Monthly Archives: May 2014

Honey Pepper Beef

Very rarely do I find myself surprised by a dish. I have cooked for a while now, and generally can anticipate how a dish will turn out. Last night I was very pleasantly surprised.

Last weekend my husband and I pored over some cookbooks to get some new and fresh ideas. One of the cookbooks was a Stir Fry one. As you know I tend strongly toward being half Italian and half Thai, so I got TONS of ideas for Stir Fry. On the menu last night was a Cashew Chicken dish, but after some friends rescheduled dinner I got a little lazy and didn’t start thinking about dinner until 6:20. By that point cutting chicken off the bone, dipping and coating the chicken etc was not something I was interested in, so I flipped through the book for a new idea and landed on Honey Pepper Beef. I decided to make that (well just the sauce, but still.) Anyway as the dish was a basic stir fry (fry up a protein, remove, fry up veggies, remove, make sauce, add all together, heat through and serve) I decided to go my own way and then make the Honey Pepper Sauce…the result was OUTSTANDING. The only spice is black pepper, but due to the sugar of the honey and the salt of the oyster and soy sauces, the result is complex, flavorful and hot, but without any black pepper taste. Like I said, I am still surprised.

Image of a bowl of rice and beef stir fry

Here is the Honey Pepper Beef about to be consumed…

Anyway, hereĀ is what I made, feel free to go your own direction by ignoring everything but the sauce, especially since that was what I did šŸ™‚

What I used:

  • Cheap-o beef thinly sliced (a little less than a pound just cause that is what I had)
  • About five asparagus spears cut in half and any fat bottoms cut in half again (The veggies really were just open the fridge and see what I needed to use this would rock with broccoli)
  • Some sliced red pepper
  • Three spring onions, the white ends sliced, the greens in bigger pieces and set aside separately
  • A spoonful of diced garlic
  • 2T-ish Oyster Sauce
  • 2T-ish honey
  • 1T-ish soy sauce
  • <1T-ish black pepper
  • Veggie oil for frying
  • A very seasoned wok

 

What I did:

  1. Start your rice maker. (If you don’t have a rice maker go to Amazon, buy a rice maker, and returnĀ to step 1 when it arrives.)
  2. Heat some oil in the wok, add sliced beef (maybe half at a time) and stir fry until close to done, set aside in a big bowl lined with paper towels.
  3. Do the same with the other half of the beef, set aside.
  4. Heat a bit more oil and add the asparagus pieces, cook up a bit.
  5. Add the pepper slices and cook up a bit more.
  6. Add the white part of the onions and the garlic, stir up only a minute more then dump the whole thing on top of the beef (scrape out the garlic pieces to they don’t burn and mix into the sauce.)
  7. In the now empty wok add about 1T of soy sauce, 2T each of Oyster Sauce and honey, and then a little less than 1T of black pepper, stir cook it together for a couple minutes.
  8. When it looks all nice and infused together, add the contents of the big bowl back in, stir to coat, and reheat anything that has cooled. It should look like the pic below.
  9. Serve over rice and enjoy.

If you decide to give this sauce a try I would love to hear what you think about it. Did you like the heat/flavor, did you taste the black pepper, etc. Good luck and…

Guten Appetit!

Cooked dish in wok

Seriously. This was delicious. I am making it again this weekend.

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Roasted Garlic

So if you haven’t experienced roasted garlic before, I am sooo sorry you’ve been seriously missing out! Roasting garlic is a) super easy and b) insanely delicious. So the basics…. Garlic heads are roasted in olive oil until they are squishy deliciousness. There are “garlic roasters” which are terra cotta dishes that are similar (read: identical) to the terra cotta dishes that you might keep warmed corn tortillas in. These speciality dishes are not necessary but are super nice to have. They should under NO circumstances be purchased at retail prices as visiting around three thrift shops should net you a nice cheap one!

Here’s what you’re looking for:

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(Actually now that I am looking at it mine is probably a tortilla one, garlic ones sometimes have garlic heads on the handle and might be smaller, but seriously they are completely interchangeable!)

So anyway you take the garlic head and cut off the top exposing most of the tops of the cloves (this allows them to expand once they are done/gets all the juicy goodness everywhere). Then you set the heads in the pan (I imagine any covered roasting dish will work fine) and pour olive oil over them. Be liberal coating each head, then place it in the oven at around 400 for about an hour. About half an hour in the scent will start driving you crazy.

They are flexible with temperature so if you are roasting/cooking other things just let it cook at that temp but check it’s progress. This is what it looks like when done.

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You can serve them whole and each person can just dig out their own, be sure to have extra paper napkins as even with knives this is messy!! If you have roasted garlic lovers and are serving French bread plan on 1 per person. But it also stores and freezes well, so I usually do about 4. I noticed recently that WinCo sells roasted garlic in the fresh herb section, not remembering the price, but am sure it was ridiculous. Garlic heads are usually .38 if bought individually so one is less than .50 of deliciousness!

Some possible uses:
– served as is with French bread.
– served with goat cheese spread on bread or other canapĆ©.
– add to mashed potatoes
– in hummus
– added to baguette/boule dough (chop and add it with the dry ingredients- honestly since my twin converted me to this I doubt I will ever make plain French breads. Kalah adds it to her boule loaves and makes grilled sandwiches– AMAZING!)
– mixed with cream cheese as a spread on a sandwich
– anything else you could think of…

If you’ve never tried making this before and give it a shot I would love to hear how it goes!!

Guten Appetit!!

Blueberry Scones

This is a quick addition just for you Becca!

Blueberry Scones:
Add to a bowl and mix well:
– 2c flour
– 1T baking powder
– 2T sugar
– 1/2 tsp salt
– 2T buttermilk powder (optional)
Cut into powder 6T butter.
Add frozen blueberries (optional)
Mix in 1/2c milk, only until mixed.
Flatten on counter to 1/2 inch circle.
Sprinkle with course sugar.
Cut into wedges.
Bake at 425F for 20 minutes.

And enjoy

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