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"To read a book about a country's cuisine isn't simply to go looking for 'good things'; it is also to better know - by means of the recipes - the customs and the richness or poverty of a place, and the spirit of those who inhabit it. It is above all, to participate in the symbolic celebration of the shared repast."

~ Ginette Olivesi-Lorenzi, La Cuisine Mentonnaise

Savoring Tuscany : Recipes and Reflections on Tuscan Cooking

Savoring Tuscany : Recipes and Reflections on Tuscan Cooking (The Savoring Series)
by Lori De Mori

Part of the Savoring Series, which is one of my favorite series of books about Regional Cuisine, Savoring Tuscany is a beautiful book filled with sumptuous recipes and delectable writing about the cuisine and culture of Tuscany. As with all the books in the series, Savoring Tuscany is put together beautifully and all of the recipes are well written and presented. The recipes that we tested were all superb and the book is an excellent source for fans of Tuscan cuisine.

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Recipe - Orange Beef and Broccoli
by Wen Zientek-Sico

This traditional Chinese dish has a marvelous orange flavor and aroma that blends an attractive mixture of colors and tastes into a quick and easy dinner.

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Orange Beef and Broccoli

This traditional Chinese dish has a marvelous orange flavor and aroma that blends an attractive mixture of colors and tastes into a quick and easy dinner. The zesty flavor nicely complements rice or wide pasta for a well-rounded meal. Cilantro, or Chinese parsley as it may be called, should be used fresh if at all possible in this dish. Dried cilantro, or coriander, has a very different flavor. Fresh parsley can be used for a different taste if desired.

Steak Marinade:

1 1/4 pounds lean top round steak
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed orange juice
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 teaspoon brown sugar

Stir-Fry Ingredients:

2 oranges
6 tablespoons freshly squeezed orange juice
1 teaspoon cornstarch
1/2 cup chicken broth
1 teaspoon brown sugar
1 tablespoon sesame oil
2 cloves minced garlic
6 sliced scallions
1 teaspoon minced ginger root
4 cups chopped broccoli
8 ounces sliced water chestnuts (drained)
1/4 cup fresh chopped cilantro

Trim all of the visible fat from the meat. Slice the meat into 2 x 1/4-inch strips. In a medium bowl mix together the remaining marinade ingredients. Place the steak in the marinade and let sit for 20 minutes or longer. Meanwhile, remove thin ribbons of orange peel with a zester or sharp knife. Set aside and peel the pith from the oranges. Section, remove the seeds, and set aside. Prepare the vegetables. Heat the wok over medium high heat. Once hot, add the oil and heat until hot, but not smoking. Add the steak and brown evenly. Remove the steak from the wok. Turn the heat down to medium and mix together the orange juice, cornstarch, chicken broth, and brown sugar in the wok. Add the reserved orange rind, garlic, ginger, scallions, broccoli, and water chestnuts. Stir-fry for 2-3 minutes, or until the mixture is fragrant and the broccoli is bright green, but still very crisp. Add the steak and cilantro and stir-fry for a few minutes more, or until the mixture thickens and the broccoli is tender. Stir in the reserved orange sections and serve hot with rice or pasta.

Makes 4 servings.

Preparation Time: 15 minutes
Marinating Time: 20 minutes
Cooking Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes