This dinner is a tasty mixture of Pacific rim flavors. Lemon grass is the secret to the flavors in Hot and Spicy Beef. It adds a tang like that of lemon or lime and is one of the most important spices used in Thai cooking. It looks a little like a scallion with long, thin, green-gray leaves and a lighter bulb at the tip. Grated lemon rind can be used instead.
Sesame noodles with peas complete the meal.
-- Remove woody, outer leaves of lemon grass before slicing. Cut pale inner leaves and bulb into thin slices.
-- Prepare all ingredients for beef and noodle dishes before starting to stir-fry.
-- If using ground ginger instead of fresh, mix it in with sauce.
-- Two crushed garlic cloves can be used instead of bottle minced garlic.
-- A quick way to add fresh ginger is to grate it over the food.
HOT AND SPICY STIR-FRY BEEF
1/4 cup tomato paste
1/2 teaspoon hot pepper sauce
1/2 cup water
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1 cup sliced onion
1 teaspoon minced garlic
2 tablespoons chopped fresh ginger or 2 teaspoons ground ginger
3 stalks lemon grass, sliced, or grated lemon rind from 1 lemon
1/2 pound steak, cut into 1/2-inch by 2-inch strips (sirloin, flank, skirt, strip)
2 tablespoons unsalted, roasted peanuts
Mix tomato paste, hot pepper sauce and water together and set aside. Heat the oil in a wok or skillet over high heat. Add the onion, garlic, chopped ginger and lemon grass or lemon rind and stir-fry 2 minutes. Add meat and stir-fry 4 to 5 minutes. Add sauce and toss with the ingredients a few seconds. Remove to a plate and sprinkle with peanuts.
Per serving: 297 calories (31 percent from fat), 10.3 g fat (2.2 g saturated, 4.3 g monounsaturated), 64 mg cholesterol,31.3 g protein, 24.0 g carbohydrates, 3.3 g fiber, 120 mg sodium.
Yield 2 servings.
1/4 pound Chinese noodles
1 cup frozen peas
1 teaspoon sesame oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons sesame seeds
Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add noodles and cook 1 minute add peas and continue to cook 1 minute. Drain. Toss with sesame oil. Add salt and pepper to taste. Remove to dinner plates and sprinkle sesame seeds on top.
Per serving: 321 calories (27 percent from fat), 9.5 g fat (1.7 g saturated, 3.3 g monounsaturated), 48 mg cholesterol, 11.7 g protein, 47.9 g carbohydrates, 5.3 g fiber, 16 mg sodium.