Beef and Broccoli

wp-1468203256641.jpgI’ll admit, I mostly made this for the sauce. I looooove the sauce that comes with beef and broccoli and use the titular foods as a vehicle to convey the sauce to my mouth. The picture above was an in-process shot. The sauce thickened up and the broccoli cooked down a bit by the time it was done. I served this with the pork pot stickers from my last post.

I had a very good version of this at PF Changs two days before I tried it myself so I of course tried out this recipe from the pfchangsathome blog.

I didn’t change much to this recipe at all except doubled it and then added extra sauce and more cornstarch to thicken it. If you want more sauce, follow the recipe, don’t just throw more liquid and cornstarch in, make sure to get the ratios right because while mine tasted right (yummy) it wasn’t as thick as I liked it. I made a HUGE pot of rice to go with this.

BEEF and BROCCOLI
P.F. Chang’s China Bistro Copycat Recipe

Serves 4

3/4 pound flank steak, sliced very thin and against the grain (pro tip, I asked the butcher at my grocery store to cut this for me which he very nicely did)
4 cups broccoli cut into bite-sized pieces
1 1/2 tablespoons high-heat cooking oil like vegetable or canola oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 teaspoons cornstarch, dissolved in 2 tablespoons water
cooked white rice

For the beef marinade:
1 teaspoon low-sodium soy sauce
1 teaspoon mirin (I learned that mirin is sweetned sake THE MORE YOU KNOW :cue shooting star infographic:)
1/2 teaspoon cornstarch

For the sauce:
1/4 cup oyster sauce (took FOREVER to get out of the bottle)
2 teaspoons mirin
2 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
1/2 cup chicken broth (I used chicken stock)

Place the sliced beef in a large ziplock bag. Stir together the marinade ingredients and pour into the bag. Smoosh to coat the beef in the mixture, then let it sit at room temperature for 10 minutes. (I poured directly into the bag and then kneaded it and left it while I was prepping everything else)

Meanwhile, steam the broccoli for 2 minutes, or until crisp tender. Do not overcook as the broccoli will cook a bit more later in the recipe. Stir together the sauce ingredients in a small bowl and set aside.
Heat an electric wok, or very large skillet, to high heat. Add the oil then gently place the beef in the wok and spread into a single layer. Let the beef cook for 1 minute without touching it. Add the garlic and stir continuously for 1 minute, then add in the sauce and broccoli. Bring the sauce to a boil, then add in the cornstarch dissolved in water (once sauce with cornstarch in it boils, that is as thick as it will get, if you want it thicker, add more but watch the ratios). Cook until the sauce has thickened slightly, about 2 minutes. Serve over rice, if desired. (I desired)

wp-1468203256883.jpgwp-1468205050754.jpgwp-1468203256945.jpg

20160710_202450-1.jpg

special appearance by pot stickers

 

 

 

Pot Stickers…my easy, yet time consuming, comfort food!

20160710_201248.jpg

Let it be known, I LOVE Chinese food. I could easily devour a bag of pot stickers in one sitting (it’s my secret shame). My Mom’s high school friend and daughter are staying with us and lo-and-behold, what is one of the daughter’s favorite foods? BAM! POT STICKERS!… and there was my excuse to make some.

Now the store didn’t have proper dumpling wrappers so I used wonton wrappers. They were a bit small but worked out fine. I also used a small empanda press (which I would highly recommend doing) to shape the pot stickers. I enlisted the friend’s daughter’s help and yes, you are in fact the coolest 17-year old I know. When we were done we had an army of tiny yummy pot stickers. I served this with beef and broccoli.

Now, in order to cook this small army of pot stickers, I pulled out the big show-n0-mercy pan…a fateful choice as it was not nonstick. A moment of silence for the first batch of pot stickers if you please. … (we still ate them because comeon, POT STICKERS!)

It took three or four more batches (now in non stick pans) to cook all of the pot stickers but we got there. I felt like a short order cook because I had two skillets going at the same time.

I used this recipe (doubled) from epicurious. I nixed the cabbage because cabbage is devil-food. I had a rough experience once that involved a very forceful Austrian woman and a bowl of sauerkraut. It’s ruined cabbage for me forever, which is a shame because apparently my Dad makes the world’s best sauerkraut…I’ll never know. Back to glorious food!

Pork Pot Stickers

Ingredients

    • 1/4 small head Napa cabbage, finely chopped (about 2 cups; 7 ounces) (No please, but do as you like)
    • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt, plus 1/8 teaspoon for seasoning
    • 1/3 pound ground pork (not too lean)
    • 1 tablespoon fresh ginger, minced (from 1/2-inch knob)
    • 1 small carrot, coarsely shredded (about 2 tablespoons) (I bought matchstick carrots and they worked just fine)
    • 2 scallions, thinly sliced (about 1/4 cup)
    • 2 cloves garlic, minced (about 2 teaspoons)
    • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
    • 2 teaspoons Asian (toasted) sesame oil
    • 1/2 egg, lightly beaten
    • 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
    • 30 gyoza (pot sticker) wrappers, from 1 (14-ounce) package (or, wonton wrappers will work too in a pinch)
    • 1/4 cup canola oil

Preparation

    1. In large bowl, toss together cabbage and 3/4 teaspoon salt and set aside for 30 minutes. Transfer to clean dish towel or cheesecloth, gather ends together, and twist to squeeze out as much water as possible. Wipe bowl clean, then return cabbage to it. Add pork, ginger, carrots, scallions, and garlic and stir to combine. (I started at “add pork” and skipped the cabbage step all together)
    2. In small bowl, whisk together soy sauce, sesame oil, and egg, then stir into cabbage-pork mixture. Stir in pepper and remaining 1/8 teaspoon salt.
    3. On dry surface, lay out 1 gyoza wrapper, keeping remaining wrappers covered with dampened cloth or paper towel. Spoon 1 1/2 teaspoons filling into center, then moisten halfway around edge with wet finger. Fold moisture-free half of wrapper over moistened half to form open half-moon shape. To seal, using thumb and forefinger of one hand, form 6 tiny pleats along unmoistened edge of wrapper, pressing pleats against moistened border to enclose filling. Moistened border will stay smooth and will automatically curve in semicircle. Stand dumpling, seam-side up, on baking sheet and gently press to flatten bottom. Cover loosely with dampened cloth or paper towel. Form remaining dumplings in same manner. (I dipped my finger in water and moistened the edges of the wonton wrapper and then laid it on the empanada press. I put about a tsp of filling in the middle and pressed it, the extra wrapper peeled away at the edges and I was left with a small, but yummy, pot sticker. I did follow the instruction of keeping the completed pot stickers under a damp cloth so they didn’t dry out)
    4. In 10-inch, lidded, non-stick skillet over moderately high heat, heat oil until hot but not smoking, (remember hot pan then cold oil) then remove from heat and arrange pot stickers in tight circular pattern standing up in oil (they should touch one another). Cook, uncovered, until bottoms are pale golden, 2 to 3 minutes. Add 1/2 cup water, tilting skillet to distribute, then cover tightly with lid and cook until liquid has evaporated and bottoms of dumplings are crisp and golden, 7 to 10 minutes. Add 2 tablespoons more water if skillet looks dry before bottoms are browned. Remove lid and cook, shaking skillet to loosen pot stickers, until steam dissipates, 1 to 2 minutes. Invert large plate with rim over skillet. Using pot holders, hold plate and skillet together and invert skillet. Remove skillet and serve pot stickers warm. (or just take them out with tongs or a slotted spatula which is what I did because I wasn’t about to pour oil/hot water on myself which I would have inevitably done because the oil/water NEVER completely dissipates or evaporates.

wp-1468205050397.jpgwp-1468203257174.jpgwp-1468203256919.jpgwp-1468203256544.jpgwp-1468203255893.jpgwp-1468203256415.jpgwp-1468203256274.jpgwp-1468203256289.jpgwp-1468203257371.jpg20160710_201920-1.jpg20160710_201930-1.jpg