Korean Stir Fry with Sirloin, Eggplant, Soba + Chile Sauce

IMG_2376 IMG_2372 IMG_2393 IMG_2389During these last sweetest days of summer/fall I’ve primarily cooked on the barbecue on my favorite skillet. Its a giant cast iron griddle that gets super hot and when I cook outside the house stays cleaner and free of cooking odors. I just don’t like noodle dishes when the noodles aren’t boiled then charred over fire, its such a better texture and flavor. Cooking over the grill for the charring is second only to over fire. This dish by the way is simple and pretty quick and fulfilling. It’s a bit sweet and spicy and each bite is a different kind of happy surprise.

Korean Stir Fry with Sirloin, Eggplant, Soba + Chile Sauce

Sauce:
3/4 cup tamari
1/4 cup coconut palm sugar
2 tbsp chile sauce (recipe below)
1 1/2 tbsp rice vinegar
2 inches fresh ginger, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tbsp sesame oil

Whisk all of the ingredients together in a small bowl.

Chile Sauce (adapted from Bon Appetit)
6 jalapeno peppers
3 peeled garlic cloves
2 tbsp red wine vinegar
sea salt

Cook the jalapeno peppers and garlic in a boiling salted saucepan for about 2 minutes. Blend chiles, garlic and red wine vinegar, season with salt and let cool. You will have extra to use on other meals and as a topping. By the way, this sauce is HOT.

Stir Fry
1 lb grass fed top sirloin, cut into very thin strips
2 medium Japanese eggplants, chopped
2 carrots, julienned
1 bell pepper, julienned
1 cup mushrooms, I used chanterelle, shitakes work great too, sliced
Bunch of cilantro
3 tbsp sesame seeds
Soba noodles-2 of the small bunches within the packages

First, make the chile sauce, then make the stir fry sauce, you can make this in advance. Spoon about 1/2 cup of the sauce over the sirloin and marinate as the steak comes to room temperature.
Next, get the vegetables chopped. Its easier to have these all ready to go.
Cook the soba noodles in boiling water for four minutes, then rinse in cold water.
While the water boils turn the grill to high and place a large skillet on the grill-you can also do this on stove top in a wok.
Add the eggplant to the grill skillet, and drizzle with a little olive oil. Cook until softened and starting to get some color, about 10 minutes, then add the carrot, pepper and mushrooms. Pour 1/4 cup or so of the sauce on the veggies and cook for another 5-10 minutes.
Next, add the noodles to the wok/skillet. Mix in with the vegetables, again adding more of the stir fry sauce. Cover and allow to cook until the noodles start to crisp.
After crisping and stirring the noodles a few times, clear a space on your pan and add the meat. Cook it over high heat so it sears and if you need to, cook it in batches. It should take very little time, maybe a minute or two on each side to cook, when its done, stir everything together.
To finish, spread a nice big handful of cilantro leaves on top, sprinkle the sesame seeds on and a drizzle of sesame oil. Serve with the hot chile sauce, and extra cilantro.

Cilantro Lime Coconut Curry with Chanterelles, Fresh Ginger + Avocado

IMG_2289 IMG_2270-001 S IMG_2274This soup made my house smell like fresh ginger and cilantro and lime in such a gentle and refreshing and rather uplifting way. And this was good, because the onion I used, bought from the farmer’s market a few days ago, it made me basically weep. I’ve had the occasional onion make my eyes watery, but this one forced tears to stream down my face. I had to walk away and compose myself. My suggestion is to use a gentler onion, like a white one, or a shallot, but I guess I was starting to think I’m immune to oniony induced emotion and this one put me in my place. This recipe can easily be doubled to feed a crowd, and you could add chicken or pork belly if you have it on hand. The avocado is essential as it balances out a pretty citrusy soup and adds depth, but the rice is optional as well. It is also quite good topped with those rice sticks you find at health food stores and a good grind of fresh black pepper. Oh and I did also just happen to have chanterelles on hand, which is something that has never really happened to me before, as lovely as they are I would happily use shitake or maitake mushrooms in their place.

Cilantro Lime Coconut Curry with Chanterelles, Fresh Ginger + Avocado
1 medium onion, chopped
1 large carrot, chopped
2 inches peeled fresh ginger, chopped
4 baby sweet peppers, or 1 big red pepper,  seeds removed + sliced
1 zucchini, halved and diced
1 handful chanterelles, sliced
1/2 jalapeno, seeds removed, chopped
2 long pieces lemongrass, chopped
1 tablespoon yellow curry paste
1 lime, juiced
1 can full fat coconut milk + 1 can amount of water
1/4 cup brown or wild rice
1/2 bunch cilantro, chopped + extra for garnish
Butter + olive oil
Salt + pepper
Avocado

Add a tbsp of butter to a deep saucepan over medium heat, add the onions and cook about 15 minutes, or until translucent.
Next add the ginger, peppers, carrots, zucchini, mushrooms, jalapeno and lemongrass. Stir and drizzle with olive oil, and season with salt and pepper. Cover and allow to cook for about 5 minutes, then add the curry paste, stirring again.
Add the lime juice and pour in the full can of coconut milk plus a can sized amount of water. Turn heat to medium, add the rice to the soup, cover and allow to simmer for about 20 minutes.
Stir in the cilantro, and taste for seasoning, adding olive oil, salt and pepper if needed. Test to make sure the rice is fully cooked, and serve with sliced avocado, cilantro, a grind of pepper and drizzle of olive oil.

 

 

 

Apricot, Ancho Chile + Japanese Sweet Potato Beef Stew with Coconut Milk, Ginger + Turmeric

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The components of this stew all fit together so delicately and the resulting dish is both light and fruity due to the chilies, apricot and coconut and at the same time rich and satisfying. Be patient with this dish. Cooking the onions slowly is important, and allowing the stew to cook long enough will allow it to come together better. If you need to cook it longer, just leave it on the stove, tasting here and there with the heat as low as it goes. This is the kind of meal that tastes better the next day, so save leftovers or make a double batch.

Apricot, Ancho Chile + Japanese Sweet Potato Beef Stew

1 lb grass-fed stew meat – beef room temperature, seasoned w/ salt +pepper
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 small yellow onion, chopped
2 carrots, chopped thin and small
2 inches fresh peeled ginger, chopped
1 inch fresh peeled turmeric, chopped
2 dried ancho chilies, diced
1 japanese sweet potato, diced
3 apricots, halved, then quartered
Handful of parlsey, chopped + some reserved for topping
1/2 can coconut milk
2 1/2 cups water
sea salt
pepper
olive oil

Heat a dutch oven over medium high heat. Pour in some olive oil, and place the stew meat in the skillet to sear. Flip after a minute or two, so that both sides are browned. Remove the meat from the pan and place in a bowl.
Turn down the heat to low and add the onions to the dutch oven, using a spatula to get the browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Cook the onions at low heat for a while, about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally and being careful not to brown. Then add the carrots, garlic, chilies, ginger and turmeric. Season with salt + pepper and add oil if needed. Cook on low for another 10 minutes or so.
Add the beef back to the dutch oven, stirring to combine. Turn up the heat to high and pour in the water. Bring to a soft boil, then turn the heat down to low.
Add the sweet potato and coconut milk. Taste and add more salt + pepper as needed. Cover the dutch over with a tight fitting lid and allow the stew to simmer for about an hour and a half.
Add the apricots and parsley, cover for another 30-60 minutes.
The meat should be tender and easy to cut when the stew is ready to eat. The braise liquid should also be considerably cooked down. Taste again and adjust seasoning as needed. Serve in a bowl with some fresh parsley on top.
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Herbed Meatballs in Ginger Curry Broth with Shishito Peppers, Arugula, Apricot, Summer Squash + Cracklings

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My favorite time to cook is often when I think I have nothing left to work with in my fridge. It forces me to be creative, to leave behind my go-tos and come up with new ways to enjoy ingredients that I often use. As I was cooking this meal my mom brought me some pig cracklings she made from the pigs we raised on our family ranch. They are the perfect topping, savory with a crunch and melt in your mouth ending. This meal may seem like many steps but it is uncomplicated and adjustable depending on what you have left in your fridge, just read through the recipe before starting so you have all of your ingredients ready.

Ginger Curry Broth
11/2 inch ginger, peeled & finely chopped
1 scallion, chopped
1 can coconut milk + 1/2 can water
1 tsp turmeric
1 tsp curry powder or paste
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp sea salt
1 tsp chili pepper flakes
1 tsp fresh ground pepper
1 tbsp coconut oil

Add the coconut oil to a skillet, melt and then add onions. Cook at medium heat, covered, until softened, then add the ginger. Cook for a few minutes-10 or so- until the onions are translucent, but not browned or burning. Add the can of coconut milk, water and the spices to taste. I keep the curry seasonings light so that the ginger isn’t overpowered. Pour the mix into a small saucepan and turn the heat down to low and allow to simmer while you prepare the rest of the dish.

Shishito Peppers, Arugula, Apricot, Summer Squash + Cracklings
1/2 lb shishito peppers
1/2 lemon juiced
2-3 small yellow summer squash, chopped
2 handfuls arugula
1 apricot, halved and quartered
cracklings
1 tbsp coconut oil
sea salt & pepper

In a medium-high skillet, add the coconut oil and shishito peppers. Coat in lemon juice, salt & pepper. Cover and cook for about 10 minutes or so, stirring every so often. During this time, start the herbed meatballs. When the shishito’s are browned well, add the summer squash. Cover and cook for another 6-8 minutes, then add the arugula and apricots. Make a little space in the pan to heat the cracklings, or fry them in another skillet. Season to taste, this will serve on top of the meatballs and curry.

Herbed Meatballs
1 lb grass fed ground beef
1 tsp sea salt & pepper
3 sprigs of fresh oregano
1 egg
1/8 cup of coconut flour
1 tbsp coconut oil

Using your hands, mix the ground beef with the salt & pepper, oregano, egg and coconut flour. Heat a skillet to medium-high heat, shape the meatballs, and add them to the pan. Cook until crisp and browned, then flip.

To serve: Add the meatballs to a bowl, spoon curry over and then add the vegetables and cracklings. 

Balsamic-Miso Pork Tacos with Maitakes + Mustard Greens

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We make tacos more than any other meal and never tire of them. Especially when we make our own tortillas. They are hands down the favorite meal around here, and we have found ourselves in the tradition of eating them before we leave for big trips, and when we return. They serve as a send off, welcome home and everything in between. These tacos combine a few of the tastes I’ve been noticing in recent tasty bowls of pork ramen noodles at restaurants with our favorite tried and true taco accompaniment. We ate maple-balsamic glazed pork chops the previous night and saved about 1 whole, thick pork chop for this recipe. The pork is from Cosmic Apple Gardens and is exceptionally, wonderfully tasty. The mustard greens and maitakes stand out as much as the homemade tacos and pork in this recipe, the balance is meaty, but sweet and slightly bitter from the greens. In general a damn tasty taco.

Balsamic-Miso Pork Tacos with Maitakes + Mustard Greens

1 whole cooked pork chop (or other cut of pork), cut into small pieces
1/4 white onion, chopped
1 1/2 inch piece of ginger, chopped
3 mustard green leaves, lower stems removed, chopped
1 handful maitake mushrooms, sliced
1 tbsp syrupy, thick balsamic vinegar
Butter, olive oil, coconut oil or lard (we used lard my mom rendered from pigs we raised)
1 tsp Miso paste or powder
1/2 tsp tamari
Sesame seeds
Sea salt
Masa harina
Limes
Whole milk yogurt

Method: If you are making your own tacos, mix 1 cup masa harina with 1/2-1 cup water and a bit of sea salt, cover in plastic wrap and chill for about 20-30 minutes (we don’t always let them chill quite this long and have good results). If you have a buddy, put them on tortilla press, fry, make duty. Keep the tortillas warm in the oven.

Heat a skillet to medium-high heat, add the onions and cook for a few minutes, Add the ginger, stir, and after a few moments add the mustard greens, drizzle with lemon + sea salt. Add the mushrooms. From here you get to use some of your own measurements and adjust to your liking–add a pinch of miso, balsamic, and a tiny amount of tamari. I like to add add liquid directly to the cast iron pan, so it evaporates some and caramelizes and then coats the veggies. Stir everything together, add some sesame seeds, and cook until the veggies have a nice color to them and taste done. Push the veggies to one side of the pan, and add the pork-the skillet should be quite hot. Add just a little bit more miso and balsamic on the pork (this pork should be pre-seasoned). Cook until the pork is browned and the fat is a bit crisped.

Assembly: Place the pork and veggies on the fresh tortillas, top with a spoonful of yogurt (or sour cream/creme fraiche/etc) add a sprinkling of sesame seeds and drizzle with a bit of lemon juice.

Spicy Chai Apple Cake + Lemon Ginger Frosting

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I love making birthday cakes, especially when they’re for me. So this morning I spent some time making food for the party potluck extravaganza. I started with Tikka Masala, using stew meet from the grass fed cows we raised at our ranch. This all went into a crockpot with lots of extra butternut squash and spices. As that simmered, I made the spicy chai apple cake. It made my house smell like gingery-chai-cake heaven as it baked. The last thing I made was coconut ice cream with candied ginger, fresh ginger and lemon. For the cake I used the recipe on Meats and Sweets, but changed a few of the ingredients as I tend to do. I’ve included my version of the recipe on this post. My birthday was an incredible reminder of how lucky I am to be alive and 25 on the 25th day of April under the light of the full moon surrounded by friends and family and treats.

 Spicy Chai Apple Cake + Lemon Ginger Frosting

1 cup whole milk
2 black chai tea bags
1/2 tsp sea salt
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking salt
2 tsp cinnamon
2 tsp cardamom
1 tsp ground cloves
1 1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
2 1/2 cups white whole wheat flour
1 stick butter, soft
1 1/2 cup coconut palm sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp ground vanilla
2 apples, diced
1/4 cup candied ginger flakes

Lemon Ginger Frosting
1 stick butter
Grated zest of a lemon
grated fresh ginger, about 3 inches of ginger root
3 cups powdered sugar
2 tsp lemon juice + milk

Method:

Oven 350*
Combine the dry ingredients in a bowl and set aside. Gently heat milk over medium high heat, when warm, add the tea bags and brew a strong chai. Mix the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy, then add the eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Mix in the vanilla powder. Mix the wet and dry ingredients together taking care to not overmix, then add the chai milk, the apples and the candied ginger flakes. Line a cake pan with parchment paper and bake about 35-45 minutes.