We woke up this morning to the season’s first snow, which always feels a little special even if it gets extraordinarily un-special by February. Especially in the city, snow for me serves as a little reminder that nature is still out there, somewhere, even if I forget sometimes.

Ben and I bundled up in our hats and winter coats and boots (as with every single other winter, I seemed to have retained only one of my two gloves from last year) and headed to the grocery store. The city noises were muffled for once, the gross sidewalks were blanketed over, and our ever-present loud and gossipy neighbor was tucked away indoors. Christmas trees, dusted with snow, were on sale on the corner. Even my cold black heart quivered for a moment in a small display of holiday-related emotion.

Another one of my favorite dishes growing up, ginger beef and broccoli is a simple take on a Asian stir-fry. I like it because it only involves two ingredients that I don’t always have around the house and it take maybe 20 minutes to make. That’s enough time to add some homemade spring rolls or eggdrop soup to the meal if you’d like.

Also this weekend, I’ve been working on a recipe index for my site. It’s linked at the top of the page and should be an easier way to find the food-related posts you’re looking for.

Ginger Beef with Broccoli

1/2 lb. of sirloin
4 c. fresh broccoli in bite-sized pieces
1 wedge of fresh ginger, the size of a quarter
2 t. cornstarch mixed with 2 t. water
Dash pepper
2 T. canola oil
2 c. chicken stock or water

Marinade for beef:

3 t. cornstarch
2 t. light soy sauce (I use low salt.)
2 t. sherry or dry white wine
1/4 t. sugar
1 t. canola oil

  • Slice beef into thin strips and add marinade – perhaps a few hours before dinner. Bring the beef up to room temperature before you throw it in the pan.
  • Wash broccoli and remove tough outer layer on stems. Slice stems paper-thin and divide flowerets into small sections
  • Smash wedge of ginger.
  • Mix cornstarch, water and pepper in a little bowl. Set aside.
  • Using a high flame, heat a medium sauce pan and 1 T. of oil and ginger. Add broccoli and stir a couple of minutes; add stock and cover 6 minutes. Remove from pan and set aside.
  • Heat pan and add 1 T. of oil. When pan is very hot, add beef and flatten against sides of pan. Chow for a minute or two, or until beef is almost cooked. Add broccoli and stir in cornstarch mixture. Cook until sauce thickens.
  • Broccoli should be bright green. This recipe can be used with other vegetables, such as cabbage, kale, Chinese cabbage, or kohlrabi.
  • Serve over hot rice.