Prep 2 hrs
Cook 25 mins
Generally, the middle of the week is the time I have available to cook, but generally I'll grab frozen meals at the market before I'm willing to put the effort in to make an actual dinner, due to the sheer volume of food one recipe can make. While I normally am a recipe type for the days I -do- cook myself, sometimes I just can't help myself from buying ingredients without really having a plan. This was the result of one of those nights. I didn't clock the times, so the times listed below may not be 100% reliable, but it came together reasonably quickly. Feel free to tweak the spices, as I'll need to myself. ***just a note - When looking at the health info, recall that much of the calorie/fat content is coming from that cup of oil for frying. You're not actually consuming all that. Past that, I'm always looking for ideas and suggestions... we're flawed by nature, and I expect, as a bit of a novice, to benefit from people who know what they're doing.***
- 1 lb beef, cut in about 2-inch squares
- 1 -2 cup sliced portabella mushroom
- 1 italian eggplant (the small variety that fit in your hand, not the large ones about the length of your forearm)
- 1 Belgian endive
- 1 garlic clove
- 3⁄4-1 cup red wine
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (or enough to coat pan)
- 1 cup vegetable oil (I generally use corn oil)
- 1⁄4 cup cornstarch
- 1⁄2 cup flour
- 1 egg
- 1⁄2 teaspoon onion powder
- 1⁄4 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1⁄4 teaspoon salt
- 1⁄4 teaspoon pepper
- 1⁄8-1⁄4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- Make a quick marinade with the Onion and Garlic powders, Salt, Pepper, and Olive Oil; Mix the contents thoroughly (I recommend one of those bottles you sometimes get with Good Seasons or other make-it-yourself dressings) and let them sit in the fridge, overnight if you can, so the oil takes on as much of the flavor as possible.
- Wash beef and cube if necessary (I used stew beef to save knife time); Place cut beef in a bowl, and coat with oil mixture from last night; Mix with your hands to get everything well coated, cover the bowl with plastic wrap, and let sit in refrigerator for at least 1 hour prior to cooking.
- Prepare your veggies, so you don't burn anything while cooking and chopping all at once; Start with the Eggplant, which should be peeled, sliced about 1/4-1/3" thick, and seasoned lightly to taste with salt and pepper before cutting each disc in half.
- Wash the mushrooms, removing the stems if you desire (I personally did, and usually do); Season lightly with salt, slice the caps, and then cut each slice into thirds; I got a pack of 3 portobellos and they were plenty; A similar-sized pre-sliced package would be just as good.
- Remove the leaves from the Endive, washing as you go, as you would any tight-headed leafy vegetable; You should get about 6 to 8 reasonable sized leaves (2 to 4 being a little small comparatively) before getting to the core of the Endive; Keep these leaves whole, and coarsely chop any smaller leaves.
- When you're ready to start cooking, heat about 1/4 cup Olive Oil, or enough to coat, in a large pan.
- You should have just enough time to whack the life out of a clove of garlic with the bottom of a pan before your oil is hot enough; Protect the pan, the table, and yourself by wrapping the garlic loosely in wax paper, aluminum foil, or similar; You needn't overdo this; One good whack should be enough to get the desired effect out of the garlic and scare your cats/mother.
- Add your eggplant to the hot pan; Keep an eye on it, and cook until it just turns golden.
- As soon as the eggplant is goldening, for lack of a real word, throw in the mushrooms, which should cook until they start to get tender and give off a bit of a meaty flavor when tested.
- After adding the mushrooms, give the flat garlic a good chop and throw it in as well.
- When the mushrooms get to that magic just about tender point, add your beef; It shouldn't come straight from the fridge, but also you don't want it just sitting about for too long; Let this brown.
- When you feel the beef is just about cooked through, add the wine; I added somewhere just under a cup; This should be enough to coat the beef mixture, but not drown it; If you like wine, make sure it's a wine you'd drink with a meal; If you're not a wine person, which I am not, make sure it's red.
- At this point, you'll have enough time to do some frying while the wine reduces; Fill a small pan of average depth (the one you killed the garlic with will probably be perfect) with enough vegetable oil to fry (I'd say about a cup) and start heating; Trust me, this doesn't seem like much for frying, but you won't need much.
- Mix the corn starch and flour in a shallow bowl together.
- If you'd like, add a moderate pinch of the mixture to about 1/8 cup water, stirring it up and adding it to your wine sauce if you want it a little thicker (doing this outside the pan without hot water will make clumping less likely).
- Beat 1 egg in a similar bowl to the one you have the flour mix inches.
- Take your whole endive leaves and coat them first with egg and then with the flour/cornstarch mixture.
- About two or three at a time, fry the endive leaves until lightly golden; Let the leaves drain on a paper towel; They'll come out tasting like milder onions, but leafier.
- Your beef should be set right about now; Take it off the heat.
- To plate, place fried endive leaves toward edge of plate, fanned along the circumference (about half the yield per plate); Spoon beef into center of plate, so it only partially covers endive; Sprinkle the remaining endive (yknow, the stuff you chopped) over the top of each serving; This should make 2 large, 4 small, or 3 sensible servings.