Hoisin Stir Fry

Beef and vegetable stir fry, rather simple actually – though it would have tasted better if I didn’t try to cheat. Not that it tasted bad. Just not as good as it could have.

The really cool part about this stir fry is that it takes about 20 minutes. So, perfect for a week night when you don’t have a lot of time. Serve it up with some steamed rice.

I’m going to start something new with the new year. I’m going to put the recipe in my post instead of a separate page. Tell me how you like it?

Here’s the ingredients:

1 lb Steak, sliced thin – the recipe says sirloin, I used a cheaper “every day” steak. I also used the same amount that I would have if I was just grilling it up for the two of us.

1 tbsp Cooking oil – the recipe suggests peanut or vegetable, I used canola and it tasted just fine.

3/4 c water

3 tbsp soy sauce

3 tbsp hoisin sauce

1 tbsp cornstarch

1 tsp dark sesame oil

8 shitake mushrooms, stems removed and sliced thin – I took some help from the store and bought the ones that were packaged and sliced already.

1 c baby corn – or a can of corn kernels

8 oz of asparagus, cut in to 1 inch spears. Use fresh. Trust me. Canned gets mushy.

1 c sugar snap peas or snow peas and 1/2 c red bell pepper strips – I used a bag of frozen stir fry veggies… I’m thinking use the fresh stuff and add what you like.

1/2 c cherry tomato halves


Whisk together the water, soy sauce, hoisin and cornstarch. Set aside.

Heat the oil over medium high heat in a large pan or wok. Put in the steak and cook until just medium. Remove from pan and set aside, but keep the juices and oil.

Add sesame oil, mushrooms and corn, cook and stir until mushrooms are tender and corn is heated through. Add asparagus, snap peas and bell peppers, cook and stir until crisp-tender.

Return beef and juices to skillet. Stir sauce mixture and add to pan, along with tomatoes. Cook and stir 1 minute or until heated through and sauce has thickened.  Serve over rice

I got this from my Thai Cooking book. See my bibliography.

Comfort Foods

Rachel Ray gave me a new twist on one of my favorite comfort foods – mac and cheese. I saw on her newest show where she made a crab cake mac and cheese, and I knew that’s what I was having for dinner the next night.

The final review: It was great, and it’s still in my fridge because it makes a HUGE portion! There were a couple things I will tweak the next time I make it though. Instead of Gruyere cheese, I’m thinking Havarti, and instead of dollar store hot sauce – definitely going to just use spices and some ketchup with vinegar. Same effect, different flavor. But overall pretty tasty, and good for multiple rounds.

So my other comfort meal of the week, was a new one actually. Steak. But with Gaelic Sauce. I have learned that I have been cooking steak entirely wrong forever! I’ve always put the steak in a dry pan to sear it, and it’s come out chewy and somewhat dry.

This time, I seasoned the steaks – really well – and then when I put them into the pan, I put in a little bit of butter and some oil. So now the steaks have something to hold in the juices. And it makes a fantastically crispy shell to hold in the yumminess.

The gaelic sauce was a mix of the pan juices, whiskey, and cream, and then I added in some onions and mushrooms – because onions and mushrooms taste good on steak. It simmers until it thickens, and then the sauce goes over the steak. And it tastes really good with seasoned french fries!

Thrown Together Fajitas

So all I had was steak. The question was what to do with the steak. Then I noticed I had some leftover home-made guacamole from the Super Bowl. And cheese. And only two tortillas. Logical conclusion just screams fajitas. Now how to spice my fajitas?
Worcestershire, lemon juice, lime juice, Tabasco, spicy mustard, steak sauce, garlic powder, onion powder, chili powder, paprika, dried cilantro. A little of this, a little of that, all to taste.
I chopped up the steaks, threw them in the pan with all those prior ingredients and let them simmer, turning them every so often. They shrank and turned brown. I heated up the tortillas on the gas stove, just threw them on the flame and kept moving them and flipping them. No pan needed.
Add cheese to the bottom of the tortilla, then meat, then lettuce and the guacamole. I would have posted a picture, but it didn’t look as appetizing all opened up. I’m sure that everyone knows what a rolled up tortilla looks like anyway.

Surf and Turf

shrimp cooking

This is the shrimp in process

Steak, garlic, wine, and shrimp. Mix it all together for a simple, quick and super tasty dinner! Technically, according to the recipe, I’m supposed to add vermouth instead of wine. But I used what I had on hand. What was interesting is that I’ve never actually cooked with alcohol before… so I was a little worried about burning down my kitchen. But success! The kitchen is still intact.

The basic steps to this dish are to cook the shrimp in olive oil for about 30 seconds, add in the minced garlic, and then add herbs and the wine (or vermouth!). The trick is to cook the shrimp only until they are lightly pink and a little firm. I seared some steak to go on the side – that’s the turf of the surf and turf. Voila!

And it even looks pretty!

And it even looks pretty!

Rachel Ray gave me some help with this one too, I improvised from her “Italian-Style Garlic Shrimp with Cherry Tomatoes and Thin Spaghetti” for the shrimp.

Perfect Picnic…almost.

A picnic wouldn’t be complete without the weather. Of course it had to rain on mine. The food tasted good though.

The key to a picnic is making food that is easily transportable and can sit for a little while. I made macaroni salad – which by the way mom, works well with regular macaroni too! I grilled some steak with a house blend, sliced it thin and put it on a baguette. I put some mayonnaise, spicy mustard and just a little steak sauce.  Mmmmmmm!

Greatest Marinade Ever!

The boyfriend said he wanted me to put teriyaki on steak for dinner tonight. Yeah, well, I can’t just do anything plain. So I added a little of this and a little of that, and as he said, it was “phenomenal.” It had teriyaki sauce in it! I think it ended up somewhat tasting like a finidini sauce, but with a little more tang and a slight after-kick at the end. Pair it with a baked potato and some salad, mmmm, yum!

Here’s the recipe for my Sweet and Tangy Teriyaki Marinade.