Week Night Stir-Fry

March 19, 2019

It seems like time just got away from me today and when I got back to the house and looked in the fridge to gain supper inspiration my mind stayed quite blank. Very blank. Like 'how would everyone feel about toast' blank. How did we eat all the leftovers already? I swear the fridge was just full of them this morning but that must have been my wishful thinking.

But as I started opening crisper draws and looking a little harder I saw the odds and ends of veggies that we had used for other meals. A couple ribs of celery here. A small bag of broccoli there. And hiding in the back was a pepper and part of a cabbage. OK - we can work with this. On their own, these veggies wouldn't make enough for a side, never mind a meal. But together? A tasty stir-fry! The best part of this stir-fry? You can use whatever veggies you have on hand or prefer. It's not a hard and fast recipe. Flexible recipes are my best friend. By the time I start supper the last thing I want to do is drive to town for a missing ingredient.

What do I usually put in my stir-fry? My favourites are cabbage, peppers, mushrooms, onions, broccoli and carrots. And let's not forget the garlic. Would I even be considered Ukrainian if I didn't put garlic in nearly every recipe? Of course at our place this is a beef stir-fry. We use round steak at our house but a more tender alternative is sirloin. Both work well. Best tip? Slice it thin to keep the beef tender. To do so make sure to only partially thaw the meat and then it is very easy to slice thin. (The other benefit is you can take it out of the freezer last minute when you can't figure out what to make for supper - and let's face it - this is the real benefit)

What is round steak? The round is a very lean muscle cut in a beef animal. It has little marbling and minimal fat seams in the muscle making it a perfect candidate when thinly sliced for stir-fry. The muscle is located in the hind leg of the beef animal. Being very lean can be desirable but can also make the end product dry - this is where the stir-fry sauce is crucial.

Are you a rice or noodle fan? Or are you a better person than me and cut those carbs out completely? I am a noodle fan and love rice noodles in my stir-fry dish. With ribboned cabbage in there too a few noodles go a long way and if I pretend I can almost convince myself that cabbage could be extra noodles - almost. OK - not really at all but they kind of look like noodles if you squint.

I do enjoy the homemade stir-fry sauce. It's the goodness of garlic, ginger and soya sauce in a teryaki-esque pop of flavour. It's super simple to make but do you know what is even simpler? A bottle from your fridge. Both work great.

Jolene Noble

Beef, Barley and Mushroom Soup

Feb 18th, 2019