Monday, January 12, 2009

The only night Joel is home this week

So, I made Tangerine Beef. Here's the photograph. Please forgive the use of my pasta bowls. (I love these bowls. Thanks to Stefanie G. who gave them to me as a Christmas present one year.) But, obviously, this isn't a pasta dish.

Technically, I got the idea for the meal out of the All New Good Housekeeping Cookbook (see my favorites), but I was out of most of the ingredients it called for (like vegetables... I need to go to the grocery store), so I made it up myself.

Here's what you need for my version...

  • ... Sirloin Steak (it's steak from the freezer that we had saved from our locally-raised and butchered beef)
  • Tangerines (3-ish)
  • Red Pepper
  • Tobasco
  • Ginger (I used the Chinese ginger out of my spice cabinet since my fresh ginger didn't look so great)
  • Fresh Garlic cloves (I always keep this on hand)
  • Cornstarch
  • Soy Sauce
  • Teriyaki Sauce
  • Vegetable Oil
  • Sugar
Basically, what you do is grate some of the peel off of the tangerine with a microplane (or you can cut slices... I wanted an excuse to use the new microplane I got from our wedding.) And fry it up quickly in some vegetable 0il. Remove as much as you can. Then, add the thinly-sliced beef (lightly coated in cornstarch), and stir-fry quickly. Joel likes his beef rare, so I only cooked it for long enough to brown each piece on both sides... maybe 2 minutes on each side. Add the beef to the bowl with the tangerine peel. Add the sauce to the hot skillet (combine juice of one tangerine, soy sauce, teriyaki, ginger, garlic, a little cornstarch, red pepper, sugar, and tabasco), and bring to boil. Add the beef back and mix together until hot. Pour into a bowl, and add the tangerine segments. Serve hot.

I don't usually measure when I cook this kind of dish... I just make sure to taste as I go. However, one thing was strange in this dish... the sauce was nice and spicy before I added it to the skillet, but after I heated it up, the spiciness kind of went away. Anyone know why that happened or I could keep it from happening in the future? Any advice on how I can keep it spicy would be appreciated.

This dish was very tasty, although it would have been better if I had some vegetables in the house that I could have stir-fried with it... baby corn, pea pods, red peppers, water chestnuts, etc.... but, regardless, the flavor was very good. There' nothing left... no leftovers, no nothing. That's what I call a successful dish!

Tomorrow night, I'm not sure if I will cook. Joel's gone the rest of the week, we have a dinner event at the Standard Club on Wednesday night, and I almost never cook when I'm home alone... I just eat whatever I find laying around. I much prefer to cook for a crowd, but my favorite person to cook for, of course, is Joel.

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