With the Spring season upon us, the availability of new produce, like zucchini, has me totally psyched for a summer growing season. This year, the garden will be expanded to over double its size, and family members joke that we'll soon be growing our own CSA crops here on our meager 1-acre property. Nah, no CSA for us.... just plenty of tomatoes for canning and other goodies for freezing. I'm even going to try growing our own kidney and black beans; the internet makes it sound easy enough, so we'll see what happens.
Anyway, back to zucchini because that's what I wanted to talk about. I never had a zucchini as a child -- is that weird? It was never served or made into bread in our house. So it's a food I've learned to like as an adult, and I've even found a couple of ways to make it that James will eat it, too. Of course, I also put it into muffins and breads for the girls -- hey, you do what you've got to do, right?
Don't let the list of ingredients scare you; I just broke it down into three sections. I've learned the hard way that the best way to make stir fry is to have everything prepped and ready to go BEFORE you begin cooking. Stir fry cooks quickly once you start, and you don't want to be stuck slicing carrots or mincing garlic while your beef overcooks in the skillet.
Beef Stir Fry with Zucchini
1 1/2 lb sirloin or flank steak, cut into thin strips
3 Tablespoons soy sauce (gluten-free)
2 Tablespoons sherry
1 Tablespoon cornstarch
1 cup water
1/2 cup soy sauce (gluten-free)
2 Tablespoons oil
2 cups zucchini, cut into 1/2-inch pieces then cut in half
1 cup carrots, sliced 1/4-inch thick1 red bell pepper, julienned or chopped small
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon freshly grated ginger
1. Marinate beef: In a shallow dish or plastic bag, combine soy sauce, sherry and beef. Set aside while preparing remaining ingredients.
2. Sauce: In a small bowl, whisk together cornstarch, water and soy sauce. Set aside.
3. In a 12-inch non-stick skillet, heat 2 Tablespoons oil over medium-high heat. Stir-fry beef until browned but not well done, just 2-3 minutes. Remove to a bowl, cover with foil and set aside.
3. Return skillet to medium-high heat. Add zucchini, carrots and bell pepper. Stir-fry until crisp-tender, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and ginger, stirring to incorporate, and cook about 1 minute. Place beef and any accumulated juices back into skillet and stir to combine. Stir stir-fry sauce in bowl to reconstitute, then pour into skillet, stirring to coat meat and vegetables. Sauce will thicken within 30 seconds. Serve.