When I first read one of Sarah's tweets regarding The Food Matters Project, I knew I had to join. I'm a fan of Mark Bittman's work and what he stands for. Cooking food that is local, sustainable, organic, etc., is so important to me. What we eat has a huge affect on us, both physically and mentally. His book, The Food Matters Cook Book is simple, real food with easy recipes.
There are over a hundred recipes in the book, so you can imagine it was hard to pick one. I flipped through the book for about 5 minutes, I was completely overwhelmed by all the recipes. I finally started to really read the recipes and see which one spoke to me. At the time, Seared Bean Sprouts with Beef and Sesame Orange Sauce sounded very tasty. Even though my background in Spanish-Italian, I love cooking Asian style recipes. Anything with Soy Sauce, Hoisin, Thai Chilies or Thai Basil are favorites of mine. I also wanted a recipe where I didn't have to go out and buy a lot of ingredients.
I started out at my local farmers market where I found the oranges and bean sprouts. Next, I went to buy the sirloin. Luckily, there is a local meat purveyor that is raising local, organic, grass fed beef - the cows are only 20 minutes east of where I live, but they have a storefront right by my farmers market. Yes, grass fed beef is more expensive, but I really believe it taste better and is better for you. I encourage you to watch Food, Inc. if you haven't already. It is eye opening.
As with my past Food Matters posts, I procrastinate till the very end. I was a little better this week with actually making the recipe on Saturday, but here I am on Sunday evening writing the post and watching my backlog of The Bachelor. This weekend was just so gorgeous (80+ weather at the beach!), I couldn't stay inside for very long to cook and write.
This recipe doesn't have a lot of ingredients, but has a lot of flavor. It's simple and fast. Great weeknight dinner when you don't have a lot of time, which is great for me who never seems to have enough time ;)
I added 2 things to this recipe. One was a couple of dashes of red chili flake. I have to have spice and heat in everything I eat. I put cayenne pepper on my eggs in the morning and in my homemade granola - random I know. I also took the advice of Mark Bittman and served it over quinoa. Side note, I learned that I have been cooking quinoa wrong this whole time until I read an article on Yahoo. Once I followed the advice from the article, my quinoa tasted better then ever! Maybe you have been making the same errors I was, see for yourself - "5 Most Common Mistakes when Cooking Quinoa".
Please visit the Food Matters Project website to see all the other versions of this recipe from the other lovely food bloggers. I can't wait to see their interpretations. They are all so imaginative! I love it!
Seared Bean Sprouts with Beef and Sesame Orange Sauce
Makes: 4 Servings Time: 20 minutes
Bean Sprouts are light, crisp, and incredibly fast to prepare: The freshest ones require only rinsing. Plus they cook in the wink of an eye, which makes them perfect for stir-fries, especially this classic with orange - and sesame-flavored beef. Toss this with soba noodles (or make the Crisp Noodle Cake on page 236) or serve over short-grain rice or quinoa.
2 tablespoons sesame seeds
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
8 ounces beef sirloin or chuck, very thinly sliced
Salt and Black Pepper
1 pound bean sprouts
1 bunch scallions, white and green parts separated, all chopped
3 tablespoons soy sauce
Grated zest and juice of 2 oranges
1 tablespoons honey, or more to taste
1. Put the sesame seeds in a large dry skillet over medium-low heat and toast, shaking the pan often, until they begin to brown and don't burn, 3 to 5 minutes. Remove them from the skillet.
2. Put 1 tablespoon of the oil in the skillet and turn the heat to high. When the oil is hot, add the beef, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and cook, stirring just once or twice, until it sears and loses its red color, just a minute or 2. Remove the beef from the skillet.
3. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons oil. When the oil is hot, add the bean sprouts and the white parts of the scallions. Cook, stirring frequently, until browned in places and starting to wilt, 2 or 3 minutes. Add the beef, soy sauce, orange zest and juice, and honey. Cook and stir until the bean sprouts are just tender and everything is warmed through, a final 2 or 3 minutes more. Taste and adjust the seasoning, adding more honey if you like. Garnish with the sesame seeds and scallion greens and serve.