Sunday, July 29, 2012

Vietnamese Shaking Beef

Bo luc lac, or shaking beef, is a yummy and simple Vietnamese dish. Cubes of marinated steak are shaken while cooked, which is where the name comes from. It's served on a bed of watercress, tomatoes, and pickled red onions with a sour vinaigrette. The recipe I used here is adapted from The Ravenous Couple food blog: http://www.theravenouscouple.com/2009/08/bo-luc-lac-vietnamese-shaking-beef.html

Ingredients:
Beef Marinade
1.5 lbs beef sirloin cut into 1″ cubes
1 tbs minced garlic
1.5 tbs sugar
2 tbs oyster sauce
1 tbs fish sauce
1 tbs sesame oil
1 tsp soy sauce

Vinaigrette
1/2 cup rice vinegar
1.5 tbs sugar
1/2 tbs salt

Dipping Sauce
Juice of 1 lime
1/2 ts kosher salt
1/2 ts fresh cracked pepper

1 red onion, thinly sliced
2 bunches of watercress, long stems trimmed
2 tomatoes, thinly sliced

Cooking oil for frying

Directions:
Prepare marinade by combining garlic, oyster sauce, sugar, fish sauce, thick soy sauce and sesame oil with the beef for at least half an hour, preferably 1-2 hrs.
Prepare vinaigrette by mixing rice vinegar with salt and sugar. It should be a balance of sour, salty and sweet.

Thinly slice the red onion and use about 3-4 tbs of the vinaigrette to pickle and set aside covered in fridge for about 10 minutes. Prepare bed of watercress and tomatoes in a serving platter and set aside.

Heat a large wok or pan over high heat. Add about 2 tbs cooking oil and when it begins to smoke, add an even layer of beef and allow to sear for about 2 minutes, before “shaking” to sear the opposite sides for about another 1-2 minute more to brown all the sides. Do not overcook! The goal is medium-rare. If overcooked, the meat will be tough and not very good. Do this in batches to cook all the beef if necessary.

Transfer beef to bed of watercress and tomatoes. Drizzle another 3-4 tbs of vinaigrette over the beef and greens and top with pickled red onions. Lastly, squeeze lime juice over salt and pepper in a small ramekin.

Serve with rice and enjoy!

Salami and Pepper Pizzas

This month's Real Simple magazine had a spread on 20 minute dinners and since I'm pretty busy with work, I thought I'd try some of the recipes out. This one was really yummy and super quick and simple!

Ingredients:
2 tbs olive oil
4 5-to-7- inch flat breads, naan bread or pocketless pittas (I used naan)
1/2 c marinara sauce
8 oz fresh mozzarella, sliced
2 oz sliced salami, cut into bite-size pieces
1 lg bell pepper, thinly sliced
1 cup baby arugula

-Heat oven to 450*F. Brush 2 rimmed baking sheets with oil and place 2 flat breads on each. Dividing evenly, top with marina sauce, mozzarella, salami, and bell pepper. Season with 1/4 tap each salt and pepper
-Bake the pizzas, rotating the sheets halfway through, until the cheese is melted and the flat breads are golden, 8-10 min. Top with arugula.

Monday, July 2, 2012

La Madeline's Tomato Basil Soup

The chain French restaurant La Madeline has a delicious tomato basil soup. It's just pure yummy. I have a recipe that came from a cookbook my friend's parents put together. They got the recipe when it was printed in the Houston newspaper and it is delicious! Plus it's super easy! Made it tonight. It's great with a nice crusty bread.

Ingredients:
-Tomatoes, 4 cups (8-10), peeled, cored, and chopped [or 4 cups canned whole tomatoes]
-Tomato juice, 4 cups [or a mixture of tomato juice and vegetable or chicken broth]
-basil leaves, 12-14, + additional for garnish
-whipping cream, 1 cup
-unsalted butter, 1/4 cup
-cracked black pepper, 1/4 tsp
-salt and pepper to taste

1. Simmer tomatoes and juice over medium low heat for 30 minutes
2. Cool slightly, then add basil and purée in a food processor or blender
3. Return to sauce pan. Add cream and butter
4. Stir over low heat until they are blended well
5. Add salt and pepper
6. Serve garnished with basil (optional) [bread goes nicely]