the review: beef and broccoli

Ok, first. Make this. No, actually, first, buy this cookbook. Then turn to page 146 and follow the directions. All of them.

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And also, READ THE RECIPE. Seriously. I did it again. Two nights in a row that I didn’t read the recipe in full before starting to cook. I lucked out this time and had the ingredients that I needed thanks to an impulse buy of a red pepper. By the way, are you kidding me? Have I always misplaced my brain and am just starting to notice because I am writing it down? My life would be so much more efficient if my brain showed up.

Back to the point. This cookbook is the best. If you have ever picked up a copy of the Cooks’ Illustrated magazine, you know that the pointers are the bee’s knees. When you make this stir-fry, don’t ignore the pointers. Freeze your flank steak first and cut it as instructed.

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You won’t be sorry.

The recipe calls for one and a quarter pounds of broccoli. That seems like a lot of broccoli for four people. Use it. My daughter had thirds of broccoli tonight. Thirds of a vegetable, people. Buy the extra broccoli.

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(Aside: I just saw a commercial for cheeseburger soup. What is that? Please, don’t feed that to your family. If you must, go with scrambled eggs or peanut butter for dinner. Cheeseburger soup in a can? No words.)

Practical stuff. It took me just less than an hour to prep the ingredients. This includes making the rice, cleaning crayon off of the kitchen floor, confiscating every pair of safety scissors from the cutting bandit, breaking up a very serious fight over a toy that no one plays with anyway, and searching under the oven for dental floss that was being used as a hockey puck (after searching for a flashlight to look under the oven). You people with no kids out there? You are in business. This is an easy recipe.

The flavor of this recipe is right on. It needs no adjustments. If you don’t have Chinese take-out options in your area (read “I live in central Idaho”), and you miss the city (not speaking from experience at all), this is your recipe. If you have little kids that don’t like veggies, this is your recipe. If you like food, this is your recipe. Get this cookbook. It is worth it.