Sunday, January 24, 2021

Crispy Ginger Beef by Guest Barbara Fradkin + #Giveaway

Welcome today's guest, Barbara Fradkin. She's sharing a Canadian-Asian fusion recipe for Crispy Ginger Beef and telling us about her new book, THE ANCIENT DEAD. To be entered into a drawing for a free copy, leave at comment at the end of this post. I can't wait to read the book and try the recipe. Please tell us about them, Barbara. 

My protagonist Amanda Doucette is a passionate, adventurous foreign aid worker who can’t turn her back on people in trouble. She is currently doing a cross-Canada charity tour, and each book is set in a different iconic location. THE ANCIENT DEAD (January 2021) is set in Alberta’s renowned dinosaur country, where the discovery of buried human bones stirs up old secrets involving her uncle who went missing thirty years ago.

Although Amanda’s work has taken her around the world, she’s never had the chance to develop her own cooking skills. But she is fearless and often plunges in where few would dare. Alberta is famous for its beef as well as its grain products, but when I researched Alberta recipes, I also discovered a recipe for ginger beef made famous by Calgary’s Silver Inn in the 1970s. Its Canadian-Asian fusion seemed perfect for Amanda. Like Amanda, I plunged in where I’d never been and tried out this recipe for the first time. Here are the results, good and the bad.

Ingredients

For Beef
1 lb. flank steak
1 egg
¾ to 1 c. water
1 ¼ c. cornstarch
3 tablespoons flour
½ tablespoon white pepper
2-3 c. oil for deep frying

For Vegetables
1 large carrot
1 sweet red bell pepper
1 green bell pepper
6 cloves garlic
chunk of ginger, roughly the size of two thumbs

For Sauce
¼ c. light soy sauce
2 tablespoons white vinegar
3 tablespoons mushroom soy sauce (or dark soy)
1 tablespoon Chinese cooking wine (or cooking sherry)
½ c. water
¼ c. sugar
½ tablespoon crushed chillies (or to taste)
1 tablespoon cornstarch (this is my alteration)

 


Slice beef into thin strips against the grain. Mix egg, water, cornstarch, flour, and white pepper to make batter, and toss beef in it. Deep-fry strips a few at a time for about 2 minutes and set them aside on paper towelling.

I made three mistakes on this part. First, I used the suggested 1 cup of water in the batter but I think it made it too thin because it didn’t stick to the beef well. I suggest cutting water to ¾ cup. Next, I put too many strips in the oil at once and I didn’t make the oil hot enough. A wok would work better, and make sure the oil is very hot.

Cut all the vegetables including garlic and ginger into julienned strips. Mix together all ingredients for the sauce. Stir fry the vegetables until they are slightly cooked by not soft and then add the sauce. Bring it to a boil, stirring, just until sauce thickens. Add the beef and stir to coat.  Serve over rice.

The recipe called for keeping it warm for a couple of hours to bring out the flavours, but I was too hungry and ate it right away. It was delicious! But the beef was soft rather than chewy and slightly crunchy, possibly because of the mistakes I mentioned. 





ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Barbara Fradkin is a retired child psychologist with a passion for the dark side. She has written eighteen novels in three series, including the Amanda Doucette mystery/thriller series and a police series featuring exasperating, impetuous Ottawa Police Inspector Michael Green, which has been nominated four times for Crime Writers of Canada’s Awards of Excellence (formerly the Arthur Ellis Awards). Barbara has won the award twice. 



GIVEAWAY!

I’m giving away a book to a Canadian or American reader. 

Leave a comment about where you’d love to travel when the pandemic is over. Remember to leave your email address so I can contact you if you win.




64 comments:

  1. We had planned for over a year for a bucket list trip to Utah to see all the national parks there. Unfortunately it had to all be cancelled due to the pandemic. We would still love to go there. Since we have all our old plans, it should be a lot easier to plan for this time. Another trip we had planned for last year was what we referred to as our Amish tour traveling through Amish communities in Ohio, Indiana, Illinois and ending in Iowa. That's a trip we would also take once we are in stay at home mode due to age and underlying medical conditions.

    Thank you for the recipe for Crispy Ginger Beef. Sounds yummy and I saved it to my Pinterest recipe folder to try real soon.

    Can't wait for the opportunity to read "The Ancient Dead" which is now on my Goodread TBR list. Thank you for the chance to win a copy! Shared and hoping to be the very fortunate one selected.
    2clowns at arkansas dot net

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    1. Thanks for the comment, Kay. Two great ideas. There's lots to explore on our own continent. Good luck!

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  2. Where ever I do go, it's going to be an epic trip! All the places I've been, and I've never been to Italy, so I've got that at the top of my list.

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  3. I’ve been to 48 states and several countries. I’d like to visit Hawaii and eventually make it to Delaware. My two favorite places are Alaska and Austria. I love mountains. Western Canada is beautiful also.

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    1. Hawaii is on my list too, Sue! Especially right now while it's frigid here in Ottawa. Thanks for visiting, and good luck!

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  4. Welcome to the blog, Barbara! My sister lives in Ottawa and has birthday coming up - your books will be her gift. The recipe sounds yummy.

    I want to travel to see her, my younger son in Puerto Rico, and my uncle and cousins in San Francisco!

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    1. Thanks, Edith! Books are such great gifts during lockdown. Visiting family is high on my list too. Good luck with the draw!

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    2. Oh, don't include me in the giveaway- I'm one of the bloggers, ineligible!

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  5. The first place I'll go is to visit grandsons (and their parents) in Salt Lake City. After that, I want to do the May 2020 trip that I was forced to cancel--two weeks in Sicily. Thanks for being my guest today, Barbara. I love Asian stir fries, and yours sounds like a winner. I'm looking forward to reading about intriguing corners of Canada!

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    1. Thanks for inviting me, Maya! And yes, hugging grandchildren is a must.

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  6. Welcome, Barb and that Canadian-Asian fusion ginger beef sounds tasty. I have been to Alberta but never to the Badlands, so I will virtually enjoy being there via your book.

    Once the pandemic is over, I would either love to go to New Zealand (first time) or Iceland (third time but in the summer).

    Do NOT include me in the drawing. I have a digital ARC of the Ancient Dead from Dundurn. I am looking forward to watching your interview with Rick this Thursday.

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    1. Thanks for all your support, Grace. New Zealand is on my list, but the flight is daunting.

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    2. Fortunately, I can usually sleep well on long-haul flights (China, Japan), so I hope I can survive the brutally long journey to NZ!

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  7. The interview Grace mentions is my "virtual book launch" on Zoom January 28. It's free and everyone is welcome! The details and invitation are on my website at https://www.barbarafradkin.com.

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  8. Welcome, Barbara! I have loved all the trips you have given us with Amanda. That girl has adventures. Looking forward to the book and the launch. Hugs. MJ

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  9. Welcome, Barbara! You are a new author to me. I'm excited to read more of your books! I would love to travel to Italy.

    Thanks for the chance!

    jarjm1980@hotmail.com

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    1. Thanks for commenting! Yes, who can resist Italy. So much to see there, how can it possibly be done in one trip? Good luck on the draw.

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  10. I have always wanted to take an Alaskan Cruise. Thank you for the recipe, and this chance! areewekidding(at)yahoo(dot)com

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    1. I've never been on that but understand it's stunning, especially in a smaller ship. Thanks for commenting, Robyn, and good luck!

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  11. that looks so good. i'm not a big cooker but i might make this one.

    tasigmund@gmail.com

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    1. i'd love to go to Ireland but i dont know that will ever be something i can do

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    2. I hope you can someday. I hope we can all travel to see new places that we've dreamed about. Meanwhile, we can read about them. Good luck on the draw!

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  12. Welcome Barbara. Your books have provided me with great enjoyment. I look forward to reading The Ancient Dead. I would love to travel to a quiet beach so that I can relax in the soothing warmth, walk along the shore and read endless books and relax. saubleb(at)gmail(dot)com

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  13. Lovely dream, Traveler! I'm glad you've enjoyed trips with Amanda. Good luck with the draw.

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  14. i am missing my overnite trips to amish country beeghly1993 (at) gmail (dot) com

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    1. Soon! Hoping for travel by the summer. Good luck with the draw!

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  15. There's so many places I'd like to get to if I had the money and time off. Top of my list is New Orleans, Ireland, and going back to Germany.
    kozo8989(at)hotmail(dot)com

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    1. I have a long list too, Alicia. Fingers crossed we can go before we are all too old and creaky!

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  16. Welcome Barbara. The Ancient Dead sounds fascinating. Amanda Doucette is a intrepid woman whom I would love to meet. I have read several of your novels which were exceptional. When travel is possible I would go to Western Canada which I love, Italy and Hawaii. elliotbencan(at)hotmail(dot)com

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    1. A good mix! The next Amanda book, which I'm currently researching, is set in British Columbia. Very different from the Alberta badlands. Good luck on the draw!

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  17. This sounds (even with some glitches-thanks for the warnings) tasty.
    We are eager to get back to Maine this coming year. We usually go every summer and miss our Mainer friends.
    libbydodd at comcast dot net

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    1. Maine is lovely. You'll go to the coast, I assume? Very much like Nova Scotia.
      Good luck with that trip, and the draw.

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    2. We have a house in Ellsworth, half-way between Bangor and Bar Harbor.
      It is an amazing area for live music.

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  18. We have a gift card for a B&B in PA. I’m hoping they’ll still honor it when the pandemic is over.
    sgiden at verizon(.)net

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  19. I hope so too. Fingers crossed for that, and good luck on the draw!

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  20. I took my older grandchildren on special trips when they each turned twelve. One to Mexico and one to the eastern Mediterranean. The youngest has been coming up with ideas for her "twelve trip" for the past two or three years and is rapidly reaching that milestone. It's
    not a great year for a big trip, but we will see what we are able to do. I'm thinking maybe Hawaii as a compromise. On my own, Australia and New Zealand would beckon, though the trip would be exhausting.
    taft(.)jane at gmail(.)com

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    1. What a wonderful idea, and planning is half the fun! I agree that Australia and New Zealand would be exciting. I have flown to India, China, and Vietnam, and it's manageable, especially if you break the trip up with a few hours' of layovers. Good luck with the trip planning and the draw.

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  21. Beyond "travelling" across the city to see friends who I haven't seen in person in a long time due to shut downs and social distancing (I so much want to give hugs again), I would want to go back to my home town in British Columbia. mgshepherd2003@yahoo.ca

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    1. Hugs. I know. That's the first priority. I hope we can all do that soon. Good luck with the draw! Amanda's next trip is to British Columbia.

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  22. I'd love to visit my family. Other than that I'd like to visit Scotland & Iceland.
    turtle6422 at gmail dot com

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  23. I've visited Ireland, but Scotland is on my list too. And family. Best of luck on the draw, and the family visit.

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