Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Mongolian Beef (with broccoli)

Ingredients: (I usually half all of this for just 2 of us)
For the meat:
1 lb. flank steak
1/4 C cornstarch
2 Tbsp oil
For the sauce:
2 tsp oil
1/2 tsp fresh ginger, grated finely or minced
1 Tbsp or about 2 cloves of garlic, minced or pressed
1/2 C soy sauce
1/2 C water
1/2 C brown sugar
2 Tbsp rice wine vinegar
1/2-1 tsp crushed red pepper flakes- depending on how hot you like it. You can leave it out all together to be more like broccoli beef as well.
2 green onions, sliced
2 tsp. cornstarch mixed with a little water
1-2 heads of broccoli, cut to florets - you could also just slice up an onion and stirfry it if you don't want broccoli with this.


  1. Slice the steak against the grain thinly (1/4 in. or thinner). Tilt the knife blade at a 45 degree angle if you want a wider cut. Toss the steak slices with cornstarch and let the beef sit for 10 min. This is very important. Do not skip.
  2. To make the sauce: In a small sauce pan, heat 2 tsp oil, add garkic and ginger and stirfy 10 seconds, add soy sauce and the rest of the sauce ingredients except cornstarch. Bring it to a boil and then turn down very low while you do the rest of your prep. You will add the cornstarch slurry later.
  3. Bring a pot of water to a boil. Drop the broccoli in and blanch. Meaning, right after you get it submerged in the water, dump it all out in a colander.
  4. Heat 1-2 Tbsp. oil in a wok and heat over medium high. Stirfry the broccoli for 1 min. and remove.
  5. Turn the sauce back up to a boil and add the cornstarch slurry. Stir till it thickens, take off the heat.
  6. Put a 1-2 more Tbsp oil in the wok and heat again. Cook the beef. It will cook quickly. Don't over cook it.
  7. Add back the broccoli and stir in the sauce. Serve over rice.

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Scottish Meat pies

I've been working on meat pies for a long time and this is the closest I've come in both pastry and filling to a meat pie from a Scottish festival. Adapted from this recipe.

2 1/2-3 C flour
1 C water
1/2 C lard/ shortening

Bring water and lard to a boil, pour into a metal mixing bowl. Add 2 C flour and mix with a spoon and when you have a glob, dump it onto a floured surface. It will be hot, so be cautious. Knead in about 1/2 C more flour, or until it is not sticky, but not dry.  I think I did 2 1/2 C total. Maybe a little more. Cover till ready to use so it doesn't dry out.

1 lb ground meat -- I did beef, but you could use lamb
1 tsp Worchestershire sauce
1 small onion grated or chopped finely
1 C oats (I used quick cooking oats) or bread crumbs (I may even like this better than the oats)
1/2 C beef broth
fresh grated nutmeg
Salt - depends on your taste preference
pepper (liberal)
white pepper - dash


Roll out the dough half at a time (keep other half covered). Roll it thin, but not too thin. The bigger pies don't need a paper thin crust.

I only have 4 ramekins, so I did four ramekins and the rest were smaller pies in a muffin tin.  (I think I prefer the muffin tin pies because they cook faster and cool down faster for the boys.) I cut a circle out of dough big enough to press into the ramekin, filled it with the raw meat mixture, and the cut a smaller circle for the top. I pressed the top and bottom edges together well and cut two slits in the top for steam.

Put in a cold oven and set to 350* cook for about 40-45 min.  The crust should be golden. If the bottom is not golden, cook it a little longer. You don't want under done crust.

Mexican Rice

I adapted the recipe from here.

1 can tomatoes (I had fire roasted with garlic)
1/2 onion, chopped finely
1/2 jalapeno (I used a canned rather than fresh since they seem to have more heat)
1 C long grain white rice
1-2 garlic cloves, pressed (I used 1 since the tomatoes had garlic)
1 C chicken broth
3/4 tsp salt
lime* optional
cilantro* optional


  1. Preheat oven to 350
  2. Puree tomatoes and jalapeno in blender or food processor
  3. Rinse rice under cold water in a fine mesh strainer till the water comes clean. I didn't do this and it was fine, but it does make for fluffier rice.
  4. Heat  a little oil over medium heat in and oven safe saute pan or dutch oven with a tight fitting lid. I didn't have this, so I just did it in a pot and dumped it into a 9x13 pan when I was done sauteing.
  5. Cook the onions till translucent. Add rice and garlic. Cook till rice is light golden, just a few min.
  6. Stir in pureed tomatoes and broth. 
  7. Put in the oven (either in the oven safe saute pan or 9X13 baking dish), cover tightly, and cook for about 30 min. or till tender. I checked mine around 20 min. and it seemed like it needed more water, so I added a few tablespoons.
Stir in lime juice and chopped cilantro if you so desire. I didn't, but I'm sure it would be good.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Moroccan Stew

1 pound Stew Meat or meat of your choice--or leave it out all together and go vegetarian!
3 T Olive Oil
1 T Cumin
1 T Cinnamon
1 T Coriander
1 T Paprika
1 tsp Pepper
1-3 tsp Salt 
1 bunch fresh Thyme
4 Bay Leaves
6 cloves Garlic
1 T Red Pepper Flakes or 1 to 2 tsp of Cheyenne Pepper
1 large Onion
1 bunch of Celery
2 Zucchini
1 Butternut Squash
2 large Potatoes
3 bell peppers (use different colors)
1 large can of Crushed Tomatoes
1 quart Beef Broth
1 quart Vegetable Broth
1.5 C Lentils
2 cans Garbanzo Beans 
1 large bunch of Parsley
1 small cup of Plain Greek yogurt

Chop all veggies in large pieces. Chop parsley roughly, reserve a bit for garnish. Chop thyme and garlic roughly. In a large stock pot, brown your stew meat with salt and pepper and olive oil.  Remove to another bowl. Add dry spices to pot, stir until your house smells amazing (approximately 1 minute).  Add garlic, onion and celery and cook till onions are starting to become clear.  Add the rest of the veggies, thyme (you don't need to remove it from the stem, but don't forget to fish them out later), bay leaves (fish them out later, too) and crushed tomatoes.  Cook for a few minutes.  Add broth, stew meat and lentils.  Bring to boil and allow to cook for 15 minutes or until lentils are soft.  Reduce heat to simmer.  Add beans and parsley.  Cook for 10-15 more minutes until potatoes and squash are desired softness/firmness.  :) 

Garnish with large dollop of yogurt, sprinkling of parsley and a little paprika.  Serve with warm, crusty bread.

This makes a TON of stew...  The good news is, it only gets better as it sits.