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Beef with Broccoli

Indio, California:  It is like a switch was flipped. Our usual beautiful weather has finally arrived. It has been so cold and so rainy for weeks - completely unusual, though the rain is desperately needed we can't complain much. With a huge snow storm paralyzing the Northeast today, the temperatures are in the mid-80's in the Coachella Valley. As long as My Driver can't run or bike because of his knee injury, it is much more pleasant to read a book under the shade of an awning, than to read a book inside the motorhome with a blanket draped over your legs. Dave is still waiting for a surgery date.

Speaking of blankies... our darling granddaughter, Lucy, (now, somehow, two-and-a-half!) has learned to escape her crib - which can be a very dangerous situation. Lenny switched-out the outside rail on her crib with a "toddler rail", like in this sample photo below.

Lucy won't risk falling from the high rail now, but she is free to roam the halls! Lisa remembers sleeping on the floor next to Leo (same situation, same house, same crib; same toddler rail) for many nights.

Parenting isn't for people who cherish sleep. 

We are mid-way through Chinese Week, and I have posted another beef recipe (using the other half of the flank steak used in Cumin Beef Monday). Beef with Broccoli isn't very exciting, but continues to be one of the most popular dishes in most Chinese restaurants in America. Don't get me wrong, Beef with Broccoli is served in China as well, as it is hearty, kid-friendly and easy to prepare.

The cooking technique is the same as the Cumin Beef recipe: coat the beef in a corn starch mixture and stir-fry. This produces a nice glaze on the meat and thickens the sauce as well.

This is another easy one-pan Chinese recipe, quick enough to become a week-night staple. You can use a lot of broccoli (Broccoli with Beef?), and add a little red bell pepper or carrot for color if desired. Again, I prefer flank steak in this dish. Have the ingredients prepped before you start cooking, this comes together quickly.

1 teaspoon sugar
2 Tablespoons soy sauce
1 Tablespoon sherry (or water)
1 teaspoon sesame oil

2 or 3 stalks broccoli, cut into bite-sized florets
3/4 pound beef sirloin or flank steak,
     sliced, against the grain, into very thin strips,
     about two inches long
2 Tablespoons cornstarch (or potato starch)
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Peanut or vegetable oil for stir frying
2 teaspoons freshly grated ginger
2 cloves garlic, minced
Sesame seeds, to garnish, optional

Mix the sauce ingredients together in a small bowl; set aside.

Bring several inches of water to boil in a large skillet. Add the broccoli florets and cook, stirring occasionally, for 3 minutes. Drain broccoli florets into a colander, run cold water over, and leave to drain.

Place cornstarch and black pepper on a dinner plate and mix well. Add beef slices to the cornstarch mixture and, using clean hands, mix the meat into the cornstarch (or potato starch) mixture until the slices are evenly coated with the coating.

Dry the skillet and heat on a medium-high fire and coat the bottom with a thin layer of oil. Sauté the coated beef slices, placed individually into the skillet, undisturbed for a minute or so on each side until sizzling and well browned. Cook in batches, removing the browned slices to a clean plate, adding a bit more oil to the skillet if necessary. When finished cooking, let the beef rest while the rest of the dish is cooked.

In same skillet, add the ginger and garlic and stir constantly for about one minute. Do not let the garlic burn. Return the broccoli to the skillet, to quickly reheat, about one minute, then return the beef to the skillet. Add the sauce mixture, and stir well. The sauce will thicken in about thirty seconds. Remove to a platter and garnish with sesame seeds, if desired.

Served with steamed rice, serves 4.

visit recipe page Until my next update, I remain, your beefy correspondent.

RV PARK:  The Motorcoach Country Club