food amongst family and friends

Favourite beef stirfry February 23, 2012

Filed under: Beef,Mains,Make Ahead,Quick and easy — blisteringlydrunk @ 2:09 pm
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This almost seems like a cop out post as I’m sure everyone has this recipe, or some version of it, kicking around their kitchens, but I decided I had to post it after we had it last week for the first time in a while and we all remembered how much we love it. It’s simple, easy, fast and can be adapted to suit whatever veggies you have around. Plus, when trying to save on money or cut back on meat or lose weight, I have often cut the amount of meat and doubled the veggies with fantastic results. Below is how I made it this time, and while I consider the brocoli a must, I have often used canned baby corns, sweet peppers, cauliflower, snap peas, rapini, parsnips and any other vegetable I happen to have in my fridge when I go to make this, so be creative. Oh, and this recipe comes from my mom, we ate it countless times growing up and I’m still not tired of it, though she often served hers on spaghettini and I usually serve it on brown rice – I recently acquired some lovely sprouted brown rice that I have been serving with everything, so that is what is pictured here. Also, I have often sliced the meat and frozen it in the marinade for easy weeknight dinner prep.

1 flank steak, sliced thinly across the grain (about 1 1/2 pounds, but less is more than fine; this was a very meaty stir fry. Also, using a different cut of meat is okay too, as long as it’s not too fatty, the key is just in slicing it as thin as you can, so make sure your knife is sharp and your meat is cold – half frozen even)

1/2 cup orange juice

1/4 cup soy sauce

2 cloves garlic finely chopped

1 inch ginger, peeled and finely chopped or grated

1 tsp sambal oelek – optional, for those who don’t like heat

Stir together orange juice through sambal oelek and add the meat. Allow to marinate for at least an hour, but up to overnight. This is also where I would freeze it, if you are so inclined.

1-2 tsp olive oil

1 large onion, red or white, halved and sliced

1 head brocoli, trimmed to florets (2-3 cups)

4-5 medium carrots, sliced on the diagonal

12-15 mushrooms, quartered

1 Tbsp corn starch

Heat a large (and I mean large) skillet over medium high heat. Drain the meat by pressing through a strainer to get out as much marinade as possible, making sure to reserve the marinade. Add oil, and then meat and onions to preheated skillet and stir fry quickly to brown.

Meanwhile, add cornstarch to reserved marinade and set aside. Lightly steam the broccoli either in the microwave or in an inch of water in a small saucepan.

Remove browned beef from skillet to a plate, adding any juices to the reserved marinade. Add carrots and mushrooms to the skillet, sauteeing for 10 minutes or so, until the carrots are browned, but still crisp. Drain the broccoli, then add, along with beef, onions and marinade to the skillet. Stir constantly until marinade is thickened, translucent and coating everything. Serve immediately.

Serves 4-6 adults.








Some sort of salad-like avocado salsa February 22, 2012

Filed under: Appetizers,Make Ahead,Salads,Sides,Vegetarian — blisteringlydrunk @ 9:59 pm
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This is the salsa you want to make with Ky’s chipotle chicken, beans and rice. It has a nice variety of veggies and greens so that you can use it to round out the meal – I skipped a side veggie altogether and I didn’t feel like I was short on veg.

This recipe is really meant to accompany Ky’s rice dish, but you could easily turn it into a dipping salsa by increasing the amount of avocado (about 4 total) and reducing the amount of all the other veggies (keep the lime juice and seasonings the same).

1 1/2 avocados, cubed
1 red or orange pepper, finely chopped
1/4 red onion, finely chopped
8-10 grape tomatoes, quartered
4 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 green chili, minced
1/2 bunch fresh cilantro, roughly chopped
1 – 2 limes, juiced
1/2 t ground cumin
course salt and fresh ground pepper to taste

Throw the avocado through cilantro into a medium bowl, then squeeze in the juice of 1 lime and toss. Add the cumin, salt and pepper, then taste. Add more lime juice and seasoning as needed. If your limes are on the dry side, you might need 2 whole limes. I usually go to town with the salt and pepper, so don’t be shy, but taste and add more as you go so that you don’t over-salt. You can reduce the amount of chili to keep things mild, but I find that even the tiniest bit really adds to the flavour.




Easy weeknight chipotle chicken, rice, and beans February 9, 2012

Filed under: Chicken,Mains,Quick and easy — blisteringlydrunk @ 1:11 pm
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You know how by midwinter you just don’t want to do anything? You don’t want to cook, you don’t want to clean, you don’t want to force yourself to exercise, again, in the effort to find your motivation for life, you just kind of want to sit on the couch, read an addictive, yet somewhat brainless  novel and eat really good chocolate. Or is that just me? Either way, this time of year, recipes like this are a godsend for me; 30 minutes to the table, including the time it took me to throw a taco salad together for a side, plus everyone liked it (which almost never happens in my house – my oldest daughter has started complaining as soon as I start making dinner now). I tore this out of a magazine ages ago (I think Canadian Living) and I can’t believe it’s taken me so long to put it into service. This will be made again soon, I think next time topped with a salad-like avacado salsa (beg Katie for the recipe, she’s the queen of salsas) and a gob of yogurt (or sour cream) with a couple of tortilla chips on the side. For those who like things hot, I would double (maybe triple) the chipotle peppers.

1 lb boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cubed

1 tsp chili powder

salt and pepper

1 Tbsp oil

1 onion, diced

3 cloves garlic, finely chopped

1 cup rice (I used white basmati, but next time I’m going to try some sprouted brown rice)

1 chipotle chili in adobo sauce, seeded and chopped

2 cups water

1 bouillion cube (I used veggie, but chicken would work, as would broth)

1 19 oz can black beans, rinsed and drained

1. Toss the chicken with half the chili powder and some salt and pepper. Heat a medium/big pot (or dutch oven) over medium high heat, then add half the oil. When it starts to shine, add the chicken and allow it to brown on all sides. Remove chicken to a bowl. Set aside.

2. Add the remaining oil, lower the heat to medium, and cook the onion, garlic, remaining chili powder and some more salt and pepper until the onions are softened, scraping up the browned bits as you go.

3. Stir in the rice and chipotle and cook for about 2 minutes, or until the rice starts to look translucent. Add the water and bouillion cube, stirring to combine; bring to a boil.

4. Reduce the heat to medium low, cover and simmer for 10 minutes. Add the chicken and beans, stir well, then cover and cook for another 10- 15 minutes, or until the liquid is all absorbed and the chicken is cooked through.