Monday, February 24, 2014

Basic Mongolian Beef

Jon has asked for months that I begin putting a few of our family meals onto the blog, but here's the thing, they require an organized approach--especially when making Asian or Chinese dishes. 

This is indeed a great recipe for one of Jon's favorite meals which I found in Cooking Light years ago--and which quickly became a family favorite. 

1. Read the recipe first. 
2. Make triple batch of sauce.
3. Have all components prepped and ready before firing up the skillet. 
4. If you don't like spicy, reduce hot sauce.

Prep time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 10 minutes
Cooking rice: White 15-20 min / Brown 45 min

Large Non-stick skillet
Wooden spoons or tongs

1 lbs sirloin steak, thinly sliced

10 - 12 oz of button, portobello or shiitake mushrooms, sliced
8 - 10 green onions, coarsely sliced
2 Tbls garlic, chopped or minced
2 Tbls ginger, minced or grated
2 Tbls peanut or vegetable oil

2 Tbls low-sodium soy sauce
3 Tbls Hoisin sauce
1 tsp Salem Oelek garlic chile sauce
1 tsp corn starch
2 tsp rice wine vinegar

1. Wash your hands frequently.
2. Slice steak against the grain into long, thin strips. Set aside.

3. Slice your green onions, mince garlic and grate ginger. Set aside.

4. Clean and slice mushrooms. Set aside. 
5. Make the sauce by whisking all sauce ingredients together.

6. Have everything ready to begin!  Heat the skillet with oil over MEDIUM-HIGH heat.

7. Add garlic, ginger x 2-3 minutes.

8. Add mushrooms and sear x 2-3 min.

9. Add meat and sear x 4-5 minutes.

10. Add green onions.

11. Add sauce and then reduce heat to SIMMER until rice is ready to serve!

12. Have your rice ready and begin serving.

If it's not perfect first time around, try it again, because this is a recipe worth making.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Mozzarella, Balsamic, and Sea Salt

 Well, I'm getting out of this mess for about 5 days.  Can't wait provided the flight leaves this morning, and the second one takes off as well.  So, the posts this week will be super simple since I had to prep things before heading out!  Be safe y'all!  See you next week.

One of Jon's all-time favorite appetizers or go-to snacks pre-dinner: Mozzarella & Balsamic Rounds!
Super Easy!
Nothing to this!
Just try it. 
You will be amazed.

Serving plate

1-2 logs of Bel Gioso Mozzarella, either a whole log or pre-sliced
Balsamic Glaze (not vinegar, this is like a syrup)
Drizzle of olive oil
Fresh pepper
Maldon Sea Salt

A baguette is always nice to have around as well.

1. Wash your hands.
2. Slice, or remove the pre-sliced, 1/4" rounds of mozzarella.
3. Arrange on a serving platter.
4. Drizzle with the balsamic glaze.

5. Drizzle with olive oil.
6. Fresh ground pepper.

7. Sprinkle with coarse sea salt flakes.

 That's it folks!

Monday, February 17, 2014

Easy As Pie

Jon pretty much devours all baked goods in our house, especially if they are related to pie, fresh out of the oven, and homemade--really…any kind of pie-like dessert will get his attention. This recipe is the perfect solution to have pie all-year round!

If you are on the run and looking to make a simple dessert on the fly, look no further--using frozen pie dough and whatever fruit is in season, makes this virtually available anytime--apples, peaches, pears, cherries, strawberries--just think about the combo of jam you use and how it pairs with the chosen fruit! If you like nuts, sprinkle a few in at the end.

Run with it! Endless options! Make your own variation!

Baking sheet, preferably rimmed
Parchment paper
Large mixing bowl
Apple corer, or not

Frozen pie dough, thawed 

2-3 apples, cored, peeled and thinly sliced
1/2 cup sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 lemon juice

2 Tbls butter, melted
1/2 cup of apricot preserves

2 Tbls butter, cubed
6 caramels, cubed and finely diced

1. Wash your hands.
2. Preheat oven to 400F degrees. 
3. Core, peel, and slice apples thinly. 

4. Toss apples with sugar, cinnamon and lemon.

5. Thaw pie dough enough to unfold onto parchment paper-covered baking sheet.

6. Pour melted butter into center.

7. Spread apricot preserve leaving a 1.5 inch border.

8. Layer apple slices towards the center. 
9. Use diced butter and caramels to top the apples.

10. Gently fold the edges towards middle. 

11. Brush edges with milk or egg wash. (This gives it a shiny crust) 
12. Sprinkle with coarse sugar. 

13. Bake for 20 minutes, then reduce heat to 350F degrees for another 15-20 minutes until golden brown. 

14. Sprinkle with powdered sugar, whipping cream or ice cream.

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Hot Sandwich Subs

After a long day of studying, there is nothing like having a delicious batch of tender chuck roast waiting to be made into sandwich subs!

This is perfect for college cooking in terms of ease, taste and cost. The only caveat is planning to be around the apartment for the afternoon while it simmers--perfect for cold winter afternoons when you have to be inside anyhow! 

(Adapted from Pioneer Woman's Cookbook 'Food From My Frontier')

5-quart or Dutch Oven with lid

1 3-4 lbs chuck roast
Kosher salt & fresh pepper
1-2 tsp garlic powder for each side of meat
4 garlic cloves, chopped in halves

2 Tbls butter
2 Tbls canola oil
2 cups beef broth
1 cup water
1 tsp of rosemary, crushed
1 12 oz jar peperoncinis with 1/2 the juice

Butter-toasted deli rolls
Pepper Jack or Cheddar or Provolone cheese, shredded
Onions, sliced and seared (optional)
Mayo (optional)

1. Wash your hands.
2. Season and coat your meat with salt, garlic powder,  and pepper on both sides--generously.

3. Coarsely chop garlic cloves and stuff into meat. Let meat stand for 15 minutes.
4. Heat oil and butter over medium-high heat.

5. Sear each side of the meat x 4-5 minutes each side until very browned.

6. Add 2 cups of beef broth plus 1 cup of water.

7. Add the jar of pepperochini with 1/2 of the juice.
8. Add rosemary.

9. Cover the pot with the lid and lower heat to 'SIMMER' for the next 4-5 hours.

10. Once meat is tender and falling apart, remove the meat from the pot.
11. Use two forks to pull the meat apart.

12. Keep approx 2-3 cups of liquid and re-add the meat.
13. Toast your sub rolls with a little butter.
14. Add shredded cheese.

15. Add the meat and drippings.
16. Add the peperoncinis.

17. Take a bite!