Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Copy Cat P.F. Chang's

This is actually another dinner inspired by my friend Christy. She made it a few nights ago and I just knew that Jesse would love it. He is a big fan of Chinese food. The recipe turned out pretty good. My only issue with it was my own fault. Out of habit I seasoned the beef while cooking so the end result was pretty salty. I plan on trying this again, but with chicken and WITHOUT the additional salt. I think I'll be retaining water for a month! Ha!

P.F. Chang's Mongolian Beef
(Source: recipezaar, directions re-written by me)

* 2 teaspoons vegetable oil
* 1/2 teaspoon ginger, minced
* 1 tablespoon garlic, chopped
* 1/2 cup soy sauce
* 1/2 cup water
* 3/4 cup dark brown sugar
* vegetable oil, for frying (about 1 cup)
* 1 lb flank steak
* 1/4 cup cornstarch
* 2 large green onions

Heat 2 teaspoons of vegetable oil in a small sauce pan. Add the garlic and ginger and saute on medium heat for about 2 minutes (careful not to burn your garlic!). After 2 minutes add the soy sauce and water and bring to a boil. Once boiling add the brown sugar and reduce heat. Let simmer and thicken while you prepare the beef.

Heat vegetable oil in a wok until it is hot but not smoking. While the oil is heating cut the flank steak into 1/4-1/1 inch strips, against the grain. Coat the the strips in cornstarch and let sit for a few minutes. Next carefully drop the beef strips into the hot oil and cook for 2 minutes, stirring occasionally to cook evenly. After 2 minutes remove the beef with a slotted a spoon and place on paper towels while you drain the oil from the wok. Put the now empty wok back on the burner add return the beef to the pan. Cook over medium heat. After 2 or 3 minutes add the sauce to the wok and simmer for 10 minutes. Then add the chopped green onions. Serve the beef over rice.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Pumpkin Whoopie Pies

This post has moved to the Sunny Side :) Click the link for the recipe, I promise it's worth it!!

5 Cheese Spread

This just could be one of the most adaptable appetizers in history. Really. I made this up last Christmas and I'm not sure I've ever made it exactly the same since, but every time I get a ton of compliments. It works with pretty much any cheese you have on hand. You could even add lump crab meat or shredded chicken to it to create a more substantial spread. Basically what I'm saying is, if you're looking for a great go-to appetizer recipe this is it. Keep in mind that most of the measurements are approximates seeing as I never really make it the exact same way twice. You should use this recipe as a guide and let the cooking God's inspire to make this dish your own.

5 (or 4 or 3 or 6) Cheese Spread
My own recipe

1/3 cup light mayonnaise
1/3 cup light sour cream
1/2 cup Neufatchel cheese (light cream cheese)
3/4 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp dry onion flakes or onion powder
Sprinkle to taste paprika, cayenne pepper, salt and fresh ground pepper
1/2-3/4 cup cheese (This time I used a 5 cheese blend that had mozzarella, provolone, Parmesan, asiago and Romano. Sometimes I use just Parmesan, asiago and Romano. It all depends on what I have or what's on sale or which way the wind the is blowing)

Combine the mayonnaise, sour cream and cream cheese in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse for 30 seconds.
Add the seasonings and cheese and pulse until well blended. (I like to do taste tests while adding the seasonings to be sure I don't over season. Just add a little, pulse, taste and repeat)
Spoon into your prettiest dip dish and bake at 375 until golden brown on the edges and bubbly in the middle.
Serve with triscuits, carrots, beer bread cubes, celery, tortilla chips, sliced crusty bread, you name it.