Thai Style Beef Jerky

My kids go nuts over beef jerky, or heck any type of jerky for that matter. It almost sits on the fence of borderline ridiculous as if they have a bag of eat, they pretty much would devour the entire bag, and let’s face it, beef jerky is not that cheap. With that being said, I wanted to introduce them to a Thai style beef jerky that you often find in Asian markets, homemade to say the least. Thai style beef jerky, in my opinion, is a bit sweeter and is lightly coated with sesame seeds. Not only that but once dried, it is lightly fried giving it a wonderful chew. My kids don’t know it yet, but this stuff is a great game day snack and pairs perfectly with a cold beer. (Note, I don’t have the final photo as my kids pretty much devoured the entire batch. Regardless, you get the idea from the photos, I hope.)

Thai Style Beef Jerky Recipe
Thai Style Beef Jerky Recipe

Let’s get started.

  • 2 lbs of beef eye of round roast, or something lean
  • 1 head of garlic, minced
  • 2 tbsp fresh ginger, minced
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tbsp Maggi seasoning
  • 2 tbsp dark soy sauce
  • 1 tsp cracked black pepper
  • 1 cup of granulated sugar
  • .5 oz of sesame seeds
  • 1/2 cup canola oil

Start by trimming any fat away from the beef. Once removed, thinly slice the beef into about 1/8 inch slices, not too thin, but definitely not too thick. I find it best to lightly freeze the beef before slicing, and using a sharp knife as well.

To a mixing bowl, add the ginger, sugar, garlic, salt, Maggi seasoning, soy sauce, and sesame seeds. Add in the beef, and using both hands, mix really, really well. Wash those hands, cover with plastic wrap, and place in the refrigerator to marinate overnight.

The following day, preheat your oven to the lowest temperature. Mine only goes down to 170, and that is fine. You can also air dry this, laying the beef on your oven racks, and using a fan to constantly blow air on them. Or, you can use your food dehydrator if you have one. I don’t, but really, really want one.

Take your oven racks out. I used all three of mine, and lay the beef along the racks. Some of my cuts were shorter, others longer, but just make sure they are not touching one another, and that they lay on the rack. This can be a bit messy, so I laid paper towel on my counter to make cleaning up a bit easier.

Carefully place the racks back into the oven, and slowly cook these for about 3-5 hours on low and until they are the texture of beef jerky.

When you are ready to make them, after the jerky phase, heat a medium skillet on medium heat, adding the oil, and place however many pieces of jerky that can fit, into the heated oil, and lightly fry for a few minutes per side. Remove, place onto some paper towel, repeat, and then dig in.

My kids were so stoked, not only that there was almost an endless amount of jerky, but a new jerky at that. The sweetness from the sugar, and that balance of ginger and garlic really make this jerky a real winner. Hope you enjoy, and if you want to donate a dehydrator for me, that would be awesome! Kidding.

Vietnamese Green Nuoc Cham

I have bee tinkering with Vietnamese nuoc cham for some time now, tinkering with both a red version and a green version. The subtle difference between the two is the red uses sambal (which I totally love), and the green one does not. Both versions can be used in many different ways, but my preference for either one is to be used as a dressing, or dipping sauce for grilled meats, or spring rolls. There is something so addicting in both that when no one is looking, I will simply eat it by the spoonful.

Packed full of tart, sweet, and spicy ingredients, this sauce is one of my favorites. Hands down.

Vietnamese Green Nuoc Cham Recipe
Vietnamese Green Nuoc Cham Recipe

As with any nuoc cham, it uses fish sauce, so if you have never tried either, this is a great chance to stock up on some good fish sauce, a super ingredient for umami goodness.

Let’s get started.

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup of quality fish sauce (I like 3 crabs brand or Red Boat)
  • 1/4 cup white vinegar
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • 1/4 cup light brown sugar
  • 3 green Thai chili peppers, thinly sliced
  • 2 tbsp lemongrass, minced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tbsp fresh ginger, minced
  • 1 tbsp shallot, minced

Mix all of these ingredients in a bowl, and mix until you get that sugar dissolved. Give a taste. See? Flavor bomb!

You can keep this out at room temperature until you are ready to serve. This was used in fresh lettuce wraps, along with vermicelli noodles, and egg rolls, all wrapped in lettuce and drizzled with that sauce. My boys, and wife do not care for the sauce as it is a bit too spicy for them, but my daughter and I simply love it. This can be stored in the refrigerator, cover, for a few weeks, but my guess is that if you fall in love with this sauce, that it will not last that long. Hope you enjoy!

Pizza Montanara

I’ve probably said it before, but I will say it again. If there were a couple of things I could eat on a regular basis, it would be pizza and tacos. There are so many different ways to make either of those, and the toppings could be endless, hence why I could rotate those on a daily basis. Maybe it is the hand food, who knows. But there is one pizza known as pizza montanara that I’ve been wanting to make for the kids as they love a thicker style crust. This pizza is not only a thing of beauty, but it may have been one of the better pizzas I’ve made, and I’ve made a lot of pizza, trust me.

 

Pizza Montanara Recipe
Pizza Montanara Recipe

Let’s get started.

Ingredients:

  • 1 batch of your favorite pizza dough, tossed into a size that will fit into your large skillet
  • Canola oil, enough to fill about 1 inch of your skillet
  • 1 small onion, thinly sliced
  • your favorite pizza sauce
  • fresh basil, optional
  • sliced pepperoni, to your liking
  • mozzarella cheese, to your liking
  • grated parmesan cheese, optional

Now these pizza toppings are to my family’s liking, but use your favorite toppings.

Once you have your dough shaped, and about 1/4 inch thick, take a fork and poke the dough all over. This will assist when cooking in the hot oil from having it balloon out.

Pizza Montanara Ingredients
Pizza Montanara Ingredients

Heat your large skillet on medium heat. Add enough oil to be about one inch in depth and bring that up to about 350 degrees. During this time, heat your oven to 450 degrees, along with a sheet pan.

Once the oil is heated, carefully add it to the skillet, and fry the dough for about 2 minutes, then using some tongs, carefully raise it out and flip it to the other side, cooking an additional 2 minutes. It should be a bit stiff and a light golden brown.

Raise the cooked dough from the oil, and let any excess oil drip back into the skillet. Now I know what you might be thinking, that this is going to be an oily mess, but trust me it does not. As a matter of fact you would probably think this was a pan style pizza, or deep dish style if you did not tell anyone how you made it.

Next, add the pizza to your pizza peel, and add the sauce, onions, pepperoni, and cover with the mozzarella cheese.

Pizza Montanara Recipe
Pizza Montanara Recipe

Slide onto the preheated baking sheet and cook for about 5 minutes or so or until the cheese is nice and melted and the sauce is heated through.

Remove and shower with parmesan cheese and fresh basil.

The end result was nothing short of fantastic. As much as I love thin crust pizza, along with pan and deep dish pizza, this was something in between all of that, and it was way too easy to make. My family loved this one, and I will be making many more in the near future. Hope you enjoy!

Slow Cooker French Dip Sandwich

I have been craving French dip sandwiches lately. The French dip could be one of my favorite sandwiches of all times. That time came when I really wanted one and so I decided I would take things in my own hands and make a batch of slow cooked beef and try to accomplish everything I love about this classic sandwich. The great thing about this recipe is that it only takes a few minutes to prepare, and you throw things in your slow cooker, head out to work, and everything is ready when you get home. By the way, it was so flipping delicious that my wife was talking about it the next day!

Slow Cooker French Dip Sandwich Recipe
Slow Cooker French Dip Sandwich Recipe

Let’s get started.

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 lbs beef sirloin, cut into thin strips, fat removed
  • 1 lb roast beef from your favorite deli, thinly sliced
  • 1 package onion soup mix
  • 1 onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 clove of garlic, minced
  • 1/2 tsp cracked black pepper
  • 4 cups beef stock
  • 1/2 tbsp salt, to taste
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • provolone cheese slices
  • 1 green bell pepper, thinly sliced,  optional
  • 1 additional onion, thinly sliced, optional
  • 1 tbsp canola oil
  • bolillo rolls

Start by marinating your beef. To a bowl, add the beef, roast beef, onion soup mix, sliced onion, salt, pepper, and garlic, and garlic powder and mix well with your hands. Cover and marinate overnight.

The following morning, add the meat mixture to your slow cooker. Add in the stock, give a gentle mix, cover, and set on low for 6-8 hours.

Before serving, heat a skillet on medium-low heat and add in the oil if you are using the bell pepper and onion mixture. Add the peppers and onion to the skillet, and cook just until tender. I like a bit of crunch left on my mixture for a bit of texture.

Slow Cooker French Dip Sandwich Ingredients
Slow Cooker French Dip Sandwich Ingredients

When you are ready to serve, grab a roll, add as much beef mixture as you would like, top with the cooked onions and peppers, and add a couple of slices of provolone. Ladle a bit of the au jus from the slow cooker into a dipping bowl, plate, and dig in.

This was so good, and my wife was right the following morning when she talked about the French dip sandwich with excitement. It was one of those that you could keep going back to, and one that was hard to put down as you you could not wait for the next bite. Fortunately I have leftovers, even though my kids devoured theirs, so I know what we will be eating tomorrow! Now granted you could just eat this with straight up beef and bread and take a dunk in the gravy, but it never hurts to get your veggies on there, along with some nice sharp cheese! Hope you enjoy!