Sunday, January 30, 2011

Chinese Sizzling Steak

In the little city where we live we have six Chinese restaurants and yet when we want Sizzling Steak we have to travel 45 minutes out of our way to order it.  We won't have to do that again, I am pleased to say.  This recipe tastes virtually identical to the restaurant version that we enjoy. Tender slices of beef with golden onions and a sweet-spicy cause to crown it.  Oh so good!  Ole Sweetie-Pi couldn't stop eating it and put dibs on the leftovers.

A couple of  caveats:  there is some advance preparation time that needs to be factored in, and recipe uses  several different pans to cook in. 

Chinese Sizzling Steak

1 pound steak, cut into thin strips
1/4 cup water
1/4 teaspoon baking soda

3 onions, peeled and cut into wedges
4 tablespoons oil, divided

1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
1/2 cup tomato sauce
1/2 cup sugar

1 tablespoon white wine

Slice the meat thinly (slices easiest when slightly frozen) and flatten with a meat mallet. Put into a large bowl.  Combine water and baking and pour over steak.  Let marinate one hour to tenderize the meat.  Drain the meat.

Heat one tablespoon of oil in a wok or pan, add steak, and toss steak over very high heat to evaporate the water and then remove steak from pan. Set aside.  Drain oil from pan and put pan back on flame and add two tablespoons oil.  Add back the steak and cook until well browned.  Once again remove steak from pan and set aside.

Put a cast iron steak plate or a cast iron pan in a very hot (375*F) oven for about ten minutes or until it's very hot.

Heat remaining tablespoon of oil in the wok and add the onion wedges.  Saute until golden brown and crispy and then remove from the pan, keeping warm.

Return steak to pan and toss one minute.  Add Worcestershire and tomato sauces and sugar, stirring until sauce boils, reduce heat and simmer two minutes. 

Carefully remove hot cast iron pan from oven and place on wooden base or trivet.  Arrange onions on steak plate.  Spoon meat and sauce over onions.  Pour wine over the steak plate to give it that characteristic sizzle.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Tea Ring

Do you dream of traveling, like photos from far off places, like a quirky sense of humor?  Then please visit my friend Jackie of Junk Boat Travels. It seems to be she has been just about everywhere, and she has tons of gorgeous photos documenting her travels.   One of Jackie's goals is to declutter, smiles, and as a result decided to reduce her collection of books.  She knows I'm a collector of sorts of antique cookbooks, and when she decided to make room in her abundant bookcase, she immediately thought of me. How fortunate am I!

One of the cookbooks she gave me is The Art of Cooking and Serving by Sarah Field Splint, printed in 1938.   It's a great little book, explaining how to set a formal table (gulp!  I have been putting folded napkins on the right side of the dinner plate and they should go on the left!), the different pieces of flatware and how to place them, how to choose china, and how to properly attire your maid for formal and informal occasions. Along with all information that are 549 tested recipes (as stated on the cover), and of those, I found this delightful tea ring with vanilla frosting. 

Some recipes, regardless of their age, are keepers, and this is one of them.  This tea ring is made from a  flaky biscuit dough.  In spite of its rustic appearance, the ring shape gives a touch of elegance.  I would be very pleased to serve this to any breakfast guest. 

Thanks, Jackie.  You are a dear!

Tea Ring

3 cups flour
1/3 cup sugar
5 teaspoons baking powder (yes, that's the correct amount)
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup Crisco shortening
1 egg, beaten
3/4 cup milk
3/4 cup raisins 1/2 cup nuts, chopped

Mix and sift the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Cut in Crisco with a knife or rub in with the finger tips. Add beaten egg, and enough milk to make a soft dough.  Roll out into a 1/4 inch thickness into a rectangular-shaped piece.  Spread lightly with softened Crisco,** sprinkle with raisins and nuts** and one tablespoon sugar.  Roll like a jelly roll lengthwise.  Bring ends together to make a circle and press together.  Put on a large greased pan and cut gashes around outside edge with scissors, 2 inches apart.  Bake in a 350*F oven 25 to 30 minutes.  Spread with confectioners' frosting.

Roll as if for jelly roll.  I used butter in place of the softened Crisco for spreading on the rolled out dough.We have a nut sensitivity here so I omitted them and sprinkled with cinnamon and lightly pressed the raisins into the dough so they'd be less likely to fall out when I cut into the tea ring shape.
Form into a circle and pinch ends together.  
Cut in slices about two inches apart, but not all the way through to the other side of the ring.  You want to leave a "hinge."
Gently turn the slices on their sides, slightly pulling them so that they fan out.
Confectioners' Frosting

1 1/2 tablespoons Crisco
1 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar
3 tablespoons milk or cream (or amount required needed for desired spreading consistency)
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla

Cream Crisco, add sugar gradually and cream together thoroughly.  Add enough milk or cream to make the frosting the proper consistency to spread.  Add salt and vanilla and  mix well.