Saturday, June 21, 2008

Want good birth control?..... babysit.

I just have to give props to Mike and Alta.... you two are AMAZING!!! okay not only did they just run their butts off all night as part of a hundred mile race... but they are parents to three pretty spectacular, albeit tiring, children.  Ralph and I babysat for just a mere 24 hours well lets be precise more like 30 hours, and I am exhausted! as you can see in my picture I am pretty tired.  okay okay its not me but thats how I feel!  We love charlie, lizzie, and elliot, they are awesome kids and it was such a good learning experience but please god.... do not send us three all at once. 

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Accidental Beef

Well it has been a while since I last posted a recipe, and I think it is about time for a new one.  I have found that I end up making my old recipes better when I accidentally add too much of something.  Well that is exactly what happened today.  Jenny told me she wanted to have some Mongolian beef for dinner tonight.  I have absolutely no idea how to make Mongolian beef and so I decided to make a variation of sesame beef that I had made for her previously.  Really she doesn't even know the difference so I could have told her it was Mongolian beef in the first place but that is not really relevant so, ... 
2 Tbls peanut oil
for meat
1.5 - 2.0 lbs of your favorite stir fry meat
1/5 cup corn starch
for rice
3 cups rice (uncooked)
4 cups 
for sauce
1/2 cup soy sauce
2/3 cup brown sugar
1.5 Tbls corn starch
2 tsp sriracha hot chili sauce
2 tsp hoisin sauce
1 Tbls sesame oil
First, put the rice in a rice cooker and get it going.  I prefer this ratio because the rice still has some substance. When it is done, you don't need to take the lid off, or anything, just let it sit.
Find a cut of meat that you enjoy.  As I said in the last recipe, don't scrimp on the ingredients.  Crappy ingredients mean crappy dishes.  I used some trimmed beef tenderloin, aka fillet Mignon.  Next, cut the meat so that your pieces are about 1 inch by 1.5 to 2 inches.  And make them about 1/4 inch think.  Remember to pay attention to the direction of the muscle fibers or you will have some tough meat.  The fibers should be 1/4 inch long.  Then put the meat in a bowl and coat with the corn starch and let sit for about 10 min.
For the sauce, I find that it is easier to combine the corn starch and soy sauce first and then add everything else.  Whisk it together and all that is left it to cook it. But not yet. 
Get a frying pan that is at least 8 or 9 inches on the bottom.  Heat it up, I cooked at med-hi  and add one Tbls of the peanut oil.  Carefully place the meat on the bottom of the pan so that it is flat and the largest amount of surface area is down.  When you have laid about 10 pieces, you will need to start turning them over.  DO NOT LET THEM OVER COOK.  To quote Simply Ming, "there is nothing worse than over cooked beef. " You will want them to be tender. Beef should have at least a shadow of red in the meat.  Continue until all of the meat has been seared,  adding more oil when necessary and removing the cooked pieces when they are ready.  Then, when all meat has been removed, pour in the sauce.  It will start to bubble and rise up the side of the pan, just remove it from the heat for a couple of seconds and it will go back down.  Stir it so that it doesn't burn and when it is the consistency you like, I like it a little bit sticky, pour off about 1/3 of a cup into the bowl with the meat. Stir the rice in to the rest of the sauce over the heat.  This is where a bigger pan is helpful.  After about a minute, remove it from the heat and put the rice in a bowl and place some meat on top with some of the extra sauce.  
I accidentally added the originally needed 1/4 cup of sugar and thus needed to add more soy sauce and more cornstarch.  The soy sauce and the brown sugar are supposed to be equal parts but I didn't want that much sauce so I didn't add that much more.  But this is way better than the previous recipe so. Enjoy.