April 08, 2013

Beef Teriyaki and Heart-Shaped Carrots

Joe and I were fortunate enough to have his parents come up to visit this weekend!  And even better, we didn't have an imminent school work so we could relax and enjoy their company without the pressure of looming deadlines.

Joe is from what he would call suburbs, but is really very much the country of central Ohio.  One of the many benefits of living in the country is that the food is seriously amazing.  There is nothing as good as getting all that meat, fruits, and veggies as fresh as is physically possible. Add to this the fact that Joe's family is Italian, and therefore cooks at least double what you need and you end up with a mind blowing amount of food.

So back to this most recent trip- we made out like bandits with an amazing freezer full of meat flash frozen from the butcher's.

And a box full of thin mints for good measure!

(Thanks again for all the food!!!)

Well we couldn't wait to get started on our delicious feast so we got to thawing one of our favorite cuts of meat- skirt steak.

So while that thawed we had ourselves a nice lazy Sunday...

After all, being a 'host' can be pretty exhausting for a little puppy such as Oy.

You got to mix in a few stretches with all them naps, obviously.

...and back to sleep.

And don't worry Mom, I actually did some studying while they were taking floor naps.

And on to dinner!  This is my very first post about cooking.  Mostly because I am not the awesome cook in this little family.  I do well with sides- pasta, rice, some veggies- but the main meat is almost always Joe's domain.  Maybe that has to do with me being a newcomer to meat, but I have not mastered it yet.  Joe, on the other hand has years of Italian training making him an incredible cook.  This also means he doesn't so much follow recipes as he throws the right ingredients together and it magically comes out perfect.

So for tonight's edition of Joe's Cooking Corner, here's Teriyaki Beef:

Well, I am not quite the "planner" Courtney is and I do not even know where we keep the measuring cups, but I'll give this a shot.  The first step in making this dish is getting the pan and sauce ready.  I usually add some extra virgin olive oil to the pan.  Next, add a generous amount of soy sauce, some stir fry sauce (already made) to thicken up the sauce, a good bit of sesame seed oil for an important flavor, and a touch of honey.  You can also use this sauce as a marinade for the meat if you want to cook it differently, like on the grill.

Next, cut the skirt steak into classic stir fry strips (or chunks if you prefer).  Heat the pan, and toss the meat right on into the sauce.  I like to add some garlic pepper to the meat at this point to add some extra flavor.  As the meat is getting closer to finishing up, add your vegetables to the pan.  We used carrots and snow peas, but peppers, onions,  and broccoli are all great too.  Keep stirring the meat and vegetables until the vegetables are coated in the sauce and cooked to the desired amount.  Finally, serve this over rice.  Done. 

A side note on those little carrot hearts...

If you're on Pinterest you might have seen this- an easy step-by-step to make your sliced carrots into hearts.  This would be especially adorable in soup, but I thought I'd try it out on our little stir-fry dish.

Okay, so step one: peel your carrot and cut off those dirty ends like you normally would.

Step two: make tow cuts along the top of your carrot to cut a V out along the length of it.

Step Three:  use your peeler to round the tops and flatten out the sides to shape it into a heart.

Step Four:  Cut it up.

Ta Da!

I found it to be way faster and easier than I anticipated.  They would be perfect for chicken noodle soup for a sick child, or basically anything else.

And of course, don't forget your glass of wine.

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