Thursday, April 15, 2010
Has anyone else been watching Jamie Oliver's new show, Jamie's Food Revolution? I think it's great what he's trying to do with that town in West Virginia. He's trying to reform the school's lunch program and get people in that town to learn how to cook and eat real food, not frozen/fried processed crap. In one episode, Jamie prepares this fresh teryaki noodle dish with 5 different kinds of veggies in it for the school's lunch, but it's not considered equivalent because it doesn't contain a full 1 1/4 cups of veggies. So he points to the burger and fries they are serving and asks where the vegetables are in that meal? She responds, "French fries are considered a vegetable." WHAT?!?! Ugh, we have a long way to go people.
In the most recent episode, Jamie was trying to get 1,000 people to cook in his community kitchen in 5 days. Each person learned how to make a basic stir fry and got their picture taken with their finished dish, which was taped up on the wall. After watching people cook and eat that delicious-looking stir fry for an hour, it's no wonder we had a craving to make one ourselves. I happen to have his cookbook, also called Jamie's Food Revolution, so we flipped through that for a stir fry idea.
We decided on a stir fry that used sirloin, rice, and black bean sauce. We couldn't find black bean sauce at the Co-op, so we went to a little Asian food store in town and found a chili black bean sauce. The recipe called for a fresh red chili, so we thought we would kill two birds with one stone and get this sauce.
...It was SO UNBELIEVABLY SPICY. The flavor, from what I could tell, was really good, and the meat we got was really tender, but it was so spicy I couldn't even enjoy it. I think I was actually in physical pain. Next time, we'll just do the regular black bean sauce (like the recipe called for), since I am such a wuss.
Anyone want a jar of super spicy black bean sauce? You're welcome to it!
Sizzling Beef with Scallions and Black Bean Sauce
adapted from Jamie's Food Revolution
Serves 2 (we had extra rice)
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 cup long grain or basmati rice
1/2 pound top loin or sirloin
1 inch piece of fresh ginger, finely sliced (or approximate the equivalent of jarred mined ginger)
2 garlic cloves, peeled and finely sliced
1/2 a fresh red chili, finely sliced
2 scallions, finely sliced
a handful of fresh cilantro
2 tablespoons sesame oil (could probably use less, it was pretty oily)
Peanut or vegetable oil
2 tablespoons good-quality black bean sauce
2-3 tablespoons soy sauce, plus more as needed
1 egg, preferably organic or free-range
Bring a pan of salted water to a boil, stir in the rice and cook according to package directions. When the rice is done, use a fine mesh strainer to drain the rice, and rinse in cold water. Allow the rice to dry out and chill in the fridge while you get the rest of the meal going. You could also make the rice the night before and refrigerate until ready to use.
Trim any excess fat from the steak and slice into 1/2 inch strips.
Pick the cilantro leaves off their stalks and set aside. Finely chop the stalks.
In a large bowl, add the ginger, garlic, chili, scallions, cilantro stalks, and steak strips. Add the sesame oil and mix everything together.
Preheat a wok, or a large frying pan, over high heat. When it's very hot, add a couple tablespoons of peanut oil and swirl to coat the pan. Pour your bowl of chopped ingredients into the pan. Mix quickly and give the pan a good shake. Stir fry for about two minutes, stirring constantly so nothing burns. Add the black bean sauce, one tablespoon of the soy sauce, and the juice of half a lime. Keep stirring. Taste and season with salt and pepper and more soy sauce as needed. Remove from heat and transfer to a bowl, cover with foil to keep warm.
Wipe the pan with a paper towel and return to the heat. Add a couple more tablespoons of peanut oil and swirl to coat the pan. Crack the egg into a small bowl (I always crack eggs into a small bowl first, just in case I get a piece of shell in the egg, I still have a chance to fish it out) then add the egg to the pan, stirring immediately. Add a tablespoon of soy sauce to the egg while it quickly cooks. Once it is scrambled, gradually stir in your cooked rice, scraping the bottom and sides of the pan as you go. Keep mixing for a few minutes until the rice is steaming hot, then taste and season with soy sauce as needed.
To serve, spoon the rice into bowls or onto plates. Top with the meat and black bean sauce. Garnish with cilantro leaves and wedges of lime.