Tag Archives: stir-fry

Guest Post at Ginger Lemon Girl – Quick & Easy Gluten-Free

Carrie at Ginger Lemon Girl has been hosting a 30-day series called 30 Day Gluten Free Quick  & Easy. Each day, she has a different guest blogger share a recipe that takes less than 20 minutes to prepare and is healthy and fresh! This is definitely a series I can get into. While I love to spend my free time in the kitchen and love to cook, sometimes, there just isn’t free time! This series will definitely generate some great speedy recipes for those times. I am sharing a gluten-free egg and vegetable wrap at Ginger Lemon Girl today. Visit here to check it out, and while you’re there, browse around for other great quick & easy gluten-free recipes!

4 Comments

Filed under breakfast, Budget-Friendly, Dairy-Free, Gluten-Free, Healthy Meals, Main Dishes, Quick and Easy, Vegetarian

Shaking Beef

When my husband casually walked into the kitchen the other day, asking “What’s for dinner?”, he had such a puzzled look when I replied “Shaking Beef.” I started to explain myself, and then upon seeing him quickly lose interest, yet not gain any understanding, I stopped myself short and said “It’s a beef stir-fry.” Sometimes I need to remember that fancy names for dishes get me nowhere at home.

But in order to satisfy your curiosity, I’ll share with you. This dish is Vietnamese in origin, and gets its name not from some miraculous trembling act it does on the plate, but rather from the shaking motion you use when stir-frying the beef and onions. This particular recipe is based very closely on a recipe from Charles Phan at Slanted Door restaurant, one of the many places I MUST visit whenever I might get to San Francisco. Until then, following his recipe at home will be the closest we’ll get. Good thing it’s relatively straightforward. It was also very easy to convert to gluten-free, too – all I needed was to ensure my soy sauce and fish sauce were gluten-free. (I discovered early in my gluten-free days that Three Crabs brand is not gluten-free. Now I stick with those brands that have short ingredient lists – usually no more than fish, sugar, and salt.) The soy sauce I use is San-J Low Sodium Tamari.

So now that you know about Shaking Beef, and how easy it is, go forth and impress (or confuse) others with your dish!

Shaking Beef, adapted from Charles Phan

1 1/2 lbs beef tenderloin, cut into 1-inch cubes

5 garlic cloves, chopped

2 T agave nectar

2 t kosher salt

1 1/4 t freshly ground black pepper

5 T canola oil

1/4 c rice wine vinegar

1/4 c rice wine or white wine

3 T gluten-free soy sauce

1 T fish sauce

Juice of 1 medium lime

2 bunches watercress or 1 small head red leaf lettuce, separated into leaves

1 red onion, peeled and thinly sliced

3 scallions, trimmed and cut into 1-inch lengths

2 T unsalted butter

In large bowl, place meat, garlic, 1 tablepsoon agave nectar, 2 teaspoons salt, 1 teaspoon pepper, and 1 tablespoon oil. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 2 hours and no more than 12 hours. (I actually only marinated for an hour, and it was still quite flavorful.) Whisk together rice-wine vinegar, wine, soy sauce, fish sauce, and 1 tablespoon agave nectar and set aside. In small ramekin, whisk together lime juice, remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt, and remaining 1/4 teaspoon pepper.

Arrange watercress or lettuce on four plates.

Divide meat into 2 portions and place in two medium bowls.

In wok or large skillet over high heat, heat 2 tablespoons oil until smoking, then add one bowl of meat in one layer. Sear until brown crust forms, about 3 to 4 minutes, then flip to brown other side, another 3 to 4 minutes. Add half of red onion slices and half scallions, and sauté, stirring, until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add 1/3 cup vinegar mixture and shake pan to release beef, stirring if necessary. Add 1 tablespoon butter, shaking pan until butter melts. Remove meat, and repeat with remaining portion of meat and remaining onions, scallions, vinegar mixture, and butter.

Arrange beef on top of watercress/lettuce and serve with lime dipping sauce and a side of steamed jasmine or brown rice.

Serves 4.

11 Comments

Filed under Beef, Gluten-Free, Healthy Meals, Main Dishes, Quick and Easy

Stir-Fried Brown Rice with Sirloin and Broccoli

Some up-front honesty before we get started: I debated whether to post this. Not because it wasn’t delicious – it most certainly was. No doubt about that. I just felt that the photo doesn’t do the dish justice. This is a dish that is bursting with flavor, demanded that I take seconds, and was indeed greater than the sum of its parts. In my opinion, this photo just didn’t convey those attributes enough. Unfortunately, it was also so well-enjoyed that by the time I downloaded the photos from my camera and came upon this realization, the opportunity to retake the pictures was long gone. All that remained were a few stray rice grains in the pan. Has this ever happened to you?

After some serious consideration, I decided to go forward with it. After all, why should I make you wait until next time (and there will be a next time!)? You should be able to enjoy a dish like this today. I’m a firm believer in immediate gratification when it comes to food.

The inspiration for this recipe came from the latest edition of Food and Wine magazine, amid other healthy, delicious recipes. (Yes, Food and Wine published a lot of healthy recipes this month! I was pretty darned excited, if I do say so.) Su-Mei Yu was the creator of a delectable Stir-Fried Red Rice with Sliced Sirloin Steak and Peas dish. Unfortunately, I didn’t have red rice on hand, and I knew it would require a bit of searching to locate. While I fully intend on tracking down some red rice, just to try it out, I wanted to make this dish now. (You know, that while immediate gratification thing.) So I substituted short-grain brown rice, changed up the vegetables a bit, and basically took a large number of liberties to suit my needs. Not sure that in the end, I’m actually following the original recipe at all, but regardless, I was definitely inspired.

The verdict? As you saw in the first paragraph, this was a hit. Who says healthy has to be bland or boring? I loved the slight heat the chile oil gave, loved the brightness of the cilantro and lime, and practically licked my plate clean. Even the husband was pleasantly surprised. (He’s not much for Asian cuisine, especially when it comes to a bunch of vegetables stir-fried together.) This recipe will definitely appear on the Tasty Eats menu again in the future.

Stir-Fried Brown Rice with Sirloin and Broccoli, adapted from Su-Mei Yu – Food and Wine magazine

1 large head broccoli, cut into florets

2 T olive oil (not extra-virgin)

8 oz sirloin steak, sliced thinly into strips

Salt and pepper

½ large sweet onion, diced

1 ½ T grated fresh ginger

4 cloves garlic, minced

3 carrots, peeled and julienned

1 c frozen peas, thawed

2 c short-grain brown rice, cooked (either follow your rice cooker’s instructions, or follow Nicole’s super-cool instructions for perfect brown rice) and cooled to room temperature

2 T gluten-free soy sauce (La Choy and Tan-J sell gluten-free varieties)

1 T fish sauce

1 t sesame oil

½ t chile oil (optional – can be found in the Asian section of most supermarkets)

½ c chopped cilantro

1 lime, sliced into wedges

Fill a medium saucepan with enough water to cover the broccoli, and bring to a boil. Prepare a bowl with ice water and set aside. When water is boiling, add broccoli and submerge. Boil for 1 minute and drain, and quickly dunk broccoli into ice water to stop cooking. When cool, drain broccoli and set aside.

In a skillet or wok, heat 1 tablespoon of the oil at medium-high heat until shimmering. Add the steak strips, season with a bit of salt and pepper, and spread out into a single layer. Brown for about 1 minute. Remove and set aside.

Add the remaining tablespoon of oil to the skillet. Add the onion and sauté for about 3-4 minutes or until beginning to soften. Add the garlic, ginger, and carrots and sauté for another minute or two. Add the broccoli, peas, and rice and stir. Let sit untouched for about a minute, until you hear everything sizzle. Add the soy sauce and fish sauce and stir. Add the steak, sesame oil, and chile oil and stir again. Remove from heat and serve garnished with cilantro and lime wedges.

Serves 4.

22 Comments

Filed under Budget-Friendly, Dairy-Free, Gluten-Free, Healthy Meals, Main Dishes, Quick and Easy, Rice

Ponzu Grilled Chicken with Stir-Fried Vegetables

food-9201I feel as though I’ve been in a slump lately. A cooking “mental block”, if you will. It’s not that I haven’t been cooking. I have. It’s just that it seemed as though a lot of what I was cooking was either uninspired, boring, or otherwise just not all that wonderful. It wasn’t from lack of trying…it was just…a slump. So I was quite glad when I made this dish tonight, as I felt it was a joyous release from the previously mediocre dishes coming from the kitchen! (Okay maybe I’m dramatizing this a bit, and maybe it was just that I was craving some good ol’ Asian flavors!) But whatever the reason, this dish will definitely be one that will make the weeknight menus in the future. It was relatively fast, uncomplicated, healthy, and tasty. All good reasons to make it again in my book!

Ponzu shoyu is a Japanese citrus-based sauce. It’s basically as if you took soy sauce and married it with a few lemons. It’s nice and tangy, sweet, and salty all at the same time. It’s easy to find, just visit the Asian section of your grocery store. It makes a good substitute for soy sauce when you want some of those added tangy flavors to your dish.

Sambal oelek, or garlic chili paste, is one of my favorite condiments. We have a huge jar (Huy Fong brand) in our refrigerator. Back in the day, you would have to go to a specialty Asian grocery store to find this stuff. Now, I’m pretty sure you can find it in just about any grocery store. It’s great stuff. Spicy and full of flavor, I can’t help but use it in lots of marinades and to kick my stir-fry up a notch after it’s been served on my plate.

Anyway, on to the recipe. I served this with brown rice to round out the meal. You can use any steamed rice or even noodles. And as for the vegetables, feel free to substitute or add any additional vegetables you might like in your stir fry. Peas, mushrooms, onions, or even some red pepper would all taste great. Also, I think next time I marinate the chicken, I might add a bit of sweetness to the marinade, maybe a teaspoon of agave nectar or a bit of brown sugar. We’ll just have to see how that turns out!

For the chicken:

4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves

1/3 c bottled ponzu sauce

½ c peanut oil

1 T sambal oelek

 

For the sauce:

2 T ponzu sauce

2 ½ T rice wine vinegar

1 T agave nectar or honey

1 t fish sauce

2 t cornstarch

 

2 carrots, peeled and sliced about ¼ inch thick

1 large head of broccoli or two small heads, cut into florets

 

1 T peanut oil

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 t minced ginger

1 small thai pepper, seeded and minced

2 T mirin or sake

1 t sesame oil

 

Accompaniment: Steamed brown rice

 

Put the chicken, ponzu sauce, peanut oil, and sambal oelek in a Ziploc bag and allow to marinate 4 hours or overnight.

 

Place the sauce ingredients together in a small bowl and whisk to incorporate. Set aside.

 

Blanch the vegetables: Prepare a large bowl with ice water. Set aside. Fill a saucepan large enough to hold the carrots and broccoli with water. Bring water to a boil and add carrots, then broccoli. Allow to boil for 2 minutes, and immediately drain vegetables and place them in the ice water bath. This will allow the vegetables to stop cooking. Once the vegetables are cooled, drain them from the ice water.

 

Heat a grill to medium-high heat. Remove the chicken breasts from the marinade and discard marinade. Grill chicken breasts, about 4-5 minutes per side or until cooked through.

 

Heat a wok or deep skillet to medium-high heat. Add peanut oil and swirl to coat. Add garlic, ginger, and thai pepper, and stir-fry for a minute. Add mirin and stir for about 30 seconds. Add vegetables and cook, stirring, for another minute. Add sauce and stir. Cook until sauce thickens and vegetables are tender (but not mushy!), another 3-4 minutes. Stir in sesame oil.

 

Serve chicken breasts, sliced, on top of steamed brown rice and vegetables.

Leave a comment

Filed under Chicken, Turkey, and other Poultry, Dairy-Free, Healthy Meals, Main Dishes, Quick and Easy

Caramelized Black Pepper Chicken

caramelized black pepper chickenSo I am kinda on an Asian food kick. Ok, that’s an understatement…if left to my own devices, I would be experiementing in the kitchen with Asian food every single day! I adapted this recipe from a recipe I found in Food and Wine magazine. It has Vietnamese flavors, and has a yummy balance of sweet, spicy, salty that is pretty addictive! I served it with steamed jasmine rice and some sauteed spinach with garlic, ginger, and a dash of sesame oil.

½ c dark brown sugar

3 T Asian Fish Sauce

¼ c water

3 T rice vinegar

1 t minced garlic

T 1 finely grated fresh ginger

1 t coarsely ground pepper

2 fresh Thai chiles, halved

1 T peanut oil

1 shallot, thinly sliced

1 lb skinless, boneless chicken thighs, cut into 1-inch pieces

4 cilantro sprigs

 

  1. In a small bowl, combine the brown sugar, fish sauce, water, rice vinegar and half of the ginger.
  2. Heat the oil in a large, deep skillet. Add the shallot, ginger, and chiles and cook over moderate heat until softened, about 4 minutes. Add the chicken and cook for 3-4 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the fish sauce mixture to the chicken and simmer over high heat until the chicken is cooked through, about 10 minutes. Transfer to a bowl and garnish with the cilantro.

Leave a comment

Filed under Budget-Friendly, Chicken, Turkey, and other Poultry, Gluten-Free, Main Dishes, Quick and Easy

Thai Curry Chicken Stir-fry

Here I am again, experimenting with asian food. This is not an authentic Thai recipe, but the flavors used are common in a lot of Thai cooking. Don’t be overwhelmed by the long list of ingredients, once you get started, everything cooks fairly quickly.  Once served, Sriracha (an asian hot chili sauce) is a great condiment if you like extra heat.

2 c chicken broth

1 T coarsely chopped cilantro stems

1 garlic clove, crushed

1 T minced ginger

2-3 star anise

 

1 jasmine rice

1 ½ c water

½ t salt

 

1 lb boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into thin slices

1 t thai red curry paste (you can find this in the asian section of many supermarkets)

1 T peanut oil

1 T minced shallots

1 T minced garlic (1-2 cloves)

1 T minced ginger

3-4 thai bird chiles or 1 serrano chile, minced

4-5 shitake mushrooms, sliced

4 heads baby bok choy, chopped

1 t cornstarch

1 t soy sauce

1 T fish sauce

½ t brown sugar

1 lime

½ c chopped cilantro

6-8 basil leaves, chopped (preferably thai basil)

 

In a small saucepan, heat broth, cilantro stems, garlic, ginger, and star anise to boil, reduce to simmer. Let simmer 15-20 minutes, and strain using a fine-meshed sieve. Keep warm.

 

Heat water and salt in a medium saucepan to boiling, add rice. Stir, reduce heat to low and cover, cook for 15 minutes.

 

Mix thai red curry paste with chicken, set aside.

 

Heat a large skillet or wok to medium high heat. Add peanut oil, heat until shimmering. Add shallot, garlic, ginger, and thai chiles to skillet, cook for 2-3 minutes or until beginning to color and soften. Add chicken, and cook until chicken is just opaque, 3-4 minutes more. Add mushrooms and bok choy, stir to ensure even cooking. Cook for 3-4 minutes or until vegetables begin to soften. In a small bowl, whisk 1 c chicken broth with cornstarch. Add chicken broth mixture, soy sauce, fish sauce, and brown sugar to skillet and stir. Turn temperature to low, and cook for 1-2 minutes or until sauce begins to thicken. Adjust seasonings to taste, adding chicken broth if sauce is too thick. Squeeze lime juice into sauce.

 

Serve rice with stir-fry, and sprinkle cilantro and basil on top.

Serves 4.

2 Comments

Filed under Chicken, Turkey, and other Poultry, Main Dishes, Rice