Crispy Beef

Yesterday, my good friend Alysha and I had a cookie baking extravaganza! It was so fun to get together and just bake cookies…for 3.5 hours straight! Normally, if I bake cookies, it’s just basic stuff, but we really went all out yesterday. Pretty soon I’ll have the full cookie baking blog post up, but until then, you can enjoy one of the pictures below, of her kitchen.
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In the meantime, I felt like posting a somewhat “lighter” recipe (since I’ve been posting really heavy dishes lately), but this amazingly delicious crispy beef from Table for Two also calls for quite a bit of oil, so it’s not healthier really, but it is lighter than the mac’n’cheese type recipes of late.
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Cookie baking extravaganza

In any case, it was so delicious! Freezing the beef prior to cooking was such an interesting tip (and maybe commonplace, but I’d never done it before!). I think it really helped the crispiness. Usually when I make and bread beef, chicken, or anything else, the breading slips off, or it’s not the desired crispiness, and so forth – but not this! This was so flavourful, crispy, and just plain wonderful. It was great to pair with brown rice and green beans. Yummm.

One side note: the original recipe calls to essentially deep fry the beef. I did not feel comfortable using quite that much oil, so I pan-seared mine, partially covered in oil, instead of full deep frying. I still used about one cup of oil, maybe a bit more – but far, far from the 4 cups that the original recipe calls for.
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Crispy Beef

serves 4

Ingredients:
-1.5lbs stir fry steak or sirloin steak, cut into thin slices
-3tbsp low-sodium soy sauce, divided
-6tbsp cornstarch
-1 medium-sized navel orange
-3tbsp molasses (I didn’t have any, so I just used dark brown sugar)
-1tbsp rice vinegar
-1.5tsp sesame oil
-1 jalapeño, de-seeded and thinly sliced
-3 garlic cloves, minced
-1tsp freshly grated ginger (or substitute 1/2tsp ground ginger)
-1/2tsp red pepper flakes
-2 scallions, chopped (for garnish)
-4 cups or 1 quart of canola oil, for frying (I used about 1-2cu, since I didn’t fully deep fry my beef)

Directions:
-In a large bowl, toss beef strips with 1 tablespoon of soy sauce, then sprinkle cornstarch on top and toss to coat evenly. Place coated beef on a wire rack on top of a baking sheet and place into freezer for 45 minutes (I just used a plate since I don’t have a wire rack). **You’ll need to do this because the freezer will dry out the surface moisture of the beef, thus helping with the crispiness of the beef.
-In the meantime, peel the outer zest of the orange into long strips, and then continue slicing, to make thinner strips. Then juice the orange as best you can, to get at least 1/4 of a cup of juice.
-Place the orange zest strips, orange juice, the remaining 2 tablespoons of soy sauce, molasses, rice vinegar, sesame oil, jalapeño slices, garlic, ginger, and red pepper flakes in a medium bowl and whisk it to combine.
-When ready, heat up canola oil in a large, heavy-bottomed pot, such as a dutch-oven, to 375 degrees Fahrenheit (uh…I didn’t check the temp, I just guesstimated). Set up a large plate lined with two layers of paper towels, to have ready when the beef is done.
-Once the pot is hot enough, add the beef to it. Depending on how much you have and the size of your pan, you may need to do this in batches.
-Fry the beef until done, and they are golden brown, about 3 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon or spatula, and let them rest (and drain) on the paper towel-lined plates.
-In a large skillet over medium high heat, add the soy sauce mixture with the orange zest strips to the pan. Bring to a boil then lower the heat to a simmer and cook for about 3 minutes. Remove it from heat, then toss the beef strips in to coat evenly.

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