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"A Bearnaise sauce is simply an egg yolk, a shallot, a little tarragon vinegar and butter, but it takes years of practice for the result to be perfect." Fernand Point

Monday, October 17, 2011

Spicy Hunan Beef with Scallions and Sweet Red Peppers

Spicy Hunan Beef with Scallions and Sweet Red Peppers

1 pound round or flank steak, trimmed of fat and gristle

2 tablespoons light soy sauce
4 teaspoons corn starch
1 teaspoon sugar
1 tablespoon corn or peanut oil

The Sauce:
3 tablespoons Chinese rice wine or dry sherry
2 tablespoons light soy sauce
2 tablespoons sugar
1 ½ tablespoons hoisin sauce
¾ teaspoon of sesame oil
8 whole scallions
1 red pepper, cored , seeded and cut into thin strips
2-3 teaspoons of finely minced garlic (about 3 cloves)
2-3 teaspoons of finely minced fresh ginger
½ to ¾ teaspoon dried red pepper flakes
3-4 cups of peanut oil (I don’t use this much since I am stir frying not deep frying) SEE NOTE
1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
1/8 teaspoon sugar

·         Prepare beef and marinade. Holding cleaver or knife at angle, cut beef against grain into long strips about 1/8 inch thick and ½ inch wide. Cut strips crosswise into 2-inch lengths.
·         Using fork, blend marinade ingredients in large bowl until smooth.  Add beef and toss well to coat each slice. Seal and refrigerate. Remove 1 hour prior to preparation.
·         In small bowl stir to combine the sauce ingredients.
·         Trim wilted tops and root ends from scallions. Cut on sharp diagonal in thin ovals about 1 inch long.
·         Core and seed pepper. Cut lengthwise into thinnest possible strips.
·         Combine garlic and ginger and dried red pepper flakes in another small bowl.
·          See Note at end of recipe as I do not follow the directions in this next paragraph.
Heat wok or Dutch oven over high heat until hot enough to evaporate a bead of water on contact. Add oil and heat to 350 degrees on deep fat thermometer or until a slice of beef bubbles very slowly when added. While oil is heating, drain beef in a metal colander nested in side of a large bowl.
·         Stir beef once more to coat the slices, and then gently slide them into the oil. Carefully stir to separate beef slices and fry for 15 seconds, just until beef is slightly gray.
·         Using pot holders, immediately pour beef and hot oil into metal colander. Or, working very fast, you may use a Chinese mesh spoon or long handled slotted metal spoon to scoop out beef and drain on paper towels. Turn off heat and allow the oil to cool.
·         Wipe out wok, leaving a thin film of oil. Heat wok or heay skillet over high heat until a bead of water evaporates on contact. Add 2 tablespoons of the hot oil and swirl to coat pan. Add garlic, ginger, and pepper flakes and stir about 10 seconds adjusting the heat so they don’t brown.
·         Add red pepper strips and stir briskly to glaze them. Sprinkle with salt and sugar, and then toss to combine, about 10 seconds in all. Drizzle in a bit more oil, if necessary, to prevent sticking. Lower heat if peppers begin to scorch.
·         Stir the sauce mixture, and then add to the pan, stirring to combine. Raise heat slightly to bring mixture to the bubbling point. Add beef and toss briskly to coat with sauce, about 5 seconds. Add scallions and toss briskly to combine and glaze with the sauce about 5 seconds. Do not let the wilt. Serve with rice or Chinese noodles.
Note: Instead of using 3-4 cups of oil in a dutch oven, I generally use a few tablespoons of peanut oil in a wok or large non-stick frying pan. I then stir fry the beef strips over medium high heat until cooked. I then remove the beef from the skillet and place in a bowl. I then wipe clean the same pan and add a bit more oil and then add the ginger, garlic and pepper flakes and then follow the recipe as written above.


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