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Joni Woolf: Easy steak dinners for Christmas Eve: pick one

A big Christmas Eve dinner is the tradition for some families — baked ham, or turkey, perhaps even some wassail at the beginning and brandy at the end. But looking for simpler fare, I went searching through recipes old and new and found two steak recipes that are quick, easy and delicious.You may even have the ingredients in your refrigerator or freezer. So make this day as easy and comforting as time (and recipes) allow, and enjoy one of the following dinners. Add to it the fine Southern Citrus Salad printed below and you have a complete, healthy meal that did not require hours in the kitchen.

Beef and Broccoli Stir-Fry
3 tablespoons cornstarch, divided
½ cup water, plus
2 tablespoons water, divided
½ teaspoon garlic powder
1 lb, boneless round steak, cut into 3-inch strips
2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
4 cups broccoli florets
1 small onion, cut in wedges
1/3 cup reduced sodium soy sauce (or regular soy sauce)
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 teaspoon ground ginger
Hot cooked rice
In a bowl, combine 2 tablespoons cornstarch, 2 tablespoons water and garlic power until smooth. Add beef and toss. In a large skillet or wok over medium high heat, stir-fry beef in 1 tablespoon oil until beef reaches desired doneness; remove and keep warm. In same pan, stir-fry broccoli and onion in remaining oil for 4-5 minutes. Return beef to pan. In small bowl, combine soy sauce, ginger and remaining cornstarch and water, stirring until smooth. Add to pan, stir at combine and to heat thoroughly. Serve over rice. All you need for complete meal is salad.

Sukiyaki
1 pound lean round steak, sliced in very thin slices
2 tablespoons olive oil
½ cup fresh mushrooms, sliced
1 bunch green onions
3 stalks celery, sliced
2 large onions, sliced
1 8-ounce can bamboo shoots
2 tablespoons brown sugar
½ cup soy sauce
1 chicken bouillon cube
½ cup hot water
3 cups hot cooked rice
Brown meat well in oil. Add mushrooms, green onion, celery, sliced onions, bamboo shoots, sugar, bouillon cube, water and soy sauce. Stir to mix well. Cover and cook 1 hour over low heat. Serve over hot rice with additional soy sauce on the side.

Southern Citrus Salad
3 cups torn spinach
6 cups lettuce (Bibb, Romaine, Red, etc.)
1 grapefruit, peeled and sectioned
2 oranges, peeled and sectioned
1 avocado, peeled and sliced
½ cup sliced celery
½ cup green pepper, sliced
¼ cup slivered almonds, toasted
Grapefruit salad dressing (follows)

(Do the following just before serving)
Combine spinach and lettuce in large bowl. Toss lightly, Arrange next six ingredients on salad greens. Serve with grapefruit salad dressing—recipe follows.

Grapefruit Salad Dressing
1 (.75 oz) package Italian salad dressing mix
2/3 cup canola or safflower oil, divided
½ cup grapefruit juice
1 ½ teaspoons grated grapefruit rind
Combine salad dressing mix and 1/3 cup oil in a jar. Cover tightly and shake vigorously. Add remaining 1/3 cup oil and remaining ingredients; cover tightly and shake vigorously. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

This a delicious, healthy salad, one that is sure to please many palates. It’s also a great complement to the beef dishes. Enjoy.

Joni Woolf, a writer and editor, now lives in Schley County, having moved from her home in Macon several years ago. Contact her at indigojoni@windstream.net