Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Making Life More Simple

As school approaches, I'm looking into ways to simplify my life including how to cook things I like, that won't stretch my Kraft Mac-n-Cheese ability too far (I've managed to ruin a box of that).

I LOVE Pei Wei, the "fast food" arm of P.F. Chang's which I fell in love with in Phoenix. Below is the recipe for the Mongolian Beef, sans mushrooms that do come in the entree. Brown rice topped off with this entree sounds easy... now to figure out how to do up rice appropriately... yes, I've ruined that as well, much to the glee of my canine companions who get all my rejected dinners.

Mongolian Beef

2 teaspoons vegetable oil
1/2 teaspoon ginger, minced
1 tablespoon garlic, chopped
1/2 cup soy sauce
1/2 cup water
3/4 cup dark brown sugar
1 cup vegetable oil
1 lb flank steak
1/4 cup cornstarch
2 large green onions

Make the sauce by heating 2 tsp of vegetable oil in a medium saucepan over med/low heat. Don't get the oil too hot. Add ginger and garlic to the pan and quickly add the soy sauce and water before the garlic scorches. Dissolve the brown sugar in the sauce, then raise the heat to about medium and boil the sauce for 2-3 minutes or until the sauce thickens. Remove it from the heat.

Slice the flank steak against the grain into 1/8" thick sugar packet size slices. Tilt the blade of your knife at about a forty five degree angle to the top of the steak so that you get wider cuts. Dip the steak pieces into the cornstarch to apply a very thin dusting to both sides of each piece of beef. Let the beef sit for about 10 minutes so that the cornstarch sticks.

As the beef sits, heat up one cup of oil in a wok (you may also use a skillet for this step as long as the beef will be mostly covered with oil). Heat the oil over medium heat until it's nice and hot, but not smoking. Add the beef to the oil and sauté for just two minutes, or until the beef just begins to darken on the edges. You don't need a thorough cooking here since the beef is going to go back on the heat later. Stir the meat around a little so that it cooks evenly.

After a couple minutes, use a large slotted spoon to take the meat out and onto paper towels, then pour the oil out of the wok or skillet. Put the pan back over the heat, dump the meat back into it and simmer for one minute. Add the sauce, cook for one minute while stirring, then add all the green onions. Cook for one more minute, then remove the beef and onions with tongs or a slotted spoon to a serving plate.


Old MD Girl said...

I got "The Moosewood Cookbook Cooks at Home" for Xmas, and it has been really helpful in giving me quick meal ideas that are at least a little healthy too. Don't be scared away because it's vegetarian! It's actually really tasty -- and I'm definitely a carnivore!

A Doc 2 Be said...

Ooooh, thanks for tip! I'll definitely look it up. Can you add meat to the recipes?

I eat meat, but am probably a little closer to vegetarian as I grow older...

Slamdunk said...

Looks great. Always pressed for time, pasta variations are regular dinners for us.

ForeverRhonda said...

Rice cooker! That will help you with the rice. It has helped me. I know what you mean about being pressed for time, working full time, 16 credit hours and a family...planning meals in advance helps me out a lot as well. Although that doesn't seem to work out as well as I plan.

Old MD Girl said...

Some of the dishes are good with meat, some are not. Depends.