Donna Cooks


I’ll Eat Anything off of a Stick (Mongolian Beef Sticks, Sour Cream Mashed Potatoes, and Edamame)
September 16, 2006, 2:56 pm
Filed under: Recipes

This is a completely random menu that I just threw together.  I felt like eating utensil-less foods (for me, the big draw of fairs and carnivals are the foods on sticks).  Pretty much anything, when put on a stick, seems to taste better.  Maybe Mongolian beef on a stick will taste better than regular Mongolian beef? 

I was also craving comfort.  Comfort food to me automatically translates into something high-carb, like noodles or potatoes.  Funny thing about potatoes, some people love them and other people just don’t understand what the fuss is about.  There was once a food-personality article on Chowhound (which I can no longer find, help anyone?) that talked about how people who appreciated potatoes are simple and down to earth, that they can love something despite its lack of complexities and relish in its simple comfort.  In short, non-potato people crave exotic, exciting things while potato people are easily content.  I don’t know how much I agree with this personality profile since I love new flavors but am also quite fond of potatoes (ok that’s an understatement, I LOVE potatoes). 

The trick here is that one of the people eating this meal is a non-potato person, someone who finds mashed potatoes the most mundane dish ever invented.  My challenge was to take one of my favorite comfort foods and make it into something that this non-potato person can find exciting and enjoyable.  I dug up a mashed potato recipe that my mom used to make (but not too often because my family was generally content with regular mashed potatoes) that used sour cream, cream cheese, and garlic.  I thought that flavor combination might do the trick to please those who don’t love potatoes as I do.

Add some blanched edamame to the equation and you’ve got a hodgepodge, Asian fusion-esque menu of Mongolian beef sticks, sour cream mashed potatoes, and edamame.

mongolian-beef.jpg

Mongolian Beef Sticks (from Southern Living magazine’s “Ultimate Book of Appetizers”)

1 1/2 lbs flank steak
1/4 cup hoisin sauce
1 tbsp peanut oil
1 tbsp sesame oil
1 tbsp sherry
1 tbsp soy sauce
1/2 tsp sugar
1 tsp pepper
1 tsp grated ginger root
1 clove garlic, crushed

Slice steak diagonally across the grain into 1/8 inch thick strips and place in large ziplock bag.  Combine hoisin sauce and remaining 8 ingredients and mix well.  Pour mixture over steak in bag and marinate in refrigerator overnight.

Soak 8 wooden skewers in water overnight (so they don’t burn under the broiler).

Remove steak from marinade and thread onto skewers.  Broil strips 2 to 3 minutes on each side or until desired doneness.

Serves 4

Sour Cream Mashed Potatoes

1 1/2 to 2 lbs baking potatoes
3 oz cream cheese (use low-fat or non-fat variety to cut calories)
8 oz fat-free sour cream
1/2 tbsp garlic salt
1 tsp pepper
1 tbsp butter or margarine
1 tsp parsley
Paprika

Boil peeled and cut potatoes until potatoes are fork-tender (ready to mash).

While potatoes are cooking, combine next 6 ingredients (everything but paprika) in a small bowl and mix well until smooth.

Drain tender potatoes and place in large mixing bowl.  Combine sour cream mixture with potatoes.  Mix with electric hand mixer on low speed until potatoes are smooth and creamy and chunk-less.  Generously sprinkle with paprika when serving.

Serves 4 to 5

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