So the other night, when I looked in our pantry and saw the makings of orange beef stir-fry, I was thrilled. We had broccoli and carrots, flank steak from my dad's farm in the freezer, and brown rice, oranges, and chiles. Sounds like the beginning of a great dinner to me. Happily, Fin watched as I grabbed the carrots from the fridge. She's a carrot fiend (must have great eyesight) and can't get enough, even if it's in the form of peels. Now, it is with trepidation that I approach any new Asian-themed recipe, because I am still a complete novice at the techniques and tricks of the trade. I love using the wok, but, um, just don't do it right. Maybe it's the electric coils on the stovetop... but I have a feeling it's just me.Here's the problem, I think: there was too much liquid in the pan to just sear the beef. I used (and followed very closely) Mark Bittman's recipe for orange beef stir fry, but something about the beef wasn't quite right. I probably cooked it too long, with not enough heat, so it got tough. Nobody likes to try and choke down tough meat, but overall I think the dish turned out on the better-than-average side of the scale. That's at least what I think; Ryan isn't a big fan of orange in savory dishes, so this one's not on his favorites list. :)
something old, something new...something in the freezer needs to be used.
One of my goals this year is to expand into other culture's foods. I've got Italian, Tex-Mex, and American foods down, but I lack experience in Chinese or Japanese foods (to name a couple; I also need to learn Indian, French, Irish, African, etc.... cuisine). Lately I've really been craving the spicy, salty, cheese-less combinations often found in Chinese food. This means lots of trips to P.F. Chang's for lettuce wraps and crab wontons.