Last night's dinner was just the kind of rich, warming dish that we were all happy eat after coming in from the cold. I briefly marinated thin slices of flank steak in some rice wine vinegar and turmeric, and then stir-fried the beef. Then I cooked an an abundance of sliced onions with some fresh ginger until the onions were beautifully browned. I tossed everything together and served it over basmati rice. The recipe is very loosely adapted from a recipe in a book I rely on all winter to make flavorful food, 5 Spices, 50 Dishes By Ruta Kahate. Kahate's idea is that if you have coriander, cumin, mustard seeds, cayenne, and turmeric in your pantry you can make a wonderfully diverse group of Indian-spiced dishes with very little effort. Order it from Bookhampton (20 Main Street; 725-8425) to take you through the next few months.
Serves 4 to 6
1 1/2 pounds flank steak, sliced against the grain, as thinly as possible
1 1/2 tablespons rice vinegar
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
3/4 teaspoon turmeric
4 or 5 tablespoons vegetable oil
4 medium onions, thinly sliced
3 tablespoons finely chopped fresh ginger
1. Combine the flank steak, vinegar, salt, and turmeric in a medium bowl. Let stand 15 minutes.
2. Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in a wok or large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Stir-fry the beef in two or three batches, adding a tablespoon of oil to the pan as necessary, until browned on both sides, transferring the cooked beef to a clean bowl.
3. Add another tablespoon of oil to the empty wok and add the onions and ginger. Cook, stirring, until well-browned. Add the beef back to the pan and cook for another few minutes, stirring, until heated through. Serve immediately over white basmati rice.