For my second venture in Asian cooking, I again went for a couple of easy recipes. My reasoning for this is that it is easier to start with the easy dishes and work towards the harder ones that require more skills and knowledge. Once again I chose American based versions of recipes. My dishes were Asian Beef with Baby Bok Choy and Simple Beef & Bok Choy. Although they sound identical they were not. With a few simple changes in sauces and spices the dishes had completely different palate flavours. Here is another video of me discussing the dishes!
The first of these two dishes was the Asian Beef with Baby Bok Choy. I found this recipe at the Kraft website available here. The recipe is very simple and has easy guidelines for preparation. I really enjoyed making this dish, and my roommate was especially happy that I chose to explore a new venue of cooking! She even suggested that I keep this dish in mind for my end goal of serving a meal to guests (like a dinner party).
This is what the meat looks like while it was cooking. You can see that the sauce is not cooking away, but will continue to thicken as it is heated. You will also notice that I have garlic in here. This recipe called for 2 cloves, and while it definitely gave it a good flavour, I would add more next time because garlic is one of my favourite ingredients.
This picture is of the veggies. I followed the directions and put all of the veggies and some garlic (half of what it called for) in the pan to cook down. After a few minutes it was done and ready to set aside to keep warm until the meat was done.
Here is the final dish! I must think I am a real cook because I even tried to present it in a way that you see on shows like Chopped!
On to dish number two! This is Simple Beef and Bok Choy. As another Kraft recipe it is available online here. I have never cooked with the “zest of an orange” before, so this dish had a queer taste to me. It was almost overwhelming to me, and that is mainly my fault because I’m pretty sure I used more than the suggested serving. But hey, it’s hard to grate the orange over a teaspoon, so I just did it directly over the bowl and eye-balled it as best as I could. I would make this dish again, but I think I would substitute another flavour for the orange zest.
As you can see here, the sauce does not act the same way. This meat has been tossed with cornstarch and so the sauce only formed a coating on the meat. I did not expect this and was surprised. Although, I guess I shouldn’t have been shocked. It is the same idea as tossing stew meat in flour before cooking it to make a base for stew. All that was left to do was add the bok choy and the rest of the sauce!
Here is the final product for the second dish!