First let me say, I am not a food stylist. I am not a photographer. I am not a chef. I am a total amateur at all three. In fact I am such an amateur that my first day of food blogging I forgot to check my camera and make sure it had a battery. I was so excited, my first recipe entry into my new blog, went to take my first photo and of course my camera was dead. So this lovely photo is brought to you by my husbands Blackberry (thanks T! ♥) Not the prettiest photo, but this blog is a work in progress.
Now on to the recipe...........
Today was a lazy day, the only thing lazier than the day was me. I wanted to make something quick to feed my little guinea pigs (who from this post forward I will affectionately refer to as the GPs, my daughter will be so pleased.) Now, I mean guinea pigs in the nicest way possible. I really do have the best family that anyone who likes to experiment with recipes could have. My husband and youngest are always willing to try new things, my older daughter and son, not so much.
My family loves Chinese and one of their favorites is lo mein. I'm always on the hunt for a good lo mein recipe. Tonight I think I found it. Beef-Broccoli Lo Mein from Cooking Light, October 2003. Now before you run away screaming about hating broccoli, no need to fear, there is no broccoli here. Hmmm, funny.
I love broccoli, my daughters love broccoli, the men in my life HATE broccoli. I planned to cook it separately but my grocery store only had the prepackaged stuff today. I hate prepackaged produce. Especially when it is turning brown inside the package. How I wish I still had Wegmans nearby.
So, since I wasn't using broccoli, I figured why not add some peppers and onions. Not that the two picky GPs like peppers or onions, but I solved that problem by making two separate batches. Which I would have done anyway because I doubled the recipe. I also doubled the sauce. I know Cooking Light is trying to keep the dish lighter and a little more healthy by cutting down on the sodium/fat/calories, but when I was reading the reviews of the dish others stated there just wasn't enough sauce. So I doubled it. I'm glad I did. It was the perfect amount.
Doubling the sauce and omitting the broccoli wasn't my only change. I also changed up the order in which I cooked the stir fry. I started with the meat first. A quick saute and then off the heat and into a bowl. Make sure your pan is nice and hot so you can get some good caramelization. No one likes grey meat. It isn't pretty and it most certainly is not tasty. Oh and you can sub any cut of beef you would normally grill or pan fry. You could even use chicken, or do an all veg, it's your lo mein, add what you want no one is judging you.
After the meat was done, I added the onion and peppers to the pan, then the ginger/garlic for 30 seconds, then the sauce. After the sauce the noodles joined the pot, and then the meat. Quick toss around to coat everything and it's dinner time!
Once prepped this dish came together in about 10 minutes. All in all this recipe is a definite keeper. The sauce has a nice balance of flavor. A little heat, a little sweet, a little salty. It all works perfectly together. My daughter said "it doesn't taste exactly like the Chinese place, maybe a little better." Coming from the pickiest of all the GPs, I'd say that was a pretty nice compliment.
So after that long drawn out post, I give you Beef-Broccoli Lo Mein (sort of)
Beef-Broccoli Lo Mein
4 cups hot cooked spaghetti (about 8 ounces uncooked pasta)
1 teaspoon dark sesame oil
1 tablespoon peanut oil
1 tablespoon minced peeled fresh ginger
4 garlic cloves, minced
3 cups chopped broccoli (or 1 green pepper like I used)
1 1/2 cups vertically sliced onion
1 (1-pound) flank steak, trimmed and cut across the grain into long, thin strips
3 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 tablespoon oyster sauce
1 tablespoon chile paste with garlic
Cook pasta according to package directions, omitting salt and fat; drain. Combine pasta and sesame oil, tossing well to coat.
While pasta cooks, heat peanut oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the ginger and garlic; sauté 30 seconds. Add broccoli and onion; sauté 3 minutes. Add steak, and sauté 5 minutes or until done. Add pasta mixture, soy sauce, and remaining ingredients; cook 1 minute or until lo mein is thoroughly heated, stirring constantly.
Yield: 6 servings (serving size: 1 1/3 cups)
Calories: 327 (26% from fat)
Fat: 9.3g (sat 3g,mono 3.6g,poly 1.6g)
Marion Winik, Cooking Light, OCTOBER 2003