CHINESE WHISPERS 2- PASS IT ON!
Thanks everyone for the very positive response to the #chametz posts.
A few days days ago I treated you to some quick fix sauces, dips and marinades to use up your soy, ketchup, sweet chilli sauce etc and promised a few recipes to take care of the last of the rice and/or egg noodles.
I am being rather a goody-two-shoes this year, and trying hard to empty my rather bijoux freezer in preparation for the dreaded 'P' word.
This can result in some rather random combinations, as I often freeze the 'too much' food I have made, or the raw protein component when Mr Y is working late and doesn't want dinner.
These rather sad odds and ends often include the fourth quarter of a cooked chicken (there are three of us) a steak, maybe half a pack of raw chicken thigh fillets, and invariably, a container or two of clear chicken soup which is kept on hand as a cure-all for every ailment from sore throats to sciatica!
These few items can make a sumptuous feast with a few store-cupboard ingredients and a handful or two of fresh veg. It is easy enough to turn my hot and sour soup into a hunger busting bowl of ramen by adding more vegetables and noodles and cutting down on the liquid; and the solitary steak can become crispy chilli beef or a delicious and tender beef, sweet pepper and green bean stir fry to serve with some rice.
HOT & SOUR CHICKEN SOUP (THAT COULD ALSO BE CHICKEN RAMEN)
This is a bit of a 'catch all' recipe. In its simplest form it is just a lovely burst of hot and sour flavours with some tasty morsels to give it some interest, but it can be embellished and added to and then it becomes the main event rather than a starter.
My family love it made as #ramen with some thinly sliced hoisin glazed duck breast on the top.
Most kosher supermarkets carry packets of frozen chopped herbs and spices in mini ice cube trays, with each block being about a teaspoon's worth.
I like mine spicy so I add an extra chilli block or a bit more fresh chopped chilli, but you may prefer it even hotter so add more or with just a tiny kick so use less.
This is another 'suggest-ipe' rather than a recipe as it will vary with what you have on hand, how hot or sour you like it and whether you prefer, Thai basil, chives or coriander.
How ever you decide to fashion it, I can guarantee it will be delicious.
Plain chicken soup - I would say about 300ml per person.
Shredded or finely sliced cooked chicken
Chopped red chilli
one nest per person of Egg or rice noodles cooked in boiling salted water and drained
A handful of stir fry veg of your choice
Sliced red chilli
Chopped green herbs - Thai basil, coriander , chives
Fry the fresh garlic, ginger and chilli in a tiny amount of oil and then add the soup to the pan to heat. If you are using the frozen blocks just melt them into the soup.
Add soy and mirin to taste and bring the soup to a boil.
Add the vegetables and cooked noodles and cover with a lid for a few minutes until the vegetables are soft.
Put some shredded chicken in the bottom of a deep bowl and top with the soup, vegetables & noodles.
Squeeze over lime to taste and garnish with the chopped herbs and sliced chilli.
If we are eating this for dinner, I add extra noodles and a full bag of stir fry vegetables to bulk it out.
STIR FRY BEEF, SWEET PEPPERS & GREEN BEANS
This is a fine way to make one steak feed two without it feeling 'mean'.
It would more than likely stretch to three if you make some extra stir fry vegetables or Teriyaki chicken to go with it along with some plain boiled rice.
Please try the Bicarbonate of Soda trick, it's not just great in muffins but it really tenderises the beef and makes it deliciously soft and juicy.
250g steak -Rib Eye, Short Rib or Fairy/Blade steak or prepared stir fry beef
1 yellow pepper cut into thin strips
a handful of fine green beans halved
1 sping onion - for garnish
2 tablespoons dark soy sauce
1 tablespoon ginger finely chopped
2 cloves of garlic finely chopped
a few splashes of sesame oil
oil for frying
2 tsp light soy sauce
1/4 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1/2 tsp ground pepper
2 tsp cornflour
1 1/2 tbsp rice wine/mirin
2 tsp vegetable oil
2 tbsp water
Trim your steak of all fat and gristle and then cut it into fine strips and put it into a non metalic bowl or a ziploc bag.
Make the marinade by first slaking the cornflour with the water and then adding everything else.
I like to do this in a repurposed screw-top jam, mustard or pickle jar and give it a good shake; it can just as easily be whisked together in a jug.
If you don't have light soy, use dark and then pour the whole lot over the beef and give it a good mix.
If it's in a plastic bag just squeeze out the air press it closed and massage the marinade through.
Pop the whole lot in the fridge for four hours to let it soak in to the beef.
If you don't have the time please try to give it 45 minutes so the ingredients have a fighting chance of working their magic!
To paraphrase a famous movie: The first rule of stir fry is that you don't talk about
stirfry ...actually we DO have to talk about stir fry...The one golden rule is to have everything, (and I mean everything,) ready to go: prepared, chopped, minced, sliced and diced well ahead.
I would also advise you to take the prepped vegetables and meat out of the fridge about 20-30 minutes before you want to stirfry them so that they don't drop the temperature of the hot oil when they are tipped in.
Put your wok or deep sauté pan over a high heat.
Add just a splash of vegetable oil and quickly fry half of the garlic and ginger.
Next brown the steak strips add the soy sauce and about 2-3 tablespoons of water.
Tip this into a dish and then give the pan a quick wipe out with wadded kitchen paper; mind your fingers, it will be hot!
Put your pan back over the high heat and add another small splash of vegetable oil and add the rest of the garlic and ginger and then quickly stir in the peppers and beans and stirfry for about 1-2 minutes.
Add another 2-3 tablespoons of water and then cover with a lid; this will trap in the 'wok hei' - the steam and the smoky 'breath' of the wok or pan.
Cook with the lid on for another couple of minutes until they are just tender, then uncover and turn the heat down to medium.
Return the beef and gravy to the wok and add another scant tablespoon of soy sauce and toss everything together so it all gets a good coating of sauce.
Turn off the heat and sprinkle with a litte sesame oil and scatter over the finely sliced spring onion.
CRISPY CHILLI BEEF
If you like something nice and spicy this might be more your cup of jasmine tea.
I am going to recommend doubling up on the meat for a main course. as there are only a few carrot sticks in the dish and no other vegetables.
If you are serving other things, and you only have one steak, then just halve the sauce ingredients.
As this dish is so very quick to make, preparation is key; so get everything ready to wok and roll before you even think of cooking it. You will need:
450-500g steak, prepared in the same way as for the beef stir-fry.
4-5 tablespoons cornflour
1-2 carrots cut in battons and blanched for 3 minutes in boiling water and drained
Chopped chives for garnish
Vegetable oil for shallow frying
180ml orange juice
1 tablespoon water
1tablespoon soy sauce
juice of half a lemon
6 tablespoons sweet chilli sauce
1-2 teaspoons hot chilli sauce - optional.
Add all the sauce ingredients to a pan, stir and bring to the boil.
Turn the heat down to a simmer and cook until thick and syrupy.
While the sauce is cooking spread the cornflour onto a tray and season with a little salt.
Roll and squeeze the beef strips in the cornflour or bung it all into a trusty ziploc and give it a good shake.
Fry half the beef in a wide shallow frying pan until crisp and golden and remove to a paper towel lined plate with a slotted spoon.
Fry the second batch, and when it is as crisp and golden as the first lot, tip the beef from the plate back in and add the blanched and drained carrots.
Stir to mix so that it all heats through.
Next pour in the sauce and give it another good stir to coat everything and then tip onto a plate and garnish with the sesame and chopped chives and an extra little dish of sweet chilli sauce.
Check back next week for more run-up to Pesach recipes.