Sorry for the delay on the post this week, things have been a little hectic around here. Some might even say there was madness in the air.
Of course I'm referring to "March Madness" and the attendant basketball. For the last 7 years CrabCake2 and I have had our own bracket wars. Before the start of the tournament we both fill out our picks for all 63 games. This started when he was in grade school and it continues to this day.
It always ends up pretty close. In seven years we've had four outright winners, by a slim margin of one game, one winner with a two game "drubbing" and 2 ties that came down to the outcome of the championship game. We don't actually bet anything, no money changes hands, there's no increase or decrease in the amount of household chores. Nope, all that's at stake is bragging rights. That uniquely male prize that allows you to gloat and pontificate about your prowess at "mastering" something truly trivial and insignificant.
The battle follows a regular pattern. One of us goes out on a limb in the early rounds and either builds up a big lead or falls way behind. The next two weeks is spent analyzing which games have to be won in order to close the gap. You'd be surprised how hard you'll cheer for a Murray State or an Eastern Washington when the outcome can bring you back to within a game. It's a blast.
Of course planting yourself in front of the TV to watch meaningless basketball games severely restricts your cooking time. So it's only quick and fast meals this weekend. Spicy Tangerine Beef fits the bill. It combines easy prep with fast cooking so you don't waste valuable watching time. Prep everything before the game and cook the dinner during halftime. Enjoy...
Spicy Tangerine Beef
from Guy Fieri and The Food Network with a couple Crabby adjustments
3 TBSP soy sauce
1 TBSP cornstarch
1 pound flank steak cut in thin strips across the grain
2 TBSP grated fresh ginger
2 TBSP dry sherry
2 TBSP hoisin sauce
2 TBSP honey
1 TBSP hot chili sauce
2 TBSP soy sauce
1/4 cup freshly squeezed tangerine juice (orange juice is OK if you have no tangerines)
3 TBSP canola oil
3 scallions, chopped
Zest of 2 tangerines or 1 orange
2 TBSP toasted sesame seeds
In a large resealable plastic bag combine the 3 tablespoons of soy sauce, 1 tablespoon of corn starch and 2 tablespoons of grated ginger. Seal and shake well to combine. Add the sliced beef, reseal and let marinade for 20 - 30 minutes.
Whisk together the sherry, hoisin, honey, chili sauce, soy sauce and tangerine or orange juice until well combined. Set aside.
Heat a large pan or wok over high heat. When the pan is hot add the oil and swirl carefully to evenly distribute.
Add the beef and cook for 3 minutes, turning often. After three minutes add the sauce mixture and cook an additional 2 minutes until it thickens.
Serve over rice on a warm platter garnished with the chopped scallions, tangerine zest and sesame seeds.
NOTE: The tangerine/orange zest makes a huge difference in this recipe, don't skip this part. The recipe can be easily doubled but cook the meat in two batches.
There ya go crablings. At the end of the first round I had a three game lead over CC2 so cheer for California and Pitt and I'll be able to end this year's bracket wars early. Until next time, remember you can do it, you can cook.