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Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Picky Eater Approved

Most of my friends and family know that John is a picky eater.  Many times I'll tell him what I'm going to make for dinner and I get that look from him.  The look that says, "I don't want to make you mad, but I don't want to eat that."

I've gotta say, though.  John has definitely expanded his culinary horizons since we got married.  The first time I made meatloaf he said, "I don't like meatloaf."  I told him I was going to make it once, and if he didn't like it, I'd never make it again.  Halfway through that meal he said he loved my meatloaf.  :)  (Not to toot my own horn, but I do make a mean meatloaf.  So juicy and delicious with barbecue sauce.  Yum!)  More often than not, lately, John likes pretty much anything I make. 

So when I saw this recipe for Thai Beef Stir-Fry in the 2005 Taste of Home Annual Recipes cookbook, I knew I had to try it.  First, because it has vegetables that John actually likes (not peppers, onions and the like).  And secondly, because it has peanut butter in the sauce.  I love peanut butter sauces.

Here's the recipe, in case you'd like to try it.  And let me just say, it was SO yummy!!  We both gobbled it up, and John took the leftovers to work for his 3am dinner!  It is a little time consuming, but well worth it.

You begin by making the sauce:
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 2 T. cornstarch
  • 2 cups beef broth
  • 1/3 cup soy sauce
  • 1 t. onion powder
  • 1 t. garlic powder
  • 1 t. ground ginger
  • 1/4 t. hot pepper sauce (think Tabasco)
Whisk those ingredients together and set aside.  It'll smell delicious already.

Pour 3 T. of EVOO into a wok and stir fry 2 lbs. of boneless beef sirloin steak, cut into thin strips.  I actually had to do mine in 2 batches.  Remove the meat from the pan and keep warm.

(Put on a big pot of water for the pasta.)

Put another 3 T. of EVOO into the wok and add 2 cups fresh cauliflower, cut into bite size pieces, and 1 + 1/2 cups julienned carrots.  Stir-fry for 5 minutes.  Add 4 cups fresh broccoli, also cut into bite size pieces.  Stir-fry for about 7 more minutes. 

Now the recipe says to add 2 cups sliced fresh mushrooms and stir-fry for 6-8 minutes.  John and I both don't like mushrooms, so I omitted them.  Instead, I just continued to stir-fry the other veggies for 6-8 more minutes.  I was worried they might not be done enough.  Don't worry.  They will be!

**At this point, the point where you would add the mushrooms (if you like them!) I poured a handful of salt and some spaghetti into the pot of boiling water.

Veggies should be crisp-tender at this point.  Atleast, that's what the recipe says.  Whisk up that sauce you made waaay back in the beginning and pour it into the wok with the veggies.  Bring it to a boil.  Let it boil for about 2 minutes or so, while stirring.  It should thicken up a little.  Reduce heat and add the beef back in.  (Wok's gettin' full now!)  Then add 1/4 cup peanut butter to the wok.  Cook and stir over medium heat until the peanut butter is blended in.

Drain the pasta. 

Put a big pile of pasta on your plate, and cover with a big pile of stir-fry!  Sprinkle the top with peanuts, if you desire.  I didn't, because I really didn't think John would like that!

Wish I took a picture, because it was a beautiful thing.  But I hadn't eaten all day (except for a blonde brownie) so photographing my feast was the last thing on my mind.

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