The other day I was saying that I should do a purge of my cookbooks because I have so many that I don’t use them all. So Ernie suggested that once a week I pick a cookbook I haven’t used either in a long time–or at all—and we’ll make a recipe from it. We’ve been highly successful thus far—-two for two. The first week I finally used a recipe out of Hot Sour Salty Sweet, an absolutely gorgeous cookbook that I just haven’t cooked from. We made Khmer Stir-Fried Ginger and Beef and it was wonderful. There was tons of ginger but it wasn’t overwhelming, just warm and slightly spicy. We served it with stir-fried vegetables and rice.
Khmer Stir-Fried Ginger and Beef
(saiko cha k’nye-Cambodia)
Generous 1/2 pound boneless sirloin, eye of round, or other lean beef
1/2 pound ginger, perferably young
3 tablespoons vegetable or peanut oil
3-4 cloves garlic, smashed and minced
2 tablespoons Thai fish sauce
2 teaspoons sugar
Thinly slice the beef across the grain and set aside. Peel the ginger, then slice it into fine matchstick-length julienne.
Heat a wok over medium high heat. Ad the oil and, when it is hot, add the garlic. Cook until golden, 20-30 seconds. Add the meat and stir-fry, using your spatula to separate the slices and to expose them all to the hat, until most of the meat has changed color. Add the fish sauce and sugar, toss in the ginger twigs, and stir-fry until just tender, 4-5 minutes. Serve hot with rice.
We used the sirloin and a saute pan rather than digging out the wok from God knows where in the basement. We’ll definitely make it again and of course it couldn’t have been simpler.
Last night I picked a recipe from Sara Moulton Cooks at Home, a cookbook I’ve used in the past but hadn’t looked at in a long time. We made Indonesian Style Chicken with Spicy Peanut Sauce. Now I’ve made a fair number of recipes using these basic flavors but this one definitely takes the cake so to speak. It was WONDERFUL!!
Indonesian Style Chicken with Spicy Peanut Sauce
For the chicken:
8 large chicken thighs (about 2 1/2 pounds)
kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
1/4 cup vegetable oil, preferably peanut
1/4 cup soy sauce
2 tablespoons honey
2 garlic cloves, minced
one 2-inch piece of ginger, peeled and minced
1 tablespoon toasted coriander seeds, ground
1/4 teaspoon cayenne
1/4 teaspoon curry powder
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
for the sauce:
3/4 cup peanut butter
1/2 cup hoisin sauce
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1 tablespoon Asian sesame oil
one 1-inch piece of ginger, peeled and minced
pinch hot red pepper flakes
To prepare the chidken, trim the thighs of excess fat and use a sharp knife to score. Cut through the skin, deep into the flesh, at 1/2 inch intervals. Season with salt and pepper. Whisk 2 tablespoons of the oil, the soy sauce, honey, garlic, ginger, coriander seeds, cayenne and curry powder together in a small bowl. Transfer to a large plastic bag. Place the thighs in the bag and marinate at room temperatur for 1 hour or int he refrigerator for 2-3 hours. Shake the bag fromtime to time to distribute the marinade evenly.
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Remove the chicken from the marinade and pat dry with paper towels Melt the butter with the remaining 2 tablespoons oil in a large ovenproof skillet over medium high heat. Add the thighs and cook until browned, 3-4 minutes per side. Pour off the fat, leave the thighs in the skillet, and transfer to the oven. Bake, uncovered, turning once, until a for inserted near the bone easily enters the flesh, about 25 minutes.
To prepare the sauce, combine the peanut butter, hoisin, lime juice, soy sauce, sesame oil, ginger, and pepper flakes in a blender. Pour in 1/2 cup water and blend until smooth.
Drizzle a small amount of the sauce on the thighs and serve the rest on the side.
I served it with brown rice and spinach and it was marvelous. Now I need to pick out another cookbook for next week…..