Stir Crazy!

Posted on March 26, 2011


I have been really getting into stir frys these days. They are such an easy way to be creative with cooking!

Color, texture, flavor…

Start with a basic recipe and add your own flair.

That’s what I did last night. I started with a basic recipe from the March issue of Cooking Light. The first time I made it, I followed the recipe to the last ingredient. It is a good recipe but I’m not crazy about broccoli and onions  plus I wanted to add some color to the dish.

So here we go…

The line up…

I kept it easy this time by using pre-chopped garlic and ginger. Why work that hard on a Friday night?

It’s important with a stir fry to have all ingredients pre-measured and pre-chopped for the cooking goes fast!

The original recipe calls for four cups of broccoli – I switched it out to four cups of any veggie. I usually picked four different veggies (one cup of each) depending on what’s in season.

This time I used red peppers, mushrooms, carrots and asparagus. Hubby doesn’t care for asparagus that much so I have to ‘sneak’ it in dishes like this. (He didn’t even notice!)

In buying the beef for the stir fry, I recommend sirloin or eye of round steak. Last time I made a mistake in buying the skirt steaks that the grocery store promotes for stir frys – the meat was too tough for my tastes.

Cut the steak diagonally along the grain and into thin strips.

Veggies cut. Meat cut.

Start cooking your rice

I’m a big brown rice fan but love the lighter rices like Basmati and Jasmine rices for Asian dishes. I found a wonderful brown Jasmine rice that give the lightness of a Jasmine rice but has the healthful benefits of a brown rice.

Brown rice takes about 40 minutes to cook so I start it up while I’m prepping the ingredients.

While the rice is cooking, prepare a marinate of 1 tbsp. of sherry, 1 tbsp. of soy sauce and 1 tsp. sugar.

Toss the beef in the marinate, stir to coat and let sit.

Prepare the sauce so you can toss it in the pan when it’s time…

Combine 1 tbsp. sherry, 1 tbsp. soy sauce (I use the light variety),  1/2 cup lower-sodium beef broth, 1 tbsp. cornstarch, 1 tbsp. hoisin sauce and 1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper (more if you want a little more heat).

Set aside.

Heat 1 tbsp. oil (I use canola oil because it can handle the high heat) in a large skillet over medium high heat.

Saute for about 3 minutes until no longer pink and remove from pan.

Add another 1 tbsp. to the skillet. Add ginger and garlic and cook for 30 seconds, stirring constantly.

Stir in the veggies and 1/4 cup water. Cook for 2 minutes stirring constantly.

Add the broth mixture and the beef mixture. Cook for about 2 minutes until beef is cooked through and the sauce is slightly thick.

You’re done!

Have fun playing with your own favorite veggies!

Recipe: (adapted from Cooking Light magazine)

2 tbsp. dry sherry, divided

2 tbsp. lower-sodium soy sauce, divided

1 tsp. sugar

1 lb. boneless sirloin steak, cut diagonally across grain into thin slices

1/2 lower sodium beef broth

1 tbsp. hoisin sauce

1 tbsp. cornstarch

1 tsp. Sriracha (hot chile sauce) OR 1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper

2 tbsp. canola oil, divided

1 tbsp. bottled fresh ground ginger

2 tsp. minced garlic

4 cups pre-chopped vegetables (carrots, peppers, mushrooms, broccoli, asparagus to suggest a few)

1/4 cup water

Cook rice according to directions. While rice cooks, combine 1 tbsp. sherry, 1 tbsp. soy sauce, sugar, and beef. Stir together 1 tbsp. sherry, 1 tbsp. soy sauce, broth, cornstarch, hoisi, and crushed red peppers. Heat 1 tbsp. oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add beef mixture, saute 3 minutes or until browned. Remove beef from pan. Add remaining 1 tbsp. oil to pan followed by the ginger and garlic; cook 30 seconds stirring constantly.

Add veggies and 1/4 cup water; cook for 2 minutes stirring constantly. Add beef mixture and broth mixture; cook 2 minutes until beef is thoroughly heated and sauce is slightly thick.