Sunday, April 14, 2013

Clementine Beef

I haven't eaten or made anything especially interesting up until now, which is going to be my excuse for the lack of posting. I feel that I've been doing more impromptu socializing lately, which leaves less time for cooking elaborate things. And sleeping. But it's worth it to have those late night conversations, to visit somewhere new, do some wandering. 

I bought a bag of clementines recently. Clementines are my winter/spring fruit that I eat obsessively (apples being the fall fruit and my true love, peaches, being the summer fruit). I usually have no issues eating all of them almost immediately, but this batch, for some reason, ended up being incredibly difficult to peel. So they sat in my room for a while, me glaring at them occasionally, willing their peels off. Hasn't worked out so far. 

 Since I've eaten all my lemon curd (don't judge), I decided to try my hand at a batch of clementine curd, which turned out very nice, but I still had too many clementines on hand. Unless someone felt like peeling them for me, I was not going to eat them. So I browsed and brainstormed. How else can I use these? And I came across a recipe for clementine beef! The juice and zest is combined with honey and soy sauce, the sweetness balanced out by the kick of chili flakes. You'll definitely enjoy this if you're a fan of orange beef. 

Clementine Beef
adapted slightly from daisy's world 

3 tablespoons light soy sauce
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 1/2 pounds tri-tip, skirt or flank steak, cut in thin strips on the bias
2 tablespoons hoisin sauce (I ended up using YR Sauce, which is quite similar to Worcester Sauce)
 2 tablespoons honey
1/2 tsp crushed chili flakes
3 tablespoons light soy sauce
1/3 cup freshly squeezed clementine juice 2 clementines, for zest
3 to 4 tablespoons vegetable oil, as needed
3-5 cloves garlic, finely minced
2 tablespoons fresh ginger, finely minced
1 6-ounce bag baby spinach
freshly ground black pepper, to taste

In a medium-sized bowl, combine the lite soy sauce and cornstarch. Add beef strips and mix well. Cover and let stand for 30 minutes in the refrigerator.
To make the sauce, whisk the  hoisin, honey,  red pepper flakes, soy sauce, clementine juice, and the zest of one clementine until completely combined. Set aside.
In large pan or wok, heat oil on high and brown beef in small batches, making sure not to crowd the pan. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the beef to a platter. Set aside.
Add more oil in the pan, if necessary. Add the garlic and ginger and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the sauce mixture and cook until reduced and thickened, about 5-7 minutes. Add all the beef back into the pan and cook for about 1 minute. Add spinach (or other vegetables) and cook just until spinach is incorporated and beef is heated through. Season with freshly cracked black pepper.
Garnish with more clementine zest. Serve immediately with steamed rice.

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