“Phở”

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I know that this is by no means traditional Phở, but instead think of it as a tasty interpretation of traditional Phở.

Phở is a Vietnamese noodle soup that has linguine like rice noodles, fresh herbs, a delicious broth and meat (typically beef or chicken…I prefer beef). Given my current situation of lets face it being extremely poor, there was no way that I could go out and buy all the ingredients to make the broth from scratch (it is on my list to do at some point though), so I used a Phở “starter” broth…it was a concentrated liquid broth that you add water to from Savory Choice. Pacific Naturals also has several Phở  to choose from (which are delicious, if you haven’t tried them yet, you should).

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I started off by sauteing some fresh ginger, garlic, and turmeric in a large pot, then adding a whole bunch of vegetables, the liquid broth, and water, brought it to a simmer and let it hang out for a while. I was going to leave it just like that but remembered that in my little freezer I had a small piece (about 3 oz) of hanger steak. I defrosted that and quickly marinated it in some 50% less Sodium Tamari from San-J and about a tablespoon of chili paste. This turned out so delicious especially with the added Thai chili peppers and chili paste. You can add whatever vegetables or meat you wish. I would have added some cilantro, green onions, and bean sprouts if I had them.

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Phở” – Spicy Asian Vegetable Soup w/ Seared Hanger Steak

Ingredients

  • 12 oz of hanger steak
  • 1/4 cup 50% less sodium Tamari
  • 2 Tablespoons Chili Paste
  • 2 teaspoon oil, divided
  • 2 garlic cloves roughly chopped
  • 1/4 inch fresh turmeric minced
  • 1/2 inch of fresh ginger minced
  • 4 Thai chili peppers
  • 1/2 cup diced carrots (purple, orange, white, etc.)
  • 2 large portabella mushroom caps diced
  • 1/2 cup shredded cabbage (green and/or red)
  • 1/2 cup chopped baby bok choy (white parts. Green tops – chiffonade)
  • 1/2 cup summer squash, julienne
  • 3 packets of Savory Choice Pho Liquid Broth (Chiken)
  • 6 cups of water
  • 4 oz Sorghum noodles, broken in half

Toppings (optional):

  • Bean Sprouts
  • Cilantro
  • Green Onions
  • Lime Wedges
  • Chili Paste

Method of Preparation

  1. In a container or bowl marinade beef in tamari and chili paste – set aside.
  2. In a large stock pot heat oil over medium heat.
  3. Add garlic, turmeric, ginger, and Thai chili peppers, cook for 2 minutes.
  4. Add carrots and mushrooms, and cook for an additional 3 – 5 minutes.
  5. Next, add shredded cabbage, bok choy (white parts), summer squash, liquid broth packets and water. Bring to a simmer
  6. Add in bok choy tops and sorghum noodles, continue to simmer until noodles are soft but not over done, about 10 minutes.
  7. In a small pan heat 1 teaspoon oil over medium-high heat.
  8. Once the oil is nice and glossy and moves easily around the pan, add steak.
  9. Cook for 3-4 minutes per side, depending on the thickness (you want a nice sear but not cooked throughout as it will finish cooking in the soup).
  10. Remove steak from pan, and let rest.
  11. Thinly slice steak against the grain.
  12. Ladle the soup into four bowls, top with 3 oz of sliced steak and any additional toppings mentioned above (optional)
  13. Serve immediately

This recipe is gluten-free and dairy free and can easily be made vegetarian!

 

 

 

Beef & Broccoli {Take-Out-At-Home}

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I need a wok. Seriously. With the amount of Asian food that I make it amazes me that I do not own one. Someday.

My dad however has one, so we put it to use one night and made some gluten-free beef and broccoli. My dad is awesome for many reasons, but I love how good he is about gluten-free awareness and cross contamination. He even has a separate peanut butter jar just for me so I don’t get sick when I am there. He keeps gluten-free bread and goodies in his freezer for me as well. Like I said, he is pretty awesome.

Who doesn’t love a quick easy version of one of your take-out favorites?! I know not all of the ingredients below are traditionally what is found in beef & broccoli but it tastes pretty darn good. There are a bunch of other beef & broccoli recipes out there on the web, and I really wanted to make something simple yet flavorful. Hope you all give it a shot and enjoy it.

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Beef & Broccoli

  • 1 pound beef – tenderloin cut into 1/4 inch slices
  • 1-2 medium heads of broccoli cut into florets
  • 1 1/2 inches of ginger peeled and sliced or grated
  • 2 tablespoons peanut oil (or oil of your choice)
  • Boiling Water (for broccoli)
  • Bowl of ice water

Marinade

  • 1 tablespoon gluten-free soy sauce (San-J reduced sodium)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons rice wine vinegar (Marukan)
  • 1/2 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons potato starch (you can use corn or tapioca)
  • 1/8 teaspoon of pepper

Sauce

  • 2 tablespoons gluten-free soy sauce (San-J reduced sodium)
  • 2 tablespoons hoisin sauce (Dynasty Brand)
  • 1/2 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar (white or brown)
  • 2 teaspoons of potato starch (you can use corn or tapioca)
  • 1/4 cup cold water
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes (adjust as needed or omit)

Method of Preparation

  • Slice beef and set aside
  • In a medium bowl combine all ingredients in the marinade and add beef. Marinade for 30 minutes.
  • In a large stock pot bring water to boil, and blanch the broccoli florets – about 10-15 seconds and remove with a slotted spoon.
  • Immediately place blanched broccoli in ice water to stop the cooking process.
  • Repeat with remaining broccoli. Once all broccoli is blanched and then placed in an ice bath, strain and pat dry. Set aside.
  • In a wok or large skillet heat 1 tablespoon of oil over high heat. Add half o the beef and cooking until about 75-80% cooked throughout (this will be quick at high heat).
  • Remove from pan and set aside. Repeat with remaining oil and steak.
  • Add ginger and red pepper flakes, stir-fry for 30 seconds – 1 minute.
  • Return the beef to the pan to finish cooking. Add broccoli and stir fry for 1 minute
  • Add sauce and toss to coat – as soon as the sauce begins to thicken remove from the heat.
  • Serve with steamed rice – white or brown.
  • Enjoy!

 

 

Roasted Tri Tip

Tri Tip (also referred to as Santa Maria steak) is one of my favorite cuts of meat, however many of you are probably wondering what the heck Tri Tip is. If you aren’t from California or out west, you are probably unfamiliar with this specific cut.  Tri Tip is a triangular cut of meat from the primal cut sirloin.It is tender and delicious. When living in California I usually had it grilled (or as they say, barbecued) and it was always fantastic tasting. There is so much you can do with this fairly inexpensive (at least in CA it wasn’t too badly priced) cut of meat.

Below are some images of the primal cuts of the beef and where exactly the Tri Tip is located. So if you have a local butcher, be sure to ask for this cut and give it a try. I think you will be pleasantly surprised.

I haven’t seen it really since moving back east which means I have sadly missed out on this delicious cut of meat for the past two and a half years. However last year I won a gift card to Organic Prairie from Easy Eats and it was about to expire late last month. So I headed to the website and saw they had a 1.5 pound organic Tri Tip available , I got all excited and I placed my order and waited patiently for it to arrive. The Tri Tip was around $30.00 (plus shipping), but I had a gift card so it wasn’t a big deal. When we can afford to buy this again, I will. It is worth the money (in my opinion), and the people over at Organic Prairie were extremely helpful and friendly, especially Lori (Thank you again for all your help).

Bryan had never had Tri Tip but has heard me talk about it quite a bit. So I thought I would make him a delicious meal that would highlight the flavors and tenderness of the beef. I really enjoy organic beef because you can actually taste the flavor of the beef and not what it has been eating. I decided to marinade it over night, but with ingredients what would enhance the meat and not overshadow it by any means. Seeing as hurricane Sandy was heading our way we had already put our grill in a safe place so I decided to roast it, which I have never done nor had before but I figured it was worth a shot. We invited our neighbor over to join us (we didn’t want to be disgusting pigs and eat the 1.5 Tri Tip ourselves!!)

Marinade for Tri Tip

  • 1/2 cup Red Wine – Merlot or Pinot Noir work well
  • 1 tablespoon red wine or sherry vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tablespoons spicy brown mustard
  • 1 tablespoon gluten-free soy sauce (San-J)
  • 2 large cloves of garlic minced
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons grey salt
  • 3/4 teaspoons ground black pepper
  • 1 sprig of rosemary – left whole
  • 1 sprig of oregano – left whole
  1. Place all ingredients in a large zip lock bag.
  2. Mix well.
  3. Add Tri Tip and marinade over night.

Roasted Tri Tip

  • 1.5 pounds of Tri Tip
  • Marinade (see above – marinade over night or for at least 4 hours)
  • Roasting Thermometer
  • Roasting pan/dish with rack
  1. Preheat oven to 450•
  2. Remove Tri Tip from marinade and place in a roasting pan/dish with a rack
  3. Insert thermometer probe in the thickest part of the Tri Tip and set it to medium (135•)
  4. Place Tri Tip in oven and cook for 30-40 minutes (check thermometer, you do not want to over cook this)
  5. Remove from oven when the internal temperature reaches 135• and cover loosely with foil for 10 minutes.
  6. Slice against the grain in thin slices. Serve with garlicky green beans, and mashed sweet potatoes – or your choice of vegetables.

Red Wine Reduction Sauce

  • 1 Cup Red Wine – Merlot or Pinot Noir
  • 1 clove of garlic minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon minced rosemary (fresh)
  • 1/2 teaspoon minced oregano (fresh)
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 tablespoon of honey
  1. Add all ingredients into a small sauce pot.
  2. Bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer until it reduces in half, about 10-15 minutes.
  3. Strain reduction through a fine mesh sieve and discard solids.
  4. Serve over sliced Tri Tip

sorry for the pic of the meal – it was taken with my phone…too hungry and it smelt way to good to get the real camera out.

Sriracha Burgers and Cheese Fries

If you are on a diet this recipe probably isn’t for you :)  We try to eat pretty healthy in our house by eating lots of veggies and fresh products.  We usually have a salad with every dinner but every once in a while we crave those fast food type meals – those that I usually can’t eat because of cross contamination issues.  To fulfill those cravings I try to recreate the items that we used to like to eat out and make them at home.  I’ve made a version of Wendy’s Spicy Chicken Sandwich, P.F. Chang’s Beef a La Sichuan, P.F. Chang’s Mongolian Beef, and P.F. Chang’s Shanghai Cucumbers (we really like P.F. Chang’s and I am slightly obsessed with Chinese food in general).

Today Bryan had a craving for cheese fries – and I have to admit I’ve never really had cheese fries.  I do however love french fries so I told him we could have those and burgers on the grill tonight seeing as I have a package of the Udi’s new gluten-free hamburger buns in the freezer. If you haven’t tried these yet, you really should they are simply awesome.  If you local store doesn’t carry them you can request that they do.  I also have a package of their hot dog buns that I still need to try.  I didn’t want to buy any pre-made cheese sauce because let’s be honest they aren’t very good.  I wanted something with simple ingredients that I knew what they were so I found a few recipes online and the one from Serious Eats is the one I decided to go with.  I did make a slight moderation that you will see below, but we were very happy with the results.  It was four ingredients and didn’t turn out oily, clumpy or grainy! While on their site I also noticed a recipe for Ultimate Siraracha Burgers and almost started to drool.  We love spicy things and even more we love Sriracha.  (Have you visited Serious Eats yet?  If not please be sure to do so…it is an awesome site with plenty of delicious recipes and gluten-free ones too) I did change this up a bit too with not only the measurements (we are only two people so no need to make eight patties) and omitted some of the ingredients, and changed the sauce- but please check out the original recipe and try that one also.  Below is my version of Serious Eat’s Cheese Sauce and Sriracha Burgers, I hope you enjoy them as much as we did – which we LOVED these by the way.  When you first take a bite it takes a second for the flavor to hit you but if you love Sriracha Sauce you won’t be disappointed in these. 

Cheese Sauce (naturally gluten-free!)

  • 8 ounces extra sharp cheddar cheese grated on large holes of a box grater
  • 1 tablespoon corn starch
  • 1 (12-ounce) can evaporated milk
  • 2 teaspoons Sriracha Sauce
Add cheese and cornstarch to large bowl. Toss to combine. Transfer to medium saucepan. Add can of  evaporated milk and hot sauce. Cook over low heat, stirring constantly with whisk until melted, bubbly, and thickened (about 5 minutes). Mixture will look thin and grainy at first but will thicken and come together after heating. Thin to desired consistency with additional evaporated milk. Serve immediately with fries (tortilla chips, burgers, or hot dogs).
We served some store-bought gluten-free french fries with dinner tonight.
Sriracha Burgers
  • 1/2 pounds ground beef
  • 2 teaspoons gluten-free soy sauce (I use San-J)
  • 1 tablespoon Sriracha Sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 Gluten-free buns such as Udi’s (or Canyon Bakehouse or Katz)
  • 2 thick slices Swiss cheese
  • Romaine lettuce
  • Dynamite Sauce (recipe below)
  1. In a large mixing bowl, combine the ground beef, soy sauce,  Sriracha, and the pepper. Do not overmix. Form the mixture into 2 patties, and set aside.

  2. Preheat a charcoal or gas grill to medium-high heat. 

  3. Grill the burgers, turning once, 4 to 41/2 minutes on each side or until a meat thermometer registers 130° to 135°F for medium-rare. Place a piece of cheese of cheese on each burger and cook until melted.

  4. To assemble, spread the Dynamite Sauce on both halves of each hamburger bun. Stack a burger patty,  and a few pieces of  romaine between each hamburger bun.

Dynamite Sauce

  • 2 Tablespoons Mayo
  • 1 Tablespoons Sriracha (I like mine spicy so adjust according to your spice level)
  • 1/8-1/4 teaspoon sesame oil

Combine all ingredients in a small bowl and mix until well combined – taste for spice level and adjust accordingly. Spread on burger buns.

And for a little fun…if you love Sriracha Sauce as much as we do, you have to check out The Oatmeal‘s post called “Dear Sriracha, a.k.a Rooser Sauce”
Hope you enjoy – if you get around to trying these please let me know what you think

Spinach-Stuffed Flank Steak

Martha Stewart’s Spinach Stuffed Flank Steak

My Spinach-Stuffed Flank Steak (minus the red pepper sauce)

I have been wanting to make this recipe for a while, but wasn’t sure how Bryan would feel about it because it has a cheese that he isn’t very familiar with and it also has capers.  I offered to leave out the capers but he said he would try them.  I should have  listened to my instincts and left them out.  He tried one but he just wasn’t a fan, they were too salty for him.  I’m not one for very salty foods but I love these green little gems, probably because I love chicken piccata so much. As it turns out, Bryan really liked this recipe and said this is one we should make again.

The recipe is from Martha Stewart’s Everyday Food Magazine and it is also in her Everyday Food Cookbook “Fresh Flavor Fast” Another great recipe from here that is also naturally gluten-free!  You would be amazed how many of these recipes are naturally gluten-free or can very easily be adapted to gluten-free.

Seeing as this is a stuffed steak, it needed to be butterflied first, then stuffed with the spinach mixture and rolled up.  I always hear about people going to the grocery store and having the butcher cut their meat a certain way such as butterflied so I thought, why not give it a shot and have them do it.  I was so wrong, no pun intended here but he butchered my flank steak.  I was so upset when I got home and opened it up.  I should have taken a picture to show you all how bad it was.  It was completely uneven with some pieces being extremely thing and others looking like they hadn’t been cut.  I made the best of it for this because I didn’t want to waste the meat but not to self, next time do it myself!  However if you have a good butcher I’m sure he would do fine but this guy was complaining the whole time he was cutting this piece.  I am very much looking forward to my meat cutting class at school!

Here is how to butterfly the flank steak according to the recipe:

Butterflying the Steak: Lay the meat on a cutting board, with the grain of the steak running horizontally. Using a long sharp knife, cut the meat almost in half horizontally, opening it like a book but stopping before going all the way through.

With the steak being cut so uneven I had to adjust the cooking time a bit and despite having to put it in a few times because the middle just wasn’t cooked to our liking (it was pretty much raw – but again I blame that on the butcher and not the actual recipe its self.) it was a very tasty, easy and fairly quick dinner.  We served ours with mashed potatoes and steamed broccoli.

Too add a little something extra to it I made a Red Pepper Sauce to go on the side to either drizzle on top of the steak or just to dip it in.   I used a container of Wild Veggie Red Pepper Soup as the base, added a tablespoon of balsamic vinegar, 1 teaspoon of salt and 1/2 teaspoon fine ground pepper.  To thicken it up just a bit I added a small amount of cornstarch/water mixture.

Have you heard about Wild Veggie yet?  If not you should check out their website and products.  Here is a little blurb about them from their website:

What is Wild Veggie? Is it a soup? Is it a drink? Is it an ingredient? If you think it’s all of the above, then you’re right! Wild Veggie is good in everything… and is good for everybody. Compared to similar products on the market, Wild Veggie is low in sodium and calories, and typically has more vitamins and nutrients, not only meeting but exceeding daily recommendations in many cases.

We start with the absolute freshest vegetables we can find, always picked at their peak of ripeness and flavor. We then wash, micro-cut, and fast cook at a low temperature, and then quickly freeze to preserve as much of the natural vegetable flavor as possible. There are no preservatives. No fake chemicals. Just the wonderful taste of pure, fresh vegetables.

Our unique process preserves the natural integrity, flavor or nutrients of the vegetables — we do not compromise on flavor or freshness, meaning that Wild Veggie is good for every body.

Spinach Stuffed Flank Steak (Martha Stewart – Everyday Food Magazine)

  • 2 packages (10 ounces each) frozen leaf spinach, thawed

  • 1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped

  • 1/4 cup grated Asiago cheese

  • 2 tablespoons capers, rinsed and drained

  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

  • 1 garlic clove, minced

  • 1/4 teaspoon red-pepper flakes

  • coarse salt and ground pepper

  • 1 small flank steak (1 pound)

  • 1 teaspoon olive oil

    1. Heat broiler, with rack set 4 inches from heat. Line a rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil; set aside. Place spinach in a clean kitchen towel, and squeeze out as much liquid as possible.
    2. In a medium bowl, combine spinach, parsley, cheese, capers, vinegar, garlic, and red-pepper flakes. Season with salt and pepper; toss to combine. Cut and open steak.
    3. Cut several 12-inch pieces of kitchen twine; space evenly underneath steak. Spread spinach mixture down center of meat (see opposite). Roll steak over mixture, pressing firmly to compact the filling as much as possible; tie twine to secure roll. Cut roll in half crosswise. Place halves, seam side down, on prepared baking sheet; rub with oil, and season with salt and pepper.
    4. Broil until browned, 8 to 10 minutes for medium-rare; let rest, loosely covered with foil, 10 minutes. Remove string, and slice steak into 1/2-inch rounds.

     

    Making Snacks At Home

    Before we go grocery shopping I start by getting out that weeks ads to see what is on sale, and then try to plan meals around that.  I also look at the coupons we have, new ones that have come in and also search online for them (at first Bryan made fun of me and my coupon clipping but once he saw how much I save each time he’s pretty thankful) I then make a list of all the items we need and next to it I write what the sale is and at which store, I also write if we have a coupon for it.  For the most part we try out best to stick to the list as best we can, but every now and then we find a thing or two that we really want and that is usually a snack or two.  Well actually it is mostly Bryan that finds these things because for me it is a bit harder to find gluten-free snacks.

    He will usually grab some cinnamon buns, beef jerky or corn muffins, all of which I love but sadly can’t find gluten-free options in the stores so I decided that I could learn to make a few snack items at home.  I’ve made cinnamon buns and corn muffins/bread before and they came out great.  I hadn’t attempted to make beef jerky or granola bars and those are two things I have been wanting to attempt for a while, so I finally did.

    Making snacks at home is easy, a great way to control what you and your family are consuming but also it is a great way to save money!

    Beef Jerky

    Bryan and I both love beef jerky and we usually buy him a bag of it but its gone in one sitting!  Before moving back east I bought a great cookbook “Jam It, Pickle It, Cure It And Other Cooking Projects” by Karen Solomon.  Including in the cookbook are recipes to make your own bacon, cheese, marshmallows, limoncello and so much more.  The recipe calls for very lean top sirloin or flank steak, I choose the flank steak because at BJ’s you can get two pounds for the same price, if not less than one pound of flank steak at our local grocery store!

    I used the recipe listed in the cookbook just as a guideline and made it gluten-free and adjusted the ingredients to our spice level.  My recipe is below – I checked their website and they don’t have the beef jerky recipe listed so I can’t link to it, however you should really buy this book, you will love it!

    Gluten Free Beef Jerky


    2 pounds lean flank steak (remove every bit of fat from the meat!  this is very important-if you leave the fat on it will like go rancid!)

    1 tablespoon kosher salt

    2 tablespoons gluten-free soy sauce

    4 teaspoons dark brown sugar

    4-5 cloves of garlic, minced

    3 teaspoons red pepper flakes (you can adjust this to your taste level, we really like heat)

    Advanced Prep: Freeze steak for 30 minutes – this will help with the slicing. Line two sheet pans with foil and oil (canola or gluten-free cooking spray) two racks.  Place one rack in each of the pans, set aside. Pre-heat oven to 150 degrees – if your oven doesn’t go that low, set it to the lowest temp that it will and leave the oven door cracked open an inch or two, or use a wooden spoon to keep it ajar.

    Remove steak from freezer, and make sure that all the fat has been removed (see note above).  Thinly slice steak 1/8 to 1/4 inch thick pieces.

    In a large bowl mix together salt, gluten-free soy sauce, brown sugar, garlic and red pepper flakes.  Add meat and let marinade in the refrigerator for two hours (or over night).

    Lay the meat on the racks in a single layer, but don’t let them touch or over lap.

    Dry the meat in an oven for 5-7 hours.  Check for doneness for the first time around 5 hours.  The jerky shouldn’t be brittle but should be able to be torn into strings and not look raw in the inside.

    Allow jerky to cool completely and enjoy!

    Store in a ziplock bag in the refrigerator for up to six weeks.

    Granola Bars

    I love granola bars, but since going gluten-free I haven’t had one, and I’ve really missed them.  They are the perfect take along snack.  I’ll be making more of these when it comes time for school.  They are super easy to make and you can add in pretty much anything you like.  I think next time I might add in some peanut butter chips.

    Gluten-Free/Allergy Free Granola Bars

    The recipe listed below is from Martha Stewart’s website.  I did a few little tweaks to the recipe and they are noted in red below.

    Makes about 16 bars

    • Nonstick cooking spray
    • 1 3/4 cups gluten-free quick-cooking oatmeal (I used 3 cups of Bob’s Red Mill gluten-free oats)
    • 1 1/4 cups gluten-free crisp-rice cereal (I didn’t have any so I omitted them)
    • 1/2 cup mini gluten-free semi-sweet chocolate chips
    • 1/3 cup lightly packed light-brown sugar
    • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
    • 1/3 cup honey

    Directions

    1. Spray an 8-by-8-inch baking dish with nonstick cooking spray; line baking sheet with parchment paper, leaving a 1-inch overhang on all sides. Set aside.
    2. Place oatmeal and rice cereal in a large bowl; stir to combine. Set aside.
    3. In a medium saucepan, mix together brown sugar, oil, and honey. Place over medium-high heat; bring to a gentle boil. Cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Remove from heat and add to oatmeal mixture; stir until oatmeal mixture is fully coated and well combined.
    4. Evenly pour oatmeal mixture into prepared baking dish; sprinkle with chocolate chips. When mixture is cool enough to touch, press down into pan. Let cool to room temperature. Cut into 16 (1-by-4-inch) bars. Granola bars can be stored at room temperature in an airtight container for up to 1 week, and frozen up to six months.
    From The Martha Stewart Show, April 2010

    *I would recommend following the directions – I got distracted when making these and ended up adding some of the chocolate chips in with the oats and when I poured the liquid over it they all melted so it became chocolate granola bars. Woops – I mean they still came out pretty good.  I would also suggest that if you have the gluten-free crisp rice cereal, use it.  Also Martha’s photo is WAY better than mine!

    Hope you enjoy these two homemade snacks!



    Roast Beef, Peppers and Potatoes

    If you have been following my blog you’ll notice my love for Martha Stewart’s magazine, Everyday Food.  It is by far my favorite magazine because the recipes are easy, not overly complicated, if they aren’t naturally gluten-free, they are easily adaptable and there are so many great tips in them.  My mom bought me a subscription when it was first published and over the years I have tried my best to keep up with it.  If you don’t have a subscription you can find all the recipes online, however I suggest getting one of the magazines and checking it out for yourself.

    Each time a new one comes in the mail I start flipping through it right away and marking all the recipes I want to try.  I don’t always make them right away but I eventually get around to trying my hand at them.  The recipe I made tonight comes from January/February 2007 Light edition.  The recipe was 100% gluten-free (even if it doesn’t say so in the magazine, just read the ingredients).  The only modification I made on this one was I omitted the onions.  Such a simple meal and all in one pan!  Quick, easy, great tasty and easy clean up! Bryan really liked this meal and said he wouldn’t mind having it again!

    Roast Beef, Peppers and Potatoes (Martha Stewart – Everyday Food Magazine, 2007)

    Serves 4

    • 3 red bell peppers (ribs and seeds removed), cut into 1-inch-wide strips – We had red so that is all we used
    • 2 yellow bell peppers (ribs and seeds removed), cut into 1-inch-wide strips – We had red so that is all we used
    • 2 medium red onions, halved and cut into 1-inch wedges – We omitted these
    • 3/4 pound white new potatoes, well scrubbed and cut into 1-inch chunks
    • 5 garlic cloves, peeled (3 left whole and 2 cut into 12 slivers)
    • 2 tablespoons olive oil
    • Coarse salt and ground pepper
    • 2 1/2 pounds eye-of-round beef roast
    • 3/4 teaspoon dried thyme

    Directions

    1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place peppers, onions, potatoes, and whole garlic cloves on a large rimmed baking sheet. Drizzle with half the oil, season with salt and pepper, and toss to coat.
    2. Using a paring knife, make 12 small slits in top and sides of roast; push in garlic slivers. Move vegetables to sides of sheet. Place beef in center, and coat with remaining oil; rub all over with 1 1/2 teaspoons coarse salt, 1/2 teaspoon pepper, and thyme.
    3. Roast 40 to 50 minutes, tossing vegetables occasionally, until tender and an instant-read thermometer inserted into thickest part of beef registers 130 degrees for medium-rare. Let meat stand 10 minutes, loosely tented with aluminum foil to keep warm. Cut half into very thin slices (reserve remaining half for leftovers). Serve with vegetables.
    4. Cool remaining beef to room temperature; place in an airtight container, or wrap in plastic, and refrigerate.

    Read more at Marthastewart.com: Roast Beef with Peppers, Onions, and Potatoes – Martha Stewart Recipes



    P.F. Chang’s Beef a La Sichuan

    My version of P.F. Chang’s Beef a La Sichuan

    P.F. Chang’s Beef a La Sichuan

    Yesterday was day two in my weekly menu planning and Bryan’s last day of classes for his first semester as a 1L, so I decided to celebrate I would try to tackled one of our favorite P.F. Chang’s recipes – Beef a La Sichuan.  Ever since this was put on the gluten-free menu at P.F. Chang’s it is all Bryan will order.  I usually order the Chang’s Spicy Chicken (it’s amazing if you haven’t had it yet, you should).  Sadly though we don’t have a P.F. Chang’s close to us so I’ve been searching online for “copycat” recipes for this dish.  I really only found one, but found plenty of pictures of the dish which didn’t help me at all.  The recipe I found was pretty good, however it didn’t have any measurements for the ingredients! Seeing as we hadn’t had this in a while I had to think back to what it tasted like and try to build a sauce based on memory-honestly I got it on the first shot…not sure if I should be proud of that or kind of embarrassed.  If you don’t know Chinese food is my biggest weakness and seeing as I can’t go to any restaurant and get something I do my best to create recipes inspired by my favorite Chinese/Asian dishes.

    I found the recipe on RecipeLink.com and like I said it had no measurements so below is my measurements along with RecipeLink.com’s directions.  Now this recipe is a little in-depth with the preparation so be prepared to spend a bit of time in the kitchen the first time-but I promise it is worth it.  I’m sure you can always find some shortcuts, like finding celery and carrots that are already julienned for you but I wanted to do it start to finished myself.   The original recipe called for green onion stems but seeing as we don’t cook/consume onions in our house we just omitted them but you can add them in if you wish.

    P.F. Chang’s Beef a La Sichuan

    Stir Fry Ingredients:

    1 Pound Flank or Sirloin Steak Sliced thin
    3-4 Medium Celery Stalks -Julienned
    2 Medium Carrots – Julienned
    Green Onion Stems (Optional)
    1/2 Cup Peanut Oil or Canola Oil (you may use less if using a non-stick pan, I only use about 1/4 cup)
    1/4 Cup Corn Starch
    1/2 Teaspoon Red Pepper Flakes(or whole Tien Tsin Chinese Chili Peppers work great)

    1 1/2 Teaspoons Sesame Oil

    Sauce Ingredients:

    3 Tablespoons Gluten Free Soy Sauce (I use San-J)
    2 Tablespoons Gluten Free Hoisin Sauce (I use Dynasty)
    1 Tablespoon Garlic Chili Paste
    1/2 Teaspoon Chinese Hot Mustard
    1 Teaspoon Rice Wine Vinegar
    1/2 Teaspoon Chili oil/or Mongolian Fire Oil (made by House of Tsang) -(Optional)
    1 – 2 Teaspoons Brown Sugar
    1 Teaspoon Minced garlic
    1/2 Teaspoon Minced Ginger
    1/2 Teaspoon Red Pepper Flakes

    Directions

    Mix all of the sauce ingredients together and set aside.

    Julienne your carrots and celery and set aside. It is important to get these done first because when it comes time to stir-fry them, it is a very quick process.

    An important step is “velveting your beef” – Thinly slice your beef and place in a bowl. Add the cornstarch and  toss to make sure each piece is thoroughly coated. Set aside for 10 minutes.

    Rinse beef free from all cornstarch and pat dry – you do not want any moisture or the oil will splatter when you add the beef to the pan.

    In a skillet (or wok), fry the sliced meat in hot peanut (or canola) oil until crispy to your liking. Remove from oil, drain on paper towels.

    In the same pan (or wok) add the following ingredients in this order with sesame oil: stir-fry celery, crushed red pepper flakes (or Tein Tsin Chinese Chili Peppers) followed by carrots. Do not over cook these ingredients – you want them to be nice and crispy. Add fried meat and green onions. Add sauce and bring to a fast boil, cook for 1 minute and serve immediately over white or brown rice.

    This last step should take only 3-4 minutes – it is a very quick process so be sure to keep an eye on it so it doesn’t over cook.

    Notes:

    I sliced my beef a little bigger than P.F. Chang’s does but not by much and didn’t fry it as much as they do.  Some times the beef can become a bit tough when it is fried too long so I left mine a little tender but still had a slight crunch to it.

    The veggies were perfect – like the directions above say DO NOT OVER COOK them – they are supposed to be nice and crunchy.  This process goes very quickly.

    I drained off most of the remaining oil from frying the beef before adding the Sesame oil and veggies.  I didn’t wan it to be too oily.

    The recipe called for Chili Oil but I couldn’t find it anywhere around me (my grocery stores aren’t so good with stocking “international” cuisine products) so I left it out and didn’t miss it at all.

    The sauce was created from memory so if you have had it more recently and attempt to make it at home please adjust the measurements to your liking.

    I cooked this in a wok but you can use a large sauté pan.

    We had not leftovers!! Like I said this is Bryan’s favorite dish.

    Who says you have to go our to have great Chinese food when  you can easily make it at home!  It may take a little longer to make it but it is so worth it and helps save you a little money too.