There’s been a lot of career turmoil going on in these parts lately. I’ve been pulling back from Savvy Blog Services to spend more time on my writing, only to realize that a career in writing seems terrifying and difficult. I spent a few days in March sitting down with my notebook and pen, coming up with a pro-con list for writing v. engineering. What I realized is that I’ve been holding myself back from going full-force after my writing, because part of me still feels like I need to be an engineer. It is what I went to school for, and what I thought I’d be doing, and it is hard to let go of that idea, even if I know it isn’t what I ultimately want.
Once I had this epiphany, I was more easily able to let the idea of engineer-me go. I know that at heart, part of me will still always be an engineer, in the way I approach problems and think about things. But I’m letting go of the idea that I “should” be an engineer, and instead focusing on finding my next writing steps. And I’ll use my engineering as a strength, to help me write Brain Food 101 posts or understand what happened when a new recipe goes wrong.
As part of my next steps, I’ve built a sort of partnership with my favorite farmer, Sarah of Autumn’s Harvest. In the coming weeks, I’ll be developing recipes using her products in exchange for meat. This way, I’ll start getting my name out there, and she’ll have recipes to recommend and hand out when she sells at the Farmers’ Market. So coming soon, keep an eye out for chorizo con papas, braised short ribs, and other beef, pork and chicken recipes. We’ll start today, with this spring steak stir-fry.
This stir-fry recipe makes use of all the new spring produce in the market, and can be made in under 30 minutes. If you can, ask your butcher for "minute steaks," which are really just thinly-cut sirloin steaks. They cook really quickly (hence the "minute" in the name) and have the texture you'd expect from a restaurant stir-fry.
- 2 teaspoons cornstarch
- 5 tablespoons soy sauce
- 4 tablespoons rice vinegar
- 3 tablespoons sesame oil
- 2 tablespoons fish oil
- 4 teaspoons granulated sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 2 tablespoons sesame oil
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 inch ginger, peeled and minced
- 1 pound minute steaks or sirloin steak, sliced about 1/4" thick
- 1 bunch asparagus, cut into bite-sized pieces
- 2 cups sugar snap peas
- 4 carrots, sliced thinly
- 1/2 medium yellow onion, sliced thinly
- Cooked white or brown rice, for serving
- Whisk the cornstarch into the soy sauce until it is dissolved. Whisk in the rest of the sauce ingredients and set aside.
- In a large skillet or wok, warm the sesame oil over high heat. Add the garlic and ginger and cook, stirring continuously, for 1-2 minutes, until fragrant and beginning to brown. This will bring out the garlic and ginger flavors better than simply mixing them into the sauce would.
- Add the steak to the hot oil and cook, turning often with tongs, until cooked through. This should only take 3-4 minutes if you are using a thin cut of steak. If not, it may take a few more minutes. Remove the steak from the pan, leaving the oil behind.
- Add the asparagus, peas, carrots and onion to the pan and cook, stirring continuously, for 2-3 minutes, until the carrots are just beginning to soften. The vegetables will still be a little crisp.
- Remove the pan from the heat and return the steak to the pan. Toss the vegetables and meat with the sauce. Serve over rice.