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Sesame Beef with Broccoli
♥Chef’s Note: You can easily substitute the beef strips in this meal with texturized vegetable protein (TVP) by adding some vegetable broth or water with boullion to the oil during the first stage. Try using 1/2 cup dry TVP and 1-1/2 cups broth/water. Adjust to taste.
-About 3/4-lb. thin-sliced beefsteak (or TVP with broth–see above notation)
-3 tablespoons cooking oil
-about 1/4 cup creamy peanut butter
-about 1-1/2 tablespoons soy sauce
-1 yellow onion, slivered
-3 or 4 large heads of broccoli, chopped
-1 (4-oz) can sliced mushroom pieces & stems, drained
-2 teaspoons garlic powder
-1 teaspoon ginger
-1/2 teaspoon black pepper
-1/3 cup brown sugar
-1/3 cup orange juice or cola
-1-1/2 tablespoons sesame seeds
Begin by heating a large, oiled skillet or wok over a MEDIUM burner setting. Be sure there are about 2 tablespoons or so of “available” oil hanging around in the bottom of the skillet. With a large spoon or butter knife, place a heavy dollop (about 1/4 cup) of creamy peanut butter in the skillet and allow it to coat the bottom of the pan as best as you can. Shake about 1-1/2 tablespoons soy sauce into mixture.
Sliver about 3/4-lb. of thin-sliced beefsteak (eye of round or other cut) into strips. Do not begin frying yet, as you need to have vegetables mostly ready before beginning to cook the meat. (Beef will cook quickly due to the size of the pieces, so keep an eye on it and reduce heat if necessary.)
As skillet continues to warm, quarter or slice a yellow onion into chunks. Chop 3 or 4 heads of broccoli into large bites. If using fresh mushrooms, wash and pat dry; if using canned, sliced mushrooms; open can and drain.
At this point, go ahead and toss in the beef strips and onion. Stir constantly with a wooden spoon until outside of meat is brown but onions are not yet translucent. Sprinkle about 2 teaspoons garlic powder, 1 teaspoon ginger and 1/2 teaspoon black pepper over the meat mixture. Add 1/3 cup brown sugar and 1/3 cup orange juice or cola to the skillet and continue stirring.
Immediately toss in broccoli florets, drained mushrooms and any other vegetables you like. Stir vegetables to coat with sauce and sprinkle about 1-1/2 tablespoons sesame seeds over the mixture.
At this point, you can increase the heat to MEDIUM HIGH (or even HIGH), but keep a close eye on it. The trick is to make sure the broccoli is somewhat cooked without turning to mush, which can happen in the blink of an eye. You’ll know the broccoli is perfect when it turns a bright, almost neon shade of green. It is at its very brightest green just before it starts down the path to limpness, so pull it off the stove when it’s really “glowing” with color.
Serve immediately over hot rice or noodles. Refrigerate any leftovers and remember to keep them covered well when reheating.