Beef and Chicken Stir Fry
As you read on the featured friday entry, I made my friend Catherine cook for us at my home using my recipe. This was a treat since no one really cooks for me, and because I was able to take pictures of the process without having to constantly wash my hands after every step. This can get very drying on the skin you know!
Since this was an impromptu cooking session, we ended up just using whatever was already in my fridge, freezer and pantry to make our dinner. This was during the time I still had some produce from the mystery farm box left over in the fridge, so that’s what made me ultimately decide that we’d make a stir fry.
We also ate some corn on the cob because I had it. Yeah, I know. It’s pretty random to be gnawing on corn while eating a stir fry, but whatever dude. My house, my rules.
Now back to the stir fry. You remember my tip about what to do with beef and chicken from the freezer right? Take another look at why you should freeze your meat if you forgot. Slice those bad boys up very thinly and the protein part is ready to go.
Next turn your attention to the veggies. As always, my recipe is very forgiving. Use whatever the heck you have on hand, and I mean it. Don’t go out to the store and try to mimic what I have. You don’t need to.
I just pulled out what seemed to make the most sense and go together the best, taking color into consideration as well. If I had a red bell pepper, canned water chestnuts or baby corn, I would have LOVED to thrown that in there.
But alas, all I had were baby carrots, and a green pepper. The farm box provided the cabbage and scallions.
Give everything a chop chop chop!
mince up the ginger and garlic.
Those go into a COLD pan with some vegetable oil. This is because ginger and garlic have a tendency to burn easily, so by putting them in a cold pan with oil and then bringing it up to medium high heat together, they will be able to cook slowly and infuse the oil with their delicious flavor.
When you smell their heavenly fragrance, you can add your meat. By this time, your pan will be nicely heated and you’ll get that sizzle on contact. When the frozen meat softens, season with salt and pepper and continue to cook.
Cook until they’re just about done, but still a little raw. Dump onto a plate or bowl. You do this so that when you add your meat back to the pan later, it won’t be over cooked.
And then you add in your veggies, going from crunchiest veggie first to the one that requires the least amount of cooking last. Season all the veg with salt and pepper as well. Season at every step, basically, but don’t go crazy, because you can always add more salt later.
And then you take a papparazzi shot of your friend cooking your dinner.
When the veggies are softened, but still a little crisp, add back the meat to finish off the cooking together.
Then pour in your sauce. Once you add the sauce to the stir fry, taste a little and then you can adjust the seasonings with salt and pepper if necessary.
How much sauce you’ll need will be totally dependent on how much vegetables and protein you’re using, so just use your judgement. Add as little or as much of it as you want. If you have a lot of veggies and meat, double the sauce.
Have fun with this recipe and make it your own by adding what you want to it and even switching around some ingredients with whatever you have on hand or even prefer. But if you really want to have fun, trick your friend into making it for you. Delicious!
- Vegetable oil for pan
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 Tablespoon ginger, minced
- 1 piece of boneless short rib meat, or small steak of choice, thinly sliced
- 1 small boneless, skinless chicken breast, thinly sliced
- 1 cup baby carrots, cut in half, lengthwise
- ¼ head of cabbage, cored and sliced
- ½ a green bell pepper, cut into strips
- 2 scallions, green parts cut into 2" strips, white parts, sliced thinly
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Sesame seeds for garnish (optional)
- 1 cup reduced sodium chicken broth
- 1 Tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
- 1 Tablespoon cornstarch
- 1 Tablespoon hoisin sauce
- 1 teaspoon chili garlic sauce
- 1 teaspoon agave nectar (or 2 teaspoons sugar)
- Prep all your vegetables and meat. Set aside.
- In a bowl, add the chicken stock, soy sauce, corn starch, hoisin sauce, chili garlic sauce, and agave nectar. Whisk together and set aside.
- In a large pan or wok, add some vegetable oil. To the cold oil, add the minced ginger and garlic and place over medium-high heat. Cook while stirring, until they become softened and fragrant, but not browned.
- Add your sliced meat and season with some salt and pepper. Cook until almost done, but still a little raw, and dump onto a plate or a bowl. Set aside.
- Add your vegetables to the pan, starting with the crunchiest, such as the carrots, and ending with the vegetables that require less cooking time, such as the scallions. Season all the vegetables lightly with salt and pepper. You can always add more seasoning later. Cook until the vegetables are crisp tender.
- Add the meat back to the pan and finish cooking together. Then whisk the sauce to make sure the corn starch isn't stuck to the bottom of the bowl, and add to the pan. You can add as much of the sauce as you want to the pan, depending on how much vegetables and meat you have. Likewise, if you don't have enough sauce, add a little more chicken broth. Cook together until the sauce is slightly thickened. Toss all the meat and vegetables in the sauce well. Taste and adjust the seasonings with salt and pepper as necessary. Garnish with sesame seeds. Serve hot.
TIPS: Freeze your meat for 20 minutes for easier slicing, or use frozen meat and thaw slightly. Add whatever meat and vegetables you want. If you like a thicker sauce, add a little extra cornstarch to the sauce before pouring it in the pan. If you have a lot of meat and veggies, double the recipe for the sauce and use what you need.