So cahla said we should do dinner over at her place last night. That she would pick up whatever groceries I would need, provided I cooked. And, y0, I'm always down for that. Since she and I were both pretty sick of pasta and rice dishes, we sought other things. At first I was thinking potatoes to go along with whatever, but figgered that'd take way too frickin' long. (And it would have.) I suggested a pepper steak dish that my sister used to always make. But realizing that it's a dish better served with rice (as my sister did it), I decided to make it kinda like fajitas instead.

You'll notice that the bell peppers are added at the very last and not cooked for very long. That's because she doesn't much like cooked (in particular, really cooked) peppers. They're steamed to retain their texture, which turned out to be a rather good thing. The contrast between their relative freshness and the meat's sauce happiness was rather nice. Especially with cheese. Another thing worthy of note is that where the recipe asks for something to be mixed, it should be mixed thoroughly. Fortunately, we had a drunkenmonkey to see to that. He even mixed the marinadey stuff by hand because I asked him nicely. Everyone should have a drunkenmonkey.

Final note: as this was a recipe I made up on the spot, don't expect the measurements to be exact. Like I said in another recipe writeup, I don't measure - I cook.

what you'll need: what to do:
  1. Slice the beef into thin 1/4 inch strips and place in large bowl.
  2. Combine thyme, garlic powder, onion powder, ground black pepper, soy sauce, worcestershire sauce, two tablespoons of the corn starch, and a good healthy squeeze of that there lemon half. Mix (by hand, because that's the best way) until the sauce is evenly distributed throughout the meat. Let it sit and marinate while you're doing the other things (or, if you have the time, let it sit for about an hour).
  3. Slice onion, bell peppers, and mushroom into strips. Set aside.
  4. In a saucepan, melt enough butter to cover the bottom of the pan. Add one tablespoon of garlic and saute that good stuff until you can smell it.
  5. Add contents of one regular-sized can of refried beans (8 ounces, I think) to the saucepan and mix to smooth out over medium heat.
  6. When the refried beans begin to bubble, throw in about 1/4 cup of mozzarella cheese. Mix like crazy and then keep it warm over low heat. Stir when it starts to bubble every now and then.
  7. In a large pan, add just enough oil to cover the bottom of the pan. Add meat, careful not to add the liquid portion of the marinade that didn't get soaked up. Set aside the remaining marinade. Cook the meat until it's brown.
  8. Through the course of cooking up the beef, the pan will be filled with liquid. Drain that as often as you can into the bowl with the marinade. This will be used later for the sauce. The goal is to get the pan dry enough so that the meat not only doesn't boil in the liquid, but browns to the point of being pan seared.
  9. After that point has been reached, throw in the remaining garlic and stir fry that until the garlic becomes fragrant. Add another squeeze or two of lemon and some more pepper if desired.
  10. Now back to the marinade bowl: combine what's there with the ketchup and the corn starch. Mix it until it becomes a smooth color and has no lumps.
  11. Add the marinade mixture and the onions to the beef, stirfrying the meat to ensure it being coated by the new sauce. Stirring occasionally, let it cook for a couple minutes until the onions become translucent.
  12. When the meat, sauce and onions have cooked enough that you feel like it's time to eat, pile on the mushrooms and bell peppers. Turn the heat to somewhere between medium and high, pour about an 1/8th of a cup of water over the vegetables, cover, and let steam for about 2 minutes.
  13. After the bell peppers and mushrooms have been sufficently steamed, carefully stir the whole mess together with the meat mixture and let cook for another minute or two. If you feel the need, go ahead and give that lemon another squeeze (if it's got any left to it).
  14. Serve ensconced in warm(ed) tortillas, adding the refried beans, sour cream and remaining mozzarella (or monterey jack cheese, if you got any). Enjoy.

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