Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Two meals

Here are two meals we've done in the past few days. The first is a so-so recipe from Everyday Food. Thai Beef with Chile and Basil over Coconut Rice. Something needs to be worked on in this recipe to balance the flavors some. Fish sauce was too dominate. Also, this is strange coming from me, but I need to kick up the veggie component to this meal. Perhaps additional peppers? Green beans or broccoli? I was excited about the coconut rice, but the recipe didn't work, I had to add additional water part way thru the cooking process. I also ended up with something more like a coconut risotto. Not the best meal.

Thai Beef with Chiles and Basil over Coconut Rice
1 1/4 cup jasmine rice
1 can (13.5 oz) coconut milk
2 TB plus 1 tsp fish sauce
2 TB plus 1 tsp soy sauce
1 tsp sugar
1 TB vegetable oil
3 garlic cloves, chopped
3 long hot peppers or red jalapenos, seeded and sliced into matchsticks
1 1/4 lb ground beef
1 cup loosely packed basil leaves
lime wedges for serving

1. In a medium saucepan, combine rice, coconut milk and 3/4 cup water and 1/2 tsp salt. Cover and bring to a boil; reduce to a simmer, cover and cook until rice is tender and liquid has been absorbed, about 25 minutes.

2. When rice is almost done, combine fish sauce, soy sauce and sugar in a small bowl; set aside. Heat a skillet or wok over high. Add oil and heat; add garlic and half the chiles. Cook, stirring constantly, 15 seconds. Add beef and cook, breaking up meat with wooden spoon until completley browned, about 4 minutes. Add soy mixture and cook for 30 seconds. Add basil and remaining chiles and stir to combine. Serve beef over coconut rice and with lime wedges.

NOTE: The rice didn't cook properly. I had to add almost an additional cup of water to the recipe. I'd either go with plain rice or try using more water and less coconut milk. See if that works. As for the beef. I'd add some veggies as I suggested, maybe pre-cook them, then stir into the beef at the end. I'd also cut back to 1 TB of fish sauce next time. This was too much.


Last night I made Italian Sausage & Peppers. I was looking forward to using up the vegetables. They are on their last leg in our un-refrigerated house. But when all was said and done. I was very unsatisfied with the meal. This can be traced directly back to the Italian sausages I had purchased. Quality ingredients are key. So for your viewing pleasure, I will only give you sauteing peppers and onions. This would have been a far more satisfying dinner just like this! Oh well.


Tony said...

While it's not exactly thai... you could add some zucchini to the stir fry (either rounds or shreds or perhaps julienne). It's fairly flavor-neutral and if done over high heat can retain some crisp-ness. And speaking of crispness, bok choi is a perennial fav.

DancerInDC said...

For the stir fry, I felt like the flavor was pretty good, but it was the texture that was getting to me. I think it would be better with strips of beef or something.

The pasta was fine, but I agree the sausage was just off. I really only wanted to eat the pasta and peppers.

Lady Brandenburg said...

Tried this last night (10/1) sort of - I actually used a different, yet recipe off some random internet site. I see now that I should have used your recipe for the beef, and the other recipe for the rice... because our rice turned out really well (the other recipe has you put 1 cup water in with the can of coconut milk), but the beef was not as tasty as Josh would have liked.

A few comments. I really liked the flavor, I think it was savory enough to stand by itself. Josh didn't like it as much - and probably would agree with Jason that beef strips and not ground beef. Also, the other recipe didn't have the soy sauce and fish sauce and sugar - that would have made a big difference.

I did make the coconut rice successfully - that was my favorite part. While it was cooking I threw in a few dashes of Garam Masala. That was fun.

I used quite a bit of lime juice because I just loved the coconut and lime flavors. We shlupped the meat together with the rice on our plates, and added chili sauce (that red stuff with the green squeezy cap).

Anyway, I think this is worth adding to the repertoire because the flavors were so interesting to me - I will try a few things differently next time.