Neither I, Nor Beef, Will Ever Be The Same

I love beef. Always have. So when I was invited by TheMotherhood.com to come up with some beef recipes as part of their "I Heart Beef" campaign, I was all too happy to oblige. After I said yes, however, I realized something. My best beef recipe consists of the following ingredients: salt, ribeye, heat.

Considering I was given a heap of beef as compensation for my participation, I felt kind of guilty tapping out a one liner, waving good-bye and taking my beef home. I am a man of integrity. I earn my meat the old fashioned way: by making absurd videos. 

So I made one. This one's called "Beef. It's What's For Dinner... and a LOT of Other Things."

And if you came here thinking you'd get a recipe or two, you know me well. I'm all about spreading the food knowledge and love. I've got two finger-food recipes that will make you a hit at parties. Unless you're the one who was supposed to bring the alcohol. In which case you'll get yelled at for bringing this "fancy beef crap" instead of booze. Tread carefully.

But first, the giveaway. Because I know you only love me for my meat.

I will be giving away a $100 Omaha Steak gift card to one lucky reader. Just leave a comment telling me about your favorite memory making everyday occasions special with beef. Really, who hasn't had those?

For extra entries, you can do the following, worth one entry each:

  1. Follow the Beef people on Twitter.
  2. Become a fan of the Beef people on Facebook.
  3. Ask Chef Dave Zino, executive chef of the National Cattlemen's Beef Association a beef cooking question.

Just let me know which of the above you did and I will grant you that many more entries.

Contest deadline is Wednesday, March 3, 11:59pm.

Recipe 1: Beef Curry Puffs

When I graduated from college and became part of the adult world, it meant bringing Doritos and Rolling Rock to parties would no longer suffice. So I threw a bunch of my favorite things together and created these. I've since discovered that these actually exist, but screw it. I'll just consider myself awesome for inventing them.

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1/2 to 3/4 cup chopped onion (I never get scientific with ingredients - just feel it)
  • 2 Tbs curry powder
  • 1 Tsp cumin (yes, I know curry powder has cumin in it. I just like extra cumin. Cumin rocks)
  • Approx. 4 oz. Mango Chutney (or half a 9 oz. bottle)
  • 1 package puff pastry sheets
  • 1 egg

- Unwrap the puff pastry and set on the counter to defrost (40 min before you need to use it).
- Sauté the onions in butter or canola oil until translucent. About 2 min.
- Add the beef.
- Once the beef begins to brown, add the curry powder and cumin.

Look at that cascade of awesome goodness.- Once the spices have been integrated into the meat, add the Mango Chutney. I like my curries sweet (I LOVE Thai Curry dishes that use coconut milk), so I tend to add more Chutney than the average person would. So use the 4 oz. as a guide. Add some, taste, add some more, taste, etc. That's what makes cooking fun.
- Remove from heat. Let the mixture cool.
- Cut the puff pastry dough into approx. 2" x 2" squares.
- Scoop a small spoonful of meat into the center of a square and pinch the sides together in a triangle. Place onto a greased baking sheet (Pam spray is best).

- Beat the egg in a bowl and add a teensy bit of water. Use a pastry brush to lightly brush the egg wash on top of the pastries.


- Place sheet into a preheated 400 degree oven.
- Find a corner to sit in for 15 minutes and spend some quality time with the dog.

- When the pastries are golden brown, they are ready. And crazy delicious.

 

Recipe 2: Surf 'n Turf Handrolls

I love sushi. But I realize that not everyone likes raw fish. This is my version of a more "made for TV" handroll featuring all cooked ingredients. And of course, beef, which is unusual for sushi. But then again, I'm unusual for a mom blogger, so there.


Ingredients:

  • 10 Handroll-sized nori (seaweed) sheets (Most Asian markets have these. If you can't find any cut to handroll size, you can just do it yourself. They are roughly a 4" x 8" rectangle.)
  • An 8 oz. ribeye, or similar steak, grilled and sliced into strips
  • 1 avocado, peeled and cut into strips
  • Fresh chives (not chopped)
  • Sushi rice:
    • 2 cups short grain rice
    • 2 cups water
    • 1/4 cup rice vinegar
    • 2 Tbs sugar
    • 1/2 Tsp salt
  • Spicy shrimp mixture:
    • 1/4 cup mayonnaise (if you have an Asian market near you, get Kewpie Japanese mayo. If not, regular mayo works).
    • 1 Tsp chili paste (Sriracha sauce preferred. most markets, even regular American supermarkets, sell it nowadays. Or use Tabasco.)
    • 2 Tsp tobiko (flying fish roe -- those little red granules that coat the outside of your California Roll)
    • 1/2 Tsp Mirin (sweet Japanese cooking wine -- I have also found this in American supermarkets. If not, then use honey)
    • 1/2 lb cooked shrimp, chopped
    • 2 Tsp chopped fresh chives
  • Sweet "Pickles"
    • 1 Cucumber, peeled, seeded and cut into 4" strips
    • 4 Tbl rice vinegar
    • 2 Tbl sugar
    • 1/4 Tsp salt

To make the sushi rice:

- Cook the rice, set aside.
- Add the water, sugar, vinegar and salt to a saucepan and heat until sugar dissolves.
- Let it cool.
- Slowly add the liquid to the rice. And fold it in. Don't add all of it. Add it until it rice is damp but not wet. You don't want soupy rice. You're actually going to discard most of that liquid. It's just hard to measure those ingredients in small quantities to cook.

To make the Spicy Shrimp:

First, here's a pic of the harder-to-find ingredients (Kewpie, Tobiko, Sriracha). Since I live in CA, where there is significant demand for Asian foods in the mainstream, your average supermarket might carry this stuff. And if not, there are Asian markets everywhere. I realize the rest of the country isn't so lucky with the ethnic foods being a stone's throw away from any point in the city.


- Combine all ingredients in a bowl. That's it!

To make the Sweet "Pickles":

- Sprinkle the cucumbers generously with salt (around 2 tsp will do) and set aside for 15 min. The salt will draw the moisture out.
- Rinse the cucumbers thoroughly to get the salt off.
- Add all the ingredients in a bowl and add the cucumbers. Let it sit for a few hours ideally, but these taste good even after 15 min.

Assembly:

- Lay down one nori sheet lengthwise in front of you. Lay some rice down on the left side. Kind of spread/smoosh it. The left side of the rectangle should have rice and the right side should be empty.
- Diagonally lay a strip of steak, an avocado, a pickle and a chive onto the rice, oriented in an 11 o'clock to 5 o'clock position.
- Spoon some shrimp mixture on top.
- Grab a grain of rice and smoosh it into the opposite corners. See circled areas in diagram below. These will serve to glue the ends together after you roll it.
- Bring the lower left corner up to the middle-top (see arrow below). It will form a cone. Then just keep rolling that cone and secure the edges (the smooshed rice).

- That's it! After writing all this, I realized that this is highly complicated. I guess that's why sushi is so expensive. Oh well.  If you're ever in town, I'll make it for you for a bag of Doritos and a 6-pack of Rolling Rock.

Copyright © 2007-2014, James Lin. All rights reserved.