soy sauce you will probably not need it.

Serve the beef over rice. Sprinkle with crushed red pepper flakes, if desired, for a little heat.

Remember that stir fry can be oh so good!