Growing up I was a picky eater. Very cautious about what I ate, which could explain why I was almost always very small. Even for most of my 20s I was often mistaken for looking like a teenager. Unless I was a regular at bars, I typically would get carded. Thinking back at it now, it wasn’t such a bad thing. It’s good to look young some times. Just don’t feel it. My physical health could use some work… anyway, cooking! An art-form to say the least. When I was younger all I knew were simple dishes like instant noodles, or eggs. Anything that took little effort. I didn’t develop any cooking skills until I started living on my own. One of my biggest influencers that got me to enjoy my time in the kitchen is Ross. One of my oldest friends to this day. We met back in grade school and he taught me so much of what I know today. Along with some Food Network shows that inspired me. Some of the things he taught me was knowing your utensils, how to use them and depending on what I’m cooking, to use certain types of pots and pans. Anywhere from steaks to sauces, and more. We even made our own homemade pizza once!
Beef and Broccoli
One of my signature dishes. I would say this is a simple, yet delicate recipe to make. Once you can get the flavor and sauce down to your liking, the rest is whatever you want. Meat choice down to just about any sort of vegetables you want to use. That’s the beauty of making a stir fry dish, it’s easy to change so you don’t feel like you’re eating the same meal day after day. What I love about beef and broccoli is how quick and easy it is to make. Good source of protein even though the sodium count can get a little high.
Back when I was still in high school, I remember having a competition with a couple of my friends. We would see who could make the best beef and broccoli. At this point I was still a novice in the cooking world. My dish was really simple. Ross’ rendition was pretty solid. But my old neighbor Jerry, who I spent a lot of my time with growing up, took us to school. He used this sauce I would have never thought to use and it brought out the flavor of the dish very well. I placed last… but I never gave up. I kept at it, trying to perfect this meal to where I wouldn’t need to change anything else.
Heated up garlic and chili oil to start.
Prep Time: 10 minutes Cook Time: 10 minutes Total Time: 20 minutes Serving Size: 2
Any choice of meat, I went with beef this time. Used about 10-12 ounces. 1 broccoli head, about 1/3 of a medium onion(I used sweet onion), 2-3 cloves of garlic and a yellow bell pepper.
After cutting the vegetables and meat to your liking, I heated up the pan with about a tablespoon of oil on medium high.
- Scooped in some hot chili oil(for extra kick) with the garlic. Mix around for about 30 seconds to a minute.
- Toss in the meat. Cook until liking of doneness. About 2-3 minutes.
- Next, throw in all the vegetables. Mix it in with the meat stirring often for the next few minutes.
- Seasoning. I used about a tablespoon and a half of hoisin sauce, about a teaspoon of soy sauce and fish sauce each. Sugar is optional. Same with Sriracha.
- When the juices start to show from the meat and veggies breaking down, I mix in some corn starch and water to thicken the sauce. Results will vary based on how much starch and water you use. And that should be it! Just plating.
Very quick. Very simple. Shouldn’t take more than 20-25 minutes to make. I do on a personal preference like my foods a little bit more salty. So when you’re seasoning, don’t add too much to the dish right away. I was told, “It’s better to under-season than to over-season.” Just a fair warning, when I tossed the meat into the chili oil, it hit my nose pretty good. I don’t remember if I was coughing or sneezing afterwards. Maybe I’ll scoop in the chili oil towards the end. See if that makes a difference with overall taste. One of the things I noticed when cooking this meal was the pan I used. When the veggies went in, I didn’t have room to move everything around. Which is why a wok would work perfectly in this situation or with any stir fry dishes. Something I’ll have to invest in for sure! But for now, this will do. Til next time.