My Chinese is better than takeout

There are three reasons that it’s taken me so long to post again.

1) I started seeing someone who loves to go out to eat as much as I do.
2) I therefore haven’t cooked in a while because I’ve been eating restaurant food
3) I decided that buying clothes and shoes was temporarily more important than buying groceries.

I have come to my senses. I love food. And frankly, I’m undoing all my hard work at the gym by eating out.

So last night marked the first evening of “Rosemary and Eric do date night at home,” which hopefully will become a more regular event so that we don’t both turn into textbook obesity cases. Granted, this wasn’t the most low fat dish…I just happened to have most of the stuff on hand. I would also cut out at least half of the oil that went into this next time.

I love the first time you cook for a significant other. Not to be cocky, but I was pretty confident that he would like whatever I made. I’ve literally never had a man tell me “Um…that was not good. Thanks anyway.” I am a firm believer in the theory that the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach. I guess that’s my 50’s housewife peeking out, there. Not to mention the seriously cool 50’s housewife apron that I was wearing, courtesy of my mom. I’m making her open an Etsy store, so stay tuned. Anyway, this was a definite success, so try it out. I promise you’ll never go back to delivery. And the reason there are no pics on this one would be that I was rushed and simply didn’t think of it. I am the worst blogger ever.

Stir Fried Beef and Broccoli (Adapted from Gourmet, Oct. 1990)

For the beef:
2 teaspoons soy sauce (for gluten free, use gluten free tamari)
1/4 teaspoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 pound boneless sirloin, cut across the grain into 1/4-inch-thick slices
*I used thinly sliced ribeye that I found at the asian food market, mostly because I knew it would cook really fast. Turned out great!

For the sauce:
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 tablespoon soy sauce (ditto on the tamari from above for gluten free)
1 tablespoon medium-dry Sherry or Scotch (I left this out, only because I didn’t have any, and it turned out really well)
1/4 cup chicken or beef broth or water
1 teaspoon sugar
2 teaspoons Oriental sesame oil

3 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 tablespoon minced peeled fresh gingerroot
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1/2 tablespoon dried hot red pepper flakes
1 pound broccoli, cut into flowerets and the stems peeled and cut into 1/2-inch-thick sticks
cooked rice as an accompaniment

Prepare the beef: In a small bowl stir together the soy sauce, the sugar, and the salt, add the beef, and let it marinate for 20 minutes.
Make the sauce while the beef is marinating: In a small bowl dissolve the cornstarch in the soy sauce and stir in the Sherry, the broth, the sugar, and the sesame oil.
Heat a wok or large heavy skillet over high heat until it is hot, add approximately 2 tablespoons of the vegetable oil, and heat it until it just begins to smoke. The amount of oil you add after the first batch of meat should really be determined by the amount of fat in the beef. More fat, add less oil. Stir-fry the beef in the oil in batches for 1 minute, or until it is no longer pink, and transfer it as it is cooked with a slotted spoon to a plate. Add the remaining 1 tablespoon vegetable oil to the wok, heat it until it is hot but not smoking, and in the oil stir-fry the gingerroot, the garlic, and the chili for 30 seconds, or until the mixture is fragrant. Add the broccoli and stir-fry the mixture for 1 minute. Add 1/3 cup water and steam the broccoli, covered, for 1 1/2 to 2 minutes, or until it is crisp-tender. Stir the sauce, add it to the wok with the beef and any juices that have accumulated on the plate, and cook the mixture, stirring, for 2 minutes, or until the sauce is thickened and the beef is heated through. Transfer the mixture to a heated platter and serve it with jasmine rice.

For dessert, I was going to make something interesting and Asian but just ran out of time. I compromised by using a slightly underripe mango as a palatte cleanser. Next time I do this, I’m going to try a more interesting dressing, possibly including coconut milk and lime ZEST, for crying out loud!

Fresh Mango Salad

Peel the mango with a vegetable peeler. Cut around the pit and remove the “cheeks” of the fruit (the two large pieces on either side of the flat oblong pit). The other pieces are called the “fingers” and are on the sharp sides of the pit. Chop the fruit into bite sized pieces and toss with 2 tablespoons lime juice, 1/2 teaspoon sugar (only to make it a little juicy!) and 1/2 tsp cinnamon. Super simple but really good after a rich meat dish.

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4 Responses to “My Chinese is better than takeout”

  1. Turtle Jackson Says:

    Mmm, this sounds delicious. I love cooking take out food at home. I’ve been experimenting with Thai recipes lately but I’ll probably try this recipe next week!

  2. Turtle Jackson Says:

    Mmm, this sounds delicious. I love cooking take out food at home. I’ve been experimenting with Thai recipes lately but I’ll probably try this recipe next week!

  3. Heather Says:

    this sounds good 🙂 glad you guys enjoyed your first dinner night!!

  4. Heather Says:

    this sounds good 🙂 glad you guys enjoyed your first dinner night!!

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