Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Spicy Saucy Beef

Take-out Chinese food is one of those things that you really shouldn't eat, but that almost everyone loves. LSH and I are no exceptions. I make a lot of homemade stir fry, but that just isn't the same as take-out Chinese. There is something about those thick, rich sauces that makes American Chinese food so awesome. This beef recipe from Meseidy at The Noshery has that amazing sauce. The first time LSH and I had this beef our mouths just watered. It's rich, it's thick, it's savory, it's spicy, it's yummy! If you are a fan of take-out Chinese recipes, especially those with beef, you should probably try this.
The original recipe recommends frying the beef up with some corn starch, but I don't think that is necessary. I just cook it up as is. Also, the veggies in this can change. Again, the original called for green beans, but you can use whatever. LSH and I tried green beans once and it was OK but the last time I made this I used green bell pepper and carrot and it was delicious. 

Time: 20-30 minutes
12 ounces flank steak (or whatever cut of meat you want, I use whatever is on sale), thinly sliced
4 Tbsp soy sauce
1 Tbsp rice vinegar
1/2 Tbsp rice wine or white wine
1 1/2 Tbsp honey
7 Tbsp brown sugar (amazing!)
1/2 Tbsp chile paste (I used Siracha)
1/4 cup water
1/2 Tbsp powdered ginger
1/4 tsp crushed red pepper
1 Tbsp sesame oil
2 cloves minced garlic
1/4 cup sliced onion
1/2 cup fresh green beans, or bell pepper, or carrot, chopped

Toss the pieces of meat with a little salt and pepper and heat a bit of oil in a pan over medium heat. Throw the meat in the pan and cook it until it has reached your desired doneness. Set the meat aside.

Now you get to whip up the delicious sauce. Mix together the soy sauce, rice vinegar, wine, and honey. Add in the brown sugar, chile paste, water, ginger, and crushed red pepper. Stir it well and set it aside.

This is what makes this dish yummy!

 In a deep skillet, or wok if you have one, heat the sesame oil over medium-high heat and saute the onion, garlic, and veggies until slightly tender.

Nom nom stir-fried veggies!

Stir the sauce mixture to make sure the sugar is mixed in and pour it on top of the veggies.

Let the sauce heat until bubbly and toss in the meat.

Let all those delicious flavors come together...

Mix up everything and let it head for another 5 minutes or until it has reached desired thickness.

Look at it bubble!
If you want it to thicken up a bit more, you can add in a dash of corn starch.

Serve this amazingness on top of some hot rice and enjoy!

Original post at http://thenoshery.com/2009/03/23/spicy-crispy-beef/

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Fake Chicken Vindaloo

I don't claim to be a food expert at all, but I know what tastes good to me and what doesn't. For those of you who are experts, good for you and don't chastise this Vindaloo recipe. I did say it was fake. For those of you who have no idea what Vindaloo is...awesome! I know you won't judge me. Regardless of how accurate this recipe is, it's tasty if you are looking for something rich and curryish. This recipes comes from The Food in my Beard and is meant to be eaten in arepas. However, LSH and I decided to eat it over rice. Eat it however you want. This Vindaloo comes together pretty quickly and can be easily adapted. The measurements I will put for this recipe are approximate. I'm pretty sure I ended up adding way more curry powder and some other assorted spices. I also added potatoes. I made this own a while ago and we decided that potatoes would make it even better and they sure did. Play with it and make it your own!

Time: 30-45 minutes
2 sliced onions
2 1/2 Tbsp curry powder
3-5 chiles, depending on what heat you want, sliced (I used whatever was frozen in my freezer..I think jalapenos and Thai chiles were involved...)
Ginger (the original post recommends fresh, but I used powdered) - use however much you are comfortable with
5 cloves of minced garlic
4 chicken breasts
2 cups chicken broth (or enough to cover the chicken breasts in a pan)
1-2 potatoes diced
Hot cooked rice

Start with a deep skillet with a bit of olive oil over medium heat. Toss in the onions and soften them. As delicious as caramelized onions are, don't let them get to this point. Add in the curry powder, chiles, ginger, and garlic. Cook for 2-3 minutes until everything is softened and mixed. Throw the whole mixture in a food processor or blender and transform it into a paste. It's ok if there are still some chunks. It's up to personal preference. At this point you can try it and see if it needs more of something.

Sear both sides of the chicken breasts in the skillet. Add in the paste and cook for about 2 minutes still over medium heat. Pour in the chicken broth until the chicken is covered. You might use all of the 2 cups, you might need more, you might need less. Just cover those breasts... Stir it all around until the sauce smoothens out.

Add in the potatoes and simmer the lovely mixture until the chicken is completely cooked through and the taters are soft.

Add this point you can do what you want with the chicken. I took it out, shredded it, and then tossed it back into the sauce and we ate it over rice. Deliciousness...

Original post at http://www.thefoodinmybeard.com/2011/01/chicken-vindaloo-arepa.html

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

One of My Favorite Pizza Doughs

I am a pizza-lover. I could probably eat pizza of some sort everyday. Crust pizza, tortilla pizza, greasy take-out pizza, french bread pizza, English muffin pizza, dessert pizza, fruit pizza, etc. I think you get the point. LSH and I have some kind of pizza at least once per week. Eating that much take-out pizza can get old and expensive and some times you need more than a tortilla pizza. My minor obsession with making homemade pizza started when my brother gave me a cast iron pizza stone, yeast, an uber ulu, and a couple recipes for trustworthy pizza dough. Since then I have tried at least 6 different pizza dough recipes with intent to try even more. This herby dough, from MommieCooks, has become a favorite of mine. The best thing about this dough is that it only requires a short rest and comes together very quickly. Dough that rests all day or overnight typically has a better texture, but this is great when you decide at 5:00 pm that pizza sounds good for dinner. The dough makes a decent size crust if rolled out at normal thickness or two good size pizzas if rolled out nice and thin.

Time: 60 minutes
1 cup warm water
1 pkg yeast or 2 1/4 tsp (I use active dry yeast)
1 Tbsp sugar
3 Tbsp olive oil
1 tsp salt
3 cloves minced garlic
1 tsp basil
1/2 tsp onion powder
2 1/2 cups flour

Preheat your oven to 425 and if you have a pizza stone, throw it in as well.

Dissolve the sugar in the warm water and mix in the yeast. Let this sit for about 10-15 minutes. This is to wake up the yeast. I don't think I would wake up very happy if I was swimming in water but I guess this is what they like.

Add in the oil, salt, garlic, basil, and onion powder.

Add in the flour in portions. You can mix this in a stand mixer with a dough hook, but it also comes together well with a wooden spoon and a bit of hand kneading. When I've had a stressful day at work I like recipes that require kneading. Good stress relief.

Once the flour is all mixed in, let the dough rest for about 10 minutes.

I roll out the dough on parchment paper sprinkled with corn meal. The corn meal is optional, but I kind of like the addition. Roll the dough out to your desired thickness. Before putting it in the oven stab the crust all over with a fork. This is also great stress relief. Another optional step is drizzling the crust with olive oil. I'm a big fan of olive oil and use it pretty frequently. Once you have done all this, stick the crust in the oven. To get the crust to the oven, I slide the parchment onto a cookie sheet to transfer it to the stone in the oven. I gently slide the parchment from the sheet to the oven. So far I have never dropped it!


After! Notice the slightly browned edges.

Let it pre-bake for 7-10 minutes or until it starts to get golden. Slide the paper out again and top it with your favorite toppings. LSH is a pepperoni and green pepper fan and I like the addition of mushrooms. Also, if you have never tried caramelized onions on pizza, you should try it. Turkey pepperoni is also a good alternative to the regular stuff if you are looking to good down some calories.

The topped pizza goes back in the oven for another 7-10 minutes (do you see a pattern here) or until it has reached desired bubbly crispyness.

There will definitely be another pizza dough recipe on here in the future, but this is a good standby!

Original post at http://www.mommiecooks.com/2010/06/07/perfect-pizza-crust/

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Comfort Food: Chicken Noodle Soup Casserole

Some days you just need a high-calorie, dense, creamy comfort food. This is one of those foods. LSH and I were in the mood for some warm edible comfort so I thought I would give this recipe a try. I came across a couple recipes for this type of dish, but the base that I used was from Bobby at blogchef. It seemed like it would provide the highest calorie of comfort with the most substance so we gave it a shot and altered it a little bit. So if you are in the mood for something easy and comforting, give it a try!

Time: 40-60 min
2-4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
6 ounces egg noodles (it's about half of a big bag of noodles)
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 can cream of chicken soup (You can always use 2 cans of this instead of 1 of each. LSH hates mushrooms so that's what we did.)
1 cup sour cream
1-2 cup carrots, chopped
salt and pepper
1/2 tsp turmeric (optional)
1-2 cups shredded colby jack cheese
1 cup crushed buttery crackers (like Ritz)
1/4 cup butter

If you do not have pre-cooked chicken, you can season the breasts with salt and pepper and throw them in a skillet with a bit of oil on medium heat. Flip the breasts once until they are fully cooked. Cut the chicken into small pieces or shred it. I think we did cubes more or less.

Preheat oven to 350.

 Cook the egg noodles according to the package. Drain them when they are done.

While the noodles cook, saute the carrots with a bit of oil in a skillet over medium heat. The goal is to tenderize them a bit. We didn't do this but it is a good idea to.

Once noodles are cooked and carrots are sauteed, mix together the two cans of creamed soup and cup of sour cream in a large bowl. Season the mixture with salt and pepper and turmeric if you want and any other desired seasonings. Toss in the carrots and the noodles and mix it up. Finally, toss in the chicken. At this point, you should have a large bowl of creamy deliciousness.

Lightly grease an 8x8 pan and dump the whole mixture in.

Melt the butter and stir in the crackers. These tasty little crumbles get put on top of the casserole with the desired amount of cheese. The crackers add an amazing salty, crunchiness.

Stick it all in the oven and cook for 30-35 minutes or until the casserole is cooked through and the topping is browned.

Let it cool a little bit then serve a big gloppy spoonful and relish in the comfort. :D
The original recipe says this serves 4, but that seemed ridiculous to LSH and I. We think it serves 5-6 people.

Original post at http://blogchef.net/chicken-noodle-casserole-recipe/