Today's Secret Recipe Club post, much like episodes of Sesame Street, has been brought to you by a letter of the alphabet. In this case, the letter "O". As in Oh my gosh, it's a very small world!
You see, when I received my assignment, It's Good To Be The Cook, I noticed that the author, Beth, was born and raised and still lives in and around Philadelphia, where I grew up. She went to college at the same university from which I earned my MBA. And, well, she's a total foodie. Trying to decide which of her recipes to choose for this post was hard because there are so many delicious options.
And then a new member was added to the Secret Recipe Club's member-only Facebook page. Her name was Beth. And her last name sounded really, really familiar. So I sent her a message to see if she's who I thought she was.
And that's the second reason that this post is sponsored by the letter "O". Because I suddenly felt really, really Old.
I used to babysit for Beth and her sister. 20 years ago. We sent a few messages back and forth, smiled over the small-worldness of it, then exchanged blog urls so we could check each other out. But I already knew what I'd find when she sent me hers. It was my February assignment!
And then there's the final reason that "O" comes into play - Oops! There were a lot of new members added to the Secret Recipe Club recently, which is absolutely awesome. But it caused a little bit of confusion, and posts were going up with other groups' reveals. But the lovely hostesses worked it all out, and I got to keep Beth's blog as my assignment, which means I get to share this delicious recipe with you.
While there were some amazing recipes from which to choose, when I saw this one for Sesame Beef Stir Fry, I knew it was the one. Originally from Cooking Light magazine, it is a fast, simple and absolutely delicious alternative to takeout Chinese food.
I started by preparing the sauce - a combination of soy sauce, brown sugar, freshly minced garlic, freshly mincend ginger and crushed red pepper flakes.
And then it was as easy as, well, stir frying! The first thing into the pan is stir-fry-sliced beef, then cut green onions. Then the sauce is added to flavor everything.
And then, for good measure, you add a healthy heap of baby spinach.
The spinach wilts down and you are left with absolute deliciousness.
The recipe calls for sesame seeds to be sprinkled over the dish still in the pan, but I knew that the kids would prefer their servings without them, so I sprinkled seeds on the individual servings for those who wanted them (ie: me and daddy).
While the recipe used a little more ginger than we usually like, it tasted fresh and delicious and really was a breeze to make. I prepared the sauce and sliced the beef in advance and the whole dish was done in less time than it took me to cook the rice with which I served the stir fry.
Beth, it's so great to re-connect with you and I look forward to making many more dishes from your blog!
Sesame Beef Stir-Fry
(from It's Good To Be The Cook)
1 tablespoon minced ginger (minced or freshly minced)
1 tablespoon minced garlic (bottled or freshly minced)
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 1/2 teaspoons brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1 tablespoon sesame oil
1 pound pre-sliced stir-fry meat (such as flank or boneless sirloin steak) (I found thinly sliced bottom round steaks for sale and sliced them up myself)
8 green onions, cut into 1-inch pieces (white and light green parts only)
4 cups bagged baby spinach leaves (I used a 6 ounce bag of pre-washed)
1 tablespoon sesame seeds (or to your own taste)
½ teaspoon hot chili garlic sauce (optional… I omitted this)
Combine the ginger, garlic, soy, sugar and red pepper flakes in a small bowl. Set aside.
Heat the sesame oil in a wok or saute pan. Once the oil is heated, stir in the sliced beef and cook for approximately 3 minutes, or until browned evenly (Mine took a little bit longer, about 6-7 minutes). Add the green onions and saute for one more minute.
Pour on the prepared sauce and stir for 30 seconds. Pile on a bag of spinach. Let it sit for a minute until it starts to wilt down, then stir until it shrinks completely. Add the sesame seeds, stir, and serve!