Oh, blog friend, I’m a bit sad today as I have come to the full realization that I can never be a real food blogger. I am far, far away from being a fancy cook. I’m fairly new to cooking, and I care much more about getting food out of my kitchen then onto a plate and a table than I care about how appealing the meal, plate, and table look. This is automatically a strike for most food bloggers. Also, I always try meals that I think other average cooks would attempt, meals with things that are already in my kitchen, that I can pronounce, and that I can make for more than two people (sometimes 6 or 7 people) within an hour. This is obviously strike two. Still, how I finally strike out in the food blogging world is the blogging step itself. Every time I try a new recipe, I plan to tell you all about it in drool-worthy details, but every bite is eaten before I have the chance to take pictures. I take this as a compliment in real life, but in blog life, it’s a wake-up call: I am not a food blogger.
That being said, will you take me as I am? Just a blogger who cooks for a table-full of grown men almost every week. A blogger who would rather be blogging about how cute my house is but I’m too busy doing laundry and cooking to start [another] DIY?
If so, I’d love to tell you what I made for Monday Night Shenanigans last night, even without photos.
Oh my gosh. You’re still here. You’re the best.
Before last night, I had never attempted a “Chinese” meal other than the pre-made frozen ones, so I thought I’d give a less-processed one a try. It seemed cheap, and that’s what I needed when five men in their twenties were on their way to my house for dinner.
I had venison cube steak in the deep freezer from my dad’s generous hunting adventures. I put about two pounds out to thaw around 1pm with the windows up. It was perfectly thawed by the time I started cooking at 6pm. I texted a friend to ask that he stop for a box of minute rice on his way. The rice and the venison were free, but I think quick rice is a couple bucks a box and cube steak is a semi-cheap cut of beef at the grocery store (if you know for sure, tell me in the comments). Flank steak may work, too. Either way, I cut the meat into small pieces. My mom had given me some garlic infused olive oil with which I browned the cube steak in a wok-like pan. It smelled strong, but I think the garlic was a nice touch. You may need to drain the beef, but venison is so lean that I left the grease.
After it was completely browned, I dumped half a bottle of teriyaki sauce on top.
[Teriyaki sauce is actually Japanese, as I found out soon after I posted the first version of this blog. I was planning a Chinese meal using several ideas I found on Pinterest, but I guess my rendition turned out a different ethnicity/nationality altogether based on what I had in my fridge. Did I mention I’m not a professional food blogger and do not plan to be?]
The teriyaki was a medium grade sauce–not the most expensive on the shelf but definitely not the cheapest, either. I think the flavor of the teriyaki was already great, but I added a tablespoon of soy sauce and a tablespoon of brown sugar. Though I forgot to salt and pepper, you may rather salt and pepper at this point.
I transferred the meat and sauce mixture to a bowl, then added a little more garlic infused oil to my pan. I dumped a bag of frozen broccoli, a bag of frozen stir-fry veggies (peppers and onions), and a bag of frozen mushrooms into the pan to saute. Then I mixed in the rest of the bottle of teriyaki sauce and another tablespoon of brown sugar (because why not?).
Meanwhile, I did the 10-minute boiling of Success white rice that some genius invented. I made the entire box. I thought it would be enough for leftovers, but I’m always wrong about that on Monday nights. The rice nearly filled a 9×13 pan into which I had intended the whole recipe to fit, so I added the meat back into the “wok” with the veggies and served everything from two pans–rice in one and toppings in another. The guys loved it, and so did I. The six of us ate every bite.
Like I said, I’m not sure how much meat would cost you, but most of the other ingredients were around $2 each. I’m estimating that this recipe would cost approximately $20 and feed 6 hungry people, which means only $3.33 per person. That’s what I call Success.
Let’s call this recipe the Japanese Meat and Three because I used frozen meat and three bags of frozen veggies. Thanks for hanging in there with this not-food-blogger.
Japanese Meat and Three
1 box minute/Success rice, made as directed on packaging
2 lbs. steak cut of beef (cube steak, flank steak, etc.)
1 bag frozen broccoli (small cut)
1 bag frozen stir fry veggies (peppers and onions)
1 bag frozen mushrooms (sliced)
1 bottle Teriyaki sauce
1 tbsp. soy sauce
2 tbsp. brown sugar
salt and pepper and garlic to taste
Cut meat into small pieces and brown in oil. Drain. Add half the bottle of teriyaki, 1 tbsp. brown sugar, salt, pepper, garlic, and soy sauce. Bring just to boil and reduce heat. Transfer meat mixture to another dish. Add more oil to hot pan, broccoli, stir fry mix, and mushrooms. Saute veggies until thawed and add the rest of teriyaki and brown sugar. Bring just to boil and reduce heat. Stir in meat mixture. Top rice with meat and veggies. Serve hot.