Saturday, July 17, 2010

Her Beef Stir Fry

In cooking, things always need to be in balance. If you have a sweet flavor, you also need salty. I showcased "His" beef stir fry, so now it is time for "Hers."
I was actually planning on making beef stir fry this weekend before Eliot suggested it. (I've had a LOT of chicken lately, so am trying to broaden the varieties of meat I eat.) I had the beef already in my refrigerator - I just needed to buy the stir fry vegetables and start cooking.

Here's my secret to having a variety of stir fry combinations: I religiously pick up Chinese and Thai carry out menus.
Why? They list all the ingredients and types of sauces. For free. What better way to be creative without really needing to be creative yourself!

I bought "old fashioned green beans" at the Farmer's Market at Daley Plaza on Thursday during my lunch hour. Not sure what made them old fashioned, but they were bigger than the traditional green beans. Green beans, beef, and garlic seem to be a popular stir-fry combination, so I tried my hand at it!

I turned to my handy Better Home and Gardens cookbook for a sauce recipe. I didn't have all the ingredients they wanted, so I made do with what I had and it still tasted delicious. I used dry sherry, soy sauce, water, cornstarch, ginger root, sugar, minced garlic and pepper and had to pass on the hoisin sauce and crushed red pepper. For the stir fry, I sprinkled the wok with a little bit of kosher salt before adding the beef. (It's an Eliot trick - I take no credit for it.) The meat quickly cooked while I chopped and washed the green beans. When the meat was done, I removed it to a plate and cooked the green beans, garlic, and sauce for a few minutes before adding the meat back in and stir frying for a few more minutes. Delicious and easy! If I were to do this meal again, I would boil the green beans for a few minutes since these still had a crunch to them. I'm sure this had more to do with the type of green beans I used rather than as a general rule. This was a really fast meal to create - it took longer for my rice cooker than anything else. I really liked having the sherry in the sauce. I may use a little more next time...or pour myself a glass to have with dinner as well!

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