Mongolian beef and a very smoky kitchen
August 29, 2012 § 3 Comments
When Dave’s cooking in the kitchen, he needs assistance with everything…””Lib, can you chop these tomatoes for me? You’re so good at that,” “I need you to mince these green onions,” “Please cut up this entire chicken, because you’re the only one who knows how to cut up a chicken.” Yes, Dave is Mr. Smooth, and he is good at sweet-talking me into performing all sorts of culinary tasks. Forget about trying to take a break when he’s cooking, because when he’s cooking I am his full-time sous chief. I’m the garlic chopper-upper, the dishwasher, and the vegetable-prepper.
Meanwhile, although I know he’d be more than happy to be my sous chef as well, when I cook I don’t want Dave in the kitchen. He’s entirely too helpful, and full of “guidance.” So I encourage him to sit on a barstool at the kitchen peninsula, where he tells me about his day, and occasionally interjects a comment about whatever I have on the stove. Our big Irish Wolfhound Otis always joins him (although he rarely has anything to say). Here’s a recent conversation while I was preparing Mongolian Beef (a delicious dish, even though it is a bit smoky to prepare).
Dave: Otis and I think that the kitchen is full of smoke.
Libby: Do you think I don’t know that?
Dave: Just trying to be helpful.
Libby: When we remodel, let’s get a professional vent fan.
Dave: Ok, but for now, you shouldn’t cook Mongolian beef. It’s too smoky.
Libby: I’m not curtailing delicious food, because our cheesy-a$$ vent fan isn’t up to the job.
Actually, I’m not sure why Dave gets so excited about smoke or steam in the kitchen, because he’s not the one who does the clean-up.
Oh, and by the way…this Mongolian beef is indeed a little smoky while it’s cooking. But, it’s so delicious, you will still want to cook it. When I tell Dave that we’re having Mongolian Beef for dinner, he arrives home in an instant. It’s really just that good.
1 cup dry white wine
1/3 cup white sugar
¼ cup soy sauce
1 teaspoon lemon pepper
1 teaspoon ground ginger
6 garlic cloves, minced
1 pound lean sirloin steak, cut across the grain into very thin slices, about 1/8-inch thick
2 tablespoons cornstarch
4 tablespoons peanut or canola oil
1 tablespoon sesame oil
1 green pepper, seeds removed and sliced
1 jalapeno, seeds removed and sliced
12-ounce jar red peppers, drained and chopped
3-4 chopped green onions
Whisk together the white wine, sugar, soy sauce, lemon pepper, ground ginger, and the garlic. Pour into a glass pan large enough to hold the sirloin steak. Place the steak pieces in the pan with the marinade, and set aside to marinate at room temperature for at least 1 hour.
Remove steak from marinade; reserving marinade. Toss the meat into a bowl with the 2 tablespoons cornstarch. In a large cast iron pan or a wok, saute the beef at moderately high heat in the peanut or canola oil, in batches, 30 – 60 seconds for each batch (Note: kitchen will become very smoky right about now…make sure your windows are open, the vent hood is turned to high, and your significant other is not sitting on a barstool telling you that you’re doing it “all wrong.”). As the beef cooks, remove it from the pan, and place in a bowl.
When all of the meat has cooked, add the 1 tablespoon sesame oil to the pan. Add the green pepper and jalapeno to the pan and cook for 2-3 minutes. Add the reserved marinade and red pepper, and all but 1 tablespoon of the chopped green onions. Cook an additional 7-8 minutes, until the sauce is thickened. Stir in the beef pieces. Cook briefly, until the beef is heated through, about 30 seconds. Serve over cooked rice, with the remaining chopped green onions as a garnish.