Friday, May 19, 2006
Stir-Fried Thai-Style Beef with Chiles and Shallots
with Spicy Marinated Cucumber Salad and Jasmine Rice
The key to this dish is twofold: first, get Thai basil. It is a cross between mint and fennel — the taste is indescribable. Second, get tamarind concentrate (or paste.) It gives an authentic touch that is difficult to duplicate with substitutes. Palm sugar is good, but brown will do. Piquin chiles are good, but serrano or even jalapeños are okay.
Serves 4 with rice
Beef and Marinade
1 T tamarind concentrate
1/2 tsp. ground white pepper
1 tsp. palm sugar
2 T fish sauce (Nam Pla)
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
1 T minced garlic
2 T lime juice
2 pounds Boston or New York steak , trimmed and cut into 1/4-inch-thick strips
2 T Nam Pla
2 T rice vinegar
2 T water
1 T palm sugar
1 T Asian chili-garlic paste
4 medium cloves garlic , minced (about 2 tablespoons)
3 T vegetable oil
10 Thai bird chiles (piquin), halved, seeds and ribs removed, chiles cut crosswise 1/8 inch thick
3 medium shallots , trimmed of ends, peeled, quartered lengthwise, and layers separated
1/2 cup Thai purple basil, in chiffonade
1/2 cup fresh cilantro leaves, chopped coarsely
1/3 cup chopped unsalted roasted peanuts
Lime wedges for serving
1. For the beef and marinade: Combine marinade ingredients in large bowl. Add beef, toss well to combine; marinate as long as possible. Overnight is good, minimum is one hour.
2. For the stir-fry: In small bowl, stir together fish sauce, vinegar, water, palm sugar, and chili-garlic paste until sugar dissolves; set aside. In small bowl, mix garlic with 1 tsp. oil; set aside. Heat 2 tsp. oil in 12-inch nonstick skillet over high heat until smoking; add one-third of beef to skillet in even layer. Cook, without stirring, until well browned, about 2 minutes, then stir and continue cooking until beef is browned around edges and no longer pink in the center, about 30 seconds. Transfer beef to medium bowl. Repeat with additional oil and remaining meat in 2 more batches.
3. After transferring last batch of beef to bowl, reduce heat to medium; add remaining 2 tsp. oil to now-empty skillet and swirl to coat. Add chiles and shallots and cook, stirring frequently, until beginning to soften, 3 to 4 minutes. Push chile-shallot mixture to sides of skillet to clear center; add garlic to clearing and cook, mashing mixture with spoon, until fragrant, about 15 seconds. Stir to combine garlic with chile-shallot mixture. Add fish sauce mixture to skillet; increase heat to high and cook until slightly reduced and thickened, about 30 seconds. Return beef and any accumulated juices to skillet, toss well to combine and coat with sauce, stir in half of mint and cilantro; serve immediately, sprinkling individual servings with portion of peanuts and remaining herbs, and passing lime wedges separately.
Spicy Cucumber Salad
1/2 cucumber, peeled and sliced thinly
1 tsp. sesame oil
1 tsp. sambal oelek, sriracha or garlic-chile paste
dash lime juice
Combine thoroughly, marinate for a couple of hours in refrigerator. Serve.
2 cups jasmine rice
2 1/3 cups chicken broth
3 cardamom pods
Ghee (clarified butter)
Wash rice until water runs clear. Soak in water for 2 hours, drain. In large sauté pan on medium heat, melt 2 tablespoons ghee or vegetable oil. Fry spices for a couple of minutes. Add drained rice. Stirring constantly, fry for about five minutes, or until glassy. Add hot chicken broth, stir to combine, reduce heat to minimum, cover with aluminum foil and pan lid. Let steam for 18 minutes or so, remove from heat and let rest for 10 more minutes. Remove lid. Remove whole spices and fluff up. Serve.
Posted by ChefNick at 3:51 PM