Friday, February 12, 2016

Recipes by Jack Benny: Chop Suey, American-Style; Steak Tartar

Jack Benny's Chop Suey, American-Style

1 bunch Chinese cabbage
1 10-oz. can bean sprouts
6 spring onions
3 large celery stalks
1 cup green peas (fresh or frozen or 1/2 pkg. frozen Chinese pea pods)
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 1/2 cups cooked chicken (or turkey, veal, beef or ham), cut in thin slices
1 teaspoon salt
Few gratings freshly ground pepper
2 1/2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon cornstarch
Pinch of sugar
1/2 cup clear chicken stock (beef broth or water)
Cooked rice (or Chinese noodles)

1. Prepare vegetables as follows: Chop Chinese cabbage coarsely; drain bean sprouts well; rinse well under running water and dry. Chop onions coarsely; cut celery in 1/4-inch slices diagonally.

2. Saute onion and celery in vegetable oil in Chinese wok (or heavy skillet) about 2 minutes. Add chicken, salt and pepper. Stir-fry over medium heat, adding vegetables one at a time, set aside.

3. In a small bowl, mix soy sauce with cornstarch, sugar and two tablespoons chicken stock and blend well. Slowly pour thickened soy sauce mixture over vegetables in wok (or skillet). Slowly add remaining chicken stock (beef broth or water). Bring to a quick boil. Cook a few minutes, stirring constantly. Serve at once over cooked rice or Chinese noodles. Serves 4.

Thoughts: Never overcook chop suey. Actual preparation should take no longer than 5-7 minutes. If desired, start with paper-thin sliced raw meat, cooking quickly in vegetable oil until it begins to turn color. Then proceed as directed above, sauteing vegetables. For a change of pace, vary the vegetables substituting Chinese vegetables, water chestnuts (cut in thin slices) or Chinese mushrooms. Jack's choice is an excellent offering for weight-watchers as well as penny-pinching cooks!

Jack Benny's Steak Tartar

1 lb. top grade beef filet
1/2 cup minced onion
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1 or 2 egg yolks
2 tablespoons capers
Garnishings: Capers, chopped onion, minced fresh parsley

1. Trim off any sinewy material or excess fat. Put meat through meat grinder three times (or have butcher grind meat just before serving).

2. Mix in onion, salt and pepper; shape meat into round or oval 1-inch thick patty. Score the top crosswise with knife. Make indentation in center of meat. Break eggs carefully, discarding whites. Place yolks in indentation in center of meat. Garnish with capers, chopped onion and parsley. At the table, the trimmings are removed and yolks mixed into the meat with additional seasonings added to taste. Serve with butter-fried
toast rounds and sliced tomatoes. Serves 2.

For more highly seasoned tartar:

Add Worcestershire sauce, bottled Escoffier or A-1 sauce. Vary the trimmings, using caviar, lemon wedges and grated hard-cooked egg yolk or thin sliced salmon and sliced lemon or filets of anchovy, pickles and pickled beet slices.

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