Monday, April 3, 2017

L A O T I A N

B E E F  J E R K Y



AHHHH.. The time has come. My beef jerky has been perfected! This winter I've picked up a new, super tasty hobby & that is making my own seen hang (beef jerky in Lao)! Every snow storm we've had up here in New England gave me an excuse to make a new batch. I'm so happy to say that after a handful of tries (all which were edible thank god) the winner has been chosen. May I present to you my Laotian Beef Jerky (sticky rice + jeow not included).

Are you thinking: "I don't have a dehydrator, how am I going to make this?" Fear not! I made all my jerky in the oven. Traditionally, I remember growing up & my parents would actually hang beef in the kitchen from the tops of the cabinets. I'd bring friends home after school & seeing their WTF faces from the cuts of meat dangling was priceless. 

This method in the oven is a little less 'beef-in-yo-face'; although on a hot summer's day I feel like hanging it up to dry would be a funny thing to do to my husband!

If you are worried about your beef jerky being too bland or too salty, you can always do a taste test. Snip off a tiny piece of the marinated beef & nuke it in the microwave for a minute or until cooked. I usually do this with my eggroll filling, too! 

As far as cuts of beef goes I tried sirloins, flanks & also both top + bottom round roasts. The winner? The cheaper cuts taste just as good as the more expensive ones! I will buy the best deal at the market & trim it up. I like to leave some fat for flavor but feel free to get rid of it if you want.

Pleeeaaase let me know if you plan on giving this recipe a try! I know it's been awhile but I would love to hear from you, my readers. Yes.. you are reading this therefore I can actually say that! As always, thanks for the support. This .com ish ain't free so I hope someone out there appreciates this!

Ingredients:
3lb Top Round Beef Roast 
1/2 cup Soy sauce
2 tbsp Fish sauce
2 tbsp Oyster sauce
3 tbsp Sugar
1 tbsp Salt
1 tbsp Black pepper
1/2 tbsp Garlic powder
1/2 tbsp Onion powder
1/2 tbsp Red pepper flakes
1 tbsp Sesame seeds

Skewers + Aluminum foil

Directions:

1. Start by taking the beef out of the package & rinsing. If using a big roast, slice in half and transfer onto a plate. Place into the freezer for 20-30 minutes, enough to firm up the beef for easier slicing. *Use a serrated knife!


2. In a large bowl whisk together all the ingredients. 



3. Again with the serrated knife slice beef into 1/4" thick pieces. You can do more of a thin strip or do a big, flat piece. Cut the beef against the grain (this site helps explain). Also, feel free to cut off most of the fat (but leave some for good ol' naughty fun!) 


4. Mix sliced beef in with marinade & let sit in fridge covered for a day.


5. Next day! Hello again [: Put one oven rack at the lowest and one at highest setting. Line bottom rack with aluminum foil. 


6. Drain any remaining marinade and start to skewer the beef- one skewer should fit 6 pieces. Dangle them in the oven on the highest rack with the pieces in between each slot. 


*Here's another picture! The foil helps keep your oven clean from marinade drips.


7.  Now slide those racks in real nice & set your oven to the lowest setting. Mine goes to 170°F. To allow air to flow in the oven wedge a wooden spoon in the door like this.


8. NOW TO WAIT! I set my timer for 4 hours. At the last hour check out your jerky. The smaller, thinner pieces may be done! They shouldn't be hard but firm. Take those out. Leave the chunkier guys in there for the full 4 hours. You can tell it's ready by the color & firmness. 


9. Are we done? NO!! We're not done yet! Remove the rest of the jerky from the oven.




10. Now, it's time to flash fry these suckers! FLASH FRY. This is where Laotian beef jerky differs from American styles. It not only gives it a shiny gloss but also a nice smoky flavor. Heat up some vegetable oil in a wok, pan or fryer if you have one & throw them in! Just a few seconds will do, you don't want to burn your jerky.



11. Line a tray with paper napkins and drain the ready to eat beef jerky. The picture below shows the freshly-flash-fried pieces on the left next to the batch that are waiting their turn.



Serve with sticky rice & a nice spicy dip like jeow mak len.. mmmm & you have yourself a damn tasty Lao meal! 



What do you think? Going to try it or nah? If you do, please please please let me know! Or don't. Whatever. Do you. If you made it all the way to the end of this blog post then high-five to you! Happy Spring!

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

N O V E M B E R  E A T S:
N E W  Y O R K



NEW PHONE. WHO DIS!?

Please forgive me for I have sinned.. it's been 7 months since my last blog post! Things have been insanely busy in those months. I literally became a new person- hi! My name is Jeannie Richardson now! Although I still haven't gotten around to legally changing it..

Yes, on October 8th I married my best friend in the whole wide universe :) We're pretty pumped. Our cat, Yumi, is too.. she really loves it. Here's a picture from our big day!



Since Todd & I won't be taking our honeymoon until next Summer we decided to take a "mini-moon" to hold us over. During the summer I saw one of his favorite musicians (Seu Jorge) was going to be touring/ doing a tribute to David Bowie through the Life Aquatic movie. Obviously the Boston show had little allure compared to the New York City one! 

NY has always been a favorite of mine- mainly for the food. I nervously make a list of places to try & basically revolve my whole (world) itinerary around it. We were able to make it to almost every spot I listed- we would've thrown up if we went to all of them :)

Here are all the pictures I was able to capture:


Umami Classic @ Pokéworks

First tried this place almost 10 years ago & visited it again!
Such a neat, little izakaya :) @ Yakitori Taisho


Asparagus with Mentai Mayo

Supa Tuna Don

Yakitori! Beef tongue, hearts, livers, quail eggs, pork belly, etc!

Creamy Salmon Yakisoba

Crème brûlée Dough'ssant filled with a vanilla bean cream! UGH <3

Matcha soft serve in a churro cone

Nova Lox Bagel @ Ess-a-Bagel

Imperial Stouts @ Hops Hill

Super crunchy & fresh REUBENS 

Burrata with Anchovy Stuffed Tomatoes @ Cacio e Pepe

Food dreams come true! Cacio e Pepe tossed in a giant wheel of cheese!

I napped so hard after this

Filipino Brunch @ Maharlika Chicken & Ube Waffle 

Mango Stuffed French Toast

Arroz Caldo & Crabcake Benedict in the back! 

Yummy Aiyu Jelly Lemonade @ Baohaus

Our favorite @ Artichoke PIZZA! 

THANK YOU TO MY COUSIN ANDY & HIS WIFE ANNIE FOR PICKING THESE UP!!
Chocolate & Walnut Cookies @ Levain Bakery (Chocolate & Peanut Butter not shown but was amazing!! By far the best cookies we've ever had)

Another treat from them: Cupcakes from Two Little Red Hens

That.. was quite the little trip! I'm hoping to start blogging more now that I don't have a wedding to plan. I want to eventually start taking better photos, too. How? With the sun setting at 4pm? Lack of that good, natural light? Somehow.

Saaanku for reading! Til next time, pus pus. 






Tuesday, April 12, 2016

S T E A M E D  T I L A P I A 
w/ 
G I N G E R + S C A L L I O N


Heyoooo! Happy April~! 

My absolute #1 month because of so many reasons. Todd & I have birthdays in April (10th & 11th), adorable flower buds pop out of the ground, winter SHOULD be over! The list goes on..

Can you believe it.. we are already a WHOLE quarter in to the year! 2016.. where's it all going!?

Speaking of a "whole" I have been diving into cooking more with whole fish. I recently scored a good deal on whole tilapia & was dying to prepare them. I knew exactly what to make: one of my all time favorite & the über classic ginger + scallion mix!

If tilapia is not your thing this would work well with any other light, white fish (think cod, red snapper, haddock). The sauce really plays well on the fluffy, fish meat!

Since there are only a few ingredients make sure to grab the best of the best. Also, put on your tough girl/ boy chef hat with this. There were some moments where I was reminded at how gnarly preparing a whole fish is! As with everything.. practice [:

Ingredients:
Whole tilapia (1 to 3)
1 large Ginger root
1 bunch Scallions
1/2 cup Canola oil
1/2 cup Soy for seafood
(or soy sauce + sugar)

gut, de-fin, de-gill, score!

julienne into thin, matchstick slivers 



Directions:

1. First! It's all about the *mise en place*. This is the prep before you begin to get into the art of cooking! Wash ginger & scallion. Peel your ginger & chop ends off of scallions. Now, patiently cut into thin strips. This is how you julienne! Doing this gives the ingredients a more delicate touch to the dish. Note: add scallions to cold water to keep it fresh!


2. To prepare the fish remove guts & gills if they haven't been removed already. Trim off fins leaving just the tail intact. Don't like the look of the head?? Chop it off! Things get real intense & bloody when preparing fish- so if you don't like the dissection go ahead & use a filet- I won't judge you!

sweet action shot caught by todd!

1 down 2 more to go!

3. The style I steamed the fish in was "en papillote" which is a fancy French term for "in parchment". If you have a steamer, use that! Have a wide pan with room for a plate to steam in? Do it up. I basically took parchment & created a pouch where I put ALL the ingredients in & popped in an oven at 400º for 20 minutes! Easy peasy. Check out the full instructions on how to fold the pouch here from Bon Apetit! 

Leave half of ginger, scallions, & soy sauce mix to fry in a pan while your fish steams! 


Stuff the cavity! Pile it all in thurrrr


4. Enclose the fish with the parchment paper. Trust me, this takes practice! Start from the bottom and keep folding each fold together until you reach the top. Steam!
5. Place in a serving platter & top with the stirfried ginger & scallions. Serve with white rice!





Thursday, February 11, 2016

J A M E S O N & G I N G E R
G L A Z E D  W I N G S
+ T E M P U R A  S H I S H I T O
P E P P E R S



A double feature! A double down! A Dubsmash! 

Pardon my excitement, everyone. These both came out mind blowingly good- so I got a little pumped when I saw them again.

Superbowl 50! What a game, amiright?! Just kidding- I don't think I even watched 2 minutes of the game-- I was focused on drinking, cooking & hosting. Aside from these two things I also made beef barbacoa taquitos that I didn't have one bite of because they were gone in seconds.

If you really know me, you will know that Jameson Irish Whiskey is my all-time favorite hard liquor. Jameson & ginger with a lime all day! I even concocted a Jeannie-son & Ginger Martini at Blue Taleh when I was a full-time drink slinger.

These wings were the perfect amount of sticky & I can say they are the best wings I've ever made. The key is to really get a nice charring on the skin.. mmm.

The tempura shishito peppers were something Todd & I had in Phoenix, AZ at Squid Ink Sushi Bar. There were bonito flakes (dried fish) on top of the ones we had but I was out so I opted for Korean chile threads! 

I've been buying a lot of random spices online lately- check out Spice Jungle & Beanilla if you are just the slightest bit intrigued.They instantly make any dish look freaking fancy as fuuuuhh. 

So here goes! Please let me know in the comments below.. if you like it, watched Bey perform, drink Jameson, are a wings or drums kinda person, or whatever else! I want more comments! 

Please, just to know I'm not talking to myself here. Or you know what? So what if I'm talking to myself.. either way- comment & make me smile [:

Ingredients:


For Jameson & Ginger Wings

2 dozen Wings + drums
2 cups JAMESON
1 ginger root peeled & minced
4 cloves garlic minced
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup plain ol' white sugar
1 cup soy sauce
1/2 cup Hoisin sauce
Sesame seeds & scallions for garnish





For Tempura Shishito Peppers
1 bag Shishito Peppers (~20 peppers)
1 cup flour
1 cup water
Oil for frying
Any dipping sauce you want




Directions:

For Jameson & Ginger Wings
1. Mix whiskey, brown + white sugar, soy sauce, ginger, garlic & hoisin sauce together in a bowl. 
2. Rinse your wings & drums- add HALF of the sauce. Marinate them suckers for a day if you can! Or however long you can really..



3. Preheat the oven for 400°. Line a large baking sheet or two with aluminum foil & spread the chicken all out in a single layer. Bake for 30 minutes on one side & flip to bake for another 20 minutes. 
4. While the chicken is cooking take the other half of your sauce mix & put in a sauce pot to caramelize. Start at high heat & once it boils bring it medium. As the liquid begins to evaporate bring it to a steady simmer. This literally took me the entire time the chicken baked! If the sauce doesn't thicken add cornstarch (a little bit at a time!)


4. Put the broiler on high & transfer the chicken to the top rack to get a nice, dark charring! This is seriously key. 
5. Once the chicken is done cooking add to a platter & drizzle the glaze all over. Toss it up!
6. Sprinkle toasted sesame seeds & chopped scallions on top to serve.


For Tempura Shishito Peppers
1. Rinse peppers well & make a slit lengthwise in every pepper. This ensures there is no popping in your hot pan full of oil! Also, if you are scared of the heat- don't make these! Kidding.. take some seeds out (I did not do this because I'm not a pussy).


2. Speaking of hot pan full of oil.. fill a pan/ wok about 1" deep with your fav frying oil.
3. Mix flour & water together. If you like a thicker tempura, add more flour (think pancake batter).. if you like a thinner tempura add more water!
4. Holding the stem of one pepper at a time, dip into your batter & drop into your oil to FRY BABY FRY!!


5. Easy.. so so so goddamn easy. Flip them after a minute or so & fry for another minute. The last thing to do is garnish with chile threads (god, I love chile threads) & serve with a little dipping sauce! I opted for a dumpling sauce mixed with spicy ponzo. Maybe I'll do a spicy mayo next?


So! Do you think you will make these? Let me know if you do & I'll love you FOREVER.