From the kitchen of One Perfect Bite...Where's the peck of pickled peppers Peter Piper picked? Chances are it's been transformed and can be found in my freezer and pantry. It's been a busy day, but I've put-by enough peppers to last us through another year and have enough left over to provide a special meal or two this week. I love to shop farmer's markets in late summer when eggplant, peppers and fennel fill bins and shelves and provide color that the Impressionists would envy. There is something about harvest season that whips up my pioneer spirit and makes me want to cook, turning the kitchen of this hillside chalet into a homestead kitchen, at least for a day or two. I fired up the the grill this morning and spent about three hours roasting peppers to freeze and pickle. I made a bit of relish and several trays of stuffed peppers for winter meals, and by the time the day was done I had one lonely red pepper still waiting to be used. It has been really warm here, and while air conditioning cools the house and kitchen, it can't restore appetites dulled by heat. This stir-fry is perfect for anytime of year, but the speed with which it can be made, makes it a perfect candidate for a light warm weather meal. It was also a great way to use that last pepper. The recipe is easy and the dish comes together quickly, but it is important to have all the ingredients set to go before you begin to cook. There is nothing more unappealing than a stir-fry in which the vegetables have been over-cooked. So, please don't start until you have everything set to go and have a sense of what comes next. I hope you will give this recipe a try. It was developed by Grace Young for Fine Cooking Magazine and it is delicious. Here is how the chili beef stir-fry is made.
Chili Beef Stir-fry with Bell Peppers and Snow Peas...from the kitchen of One Perfect Bite inspired by Grace Young and Fine Cooking Magazine
3/4 pound flank or flat iron steak
3 tablespoons Shaoxing rice wine or dry sherry, divided use
1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
2 teaspoons soy sauce
1-1/2 teaspoons cornstarch
Kosher salt and freshly ground white pepper
1 teaspoon + 2 tablespoons peanut or vegetable oil, divided use
2 tablespoons hot bean sauce (also called chili bean sauce), chili garlic sauce, or Sriracha
2 tablespoons hoisin sauce
1 tablespoon minced garlic
6-ounces snow peas, strings removed (about 2 cups)
1 medium red bell pepper, stemmed, seeded, and cut into 1/2 x 2-inch strips
8 medium scallions, thinly sliced on the diagonal (about 1 cup)
1) Cut beef with grain into 2-inch-wide strips, and then cut each strip across grain into 1/4-inch-thick slices. Transfer to a medium bowl. Add 1 tablespoon rice wine, ginger, soy sauce, cornstarch, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/8 teaspoon pepper to beef. Stir until cornstarch is no longer visible. Add 1 teaspoon oil and stir until beef is lightly coated.
2) In a small bowl, stir hot bean sauce, hoisin sauce, and remaining 2 tablespoons rice wine. Heat a 14-inch flat-bottom wok over high heat until a bead of water vaporizes within 1 to 2 seconds of contact. Add 1 tablespoon of remaining oil, swirl to coat, add garlic, and stir-fry until fragrant and light golden, about 10 seconds. Push garlic to sides of wok and carefully add beef, spreading it evenly over bottom and sides of wok in a single layer. Cook, undisturbed, for 1 minute, letting beef begin to sear, then stir-fry with the garlic until beef is lightly browned but not yet cooked through, about 1 minute. Transfer beef and garlic to a plate.
3) Add remaining 1 tablespoon oil to wok and swirl to coat pan. Add snow peas, bell pepper, and scallions, then sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon salt and stir-fry until snow peas are bright green, about 1 minute. Return beef and any accumulated juice to wok. Add hot bean sauce mixture. Stir-fry until beef is just cooked through and vegetables are crisp-tender, 30 seconds to 1 minute more. Serve immediately. Yield: 4 servings.
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