Sunday, July 20, 2008

Tried, Tested and True ... Take Two - Beef & Vegetable Stir Fry; Music MeMe

Giz and Pyschgrad of Equal Opportunity Kitchen are once again hosting Tried, Tested and True . This time, they ask us to post a dish which is not only a sure fire hit in our households, but one which is health-promoting as well, to raise awareness of organ donation.

For this event, I have decided to share my beef and vegetable stir fry recipe. It is basic stuff, but I can definitely say that it is healthy and it is a hit - I lived on it almost continuously for the 13 months that I lived in Sydney. The sauce, which makes the dish, originally evolved from a Jamie Oliver bake-in-the-bag recipe for chicken, of all things. So how did it get to become the basis for stir fry beef? Well, a little imagination and a particular liking for the sauce led to it escaping from the oven into the fry pan with a totally different meat. It is also incredibly versatile - you can change meat, vegetables and sauce components to suit yourself. However, the recipe (if you can call it that!) that I will give you is the basic one that I started with before I fiddled with it.

For 5 small girly serves (~100g meat per person - you can serve larger amounts, depending on the people and how hungry you are), you will need:

500g frying beef (eg steak), sliced into strips
220g packet of fresh udon or hokkien noodles, separated
1 brown onion, diced
1 carrot, sliced thinly
1 zucchini, sliced thinly
1 mild red chilli, deseeded and finely chopped
4 large mushrooms, sliced thinly
3 bunches bok choy, chopped roughly
8 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons honey
squeeze of lime juice
salt and pepper, to taste

Spray a frying pan with cooking oil and heat until hot. While the pan is heating, ensure that all of your ingredients are ready to go so that you can work quickly. First, cook the beef in the sizzling pan, and once brown, remove from the pan and set aside. Next, add the onion to the pan and cook until transparent, then add the chilli and carrot, and cook until the carrot has softened. Add the zucchini and cook, stirring continuously, until soft.

Return the beef to the pan with the vegetables, then add the soy sauce, honey and juice. Stor the sauce through until all ingredients are coated. Finally, add the bok choy, mushrooms and noodles, and while tossing all the ingredients to coat with sauce and combine, continue to cook until the bok choy has wilted and the mushrooms have softened and shrunk slightly. Remove from the heat and serve immediately. Dig in!!

Thanks to Giz and Psychgrad for once again hosting Tried, Tested and True. You can check out the amazing roundup and Giz's organ transplant story here.

Seguing into totally different topic, my friend Ivy of Kopiaste has tagged me for a music meme. The rules of this meme, which I think is kind of fun, are this:

List seven songs you are into right now. No matter what the genre, whether they have words, or even if they’re not any good, but they must be songs you’re really enjoying now, shaping your spring (or whatever season). Post these instructions in your blog along with your 7 songs. Then tag 7 other people to see what they’re listening to.

My difficulty is in narrowing it down to just seven songs!! I am a music lover, and have some rather divergent taste, which swings depending on my mood, what's going on in my life, what I recently heard on the radio or TV etc. I have a radio and CD player in my kitchen, and there, I listen to music while I am cooking, baking, ironing, mopping the floor, washing up or while I am on the computer (which is just in the next room). Music is a big part of my life. However, I am listing seven songs that I have recently listened to, and which always get me singing along when I hear them. These songs are as follows:

1. Weather With You by Crowded House. Crowded House is my favourite all time band, in that I like nearly all of their songs. They have been claimed as an Aussie band and a Kiwi band, but now they are very international, with two US members in the recently reformed group. Lead singer and song writer, Neil Finn, is an absolute legend, who has collaborated on many other projects with other musical identities and for films. It's hard to choose a favourite song from a repertoire like that of Crowded House, but Weather With You always reminds me of home, regardless of where I am in the world.

2. Never Tear Us Apart by INXS. INXS were a legendary Aussie band when fronted by the late, great Michael Hutchence, who had a magnetic swagger and an irresistable pout. This song is a powerful ballad, with a classic film clip filmed against a cold, wintery European backdrop.

3. The Flame by Cheap Trick. This is a golden oldie power ballad from the 1980s that I had forgotten about until it was chosen as "Song of the Day" at work recently. The team that I am in selects one song towards the end of every day to be the song of that day, with lyrics or a band name that relates (sometimes very loosely!!) to events that have occurred during the day. The Flame was chosen for the name of the band which sang it, Cheap Trick. Don't ask me why!!

4. Flowers In The Window by Scottish band, Travis. I just love the lyrics and melody to this song. It is very gentle and understated, and the sentiments of the song are beautiful.

5. Let's Fall In Love, written by Cole Porter and performed by many, including Alanis Morrisette for the movie De-Lovely. I am a huge fan of music from the Art Deco era, and Cole Porter was a master of this genre. This song is light and bubbly, and the words are kinda silly, but it is a delightful, mood-lifting song.

6. All I Want Is You by U2. The first time I heard this song was in the movie Reality Bites, and I have loved it ever since. It is powerful and beautiful.

7. Here Comes the Sun by The Beatles. I love the Beatles, even though they broke up before I was born, and again, they have so many great songs that it is hard to pick a favourite. However, I have chosen this song, written by George Harrison, because it is a great tune to hum for a lift in the midst of a cold, grey winter, like I am experiencing now. It makes you hope that the sun and warmth are just around the corner (although George Harrison actually wrote this song about escaping from the recording studio, as he had come to loathe being there towards the end of The Beatles).

There is so much other music that I love, but the list would way exceed seven, so I am sticking with these songs that have recently been on the airwaves or on my mind.

Rather than tagging seven specific people, I throw it open to anyone who is reading this and who would like to do this meme to share their favourite seven songs with us. It's fun, so I encourage you to go for it.


giz said...

Your stir fry is just the type of comforting I love when I want a variety of things in short order. Thank you for your submission to Tried Tested and True and for supporting awareness of the need for organ donation.

Dee said...

Mmm... comfort food at its best.
I love Crowded House! It reminds me of simpler times :)

StickyGooeyCreamyChewy said...

This looks great! I know it's still cold where you are, but this stir fry is perfect to serve in our hot weather.

Ivy said...

Your beef and vegetable stir fry looks delicious although I am not familiar with the Asian ingredients used. Thanks for doing the meme and I like what you do at the office.

Anonymous said...

Hi Cakelaw! I can't even remember's so hot and humid here..but it sounds kinda refreshing :)

Swati: Sugarcraft India said...

The music meme was really nice and "All I want is You" is one of my favourite songs too..
Stir fry looks good too..

White On Rice Couple said...

No this dish hits close to home for me. I love anything stir fried, on a bed of hot jasmine rice!

Katie said...

I love Here Comes the Sun! The Beatles are great - my aunt gave me a CD of theirs for my birthday one year and I was hooked.

Mochachocolata Rita said...

i love stir fries too! my fool proof dinner ^_^

i love these songs:
peter piper - by Run DMC
cantaloupe (flip fantasia) - by US3

JennDZ - The Leftover Queen said...

LOVE LOVE LOVE INXS!!! I have always had the biggest crush on Michael Hutchence and still mourn the fact that he is gone.

Jeena said...

Looks wonderful, great songs. :-)