Chinese Beef Broccoli

February 3, 2011

In celebration of Chinese New Year’s, I wanted to post this delicious spin of a favorite Chinese take out dish.  It is even perfect for me because it combines two favorite ingredients at our house. I love broccoli in just about any forms (raw, steamed, sauteed, pureed in soups, etc) and Red loves beef dishes (he’d have them every night if he can!). I haven’t had a lot of luck finding a favorite dish from local Chinese restaurants, so I thought this was an appropriate dish that I should try to be making at home; especially since the ingredients are so accessible. I was pleasently surprised at how quickly this dish was to put together and  how delicious! I do love sauce on my stir fry, so I think in the future, I would double the sauce to make sure that I have plenty leftover. Wishing you a very prosperous the Year of the Rabbit!

Adapted from Jaden Hair’s Steamy Kitchen Cookbook

Ingredients
1 lb top sirloin or flank steak, thinly sliced into 1/8-inch thick strips
1-1/2 lbs broccoli, cut into bite-size florets
1 tbsp high-heat cooking oil
1 tbsp minced garlic

Beef Marinade
1-1/2 tsp soy sauce
1 tsp cornstarch
1/2 tsp cooking oil
Freshly ground black pepper, to season the beef

Stir-Fry Sauce
3 tbsp oyster sauce
2 tsp Chinese rice wine (or dry sherry)
2 tsp Chinese black vinegar (or balsamic vinegar)

Directions

In a bowl, combine the ingredients for the Beef Marinade. Add the beef and let marinate for 10 minutes at room temperature.

In a small bowl, mix together the ingredients for the Stir-Fry sauce.

In a wok or large saute pain, add 1-inch of water, and bring to boil.  Add the broccoli and cover to steam for 3 minutes. The broccoli should be bright green, crisp tender, and you should be able to pierce the stem with a fork. Drain.

Discard the water in the pan and dry the pan well. Set the pan over high heat and when hot, add the high-heat cooking oil and swirl to coat. Add the garlic and fry for 15 to 30 seconds, until fragrant. Add the steak strips, keeping then in one layer and fry 30 seconds. Flip the strips and fry the other side.

Pour in the Stir-Fry sauce and stir to combine. Simmer until sauce is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon, about 30 seconds. Add the cooked broccoli back into the pan and toss to coat well.

Yield: 4 servings

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Grilled Steak with Balsamic Teriyaki

January 14, 2011

I was a big fan of Jaden Hair’s Steamy Kitchen Blog long before she published her book. Her blog is just full of simple unpretentious Asian recipes  with ingredients that can be found in regular groceries. I was so excited when I saw her book in my local library, because this way I can really check out the book before purchasing it. I had so many recipes tagged from her book that I am going to purchase my own copy.

This recipe really caught my eye right away. I was never really a big beef eater until I met Red. But now, I really enjoy cooking beef like this recipe. Obviously, I didn’t grill this outdoor (with a single digit temperature outside), but it turned out fabulous on the pan as well. I think this sauce would be delicious with chicken: it is a bit tangy, sweet, with just enough saltiness. Red and I enjoyed ours with regular *ehm* American salad with croutons and all. But I know it will pair up well with steamed rice or mashed potatoes. I am definitely glad that I tried this recipe.

This recipe is a keeper that I am sure that I will be making again before the summer arrives… **groan** That’s probably another four months for us in the Midwest.  Happy cooking and eating!

Adapted from Jaden Hair’s Steamy Kitchen Cookbook

Ingredients
1 lb of skirt steak (or other steak of your choice)
2 tablespoons high heat cooking oil (if cooking in frying pan)

For Sauce
1-1/2 tbsp unsalted butter
1 shallot, minced
2 cloves garlic, finely minced
1 cup balsamic vinegar
2 ts sugar
1/4 cup store bought or homemade beef, chicken, or vegetable stock
2 tbsp of soy sauce
1 tbsp of mirin (sweet rice wine)

Directions
To make the Balsamic Teriyaki Sauce, add the butter to a saucepot and set over medium-low heat. When the butter just starts to bubble, add the shallots and garlic and cook for 3 minutes or until aromatic are soft. Watch to make sure that you don’t burn the shallots or garlic.

Pour the balsamic vinegar in and bring to a boil. When boiling, immediately turn the heat to medium low and simmer; uncovered for 15 minutes or until reduced by half. The balsamic should be thick, glossy, and coat the back of a spoon. Add the sugar, stock, soy sauce, and mirin. Stir well and bring to a boil. When it reaches a boil, immediately turn the heat to low and let simmer for 5 minutes. Let cool and reserve 1/2 cup of the sauce for marinating and remaining 1/4 cup for serving.

If you are marinating the steak before grilling it, place the steak and just 1/2 cup of sauce in a large sealable plastic bag. Marinate 2 hours or overnight in the refrigerator. Thirty minutes prior to grilling, remove steaks from refrigerator and let it sit at room temperature. Discard the marinade and pat the steak very dry.

Grilling Outdoors. If you are grilling outdoors on your barbeque grill (preferred method), preheat the grill for direct grilling over high heat.

Grilling in Pan or Stovetop. If you are cooking the steak on the stovetop, set a large frying pan or griddle over high heat. When a bead of water sizzles and evaporates upon contact, add the oil and swirl to coat.

Add the steak to the hot grill or pan in one layer. The pieces should not be touching. Cook for 3 to 5 minutes on each side for medium-rare. Skirt steak varies in thickness so you might want to add the thicker pieces to the grill or pan first and give them an extra minute of head start.

Let the grilled steak rest for 5 minutes then cut ACROSS the grain for ultimate tenderness. Pour the remaining 1/4 cup of the Balsamic Teriyaki Sauce over the meat.

Yield: 4 servings


Roasted Beef Tenderloin

December 31, 2010

Slightly adapted from Giada De Laurentiis via Food Network

During the holidays and other special occasion dinners, I like to serve two different kinds of protein. It’s just something that I just grew up with. One of them is usually either a ham or turkey; and then there will be another piece of protein for variety.  As I was planning my menu recently, Red  suggested that we tried this beef tenderloin when we had company over. I followed this recipe and made no substitutions; and it was a success. The beef was tender (almost fork-tender!), juicy, and was perfectly seasoned… do I also need to mention easy? Our guests really loved it; and we did too! We were just so satisfied by how tender and flavorful the beef was.

The original recipe suggested that we serve this with basil-curry mayonnaise, but I decided not to post the recipe. I made it, however none of the guests or we really cared for it. I think the flavoring was a little bit too overpowering for the beef. It may be a good pairing for something else (a crostini perhaps?)  We enjoyed the beef on its own with the rest of our meal. If you are looking for a new main dish to impress your family or friends for your New Year’s celebration, make this recipe. I know you will not regret this! Wishing you a prosperous New Year’s!

Ingredients

Vegetable oil cooking spray
2 teaspoons cumin seeds
2 teaspoons coriander seeds
3 cloves garlic
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt, plus 2 teaspoons
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 (3 1/2 to 4-pound) beef tenderloin, trimmed

Directions

Arrange an oven rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Spray a heavy baking sheet with vegetable oil cooking spray. Set aside.

In a spice grinder, finely grind the cumin seeds and coriander seeds. Heat a small skillet over medium heat. Add the spices and cook for a few seconds until aromatic and toasted. Put the spices in a small bowl. Chop the garlic on a cutting board and sprinkle with 1/4 teaspoon salt. Holding a chef’s knife at a 45 degrees angle, scrape the garlic and salt together to form a paste. Add the garlic paste to the bowl with the spices. Add the remaining 2 teaspoons salt, black pepper, and oil and stir until smooth.

Put the meat on the prepared baking sheet and rub with the spice mixture.  Roast for 35 to 40 minutes or until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the meat registers 125 degrees F, for medium-rare. Remove from the oven and transfer the meat to a cutting board.

Cover the meat loosely with foil and let rest for 20 minutes.

Slice the meat into 1/4-inch thick slices and arrange on a platter.

Yield: 6-8 servings


Slow Cooker Pepper Steak

October 10, 2009

After my successful experience with the slow cooker last week, making this delicious Classic Pot Roast, I was ready to try another recipe in my slow-cooker. I was browsing a lot of recipes in some of my favorite sites, and stumbled upon this Pepper Steak recipe on Allrecipes. I wanted a recipe that doesn’t involve too much cream in it, still light but hearty–two components that are hard to get in one dish.

DSC07070

I tweaked this recipe a little bit to fit our taste. I used beef steak and cooked mine for about 6.5-7 hours. I really think that in the future, I can probably find a different type of meat that is a little bit less expensive. After all–that is the beauty of slow cooker, right? I threw in some Montreal Steak seasoning along with garlic powder while browning my sliced beef in the pan. I also reduced my soy sauce to 2 tablespoons instead of 3 and substituted it with Worcestershire sauce. Finally, I followed the advices from the comments on adding the sliced green pepper in the last 2 hrs of the cooking. I served this over a bed of cooked white rice. Not only that the house smelled so incredible when we walked into the house, this dish was delicious!

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Ingredients

2 pounds beef sirloin, cut into 2 inch strips
garlic powder to taste
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 cube beef bouillon (I just used a can of beef broth)
1/4 cup hot water
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1/2 cup chopped onion
2 large green bell peppers, roughly chopped (I cut mine into strips)
1 (14.5 ounce) can stewed tomatoes, with liquid
3 tablespoons soy sauce
1 teaspoon white sugar
1 teaspoon salt

Directions

Sprinkle strips of sirloin with garlic powder to taste. In a large skillet over medium heat, heat the vegetable oil and brown the seasoned beef strips. Transfer to a slow cooker.

Mix bouillon cube with hot water until dissolved, then mix in cornstarch until dissolved. Pour into the slow cooker with meat. Stir in onion, green peppers, stewed tomatoes, soy sauce, sugar, and salt.

Cover, and cook on High for 3 to 4 hours, or on Low for 7-8 hrs.

Yield: 4 servings


Classic Pot Roast

October 6, 2009

My mom used to make a lot of our meals in her slow cooker when we were in High-School, but I just recently realized that I barely use my slow-cooker now at our house. I also associate slow-cooker with beef, which I don’t eat on a regular basis, this is probably why I don’t usually think of making my meals in a slow-cooker.  My dad is really a meat-and potato kind of guy, so a slow cooker is an ideal tool for mom so she can quickly put this together before she leaves for work, and it will be ready when we get home. 

Recently Red has been asking for a roast beef, and he has convinced me on how easy this would be to make in a slow-cooker. We just need to lay a bed of chopped veggies, throw some seasoning, broth, and a slab of meat, and let it cook all day. So this is ideal for any day, a weekend day where we spend all day catching up on chores, or week day when we’re at work and want something ready in the kitchen when we get home. I finally agreed on making this dish, thinking that it would save me some cooking time.

    I wanted a recipe that uses simple ingredients without any thickening agents from a can, so I settled on this recipe from AllRecipes that I thought had simple ingredients and easy to prepare–and didn’t involve any cream-based soup in it. I doubled the vegetables called in this recipe, added some shallots, rosemary and parsley seasonings to the beef. I also used chicken stock instead of water and cooked it for 8 hours. The meat was so tender, and we didn’t even need a knife to cut through it–and loved the heartiness of this dish! I think I am sold now on this concept of cooking more this type of dishes. I am going to find some more recipes using slow-cooker and see if we can get even more creative with our protein and selection! I hope you enjoy this as much as we did!

    DSC07042

    Adapted from AllRecipes

    Ingredients
    4 pounds chuck roast
    salt and pepper to taste
    1 packet dry onion soup mix
    1 cup water
    3 carrots, chopped
    1 onion, chopped
    3 potatoes, peeled and cubed
    1 stalk celery, chopped

    Directions
    Take the chuck roast and season with salt and pepper to taste. Brown on all sides in a large skillet over high heat.
    Place in the slow cooker and add the soup mix, water, carrots, onion, potatoes and celery.
    Cover and cook on low setting for 8 to 10 hours.

    Yield: 6 servings