October 08, 2010

Comfort Foods

Juli had to have a medical procedure done today. Nothing too major, and she's doing fine, but she did require anaesthesia and the whole ordeal (she started prep for it yesterday) has left her sort of drained.  As a result, I have had to prepare some fairly mild dishes today.

For lunch, I made yet another selection from Best-Ever Recipes, Hearty Garlic-Potato soup.   A mellow, creamy soup with leeks, thyme and topped with crisp-fried garlic chips and a scattering of chives, it really hit the spot.

For dinner, I made the original version of a dish from an old, out-of-print cookbook, The Complete Step-by-Step Cookbook: More Than 800 Recipes in Full Color by Salamander Press, The original dish, Mango Beef with Cashews, isn't bad at all, but I wanted something a bit more flavorful.  This inspired me to tinker around and eventually develop a new recipe, inspired by the original.  Juli has liked my recipe when I've made it in the past, but since I was told she needed to stick with fairly bland fare today, I went back to the original.   It was quite good, despite being a bit on the bland side

My recipe is printed below.  You'll have to pick up a copy of the book to get the original version, but the book is available used at a steal of a price.

Ginger and Mango Beef with Cashews

yield = 4 servings

1       pound lean beef steak (round or sirloin)
1 1/2 tablespoon light soy sauce
1       teaspoon cornstarch
1       tablespoon rice wine
1       tablespoon grated ginger root
2       teaspoons minced garlic
1       teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1/2    teaspoon salt
2       ripe mangoes
1       tablespoon safflower oil
4       cups cooked rice
1 1/2 tablespoons chopped, fresh cilantro
3       tablespoons unsalted cashews, coarsely chopped or crushed

Trim the beef of any large pieces of fat and slice into it into very thin strips, cutting in half any slices over 4" in length. 

In a bowl, mix cornstarch with soy sauce.  Add rice wine, grated ginger root, minced garlic, black pepper and salt.  Stir to mix.  Add and stir in beef.  Cover and refrigerate at least 30 minutes, preferably 2 hours or more. 

Peel mangoes and cut the flesh into thick, even slices. 

Heat saffron oil in a wok or skillet over medium heat.  Add beef mixture and stir-fry until brown, 4-5 minutes.  Reduce heat to low.  Stir in 2/3 of the mango slices and cook for 2-3 minutes, until the mango slices are warmed through. 

Serve meat and mango mixture over rice, topped with the chopped cilantro, reserved 1/3 of mango slices and the cashew pieces.

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