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Thai Beef with Snow Peas and Mushrooms

A Big Daddy original and personal favorite.  I created this to satisfy my craving for Southeast Asian curry when I haven't had time to get to one our local Thai restaurants.  Serves four with Basmati or white rice.

1-1 lbs good round steak ( " to " thick is best)
2 cups snow pea pods
2 cups mushrooms, sliced
6 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 cup coconut milk
1-2 tablespoons red curry paste (Taste of Thai is usually available in supermarkets)
3 tablespoons corn starch - divided
2 tablespoons rice wine or dry sherry
2 teaspoons baking soda
peanut oil
salt to taste

Mix 2 tablespoons of the cornstarch, wine and baking soda to make a marinade. Slice the beef against the grain into strips about 2" long and mix with the marinade and allow to sit for at least 30 minutes to flavor and tenderize.

Saute the mushrooms until they have rendered their liquid.   Drain and set aside.

Pour 1/3 cup of the coconut milk into saucer and mix with the remaining cornstarch. Pour remaining coconut milk into saucepan over medium fire and add the red curry paste (2 tablespoons will make this dish quite spicy) and mix well with the milk. Continue to stir frequently until sauce comes to a simmer. Add the coconut milk and remaining corn starch to the sauce. Allow to simmer for about 5 minutes stirring frequently as the sauce thickens.

Blanch the pea pods in boiling water for about 10 seconds before plunging into cold water. When the meat has finished marinating, heat your wok over high heat and add the oil. When the oil is hot (just begins to smoke) stir fry the minced garlic for about 30 seconds and then stir fry the beef so that it browns on the outside but is still pink on the inside. Depending on the amount of sliced beef it is sometimes best to do this in batches so as not to cool the wok too much by overloading it with meat. Set cooked beef and garlic aside.

Deglaze the wok if necessary with cup wine or sherry.  Heat more oil and stir fry the pea pods and mushrooms for a couple of minutes. Add the beef to the wok and stir fry, mixing well, for another minute. Add as much of the Red Curry sauce as you wish to the wok and allow all to heat through before serving.  Sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste.


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