Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Fog City Diner Sirloin and Black Bean Chili

What better thing to make on a cold, cold day in LA (that means below 60 degrees during the day, with the windchill making it feel like 32 degrees to our thin blooded bodies) than a big pot o' chili?  This weekend looks like another cold and rainy one, so stock up on the ingredients and make this Sat. morning for yummy chili whenever you want all weekend.  It takes about 2 hours to make, including all the chopping, but you can pretty much sit on your tush for about an hour of it.  If you need masa harina, you can either pick it up at your supermarket in the flour/sugar section or feel free to stop by and pick some up from me...I have a giant bag full.

2 lbs boneless sirloin steak, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
1/2 t salt
1/2 t pepper
1/3 c olive oil
2 med. yellow onions, chopped
2 T finely chopped garlic
5 (yes, 5) jalepenos, seeded and finely chopped
3 T chili powder (the chili powder mix, not pure ground chili)
1/2 t cayenne
1/2 t cumin
1/4 c masa harina
3 1/2 c beef broth
2 c cooked black beans (can use canned...rinse and drain.  I used two whole cans because I misread the recipe, but it was still so awesome!)

Heat the oil in a large pot over moderately high heat and brown the meat in batches. Remove the meat using a slotted spoon and set it aside.
Using the same pot, reduce the heat to moderate and saute the garlic, onions, and chiles until softened, about 3 minutes. Add the spices and stir for another 3 minutes.  Add masa harina and stir for 2 minutes (mixture will be dry.)

 Add the broth, water and beef to the masa harina/onion mixture and simmer for 45 mn uncovered, stirring occasionally.   Stir in beans and simmer 10-15 minutes.  Adjust seasonings to taste. 

 Serve the chili with sides of cheese, lime wedges, avocado and/or cilantro.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Shitake and Scallion Lo Mein

This is a fairly quick, surprisingly good weekday dish from Food and Wine Magazine. It is vegetarian, but you could add braised tofu or some sort of meat to the finished product if you so desire.

1 pound wide lo mein noodles (I used the Chow Mein noodles from the Asian section of the supermarket)
1/4 pound snow peas, halved diagonally
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup mirin (Asian market or Asian section of supermarket)
2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil
3 tablespoons canola oil
1 pound shiitake mushrooms, stems discarded and caps thinly sliced
6 scallions, cut into 1-inch lengths
1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
2 tablespoons water
2 tablespoons chopped cilantro (totally forgot to add this, still good)

In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook the noodles until tender; add the snow peas to the noodles in the last 2 minutes of cooking. Drain the noodles and snow peas and rinse under cold water until cool.

In a small bowl, mix the soy sauce with the mirin and sesame oil.

In a very large, deep skillet, heat 2 tablespoons of the canola oil until shimmering. Add the shiitake and cook over moderately high heat, undisturbed, until browned, about 5 minutes. Add the remaining 1 tablespoon of canola oil, the scallions and ginger and stir-fry until the scallions soften, about 3 minutes. Add the water and cook over moderate heat, scraping up the browned bits from the bottom of the pan, 1 minute. Add the noodles, snow peas and soy sauce mixture to the skillet and cook, tossing the noodles until heated through, about 2 minutes. Add the cilantro and serve.