After a snackful weekend loaded with the usual Super Bowl suspects - raise your hand if you too had con queso with tortilla chips - today I was ready for a pile of fresh, tender-crisp vegetables. This is my go-to stir-fry, flavorful, light, and adaptable in every which way. Feel free to substitute or add pea pods, peppers, mushrooms, eggplant, summer squash...basically any tender vegetable that loves a quick saute.
Ditto the protein, by the way. I love beef with broccoli, but chicken breast, pork, or tofu are all stir-fry classics. The trick for tender meat is to "velvet" it in a slurry of egg white, cornstarch, and wine while you chop vegetables. I add a generous pinch of Chinese five-spice powder to the mix because I crave the stuff. Typically a heady mixture of cloves, star anise, cinnamon, pepper, and fennel (variations abound, found in most grocery stores), it's an easy way to add a big punch of flavor to a quick stir-fry.
This is not a saucy dish, but there are definitely enough pan juices to enjoy spooned over rice or noodles. If you choose noodles, cook and drain them, then dump them into the wok with the meat and vegetables and toss. Lightly crushed peanuts or toasted almonds are a delicious garnish on pretty much anything, but particularly vegetables alongside a soft, chewy starch. Go for layers of flavor! Go for layers of texture! Go!
Recipe for Beef & Broccoli Stir-Fry at TC Taste/Minnesota Monthly Magazine.