Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Lightening things up around here (and a cookbook miracle)

Simple Sukiyaki
America’s Quick Cuisine Copyright 2004

½ cup condensed consommé
¼ cup dry sherry
¼ cup reduced-sodium soy sauce
1 tablespoon sugar
4 ounces packaged triple-washed baby spinach I omitted this
½ teaspoon vegetable oil
8 ounces lean boneless beef ribeye or sirloin, trimmed of fat and thinly sliced I had closer to a pound
1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger I used jarred grated ginger
1 medium-size onion, thinly sliced
2 cups mushrooms, sliced
4 green onions, cut into 1-inch lengths
hot cooked rice I used brown rice

1. In a small bowl, stir together consommé, sherry, soy sauce and sugar. Set aside. Remove and discard any coarse stems from spinach; set spinach aside.
2. Heat oil in a wide nonstick frying pan over high heat. Add beef and ginger; cook, stirring, until beef is browned (2 to 3 minutes). With a slotted spoon, transfer beef and ginger to a bowl.
3. Add sliced onion and mushrooms to pan; cook, stirring, until onion is soft and mushrooms are tinged with brown (about 3 minutes). Add green onions and spinach; stir until spinach is wilted (about 1 minute). Add consommé mixture, then return beef to pan; bring to a boil, stirring. Serve over rice.

At the end, I added the meat back and cooked it gently for a few minutes (I didn't like the thought of boiling the meat). Then I removed the meat and veggies with a slotted spoon and reduced the liquid. You could thicken it with a slurry too, but I was going for a more intense flavor.

Makes 2 servings.

I'm trying to lighten things up since the holidays and all the excesses that go with them are quickly approaching. This dish was light and actually pretty good but the brown rice I made with it just wasn't hitting the spot. I usually enjoy brown rice but perhaps I spoiled myself by making the spanish rice with regular white rice earlier in the week.

I had a close call with this recipe. For some reason, I completely glossed over the ginger in this recipe, probably because it's usually a staple but I've been out of it for a while and it's been really hard to find fresh or jarred grated ginger around here. I only have one grocery store on the way home and historically they have never carried these types of ginger but low and behold they had 3 small jars of it hiding in the corner of the produce section. Score!

Do you want to hear about a little cookbook miracle? My mom has an older cookbook, well pieces of an older cookbook, that I always enjoyed looking through while growing up. I really wanted a complete copy of it but there was no way to identify it - the first 20 pages, last (?) pages and the entire binding was missing. All I had to go on was the approximate number of pages (over 460), the approximate age (around 1970 was my guess) and some of the chapter headings. I thought it might be a BHG book from the layout and typeface but I was wrong.

It took only four days but I tracked down the book - The Complete Everyday Cookbook (1971). I can't wait until it gets here. But like an idiot I e-mailed my mother about it right away when I could have surprised her with an intact copy for her birthday next month. I also picked up an old King Midas cookbook on e-bay that may have a donut recipe that my grandmother used to make, a recipe that my mother has mentioned a few times over the years (but only this weekend mentioned it was a King Midas cookbook). I told my mom about that too. I can't believe I missed out on surprising her with those books. Stupid! Stupid! Stupid!

A Blast From The Past: Spicy Orange Beef from July 2006. That's another great quick beef recipe.

Question of the Day: Did your mother have many cookbooks?


DancesInGarden said...

"Many" does not encompass how many she has. We are talking a walk in closet full! She never ever cooks from a recipe, but reads them like books. Which is exactly what I do, only she is a better shopper than I am and finds gianormous ones with full colour photos marked down for a dollar. I pay full price for mine, but am more discerning and won't buy just anything. Her hotdog cookbook is an excellent example of that ROFL!

Anonymous said...

my mom has one cookbook: the "i hate to cook book." LOL. the funny thing is that she loves cooking, but has never followed a recipe - she learned from her mom. :)

Anonymous said...

Oooh, I need to know about that hotdog cookbook that Dancesingarden mentioned. Do you know the name of it? I'm a sucker for hotdogs. It might even rival my "52 Meatloaf Recipes" cookbook! The motto on it was "Once a week, a meatloaf in every oven." ;)
I don't remember my Mother having any bound cookbooks. She had quite a few "cookbooklets" put out by food product companies. I loved looking through them. My sister and I still cherish many of them.


Annie said...

My mom had one cookbook that I can remember-The Betty Crocker Cookbook.
When she moved here from Italy she had to learn American cooking for my Dad. He was a meat and potato kind of guy.

As time went on, my Dad was the cookbook collector. He would order cookbooks and culinary magazines constantly. He liked to dabble with cooking but didn't really make weekly dinners so much.

Anonymous said...

"Lots" doesn't even come close! Maybe that's where I get my love of all things cookbook? LOL. And I just bought her a new one for her birthday - a new curry one.

Dad just got a new BBQ, one with a hood and a wok burner and it's so big I think NASA might wanna borrow it! I bought him a groovy little wok 'cookbook' - it is shaped like a bookmark with a pin in the top and the pages kind of fan out. Now he is retired he is taking over as chief cook and is really enjoying searching out new recipes.

Wanda said...

What anonymous Jan said. Minus the desire for a hot dog cookbook or praise for the meatloaf cookbook. LOL!
Actually, didn't Mother have a Betty Crocker cookbook - smallish, but a definate cookbook. I think. And then she had that blank book (sort of yellowish brown) that she wrote recipes in, I think.

Anonymous said...

Well, Wanda, you've jogged my memory and I do now remember that Betty Crocker cookbook and also one, I think, from a church fundraiser.

(It helps to have a sister with a mind twelve years younger)!


Anonymous said...

This looks good.