Category Archives: Weeknight

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.

Spanish Rice

After David and I were married for a while I asked if there was anything I hadn’t made yet that he wanted me to make, and that is how I was introduced to my mother in law Irene’s Spanish Rice. The story on this is that my MIL got it from HER MIL, Ruby. Ā So a Morris family classic (also known as made from what was available and you could get your hands on in ruralĀ Peru in the 1950’s)

This is another super simple one, and you can make all the ingredients ahead, or it is also great as leftovers. Here it is cooking up:

IMG_1881

 

Ā What I use:

  • rice
  • ground beef
  • diced tomatoes
  • tomato sauce
  • chili powder
  • oregano

 

What I do:

  1. Start the rice either on the stove top or in a rice maker (about 2 cupsĀ dried)
  2. Brown the ground beef (1lb)
  3. Season with salt and pepper
  4. When both are cooked add the rice to the beef, add a can of petite diced tomatoes (I prefer the smaller size, but whatever) and a small can of tomato sauce, mix it up.
  5. Add Ā dried oregano (about 1T)
  6. Add chili pepper (about 1T, but then adjust for spiciness preference)
  7. Cook together on medium for 10-15 minutes then serve.

 

IMG_1885

 

Guten Appetit!

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Chicken Quesadilla Packet

Okay, after all of that roux making, we need to move on to something a little easier, more of a grab and go kind of idea: Chicken Quesadilla Packet. I confess, I love making quesadilla packets. (I will have to go look, but if I haven’t featured my provolone, turkey and spinach one, shame on me.)

Anyway this is my version of a super simple chicken quesadilla. I call them quesadilla packets due to how I fold them for easier eating. Here in the Morris household we have this bad habit of eating while doing other things, so hot dripping cheese oils are preferred inside of the lunch rather than on our hands.

Anyways, this one is super simple, basically I just take cooked chicken (to make even easier deli meat is always an option), shredded cheddar and some taco sauce, start getting it melted like this:

IMG_1872

 

Then fold over and cook the other side (so the seams stay), and then flip it back once Ā more to brown up the back. Viola, a Chicken Quesadilla Packet. Super popular at our house on Sundays, when we get home from church and want to eat RIGHT AWAY. Relatively healthy (I just use a wee dab of butter for the pan/ coloring), and deliciously inexpensive, as most homemade things are…

Guten Appetit!

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