Tag: basil

Thai Beef and Basil Stir Fry

Stir fry

Stir fry

Wow you guys. Life has been crazy and a half. After being laid off at the end of February, I just started a new job and I’m totally in love with it. I’m just an assistant really, but the woman I’m assisting is the CEO of this start-up company and she’s super smart, creative, fun, and kind. I’ve been working with her now for two weeks and I’m having such a blast and learning lots. Also, it’s at the same place where Jonah works, so we get to drive to work together (and then not really see each other all day because he’s in the studio and I’m at the CEO’s desk) and then go home! I’ll admit, I was a little worried about it, but it’s really fun, actually. So that’s a little update on my life and perhaps a bit of an excuse as to why it’s been almost a week since I’ve posted. I was so not used to working a full time job that at the end of each day, I was so tired that I didn’t want to cook. But I’m now getting used to the new schedule and getting back in the kitchen.

This stir fry is the most delicious stir fry that I’ve maybe ever had. I found it while surfing food52, one of my new favorite food blog things. It’s really different than a lot of stir fry or Asian-influenced dishes and super flavorful. And pretty dang easy. This recipe serves 2, so if you’re feeding more than that, multiply. I’ve adapted a little bit.

Thai Beef and Basil Stir Fry

Ingredients

Fish Chili Sauce

1/2-1 serrano pepper, chopped
1 Tbl fish sauce
1/4 cup water
1 clove garlic, chopped

Stir Fry

1 Tbl vegetable oil
2/3 lb. ground beef
1 red onion, sliced thinly
1 serrano pepper, chopped (more if you want it spicier)
3-5 cloves of garlic, peeled and chopped
1 Tbl soy sauce, plus some for finishing
1 Tbl fish sauce, plus some for finishing
1/2 tsp brown sugar
1 cup thai basil leaves, packed (I just used regular basil… It was fine)
1 fried egg per person

Rice for serving

Instructions

First, make the chili sauce by combining the four ingredients in a bowl, stir, and set it aside.

Start cooking your rice! It’s always good to do a 2:1 water to rice ratio, bring it to a boil, and then turn down the heat to a simmer, and let it cook, covered. Check it occasionally and when it’s done, turn off the heat. Heat the wok or a fry pan with oil. When the oil starts to smoke, add the garlic, chili, sugar and onion. Cook until the onions have softened and become a golden brown.

Add the meat and cook for about 5 minutes, then add the soy sauce and fish sauce. Fry until the meat is thoroughly cooked, another 2-3 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and add the basil leaves, mixing them in until they’re wilted. Put the stir fry in bowls over rice and fry an egg per person. Put the egg on the stir fry and you’re done! Accompany with fish sauce and say sauce to taste!

Panko Chicken Tenders with Aioli

Panko Chicken TendersPanko Chicken Tenders

Pinterest is kind of a dangerous place. It’s great because there are tons of recipes, DIYs, fashion tips, art, etc. It’s less great because it’s hard to tell which ones, among hundreds of recipes, are good. There are like 500 recipes for muffins… how do I know which one will taste good? So it can be a little bit of a crap shoot when you decide to actually make a recipe you found on Pinterest.

But that’s what I did. I actually found the blog Love and Olive Oil because of a Meyer Lemon and Olive Oil chiffon cake that was going around Pinterest like wildfire. So I clicked. But I found a whole bunch of other lovely looking recipes, including one for Baked Panko Chicken Tenders with Aioli. Sounds delicious to me, and even more so when you actually read the ingredients. We replaced the garlic powder for fresh garlic.

This dinner was wonderfully simple and tasted so good. Both the chicken and aioli had a nice bite to them (but not too spicy, mind you) because of the cayenne, paprika, and garlic. Enjoy!

Panko Chicken Tenders with Aioli

Ingredients

Panko Chicken Tenders

1 1/2 lbs boneless skinless chicken breasts
1 1/2 cups panko breadcrumbs
2 teaspoons dried basil
2 teaspoons garlic, minced
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/2 teaspoon cayenne
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
2 eggs
1/2 cup flour
oil

Aioli

1/2 cup mayonnaise
2 teaspoons red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
a squeeze of lemon juice
salt and pepper, to taste

Instructions

Panko Chicken Tenders

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Oil a baking sheet and set aside. In a shallow bowl, combine the flour with a little pinch of salt and pepper. In another shallow bowl, beat the eggs. In a third shallow bowl, mix the panko with the basil, garlic, paprika, cayenne, salt and pepper.

Now for the thinning of the chicken. Put your chicken between 2 layers of plastic wrap or just put it on a cutting board and cover it in the paper it came in from the grocery store. Pound it with either a meat pounder (is that what those things are actually called?) or a rolling pin. You want them to be about 1/2 an inch thick. Slice it into strips.

Now, coat each chicken strip, one at a time, in the flour mixture (shaking off any excess flour), then dip in the egg, and then the panko mixture. Arrange the chicken strips on the oiled baking sheet, and put them in the oven for 12-15 minutes, flipping halfway through. You want the breadcrumb coating to be nicely golden brown.

Aioli

Combine all the ingredients in a bowl and stir, and then season to taste with salt and pepper. Not so hard, right?

Pasta with Fresh Pesto

Pasta with Fresh Pesto
Pasta with Fresh Pesto

Pasta with Fresh Pesto

So last week I was in tech and then the run of a show. I had to make really quick dinners because by the time I got done nannying or doing whatever I was doing, I usually had only an hour to cook and eat before heading out to the theater. I pulled out the Alice Waters cookbook and looked for something incredibly quick and delicious. I came across a recipe for fresh pesto (which takes like no time at all to make), and immediately got very excited. Many years ago, a friend of mine named Sierra studied abroad in Italy. When she returned she came over to our house and made us fresh pesto, and man, there is nothing like pasta with fresh pesto. So, with that delicious meal in mind, I set out on my own pesto expedition.

Pasta with Fresh Pesto

Ingredients

1 lb dry pasta
1 garlic clove
salt
1/4 cup lightly toasted pine nuts
1/4 cup (or more) freshly grated parmesan cheese
1 cup lightly packed basil
1/2 cup olive oil

Instructions

First, you’ll want to boil a big old pot of water that has been abundantly salted. While that’s boiling, you can get started on the pesto. Now the cookbook said to use a mortar and pestle but a) who has those anymore and b) why use those when you have a food processor? If you don’t have a food processor, then I suggest you return to the mortar/pestle technique.

In your food processor, combine garlic and salt, pulse. Then add the pine nuts, pulse again until finely minced. Now add in the cheese, pulse again. Ready for the green? Coursely chop your basil, and add it to the food processor, and… you guessed it… pulse! Now add your olive oil and pulse again.

While you’ve been doing all this pesto stuff, hopefully you’ve not forgotten about cooking your pasta. The recipe in the book said to reserve 1 cup of pasta water and add it along with the pesto, but I did not do this… Mostly because I didn’t read the recipe (STUPID ANNIE. You should always ALWAYS read through a recipe completely before you make it). I think I just figured pasta + pesto = delicious, what else could you possibly need to do? Anyway, it all still worked out just fine. As I was saying, cook your pasta, strain it (reserving pasta water if you’d like), and put it back in the pot with the pesto. Mix it up and serve with a light dusting of parmesan cheese.