Beef and Chorizo Chili

Now that football season is well underway and the weather, in some parts of the country anyway, is cooling down, chili season is in full swing!

The recipe I’m sharing with you today is one I created for a Chili Cook Off in the summer. I actually took the time to think about what I wanted to do. I even did a dry run before the event at my husband’s office! We invited a friend over to help be another set of taste buds, too.

My beef and chorizo chili was a huge hit! There weren’t even leftovers. It was determined that I didn’t need to make any changes. (And we definitely didn’t need the back up plan of “order a pizza.”)

Unfortunately round one of my chili was better than the round that went into the competition. Though, my husband takes full blame for not setting the slow cooker on high to warm the chili through before people would be digging into it. I didn’t bring home a victory like my last chili cook-off experience, but even still, there weren’t any leftovers.

I will definitely make this chili again, and happily serve it to guests. Some mini cornbread muffins are a perfect accompaniment to the subtle smokey chili.

Let me know what you think of my original creation!

An Original Recipe

Beef and Chorizo Chili

Ingredients:

  • 3 links chorizo sausage, casings removed
  • 1 lb top round roast, cubed
  • 1/2 large sweet onion, diced
  • 1/2 large red bell pepper, diced
  • 1 Santa Fe pepper, deseeded and diced
  • 2 tsp minced garlic
  • 1 can (28 oz) crushed tomatoes
  • 2 cans (15 oz) black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 C beef stock
  • 2 cans (4 oz) diced green chiles
  • 1 tsp chipotle in adobo sauce
  • 1 tbsp chili powder
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • scallions, chopped for serving
  • shredded cheese, for serving

Steps:

  1.  Brown chorizo in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat, breaking up as it cooks. Remove with a slotted spoon to a paper towel lined plate.
  2. Season the beef with S+P. Sear on all sides in the chorizo fat. Remove with a slotted spoon and set aside on the plate with the chorizo.
  3. If needed, add a couple of teaspoons of oil to the Dutch oven. Saute the onion, peppers, and garlic until tender. Season with salt.
  4. Add the beans, tomatoes, broth, green chiles, chili powder, cumin, oregano, 1 tsp salt, and 1/4 tsp black pepper.
  5. Return the chorizo and beef to the chili and bring to a gentle boil. Simmer uncovered 50-60 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  6. Garnish with scallions and shredded cheese. Serve with cornbread.

beef-and-chorizo-chili-sew-you-think-you-can-cook

Dominican Chimichurri Burgers

Did you enjoy watching the Olympics earlier this month?

I’m sorry to say that I wasn’t able to watch as much of the competition as I’d have liked. Being on the West Coast [for the first time] made watching Prime Time a little difficult as I saw everything on social media posted by my friends and family and NBC in the afternoon before it was finally broadcast out here.

And to add insult to injury, Prime Time happens to be bed time for my boys. I’d hit “record” on the DVR but by the time I sat back in front of the TV I was definitely falling asleep.

What does any of this have to do with the recipe I’m blogging about today?

For the Opening Ceremonies we were invited to an Olympics party. Everyone was to bring a dish representing a different country; the hosts were taking care of America.

I took on both the Dominican Republic and Poland – taking the opportunity to delve into my family’s heritage. (My dad is Dominican and my mom Polish.)

Unfortunately we had to back out the day of the event due to the hectic-ness that had been my husband’s work that week. I’d even had to take two attempts at my Polish dish (which I’ll share during the holidays)!

The dish representing the DR: Chimichurri Burgers! My dad thought I was insane when I told him what I was making. “The DR is not known for their burgers.” A Google search tends to disagree. The “chimi” is quite a popular street food burger.

The chimi, as it’s known, is also now quite popular in my house! As I do with all burgers now, 1/4 of the mixture was formed into meatballs for the boys. The remaining three patties were were devoured! Yes, I had a burger and a half myself. Yes, I want more.

Dominican Chimichurri Burgers

Ingredients for burgers:

  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 3 1/2 tbsp soy sauce, divided use
  • 2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 3 tsp garlic powder, divided use
  • 2 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp Kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 3 C sliced cabbage
  • 1 tomato, thickly sliced
  • sliced red onion
  • 4 hamburger buns, toasted
  • 1/4 C ketchup
  • 1/4 C mayonnaise

Steps:

  1. In a large bowl, mix ground beef, 1 1/2 tbsp soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce, 1 tsp garlic powder, onion powder, salt and pepper. Divide mixture into 4 patties.
  2. Grill burgers 4 minutes on each side, or to desired doneness.
  3. Heat in a large skillet over medium heat. Saute the cabbage with remaining soy sauce and garlic powder until tender, about 5 minutes. Remove from skillet and set aside.
  4. Add olive oil to the same skillet and sear tomato slices and onion slices for a minute on each side.
  5. In a small bowl, whisk together the ketchup and mayonnaise with a dash of soy sauce.
  6. Assemble burgers: Spread some of the ketchup mixture on the bottom hamburger buns. Top with a burger patty, tomato, onion, cabbage, and more ketchup mixture.

*This recipe is adapted from Erin at http://thecrumbycupcake.com/dominican-chimichurri-burger/*

"The Chimi" is a popular burger from the Dominican Republic, flavored with soy and Worcestershire, topped with sauteed cabbage, onion, and tomato. | Sew You Think You Can Cook | http://sewyouthinkyoucancook.com

Cherry Cabernet Cheeseburgers

I don’t know what I was thinking trying to make this gourmet burger on a weeknight. But I was determined to make and eat these burgers with our handpicked cherries.

Wednesday was going to be the day I upped our weeknight dinner game with these burgers. As if the children knew it, they simultaneously took a two hour nap. I took full advantage and made the cherry chutney and the caramelized onions. While washing the never ending supply of dirty dishes.

An hour or so before I wanted to have dinner served I started working on the wine reduction for the burger patties. And cooked the bacon. At that point all cooperation was out the window. Treat has taken to being intensely clingy and fussy around 5 o’clock making it difficult to do anything that can’t be done with one hand. Good thing pouring wine in a saucepan over a flame doesn’t require much skill. I kept a watchful eye on the wine but it went from “not quite” to “burnt and sticky” in the blink of peeling an orange.

I had to step away from the stove to recollect myself, wipe Firecracker’s sticky orange hands, and change a couple of diapers. It was now too late to get dinner on the table in time to ensure the new earlier bedtime for the boys. So, we ordered pizza. I would try again tomorrow.

Thursday rolls around and I thought I’d be able to make the reduction and form the burger patties during nap time. Too bad nap time didn’t happen! After fighting with them for an hour I gave up. Very surprisingly Firecracker took his grounding from the TV the rest of the day quite well and pulled every single toy out of his cabinet. Around 4:30 Treat caved in and took an hour nap. During that nap I strapped Firecracker into his seat at the table with some crackers and his laptop. Mission accomplished! image3

The resulting burger was worth the two day wait! That cherry chutney provides the perfect sweetness to a well balanced burger. And I’ll eat almost anything with caramelized onions on top of it. Smoked Gouda cheese rounded out the burger with its savory bite.

I set aside some of the meat mixture before adding in the wine for the boys. Both boys quite enjoyed their burger patties! Granted, it took me telling Firecracker that there was bacon in it for him to take a bite. His dinner plate was a “deconstructed” cheeseburger: a slice of smoked gouda, a little bread, and his burger patty. Treat was given just the patty followed up with green beans.

Cherry Cabernet Cheeseburgers

Ingredients for the chutney:

  • 4 tbsp balsamic vinegar, divided use
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 C fresh cherries, pitted and halved
  • 1 poblano pepper, diced
  • 1/4 C Cabernet Sauvignon
  • 1/2 tsp chopped crystallized ginger
  • pinch cardamom

Ingredients for the onions:

  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 1 large sweet onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 tbsp red wine vinegar

Ingredients for the burger:

  • 1 C Cabernet Sauvignon
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar
  • 6 strips bacon, chopped
  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 4 slices smoked Gouda
  • 4 buns
  • spinach

Steps:

  1. Make the chutney: Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Whisk together 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar, honey, and olive oil. Season with S+P. Add the cherries and peppers, toss to coat. Place on a foil lined rimmed baking sheet. Roast 14 minutes, stirring halfway. Transfer cherries to a medium saucepan and add remaining balsamic vinegar, wine, ginger and cardamom. Simmer 10 minutes until thickened. Allow to cool.
  2. Make the onions: Melt butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onions and red wine vinegar. Cook, stirring occasionally, until onions are tender and golden. Add more butter or olive oil as needed. Season with S+P to taste. Set aside.
  3. Cook the bacon in a skillet over medium-high heat. Remove from the skillet with a slotted spoon to a paper towel lined plate. Set aside.
  4. Combine wine and brown sugar in a small saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a gentle simmer and let reduce to 1/4 C. Allow reduction to cool.
  5. Form burgers: Combine ground beef, bacon, Worcestershire, and S+P. Mix in the wine reduction. Form into 4 equal sized patties.
  6. Cook burgers in a cast iron skillet over medium-high heat. Cook about 4 minutes on each side, or to desired temperature. Top each patty with cheese and cook until melted.
  7. Assemble burgers: Place spinach on the bottom bun, top with the cheeseburger, chutney, and caramelized onions.

*This recipe is adapted from Erin at http://thecrumbycupcake.com/cherry-cabernet-burger/*

Cherry Cabernet Cheeseburger  Sew You Think You Can Cook

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links.

Philly Cheesesteak Sloppy Joes

It’s Halloween and if you’ve been a faithful reader from the beginning you know that means it’s time for my annual Sloppy Joes!

Today I’m sharing Philly Cheesesteak Sloppy Joes.

I’m not here to start a debate on if these are “real”. I’ve never had the Cheese-Wiz version of a Philly and I quite enjoy the kind with thinly sliced steak, grilled onions, and provolone.

We had these sandwiches last year. (Let me say, I’m pretty excited to finally pull these pictures off my camera.) My parents came to town to witness the little man’s first Halloween and this twist on the classic was a huge hit enjoyed by all.

If I’m not in the hospital delivery baby boy #2 then I’ll be awaiting trick-or-treaters with one of my grandma’s sloppy joes in hand. (That’s a teaser for next year’s Halloween post!) At least, I hope to get trick-or-treaters. I was seriously disappointed last year! We got 7, that’s right, I counted, kids at our door. I’m going to pretend it was the freezing rain that yielded such poor results and keep up hope for this year.

Philly Cheesesteak Sloppy Joes

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 green bell pepper, diced
  • 1 C beef broth
  • 3 tbsp steak sauce
  • 4 hamburger buns
  • 4 slices provolone cheese

Steps:

  1. Preheat broiler.
  2. In a large saucepan over medium-high heat, brown ground beef. Once cooked, add the onions and peppers and saute until tender. Strain excess fat.
  3. Add the broth and steak sauce and bring to a boil. Allow sauce to thicken to desired consistency.
  4. Place hamburger buns on a baking sheet. Top the bottom buns with sloppy joe mixture and a slice of cheese. Place under broiler for 30 seconds until cheese is melted and top buns are golden.

*This recipe is adapted from Emily at http://www.emilybites.com/2012/01/philly-cheesesteak-sloppy-joes.html*

Philly Cheesesteak Sloppy Joes | Sew You Think You Can Cook

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An Orange Potluck Party

Instead of choosing a Fall or Halloween theme for our October potluck, we decided to broaden the category a little bit by going with “orange.” Anything orange in color, containing an orange ingredient, or using the flavor of orange was fair game. Understandably our menu contained a lot of pumpkin and squash.

I brought sweet potato chili. This chili recipe was inspired by my October CLUE assignment Eliot’s Eats. I made quite a few changes to Debra’s recipe, the main one being that I added ground beef to make a hearty chili versus something a little “soupier.” I swapped out the beans for adzuki beans, used crushed tomatoes instead of diced, removed the kale, and forgot about the orange zest.

I first made this chili as football grub when some friends came over. I needed something gluten and lactose free and chili seemed like the perfect solution. And it was a huge hit! Everyone went back for seconds and there wasn’t anything left the next day. Top your chili with tortilla chips and cheese, if desired.

I thought it’d be a perfect fit for our themed potluck and easily transportable in a slow cooker. Be sure to read past my recipe for the amazing collection of “orange” foods. We had a spectacular turn out of over two dozen friends.

Sweet Potato Chili

Ingredients:

  • 2/3 C dried adzuki beans
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil, divided use
  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1 tsp chili powder, divided use
  • 1/2 large onion, diced
  • 1/2 tsp minced garlic
  • 2 C peeled and diced sweet potato
  • 2 – 2 1/2 C broth (I’ve used both chicken and vegetable)
  • 1 can (14.5 oz) crushed tomatoes
  • 1 tsp finely diced chipotle in adobo
  • 1/2 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tbsp dried parsley

Steps:

  1. Soak beans for 1-2 hours. Rinse. Cover with water by 2″. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer, and cook uncovered 50-60 minutes. Set aside.
  2. In a skillet over medium-high heat, cook ground beef in 1 tbsp vegetable oil. Season with 1/2 tsp chili powder, S+P. Set aside.
  3. In a large pot over medium-high heat, cook onion in 1 tbsp vegetable oil until tender. Add 1/2 tsp minced garlic and cook 1 minute. Add the diced sweet potatoes and cook for 2 minutes, allowing them to get some color. Add 1 1/2 C broth and the cooked beans. Simmer for 10 minutes, covered.
  4. To the chili, add the crushed tomatoes, 1 chipotle in adobo, 1/2 tsp chili powder, coriander, parsley, S+P. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the cooked ground beef to the pot. Add 1/2 – 1 C more broth and simmer until the beans are completely tender, approximately 30 minutes. (Note: If you want a meatier chili, cook uncovered. If you want more liquid cook partially covered, and add more broth as needed.)

*This recipe is modified from Debra at http://eliotseats.com/2012/03/01/black-bean-and-sweet-potato-chili/*

Sweet Potato Chili | Sew You Think You Can Cook

Here are the other recipes brought to the orange potluck:

  • Orange Julius: Mix 1 can (12 oz) frozen OJ concentrate, 2 C milk, 2 C water, 1/2 C sugar, 2 tsp vanilla. Add approximately 16 ice cubes and blend until smooth.
  • Pumpkin Spice Lattehttp://thrivinghomeblog.com/2013/09/crock-pot-pumpkin-spiced-latte/
  • Buffalo Chicken Diphttps://www.franksredhot.com/recipes/print/?re=re1242-1
  • 12 Recipes for an Orange Themed Potluck | Sew You Think You Can CookMacaroni and Cheese: Cook 1 lb pasta, drain, and set aside. In skillet, cook 1/2 onion (diced) and 2 tsp minced garlic in 2 tbsp veg oil until tender. In a large pot add 4 tbsp butter, 1 C milk, 1/4 lb Velveeta cheese until melted. Add in pasta, onions and garlic, and 2 C shredded cheese until mixed completely.
  • Gnocchi with Squash, Spinach, and Prosciutto: Cook 1 lb gnocchi according to package instructions, reserve 1/2 C cooking water, drain and return to pot. In a large skillet, cook 6 slices chopped prosciutto in 1 tbsp butter, transfer to paper towel lined plate. Add 3 tbsp butter to same skillet and brown 1 1/2 lb cubed butternut squash 4 min, add 2 tbsp fresh thyme and cook 30 sec, deglaze pan with 1/2 C white wine until reduced by half, add 1 C chicken broth and cook 4 min until thickened. Add squash, 4 oz baby spinach, and cooked prosciutto to gnocchi, adding reserved pasta water as needed.
  • Carrot Pudding: Boil 5 lb peeled and chopped carrots until tender, drain, and mash. Cream 1 C melted butter, 1 C sugar, 1 C brown sugar and add to carrots. Mix in 2 tbsp cinnamon, 1 tbsp ginger, 1 tbsp nutmeg, 1 tsp ground cloves, 6 eggs, 1 heaping tbsp baking powder, and 1 tbsp vanilla. Pour into a 9×13″ casserole dish and bake 1 hr at 350 deg F.
  • Sweet Potato and Orange Puree with Almond Streusel: Make Streusel: Combine 1/3 C flour, 1/3 C whole almonds, 3 tbsp brown sugar, 2 tsp paprika, 1/2 cold cubed stick butter; refrigerate at least 1 hr. Make Puree: Mix together 4 lb worth cooked peeled sweet potatoes, 1/3 C OJ, 2 tbsp brown sugar, 2 tbsp room temperature butter, 1 1/2 tsp orange zest; place in 9×13″ casserole dish, top with streusel, bake 40 min at 400 deg F.
  • Butternut Squash Stuffed Shells with Sage Browned Butterhttp://www.melskitchencafe.com/butternut-squash-stuffed-shells-with-sage-browned-butter/
  • Oatmeal Pumpkin Cookieshttp://www.budgetbytes.com/2013/09/oatmeal-pumpkin-cookies/
  • Met in your Mouth Pumpkin Cookies: Beat 2 C butter until fluffy, mix in 2 C sugar, 2 tsp baking powder, 2 tsp baking soda, 1 tsp salt, 1 tsp cinnamon, 1 tsp nutmeg until combined, add 2 eggs and 2 tsp vanilla until combined, mix in 1 can (15 oz) pumpkin, slowly add 4 C flour until combined. Drop spoonfuls onto greased baking sheet and bake 10-12 min at 350 deg F. Make icing: Beat together 1/2 C butter, 1 pg (8 oz) softened cream cheese, 3 3/4 C powdered sugar, 1 tsp vanilla. Frost baked cookies. Garnish wish cinnamon.
  • Pumpkin Cheesecake Barshttp://roxanashomebaking.com/pumpkin-cheesecake-bars-recipe/

Pineapple Beef Lettuce Cups

“Quick! The little man is sleeping! Go write something!”

At least that’s what the little voice in my head is telling me right now.

But it’s not telling me anything else!

Hello, writer’s block, we meet again.

How do you jump the hurdle and share a wonderful story? Help!

At least I have this great recipe to share with you, though. It’s Stir Fry Day Friday, everyone! And today’s edition is getting all dressed up in a bright lettuce cup suit. (I’d actually suggest some added bling by very finely dicing some more fresh pineapple as garnish and an extra drizzle of Sriracha to the lettuce cup!)

This recipe only serves two. In fact, it might be better off as a lunch or even an appetizer. However, you could always serve the stir fry over rice to “beef” it up for dinner.

Pineapple Beef Lettuce Cups

Ingredients:

  • 1 C cubed fresh pineapple
  • 1/4 C soy sauce
  • 1/4 C molasses
  • 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1-2 tbsp Sriracha
  • 1 tbsp ketchup
  • 2 tsp minced garlic (I used Gourmet Garden stir-in chunky garlic paste)
  • 1 tsp grated fresh ginger (I used 1 tsp Gourmet Garden stir-in ginger paste)
  • 1 lb stir-fry beef strips
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 red bell pepper, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 sweet onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 carrot, thinly sliced
  • 8 leaves Bibb lettuce
  • sesame seeds, for garnish

Steps:

  1. Place pineapple, soy sauce, molasses, vinegar, Sriracha, ketchup, garlic, and ginger in a blender. Blend until combined. Pour into a bowl and add the beef. Place in the fridge and marinate for 1-6 hours.
  2. Remove beef from the marinade. Heat the oil in a large, non-stick skillet (or wok) over medium-high heat. Stir-fry the beef for 3-5 minutes; do this in batches if needed so as not to over crowd the pan. Remove from skillet and cover to keep warm.
  3. In the same skillet or wok saute the thinly sliced veggies until tender, season with S+P. Remove and cover to keep warm.
  4. Assemble the wraps by dividing the beef and veggies among each leaf of lettuce. Garnish with sesame seeds and more Sriracha, if desired.

*This recipe is adapted from Liz at http://www.floatingkitchen.net/spicy-pineapple-beef-lettuce-wraps/*

Pineapple Beef Lettuce Cups | Sew You Think You Can Cook

And he’s awake. Until next time!

Mongolian Beef

There used to be the best Chinese take-out place back home called Beijing but they closed up shop within the last five years and my parents haven’t been able to find anything as good.

And neither have I. I would always order the Mongolian Beef. And when Beijing wasn’t available to me after I left home I haven’t been able to find a Mongolian Beef recipe even close – in fact, I’ve not even enjoyed it when I’ve tried other restaurants’ versions! As a result my Chinese take-out order has changed to either Sesame Chicken or Orange Chicken.

I’ve been saving Mongolian Beef recipes on foodgawker for quite some time and with our Stir-Fry-Day Friday menu plan (which hasn’t been as successful as Mexican Monday I hate to admit) I knew it was time to give it a shot.

The Mongolian Beef from Beijing had broccoli in it so I added some broccoli. But I didn’t stop there. I had a little bit of sliced red bell pepper in the fridge and some green beans so I added those in too. Hey, the point of Stir-Fry-Day Friday was to add more veggies into our life!

Another advantage, or so I thought, of doing Stir-Fry-Day Friday was to have veggies and meat that the little man could eat. But I was wary of giving him soy sauce because of the high sodium content, even though we use low-sodium. Soy is also a high allergen, although not one in our family tree.

IMG_3350I finally let him try the Mongolian Beef and he loved it! He wouldn’t eat the bell pepper (which is funny because that was one of the first foods he ate) and the green beans were still pretty crunchy because I like the texture. He loved the beef and even surprised us by grabbing some broccoli on his own.

Mongolian Beef

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 C soy sauce
  • 1/2 C brown sugar
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced (I used 3 tsp Gourmet Garden garlic paste)
  • 2 tsp fresh grated ginger (I used 1 tsp Gourmet Garden lightly dried ginger)
  • 1/2 C plus 2 tsp vegetable oil, divided use
  • 1 lb flank steak, cut into strips across the grain
  • 1/4 C cornstarch
  • optional veggies: frozen broccoli, red bell pepper, fresh green beans

Steps:

  1. In a small saucepan heat soy sauce, brown sugar, garlic, ginger, 2 tsp vegetable oil, and 1/2 C water for 5-10 minutes or until thickened.
  2. In a large bowl, toss steak in cornstarch.
  3. In a large skillet or wok heat 1/2 C vegetable oil over medium-high heat. Add beef and stir fry until browned and cooked through, 2 minutes. Remove to a paper towel lined plate and discard the oil.
  4. If using, saute veggies in the same skillet. Return the beef to the pan along with the sauce from Step 1. Cook until sauce is thickened and coats the beef and veggies. Serve with white rice.

*This recipe is adapted from Chungah at http://damndelicious.net/2013/10/05/pf-changs-mongolian-beef-copycat-recipe/*

Mongolian Beef | Sew You Think You Can Cook

Disclaimer: I received Gourmet Garden product for participating in #HotSummerEats. I have received no additional compensation for this post and the opinions expressed here are my own and the recipe shared in the review of this product was not sponsored.

SRC: Ginger Beef Stir Fry

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Today is another Secret Recipe Club Reveal Day! In the secret recipe club, each participating blogger is assigned a blog from another participating blogger and secretly searches their site for something to recreate. The accompanying blog post then goes live on reveal day! So while I was immersed in my assigned blog, someone else was picking through mine! I’m so excited to be part of this group, to see what on my blog peaks other’s interests and to stumble upon new blogs and new recipes.

This month I was assigned the blog Without Adornment written by Bean. Bean bravely talks about her battle with depression. Her blog title came to be from a sermon at church that really spoke to her. To live “without adornment” is something that I think everyone needs to learn how to do. To just be you. With the season of Lent upon us I found this to really hit home. It’s the time of year to reevaluate your relationship not just with God but with yourself. To better yourself, and what better way to do that than to live “without adornment.”

Bean leads a Gluten-Free lifestyle but that doesn’t hold her back from her favorite hobby of baking. I encourage you to check out her amazing recipe index. As I don’t keep gluten-free and am not proficient enough in my baking skills to alter recipes I looked to her savory dishes. With our new Stir Fry Day Fridays I was excited to see Pad Thai and Ginger Beef. I proceeded with the latter.

We enjoyed this beef not on a Friday, but for the Chinese New Year last week. I served it simply with white rice. I again had to eliminate the bean sprouts so I used a little more celery and carrots. I also used three large leaves from a bok choy instead of using baby bok choy. Oh, and I completely forgot to buy bell pepper, so that ingredient was also excluded from my version. This stir fry dish was a huge hit around the table. Thank you Bean for a great recipe.

Note: to keep it gluten-free, use a gluten-free flour (Bean used rice flour) and gluten-free soy sauce.

This stir fry feeds 4-6 people.

Ginger Beef Stir Fry

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 C vegetable oil
  • 1 1/2 – 2 lb sirloin, sliced in thin strips
  • 1 tbsp flour
  • 1 onion, sliced
  • 2 carrots, sliced diagonally
  • 4 tbsp freshly grated ginger
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 stalk celery, sliced diagonally
  • 3 bok choy leaves, chopped
  • 1/3 C sugar
  • 3 tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp cooking sherry
  • 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tbsp corn starch
  • 2 scallions, chopped

Steps:

  1. Heat oil in a large skillet or wok over medium-high heat.
  2. Toss sirloin strips in flour to coat. Stir fry in batches until cooked through and remove to a paper towel lined plate.
  3. Add the onion, carrots, ginger, and garlic to the same skillet. When onions are translucent add the celery and bok choy. Cook until bok choy is wilted.
  4. In a small bowl combine sugar, soy sauce, sherry, and vinegar. Pour over veggies and bring to a boil. Allow sauce to thicken slightly.
  5. Make a slurry with the corn starch and 3 tbsp water. Gradually add the slurry to the stir fry (I didn’t use all of it) to thicken the sauce to desired consistency. Return the beef to the skillet and toss to coat. Add in the scallion.
  6. Serve with rice, if desired.

*This recipe is adapted from Bean at https://withoutadornment.wordpress.com/2011/09/23/gahigf-gluten-free-ginger-beef-and-chinese-esque-pork-dumplings/*

ginger beef stir fry | sew you think you can cook

To see the other bloggers who participated in the Secret Recipe Club this month click here:

Stir Fried Beef with Tangerines

Welcome to the very first Stir Fry Day Friday! Let me give you a little background as to how Stir Fry Day Friday was born:

We had just gotten back from a fabulous family vacation for Christmas. My in-laws joined us at my parent’s hosue down in SWFL for our son’s first Christmas. I’ll have a separate post in the future about our travel experience, but spoiler alert – my then almost-six-month-old did amazingly! It was fabulous to be in the warmth (I’m talking 80 degree weather) and sunshine. We went for walks and even took a dip in the pool. Not a jacket was to be seen.

But then we had to return to Ohio where the clouds are gray, the wind nippy, and the fridge empty. It was time to create that back-from-vacation grocery list. Normally I’d spend an hour surfing my Pinterest and foodgawker accounts but after a week of being spoiled by the grandparents, my son wasn’t about to be put down for more than ten minutes. While he was momentarily happy playing with his new toys on the floor I plopped down next to him and ate my bowl of cereal. We were conveniently situated next to the bookshelf with my cookbooks. The menu of our first week back actually came from recipes on paper!

I grabbed Tyler Florence’s Real Kitchen. My brother got me this cookbook a few years ago for my birthday. It’s embarrasing to admit that I’d only created one dish from it – but it was incredible. Tyler Florence is joining Anne Burrell this season on Worst Cooks in America. If you’ve never seen this show I highly encourage you to tune into Food Network Sunday nights for some great laughs. I figured now’s as good as any to put his skills to the test. 😉 I settled on his Stir Fried Beef with Tangerines, Green Beans, and Chiles. Planned it for Friday and alas, the idea of Stir Fry Day Friday was born. Tyler’s book has great informational tidbits about the recipes and tips on how best to prepare the dish. I have high hopes for him on this season of Worst Cooks.

This stir fry dish is full of flavor. The Chinese five spice powder has a subtle licorice smell and taste that I was afraid of but it lends itself beautifully to the ginger and balsamic vinegar. I loved having a fresh crunch of green beans and the pop of fried tangerines delectable. I was excited to try these tangerines as Tyler indicated that frying them would take out the bitterness of the rind and make it edible. He was right! I plan on experimenting with more fried citrus soon.

Stir Fried Beef with Tangerines

Ingredeints:

  • 1 tsp Chinese five spice powder
  • 3 tbsp cornstarch, divided use
  • 1 egg white
  • 1/2 tsp sesame oil
  • salt
  • white pepper
  • 1 lb thinly sliced beef (Tyler calls for boneless top round, I used a pre sliced beef intended for stir fry from the meat counter)
  • 1 tangerine, unpeeled, very thinly sliced
  • 2-3 C oil (Tyler calls for peanut, I used vegetable)
  • 1″ piece of ginger, grated
  • 4 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 2 scallions, sliced
  • 3/4 lb fresh green beans, cut in 1″ pieces
  • 1/4 C chicked stock
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes, or more to taste
  • toasted sesame seeds, for garnish

Steps:

  1. Whisk together Chinese five spice powder, 1 tbsp corn starch, egg white, sesame oil, salt, and white pepper. Toss beef in marinade and return to fridge for 30 minutes.
  2. Heat 3 C oil over high heat in a wok. If you don’t have a wok use only 2 C in a large skillet. Bring oil to 350 degrees F.
  3. Toss tangerine slices in 1 tbsp corn starch. Carefully add to the hot oil and fry for 4 minutes. It will splatter at first as there is moisture in the tangerines. Remove tangerines to a paper towel lined plate using a slotted spoon.
  4. Bring oil back to 350 degrees F. Fry the beef in two batches, removing to a paper towel lined plate.
  5. Remove oil to a glass measuring cup. Return 1/4 C of the oil to the wok/pan. Quickly stir-fry the ginger, garlic, and scallions until fragrant.
  6. Add the green beans to the pan, seasoning with salt.
  7. In a small bowl, whisk together the chicken stock with the reamining 1 tbsp corn starch. Add the slurry to the green beans. Tossing to coat. Add in the soy sauce, balsamic vinegar, and sugar. When the sauce is thickened and the green beans al dente add the beef and tangerines. Toss to coat. Add in the red pepper flakes – to taste.
  8. Garnish with sesame seeds and serve with steamed rice.

*This recipe is adapted from Tyler Florence’s Real Kitchen*

Stir Fried Beef with Tangerines | Sew You Think You Can Cook

Tortilla Pie

They say you’re not a true cook until you’ve owned (or at least cooked in) a cast iron skillet. I don’t know who “they” are, but I do know why “they” love the cast iron. Cast iron provides the most even cooking temperature, it’s oven safe, and the more you use it the better your food tastes.

I’ve always dreamed of using a cast iron skillet. I’ve even gotten really close to buying my own – but I chicken out at the price. I’ve seen many recipes that require or heavily suggest the use of a cast iron skillet. I always save these recipes but they’re filed under the “yeah-right-that’ll-never-happen” category. (Like ice cream maker recipes, until my husband gave me an ice cream maker for Christmas!)

These cast iron skillet recipes are no longer only in my dreams because I am now the happy owner of a cast iron skillet. But not just any cast iron skillet! I have Stuart’s grandfather’s skillet! My mother-in-law had two and generously gave me one.

Naturally the first thing I use it for is Mexican Monday!

This tortilla pie tastes better than it looks (now that the sun goes down at 5:30 it’s impossible to get good food photography). If you want to see photos that do this pie justice check out the original recipe. There are a lot of steps but they can easily be done in advance. And let me tell you, it’s completely worth it. This tortilla pie takes the flavors of enchiladas, combines it with the volume of a burrito, and assembles it in pie form. Crispy on the top and creamy on the inside.

The size tortillas you use will depend on the size of your skillet. Because my skillet is a square, my tortillas were smaller than the original, therefore I used less of the filling. What was left of the filling ingredients created a perfect burrito that Stuart took to work for lunch.

Tortilla Pie

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 2 tbsp taco seasoning
  • 1/2 C beef broth
  • 1 – 2 tbsp canola oil, divided use
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 tbsp minced garlic
  • 1 tbsp flour
  • 1 C milk
  • 3 scallions
  • 1 can (15oz) refried beans
  • 1 C enchilada sauce
  • 5 flour tortillas (size to fit in cast iron skillet)
  • 1 – 2 C shredded Mexican blend cheese

Steps:

  1. In a cast iron skillet, brown ground beef over medium-high heat. Season with taco seasoning and add the beef broth. Cook until reduced. Remove from skillet and place in a bowl.
  2. Add up to 1 tbsp oil to the skillet (if needed) and saute the onion until translucent. Add garlic and cook 60 seconds. Remove and add to the beef.
  3. Create a roux by putting 1 tbsp of oil in the skillet and whisking in 1 tbsp flour. Reduce heat to medium and slowly add the milk to the pan, whisking constantly. When thickened add the beef and onions. Add scallions. Remove from skillet.
  4. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  5. Wipe out skillet. (Careful, it’s hot!) Spray with non-stick cooking spray.
  6. In a bowl, mix together refried beans and enchilada sauce.
  7. Place 1 tortilla in the cast iron skillet. Top with up-to half of the bean mixture. (This will depend on the size of your tortillas.) Place a tortilla on top of the beans. Top with up-to half of the beef mixture. Repeat. Top pie with last tortilla, cover with shredded cheese.
  8. Bake 30 – 40 minutes, until golden brown.

*This recipe is adapted from Anita at http://www.hungrycouplenyc.com/2014/06/mexican-tortilla-pie.html *

Tortilla Pie