Thursday, April 16, 2009

Wosie Woks.

Youngest Hawthorne was home yesterday and I decided to fix him one of his favorites for lunch - beef and broccoli stir fry.
Here are the veggies: broccoli green pepper onion celery garlic carrots asparagus just picked from my garden
I chopped my veggies, got out a can of cashews and a can of water chestnuts, thawed out a container of my veal stock, made a cornstarch slurry (equal parts cornstarch and cold water), and sliced a New York steak that was in my freezer along with some odd pieces of beef tenderloin leftover from when we bought a whole tenderloin on sale and sliced fillets out of it and vacuumed sealed them.
My oil of choice for stir frying is peanut oil, because I like the flavor, but, alas, I had none and substituted canola oil. Whatever type of oil you use, be sure it has a high smoke point. When stir-frying, get the wok hot first, then slowly add in the oil down the side. When almost smoking, start adding in your ingredients. My broccoli went in first, since that takes the longest to cook.
After about 30 seconds, I added my carrots.
Then I added the celery...
... the green peppers ...
... the asparagus ...
... the onions ...
... the water chestnuts ... ... and the cashews.
I stir fried all this for about 1 minute, then added in a little water to steam everything a bit. I tend to undercook my veggies, since I like them crunchy, and also they go into a big bowl at this point and I put a lid on top to keep everything warm, so you have some residual cooking going on.
Heat the wok back up again, add some oil, and drop in the sliced meat. Not all of it. Just a few pieces. If you put all the meat in, the temperature is lowered, and the meat steams instead of searing. I don't touch the meat for about 20 seconds to give it time to sear on one side, then I turn it over.
On the last batch of meat, I added in the garlic.
Here's the rest of the meat and the veggies waiting to go back into the wok.
But first, I added my cornstarch slurry, stirring.
And about 1 1/2 cups of my veal stock, stirring until thickened.
Lastly, I added in the rest of the bowl, stirring to coat with the veal stock.
I served it with rice.
And you can see the steam wafting off.
Mr. Hawthorne especially liked this, in part due to the addition and richness of the veal stock.
I love stir fries. All the veggies were just as I like them - al dente and colorful. I like the variety of textures - the softness of the rice, the slightly different crunch factors of the cashews and the water chestnuts, the pop of the veggies, and what's not to love about fillet mignon. Now look at the second picture at the beginning and see all that food I'm preparing and remember I have a pot of rice too. Youngest Hawthorne had a friend with him and those boys went back for seconds and thirds. Mr. Hawthorne and I just had firsts. I had no leftovers. They ate everything.


Queenneenee said...

who could blame them for eating every last drop? WOW that looks amazing. I wanna go out for chinese now. It wouldn't be as yummy as yours though.

Marilyn said...

Looks yummy. I can just see the flavors!

Hairball T. Hairball said...

Yum!! Your kids are so lucky to have you cooking for them.