Saturday, January 7, 2012

Hoisin Beef

This recipe came from the Hilo newspaper and we've had it several times. It's yummy and quick with only a few ingredients that you will probably only have to buy once. I believe you can find everything in the Asian section of your grocery store.

Spicy Hoisin Beef with Ginger-Soy Noodles

For the noodles:
18 ounces fresh egg noodles (you can also use spaghetti but I like the squiggly quality of the fresh noodles better, they should be in the produce section near the tofu)
2 tsp sesame oil
2 tsp minced ginger
red bell pepper sliced into thin strips
3 scallions thinly sliced diagonally
3 Tbsp soy sauce

For the Beef:
3 Tbsp cornstarch
1/4 tsp five-spice powder
1 pound flank steak (or whatever kind of steak you want) cut into thin strips
1/4 c vegetable oil (I never use this much, I just eyeball what I think will look right for cooking)
1/4 c hoisin sauce
1/2 Tbsp chili-garlic sauce (The recipe calls for 2 Tbsp chili-garlic paste but I'm not totally sure what that is and when I used that much of the sauce it was way too spicy for us. You can always play with the amount to fit your family but there is some spiciness to the five-spice powder so don't overdo it.)
2 Tbsp rice wine vinegar (I use rice vinegar, I think it's the same thing)

To prepare noodles, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and cook noodles according to package directions. Drain and set aside. Return the saucepan to the stove. Add the sesame oil and heat over medium high. Add the ginger, bell pepper and scallions. Saute for 1 minute then add the noodles and soy sauce and toss well. Cover and set aside.

For the beef, mix the cornstarch and five-spice powder in a ziploc bag. Add the steak strips and toss to coat (this is my preferred method of coating meat). In a deep skillet over high, heat the oil. Saute the steak strips until crispy, browned and cooked through. Drain off any excess oil. Stir in the hoisin, chili-garlic sauce and rice vinegar.

Serve the beef over the noodles and garnish with sesame seeds if you want.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Green Beans and Spaetzle

Growing up, one thing we always had at holiday dinners was Birds Eye brand green beans and spaetzle.It may have been my favorite part of the meal, there never seemed to be enough. Sadly, they don't make it anymore so I had to find another way to have it this year for Christmas dinner. I decided to try and make it myself. It turned out pretty good so I thought I would share what I did.

I found dried spaetzle in the store so I just boiled that like pasta. In the last few minutes of boiling, I added the green beans. I think I even threw in a little bit of chopped garlic that I had left over on the cutting board. Once they were done, I mixed in butter, salt and bacon bits. I used the real bacon that comes in a pouch, not the crunchy bacon bits that go on salads. As I was thinking it through, I thought I would need to put in more of something but it turned out quite yummy. This may need to become a staple.