Spicy Tangerine Beef

Spicy Tangerine Beef
Reprinted with permission from Weight Watchers in 20 Minutes: 250 Fresh, Fast Recipes (Wiley Publishing, Inc. 2009). Copyright 2009 by Weight Watchers International, Inc.

Serves 4

2 tangerines
2 teaspoons cornstarch
4 tablespoons water
3/4 pound boneless sirloin steak, trimmed and thinly sliced
3 cups small broccoli florets
3 scallions, cut into 2-inch lengths
1 small red bell pepper, cut into strips
2 garlic cloves, minced
3 tablespoons reduced-sodium soy sauce
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper

1. Grate the zest from the tangerines; set aside. Peel the tangerines and separate into sections; reserve the sections. Stir together the cornstarch and 2 tablespoons of the water in a cup until smooth; set aside.

2. Spray a nonstick wok or large deep nonstick skillet with nonstick spray and set over medium-high heat. When a drop of water sizzles in it, add half of the beef and stir-fry until browned, about 3 minutes, using a slotted spoon to transfer the beef to a bowl. Repeat with the remaining beef.

3. Add the broccoli and the remaining 2 tablespoons water to the wok; cook, covered, about 2 minutes. Increase the heat to high. Add the scallions, bell pepper, garlic, tangerine zest, soy sauce, and crushed red pepper; stir-fry about 1 minute. Stir the cornstarch mixture and add to the wok; stir-fry until the sauce thickens and bubbles, about 1 minute. Return the beef to the wok along with the tangerines; stir-fry until heated through, about 1 minute longer.

LYNNE'S TIPS

This recipe invites improvising. Thinly sliced and less expensive beef chuck or round, pork tenderloin, shrimp, or firm tofu can stand in for the sirloin steak; yellow peppers can replace red ones; and broccolini, showpeas or asparagus could take the place of the broccoli.

Freeze the meat until it just begins to firm up and slicing thinly will be much easier.

THOUGHTS FROM LYNNE

Something has happened to recipes for baking in recent times. No longer is a simple, honest, delicious and comforting dessert - the kind of everyday baking grandma did - enough. Now super-charged stand mixers and processors (with prices to match), special gadgets and extravagant ingredients are kitchen musts. It seems that if we are going to whip up a dessert it has to be elaborate and time consuming to impress all and sundry folks.

Right now I say it's a good thing to look back to the warmth and comfort of those homey sweets grandma made with solely basic equipment: a sturdy mixing bowl, a wooden spoon and maybe a whisk. Recipe developer and cookbook author Nicole Rees seems to agree and has penned Baking Unplugged (Wiley Publishing, Inc. 2009). This classic old-time recipe is from the book.