The cover of the Tri-City Herald's Food & Wine section Jan. 6 will feature hearty and warming chili recipes. Inside you'll find more recipes plus buying, cooking and health tips on a variety of food-related subjects.
Beef Satay on Rice Noodles
For the sauce:
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1 medium clove garlic
1/2 large jalapeno pepper
1 tablespoon honey
2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil
2 tablespoons fermented black bean paste (may substitute; see headnote)
2 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
2 teaspoons rice vinegar
Freshly ground black pepper
For the satay and noodles:
12 ounces fresh or frozen snow peas
1 small bunch cilantro
2-inch piece ginger root
1 teaspoon minced jalapeno pepper
1/2 to 3/4 cup chopped scallions (from the salad bar), or 9 scallions, chopped
2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
2 tablespoons water
3/4 cup orange juice
12 ounces beef tenderloin or strip steak
8 ounces thin rice stick noodles
3 cups shredded carrots (from the salad bar)
1/4 cup roasted unsalted peanuts, chopped
For the sauce: Crush the garlic clove and place in a small bowl. Stem, seed and finely mince the jalapeno pepper (reserving 1 teaspoon for the satay and noodles) and add to the bowl, along with the honey, toasted sesame oil, fermented black bean paste, soy sauce, rice vinegar and black pepper to taste. Whisk together to form a hoisin sauce, then place 2 tablespoons of the sauce in the bowl of a food processor. Cover and refrigerate the rest for another use (up to 2 weeks).
For the satay and noodles: Fill a medium saucepan two-thirds full with water; bring to a boil over high heat. String the snow peas.
Pluck enough cilantro leaves to yield 1 1/2 cups and add to the sauce in the food processor. Peel the ginger, then grate to yield 1 tablespoon and add to the food processor along with the reserved teaspoon of jalapeno pepper, the chopped scallions, sesame oil, water and orange juice. Process for about 30 seconds, then use a spatula to scrape down the sides of the bowl and process for 30 seconds or longer to form a smooth dressing. Transfer 1 tablespoon of the dressing to a small bowl.
Position an oven rack 4 to 6 inches from the top broiling element; preheat the broiler. Have several metal skewers at hand (do not use bamboo skewers). Have ready a broiler pan, or line a baking sheet with aluminum foil. Cut the beef into thin, equally sized slices. Thread all the pieces onto the skewers, then brush the meat on all sides with the tablespoon of dressing in the bowl. Place the filled skewers on the broiler pan or lined baking sheet and broil for 2 minutes, until browned, then turn over the skewers and broil on the second side for 2 minutes or just until cooked through.
While the meat is cooking and once the water has come to a boil, add the rice noodles and cook them for 2 minutes, stirring to separate, until they have softened. Use tongs to transfer them to a colander to drain. Once the water returns to a boil, add the snow peas and shredded carrots to the saucepan; cook for 1 minute, until crisp-tender, then transfer to the colander to drain (on top of the noodles is okay).
While the vegetables are cooking, coarsely chop the peanuts.
Toss the noodles and vegetables together to combine; divide among individual plates or wide, shallow bowls. Top each portion with 2 pieces of skewered beef, 2 tablespoons or more of the remaining dressing (in the food processor) and 2 teaspoons of the chopped peanuts. Serve immediately.
NOTE: If you can't find fermented black bean paste, substitute by whisking together a mixture of 2 tablespoons all-natural creamy peanut butter and 1 tablespoon low-sodium soy sauce. If it is too thick, add up to 1 tablespoon water.
Makes 4 to 6 servings.
NUTRITION Per serving (based on 6): 481 calories, 18 g protein, 53 g carbohydrates, 22 g fat, 5 g saturated fat, 37 mg cholesterol, 708 mg sodium, 5 g dietary fiber, 11 g sugar.
From: The Washington Post, adapted from The Complete Idiot's Guide to Eating Clean by Diane A. Welland.