Beef and Broccoli

 

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Ever once in awhile, I have a craving for   beef and broccoli, and lately most restaurants are not delivering the high quality food they use too and I have been disappointed that many  restaurants dishes do not live up to my expectations.

The secret to home made beef and broccoli is thinly sliced beef and flavor. In this recipe, the tender, thin slices of beef are so juicy, so flavorful as they soak up every savory essence of the marinade, and then the sauce; which is rich, slightly sweet, mostly savory, and just so right!  Are you ready for the  two secret ingredients that makes such a scrumptious sauce?

Oyster sauce and pomegranate juice. Surprised?

If you have done a lot of Asian style cooking,  then you probably know that it  is a staple in Asian cooking.  It is a thick, brown sauce with a balance between sweet and salty with an earthy undertone, due to the oyster extracts.  You can find oyster sauce in the Asian aisle of any supermarket for only a few dollars. But like with any commercial preparation,  not all bottled  oyster sauce is created equal.  The quality of oyster sauce will affect the flavor, so if you want the extra something something to your dish, purchase a good quality good quality sauce for a few dollars more and keep it on hand in your pantry.

Pomegranate juice adds a little musky citrus taste with a depth of flavor you  usually associate with red wine or concentrated beef drippings.This makes the flavor of pomegranates invaluable anywhere you want to add a little depth or complexity.

 And be warned, guard the leftovers, if there are any,  this recipe for Beef and Broccoli will leave you craving more!

Serves 4
Ingredients:
For the Beef Marinade:
1 pound flank steak, cut across the grain into 1/8 thin slices, then cut into 2” length pieces
1 Tablespoon hoisin sauce
1 Tablespoon black bean sauce
3 Tablespoons soy sauce
1 teaspoon Sweet Thai chili sauce
2 teaspoons cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon ginger powder
For the Sauce:
½ cup 100% pomegranate juice
1/4 cup Tablespoons honey
1/2 cup sweet chili sauce
1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
1 lime, juiced
1/2 Tablespoon soy sauce
1 Tablespoon Japanese rice wine or dry sherry
2 Tablespoons chicken broth
5 Tablespoons oyster sauce
3 Tablespoons brown sugar
1 teaspoon sesame oil
2 teaspoons cornstarch
Kosher salt, to taste
Ground black pepper, to taste
6 medium garlic cloves, minced
1 Tablespoon ginger, minced
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon peanut oil
For the Vegetables:
3 1/2 – 4 cups broccoli florets, cut into bit size pieces
1/2 cup julienned carrots
1/4 cup water
3 medium scallions, sliced

Directions:
Pour marinade ingredients directly into freezer bag and mix well. Add beef and massage in marinade until well covered. Refrigerate for 2-8 hours. For best results, allow to set overnight.

When ready to cook the beef, whisk the sauce ingredients together in a small bowl.In another medium  bowl, combine all the sauce ingredients together. Set aside.

Drain excess marinade off of beef (if there is any).

Heat 1 1/2 teaspoons peanut oil in a large nonstick skillet over high heat until very hot and sizzling. Add beef to the skillet and break up any clumps; cook without stirring for 1 minute, then stir and cook until beef is browned and almost cooked through, about 1-2 minutes. Note:  Do not overcook or the beef. for it will not  be as tender.The beef will cook more in the sauce. Transfer beef to a large plate and cover.If your skillet is small, then cook in 2 batches.

Add 1 tablespoon peanut oil to the now-empty skillet; heat until very hot and sizzling. Add the broccoli  and carrots and saute for 30 seconds. Add water, cover pan, and lower heat to medium. Steam vegetables  until crisp-tender, about 2 minutes.

Push the broccoli  and carrots to the sides of the skillet and add the sauce mixture to the center of the pan, mashing the garlic mixture with a spoon, until fragrant, about 15 to 20 seconds, then stir the mixture into the broccoli and carrots.

Return the beef to the skillet and toss to combine. Whisk the sauce to recombine then add to the skillet. Cook, stirring constantly, until the sauce is thickened and beef is cooked through, about 1-2 minutes. Transfer to a serving platter, sprinkle with the scallions, and serve.

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TODAY.com Parenting Team FC Contributor


Persian Fried Chicken Smothered in Peaches with Curry CousCous

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So what happens when I didn’t make it to the grocery store before the arctic polar vortex hits,  the East Coast region? Well, I was left to forage in the nether regions of my  refrigerator, freezer and pantry with such a diverse mix of ingredients.

And what happened was the creation of dish inspired by my Grand’s kitchen; the Sunday Chicken Smothered in Peaches.

So, my version of my Grands’s beloved chicken dish  is the perfect  marriage of multicultural cuisines from the Deep American South, North Africa, The Middle East and India:Persian Fried Chicken Smothered in Peaches and Almonds on a bed of Minted Curry Couscous. I think I out did myself with  this global fusion dish!

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Enjoy!

TODAY.com Parenting Team FC Contributor


Hot Honey Apple Tartlets

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For years hot honey has been used as a condiment on pizza in Brazil.    Introduced to the States by Michael Kurtz , he discovered the spicy honey while on a hike in Brazil in 2003. In a small mountain town there, he found a pizzeria that had the concoction on every table. When he got home to Brooklyn, he set about duplicating it. Years down the road, in 2010 Kurtz gets a job at a Brooklyn pizzeria Paulie Gee’s a approached the owner about his sweet concoction, with “Hey, I’ve got something you should try on your pizza.” And so, Mike’s Hot Honey was born and  the rest, as the say, was history.

Drizzled on a pizza, hot honey is especially good with salty meats like soppressata or pepperoni, the heat of hot honey isn’t as pronounced and the sweetness of the honey shines through even more.

Today, Mike’s Hot Honey serves retailers and restaurants in the borough of Brooklyn, New York and beyond with Mike’s original recipe, chili pepper-infused hot honey.

For this recipe, I used a dark  honey forest honey, which is available at specialty foods stores and from kalustyans.com. I was also able to get my hands on some malagueta peppers from Brazil, but  you can also use Fresno, Holland, Vietnamese or Thai chiles to get the same heat effect of  Brazillian chile infused honey. Another alternative is to substitute a mix of  2 green thai chiles  and 1 habanero  to every 3 malaguetas.

And I have discovered that you can also use hot honey as a sauce for fruit desserts. Cooked fruit has a robust flavor that can stand up to hot honey. Just squirting sriracha on everything doesn’t work on all  things eaten, but hot honey sure does. Try it on fried chicken, it is to die for!

 

Serves 8

Ingredients:
For the Hot Honey:
Makes About 1 Cup
2–4 hot chiles , thinly sliced
1 cup Langnese Forest Honey

Directions:
Bring 2 chiles and honey to a bare simmer in a small saucepan over medium-low heat. Reduce heat to low and let the chiles simmer in the honey for 1 hour to 185°F . to infuse. Taste honey and adjust heat with another chile or 2. Remove from heat and let stand 10 minutes. Strain  into s sterilized jar while still warm and cap with a sterilized lid. Store honey chilled  in a refrigerator to slow oxidation.

Make  Ahead:  The hot honey can be made up to 3 months ahead of time. Keep chilled.

 

For the Tartlets:
Two  17.3-ounce packages frozen puff pastry (4 sheets), thawed
1 egg, beaten to blend
6 ounces soft fresh goat cheese (about 3/4 cup packed)
1 Tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon coarse kosher salt
3 medium Gala apples,peeled,quartered,cored, cut into 1/8-inch-thick slices
3 Tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
3/4 cup hot honey, divided
1/2 teaspoon  ground allspice
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

 

Directions:
Line 2 rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper. Roll out each puff pastry sheet on lightly floured surface to 11-inch square. Using 5-inch-diameter cookie cutter or bowl, cut out 4 rounds from each pastry sheet, forming 16 rounds total. Divide 8 pastry rounds between prepared baking sheets; pierce rounds all over with fork. Using 3 1/2-inch-diameter cookie cutter or bowl, cut out smaller rounds from center of remaining 8 rounds (reserve 3 1/2-inch rounds for another use), forming eight 5-inch-diameter rings. Brush outer 1-inch edges of 5-inch rounds on baking sheets with beaten egg; top each with 1 pastry ring. Freeze at least 30 minutes.

MAKE AHEAD:  Pastry shells can be made 1 day ahead. Cover and keep frozen. Do not thaw before continuing. 

Preheat oven to 375°F.

In a small bowl mix the ground allspice and cinnamon. Set aside.

Mix cheese, lemon juice, and salt in bowl; spread mixture inside rings on frozen pastry rounds. Overlap apple slices atop cheese. Mix butter and 1/4 cup honey in small bowl; brush over apples. Sprinkle with the allspice and cinnamon mixture. Bake until apples are tender and pastry is golden, about 35 minutes. Place tartlets on plates. Drizzle 1 tablespoon of the hot honey over each tartlet and serve warm or at room temperature.

Cook’s Notes:
Bake the tartlets four to six hours ahead, then store them uncovered at room temperature. Rewarm in a 350°F oven for five to ten minutes. Drizzle tartlets with honey just before serving.

TODAY.com Parenting Team FC Contributor