That Worked Well   2 comments

I did it.  I changed some things about a recipe I found in a magazine and improved it.  Talk about satisfying.

I got this stir fry recipe from Kentucky Living magazine a few years ago.  Here’s how I make it.


Broccoli and Beef Stir Fry, serves 5-6

1-1.5 pounds good quality beef steak cut into thin strips

garlic powder to taste

1/4 cup soy sauce (or more to taste)

3 cloves fresh garlic

1/4 cup olive oil or other oil

1 medium white onion cut into 3/4 inch chunks

1 sweet red pepper cut into 3/4 inch chunks

5 or more cups fresh broccoli florets cut small

1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes

cornstarch and water as needed

Combine steak strips, soy sauce and garlic powder; I used about 1/2 teaspoon maybe of the garlic powder?  You could marinate with the fresh garlic but I like using both, so I start with the powder.  Set aside for 15 minutes.  Prepare all remaining ingredients.

Heat oil in a large skillet or wok.  Add beef and stir fry for a couple of minutes.  Move the beef to the side and add broccoli, garlic, and onion.  Put the wok lid on to steam, checking frequently so you don’t over cook the broccoli.

When the broccoli is almost done, add the red pepper and continue to stir fry until vegetables are crisp tender.  Reduce heat, and add a tablespoon of cornstarch with a couple of tablespoons of water if it’s too runny.  Add more soy sauce if desired.  Toss in the red pepper flakes, and serve with rice.  Delicious.  I like to serve it with yellow rice as the consistency is less sticky (turmeric is good for you anyway), so the kids eat more of the rice and it makes it all go further.

What made this improved?

The original recipe did not have enough garlic–only one clove.  All the items I put in except the meat had a strong flavor.  Some would say the soy sauce provides the flavor, but I think a stir fry is tastier if you keep fewer ingredients that all have distinct flavors.

Also, the original called for both yellow squash and cauliflower.  I’m sorry, but yellow squash does not belong in a stir fry.  It gets much too soggy too fast and spits seeds into the dish.  Yuck.  And cauliflower is too hard.  Plus you’ve already got the broccoli.  I just don’t see it.  And the cornstarch wasn’t called for either so I added it.  I like a sauce, instead of watery liquid seeping out from my rice on the plate.

So there you have it, my not so humble opinion.

The really fun thing was that the changes I made tasted the way I thought they would.  As Mrs. Elton comments in Jane Austen’s Emma, “My friends do say I have a way with chicken salad.”  However, I don’t know why I’m good at this.  I’ve never known why I just picked it up from the beginning, right after we got married.  I think there must be a spiritual gift of cooking because I certainly haven’t done anything to earn the good results I’ve gotten.  Sure, experience helps, but–not that much.

Posted May 22, 2015 by swanatbagend in food

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2 responses to “That Worked Well

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  1. I often put zucchini and yellow squash into my stir-fry – but I shred them (like carrots, which also work well this way) and stop when I reach the core with the seeds. Then I add them at the very tail end – they come out sort of like short, soft noodles, and I can sometimes get my veg-averse kids to eat them without realising it. Slices would get pretty gooey, I agree!

    Just an idea, if you have some z/ys to use up and a stir-fry planned. 🙂

  2. Thanks — good idea!

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