Weekly Dishes – Pepper Beef

Hi folks! Hasn’t the weather lately been lovely? At least it has been here in the PNW. I’m going to blame the sunshine for keeping me from posting this last week. ‘Cause who wants to be inside when it’s sunny out?

This week’s dish has a somewhat long ingredient list, but is actually fairly simple, and is a great choice for when you’re craving Chinese takeout. It’s another family favorite, and was one of my top choices as a child. Even with the pepper in it. My own kids love it too.

Here’s what you’ll need:

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  • 1 lb. Thin cut beef (or breakfast steak cut thinly)
  • 3 Green bell peppers, sliced
  • 1-2 Onions, thinly sliced
  • Vegetable oil for cooking (about 2 tablespoons)

Sauce A – Meat marinade

  • 1 teaspoon Sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon Salt
  • Pepper, to taste
  • 1 tablespoon Cornstarch (flour works too)
  • 1 tablespoon Soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons Mirin (a Japanese sweet rice wine; sherry is a good substitute, just add 1-2 tablespoons sugar to sweeten it)
  • Sesame oil, to taste (I usually put about 1/2 to 1 teaspoon in)
  • Ginger (fresh or powdered), to taste
  • 1 clove Garlic (about 1/2 teaspoon)
  • 1 tablespoon Vegetable oil

Sauce B – Broth

  • 1 teaspoon Salt
  • 1 tablespoon Cornstarch
  • 3/4 cups beef broth
  • 1 tablespoon Soy sauce

All right, now if that list of ingredients scared you, put those fears aside. Trust me, it’s not as scary as it sounds.

Step one is going to be assembling your sauces. Get a larger bowl for sauce mixture A, because you’ll be marinating your beef in it. The second mixture will fit in a smaller bowl (I use a cereal bowl). To minimize on utensils, start with all the dry ingredients first, then add in the wet. If you’re substituting sherry for the mirin, don’t forget the extra tablespoon or two of sugar when you’re doing this step.

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Next, set mixture B (that’s the little bowl) aside and grab your beef and mixture A (the big bowl). Mix in the beef so that it’s thoroughly coated in the mixture, and let stand for 15 min.

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While the meat is marinating, cut up your green bell pepper and the onion. Try and slice the onion as thinly as you can.

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Heat 1 tablespoon vegetable oil in a wok on high (you can use a regular frying pan, but I’d advise sticking with a non-stick, no pun intended). Once the oil is hot, add in the peppers and onion, and fry for about 2 minutes.

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When the vegetables have just started to soften, remove to serving bowl.

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Wipe out the pan with a paper towel if needed. Add more oil to the pan, and once it’s heated, add the beef. Fry on high for about 3 minutes.

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Before the meat is completely cooked (aka while it’s still a bit pink), add sauce mixture B and cook until it starts to thicken slightly (about 1 minute).

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Add in the pre-cooked vegetables, and cook until heated through.

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And you’re done!

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I serve this with white rice and sometimes make some store-bought spring rolls in the oven.

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Enjoy!

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Weekly Dishes – Honey Baked Chicken

Remember a few weeks ago I shared with you that I had something new in the works? Well, it’s finally time to launch my new series: my Weekly Dishes.

One of the things that several people said when I asked for feedback on what they wanted to see was “more recipes!” Apparently all the posting and sharing of different meals was too enticing, and I needed to follow it up with something they could go with.

So, because you asked, here is your new series, where I will pick one dish a week (it may be an entrée, a dessert, or something in between), and share the recipe with you. I will endeavor to also share the complete meal plan with you too, because one of my pet peeves about recipes is that they often leave you at a loss for what to serve with it! So, whenever I share an entrée, and if applicable, I will also share what else I cook with it.

Without further ado, here is my first recipe: Honey Baked Chicken.

This recipe is a family heirloom (sort of). It’s a meal I grew up with, and honestly I don’t know where my Mom got it (she may not be sure either). It’s a staple in my household, and while it takes time to cook, the recipe itself is VERY easy. A great choice for busy moms.

Here’s what you’ll need:

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Serves 2 adults and 2 children.

  • Two Chicken breasts
  • 1/3 cup Unsalted butter (can use salted if it’s all you have on hand)
  • 1/3 cup Honey (sorry, I forgot to put this in the picture)
  • 2 tablespoons Mustard (any kind works, but I typically prefer Dijon. I used Spicy brown mustard this time)
  • 1 teaspoon Curry powder
  • 1 teaspoon Salt (less if using salted butter)
  • a small saucepan
  • large casserole/baking dish (does not need to be glass)
  • meat cutting board
  • knife
  • wooden spoon
Oven temp: 350; cooking time: 1 hour 15 min. Prep time: 10-15 min
Step one is to preheat the oven to 350. While you’re waiting for the oven to heat up, cut up your chicken into smaller portion sizes (I typically cut them into 4 or 5 pieces, depending on the size). If your chicken breast is thick, butterfly cut it so that it will cook more evenly (I’ve put a link in for you in case you don’t know what butterflying is, but basically, you cut it lengthwise most of the way through, but not all the way). Go ahead and put those chickens into the baking dish.
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When you’re done with that, heat the saucepan on medium, and melt the butter. Watch it closely to ensure that you don’t burn the butter.
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Once it’s completely melted, remove it from the heat, and add in remaining ingredients (honey, mustard, curry powder, and salt). Mix it all together. You’ll end up with a sauce that looks like this:
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Pour the sauce over the chicken, making sure to coat the chicken as much as you can.
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Then stick it in the oven! Cook for 1 hour to 1 hour and 15 minutes (depending on how golden you want it), basting every 15 minutes.
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This is what it’ll look like about halfway through.

And then you’re done!
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I typically serve this with white rice, salad, and some other simple vegetable (like corn or peas). You could certainly eat it with bread, but eating the rice with the sauce poured over is simply amazing. I think I like it better than the chicken.
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Enjoy!

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