Monday, March 30, 2009

Sweet and Sour Beef

Ryan was really intrigued by the "12 Inch Everyday Pan" included with my new set. I think specifically he liked the high domed cover, thinking of the covers on room service trays in movies. (He should get over that. Room service won't be happening in this little corner of the world.) So, I decided to take a meal that I'd normally make under the broiler, and, since we only have 4 people around this week, try it on the stovetop, in the "entertaining" Everyday Pan. I'm not sure which was easier, although I'm quite certain that for more than 4 people, stovetop cooking won't be making a comeback around here any time soon.

Both Ryan and his father dubbed this meal outstanding, and Mark grun
ted that it was "OK", which is as close as that little weasel ever comes to complimenting food. Yeah, he's the kid who would get all of his nutritional and caloric requirements from a little pellet, if such a thing existed.


2 pounds steak, cut in strips
3 tbsp vegetable oil
1 onion, cut in 1/2" chunks

2 tomatoes, cut in 1/2" chunks
2 cups pineapple chunks, with juice
2 tbsp sugar
1/3 cup white vinegar
1 tbsp instant chicken bouillon powder
2 tbsp soy sauce
2 tbsp cornstarch
1/4 cup cold water

Heat the vegetable oil in a big pan or skillet until it's quite hot. Add the onion and beef, and brown for a very short time. Add the tomato and pineapple chunks, then stir in the sugar, vinegar, chicken bouillon powder and soy sauce. Cook for a minute. Whisk the cornstarch with 1/4 cup cold water, then stir into the beef mixture. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes, until the sauce thickens. Serve over white rice immediately. Warning: this cooks very fast, and the beef will be overcooked if you're not careful. However, if you're looking for a good meal in under 30 minutes, with time to sit and enjoy a lovely beverage for all but the last 6 to 7 minutes, this is it!

Note: I didn't serve the plates before calling the boys to dinner; I merely put the rice on their plates and let them uncover the everyday pot to discover their dinner. They were indeed entertained. Of course, the pan was safely on my passthrough, where it couldn't be spilled on anyone.

And, Paula, this meal is little girl friendly!


Paula said...

I bet it was great fun for Marjie's men to open the lid and discover this wonderful dinner! I really like the tomatoes in it, and it looks so delicious! So, glad, too, that your new pans performed so wonderfully on their maiden voyage! My littlest sweet and sour eater would devour this. It has all the yummy stuff she loves ... especially pineapple! I love meals like this as they look like you slaved for hours! This is perfect for family fare as well as serving for one or two. I better go pull that steak out of the freezer! YUM, YUM, YUM!

Pam said...

I love getting new pans and yours look fantastic.

Sweet and sour beef is a terrific idea - I've only had sweet and sour chicken before. Looks great!

Christo Gonzales said...

the pans win.......

The Blonde Duck said...

A pellet? What kind of person doesn't like food, esp. with a cook like you for a Mom? Tell him I'll trade places with him for a week. Queen Bitty will whip him into shape in no time!

Darius T. Williams said...

Such a great idea for a meal - I love this.

Anette said...

That looks great! I was wondering, do you find it difficult to adjust the amount of food you prepare, to the changing number of people in your house?

Anonymous said...

I'm with Duckie, I need REAL food not a pellet or a can of guk.
This sounds like a good recipe for even pork or chicken

Ann Made Studio said...

I love the look of the pan, and the meal looks very very good!

noble pig said...

It does look like room service and if it's in the pass through it really is like that!

Melanie said...

Marjie, I have a bread related question for you- I made my first loaf the other night... (using the recipe you provided). I set it on the "medium" crust, but I would say that in color, the crust was very pale. When it was done (and I removed it immediately) the outside of the bread was rock hard. Do you think maybe this was a quirk of it being the first time I've used the machine? I don't think it was the crust setting, because like I said... the crust didn't even look brown at all!