Blogs I Enjoy

Among the blogs that I enjoy is "Crazy Aunt Purl". A recent post about cleaning out and organizing her freezer made me think. It reminded me I'd been meaning to share one of my go-to recipes when I'm in a hurry. I found this recipe in senior year of college, years ago when I was lucky enough to have access to a weber grill on the balcony of a neighbor's apartment.

Over the years it has evolved into the current version. The original recipe called for round steak which is too tough in my opinion. When I find sirloin on sale, I buy one or two, immediately slice and divide into small bags and freeze. Then I can thaw in water for about half an hour, cut up the vegetables and make the rice and steam the pea pods while I’m waiting and I’m ready to go.

Fast and Easy Teriyaki Beef (edited 1/21/11)
Combine and whisk together in a large bowl for marinade:
   1 1/2 c.  Italian dressing, (oil-free or regular, doesn't matter taste-wise) 
   1/8 - 1/4 c. soy sauce (to taste) OOPS! Sorry:  Teriyaki sauce (I use Kikkoman)
   1/2 - 1 t. regular white sugar (don't overdo this)
   1/2 - 1 t. ground ginger (I've never used fresh)
   1- 2 lbs. sirloin, cut into 1/2” strips about 2 - 3 inches long or so

Taste and adjust marinade as needed. I don’t add salt because there’s enough in the marinade. Reserve about 1/2 - 3/4 c. marinade to use at the end.

Add sirloin and assorted veggies to the marinade, using as many or few as desired: 
cherry tomatoes
zucchini (cut into 3/4” rounds)
pearl or boiling or regular onions (quartered)
red or green pepper
handful of snow peas (cooked separately and added at the end)
cooked basmati rice (I usually make at least 2 cups worth)
If I’m in a hurry, I just use an onion and a red pepper if I have one.

Remembering to reserve some of the marinade, mix meat and veggies in marinade, cover and marinate in fridge for 1/2 - 2 hours, stirring once or twice for complete coverage. I've also put it all (steak, marinade and veggies) in a zipper bag and in the fridge overnight.

In the past I'd thread the beef onto skewers spaced with the veggies for presentation, but a few years ago, I started keeping everything separate for more control over the cooking time. Oh, and I thread everything onto the skewers over a jelly roll pan (cookie sheet with sides). This contains the dripping as you skewer everything and also makes transporting it all to and from the grill easier.

Grill (or broil) for about 5-7 minutes as needed, turning skewers and basting frequently. I usually start by putting the onions and peppers on first, then the zucchini, followed by the skewer holding the faster cooking vegetables. I often thread the tomatoes and mushrooms together. The meat goes on at this point for however long it takes to get to the "done-ness" you desire and depending on your grill. As the skewers of veggies finish, remove to jelly roll pan, cover with foil. Meanwhile put reserved marinade in microwave and warm. Steam pea pods. 

Remove everything from skewers onto the jelly roll pan. Toss out the used marinade. Serve on hot rice surrounded by pea pods and topped with meat, veggies and warmed marinade.

If you’re not in the mood to grill you can stir-fry the beef in its marinade with appropriate vegetables. You just won’t get the grilled taste.

Serves 2-4 depending on amount of meat and vegetables used.

I love the ease of walking in the door and tossing a baggie of sliced beef into a bowl of water to thaw and having dinner ready in no time! When working full time, it was a real lifesaver. To date I haven't had a failure.

I have to  mention that if you' d never tried basmati rice, you really should. I "discovered" it about 15 years ago and never looked back! It has a wonderful nutty flavor that compliments many dishes. Sometimes I'll just have a warm bowl of it topped with butter. I buy it in large burlap sacks at Costco. You can also find it at Trader Joe's. Lately I noticed that TJ's also has brown basmati rice, though I've never tried it. I've recently been toying with the idea of using boneless chicken breasts or possibly a fillet of white fish. Of course, I'd cook the fish whole on the grill and divide up before serving.

As I said, this is a great "go-to" recipe when you're in a hurry. 



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