Category Archives: Beef

Spicy, Asian-y, and Beefy.

With the holidays, friends in town, and lots to celebrate (congratulations again, J & M on your engagement!), I’ve been going out to eat a lot and haven’t been doing a whole lot of cooking.  In my defense, this blog makes it seem like I never cook at all, which isn’t true.  I just haven’t trained R the dog to take pictures while I’m cooking and I often forget to take them myself.

To prove to my dad you that I do actually cook, I’m going to start making a better effort to include more recipes here.  Starting with this one:

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Crazy Santa Ana winds and blackout chili.

The other night we were hit with some SERIOUS winds.  I’ve never experienced anything like it.  The Windy City isn’t actually that windy and even Hurricane Irene this summer didn’t feel nearly as bad.

Giant trees knocked down in Pasadena via NYTimes.

Apparently, our side of town got hit the hardest.  We were woken up in the middle of the night by the loudest wind I’ve ever heard.  There are doors to the deck in the bedroom and the wind kept flinging them open.  We couldn’t keep them shut!  It was terrifying.  I kept picturing the giant tree in the front crashing through our floor to ceiling windows and crushing us in our sleep.

Needless to say, I slept very little that night.

The next morning, the wind had died down.  Thankfully, apart from the leaves and dirt that had swept in from outside, everything seemed normal and nothing was damaged.  However, at some point during the day our entire block’s power shut off and we’ve been without electricity since.  Fortunately, we have a gas stove , so I was able to cook us some “blackout chili”, now aptly named because I was cooking in the dark.

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R’s flank steak.

You might not know it because I’m the one who tends to do most of the cooking now, but R definitely knows his way around a kitchen and is a pretty darn good cook.  In fact, when we first started dating he cooked for me probably more than I cooked for him.  He cooked me steak, pasta, and even lamb.

That saying about a way to a man’s heart?  It’s true for women too.

Marinated flank steak with rice pilaf and brussels sprouts.

One of my favorite dishes he makes is flank steak that sits overnight in a delicious marinade of soy sauce, ginger, garlic, and honey.  He made this for me early on in our relationship when we took a spur of the moment trip to a cute little teepee-shaped cabin in Virginia in the dead of winter.  He stood outside in the cold and snow and grilled this a perfect medium rare for me.  Needless to say, I was smitten.

He also makes some mean brussels sprouts.  He just sautes them in a hot pan with olive oil, a dash of balsamic vinegar, coarse salt, and pepper.  You can also toss in some garlic or red pepper flakes.  Just don’t overcook them and they’ll turn out delicious.  It’s so easy and simple (but always tastes better when he makes it).

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Sloppy Joes…slop sloppy Joes!

We had this package of ground beef sitting in our fridge for like six days.  I didn’t put it in the freezer because we have a vacuum sealer thinger, and I’ve been waiting for R to use it to divide and freeze the meat.  I don’t know how to use the thing (I’m no good at anything that plugs in, really).  R tells me it’s perfectly fine to leave meat in the fridge for a little while, but it freaks me out.  It gets all brown.  It doesn’t look right.  So, instead of trying to figure out how to use the sealer myself (or asking R to do it again), I thought of a dinner that would use up as much ground beef as possible.

This ain’t no ordinary sloppy Joe. 

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Kalbi (not) like Mom used to make.

My mom was never a good cook.*  As a kid, I remember lots of microwave dinners, fast food visits, and white rice with raw veggies and unseasoned beef.  I joke that if she had been a better cook, I probably wouldn’t have been vegan for five years.

It took me living in Korea for a year to give up my vegan diet and truly appreciate Korean food and food in general.  I love how it brings people together and how integral it is to a person’s culture and identity.  In Korea, I watched my aunt cook and helped when I could.  I started to learn the different ingredients along with the timing and love that went into each dish.  I started to get a sense of what flavors worked by eating.  A lot.  I came back to the States a carnivore and a kilo or two heavier and I don’t regret it at all.  Because that’s when my love of cooking really began.  Plus, R says he wouldn’t date me if I was vegan, so there’s that.  What can I say?  Our love is strong.

In LA, I’m lucky to have big Korean supermarkets conveniently located to both home and work.  Last week, I picked up some kalbi or Korean short ribs.  LA kalbi is different from traditional kalbi because it’s cut across the bone.  According to Maanchi, this type of kalbi wasn’t/isn’t common in Korea.  I love her blog, by the way.  It’s often where I start when I’m cooking Korean food.  Although, she never takes any shortcuts, which is awesome for knowing how you’re supposed to do it, but I usually adapt because I don’t have ingredients or the time.  Anyway, Maanchi says there are two theories on where the name “LA kalbi” came from:

Theory #1: LA galbi** is cut laterally, so the name comes from the first 2 letters of the word “lateral.”

Theory #2: Korean immigrants living in Los Angeles, CA innovated this cut.

Either way it’s delicious and just requires time to let the marinade do its thing.

Gochukaru (red pepper powder), honey, soy sauce, black pepper, sesame seeds

Not pictured: brown sugar, white sugar, sparkling water, lemon, lime, Asian pear, green onions, onions, garlic, ginger

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