September 30, 2013

Orange Beef

Orange Beef.  One of my favorite. It's a Chinese-American dish that is of Hunan origin.
I love all things citrus. lemons, limes, tangerines, grapefruit and of course oranges.

Have you ever added a slice or 2 of an orange wedge to your coffee?
Hot or iced ... it's brings a great hint of orange flavor to your coffee....
ok, sorry I got side tracked with coffee...
where were we- ah, orange beef.

Because the beef gets deep fried- you want a cut of beef that doesn't 
have too much fat in it. If it has too much fat attached- it will get soggy quicker
and not stay as crispy- the way you want for this specific dish. 
(You can use flank or sirloin - 2 common cuts any supermarket will have)

Once you slice your beef into strips 
(if it's hard to slice- it's often 1 of 2 things, your knife needs sharpening or the beef needs 
to be firmer and an easy way to do that is tho place it in the freezer for a few minutes
to firm it up)  ---you want to coat your beef slices with corn starch. Lay them on a 
cookie rack and the trick to this is to place it in the freezer for at least 20 minutes. 
The longer the better-- it will allow the cornstarch to stick better and having the 
beef firm will fry it better helping with the crispness.

This is orange beef so you want some orange peels or orange zest. I like it with the 
colorful strands of orange zest peel.  You can simply just peel a few pieces otherwise.

This is the beef after it has been deep fried. Once it's on a paper towel to catch 
the excess oil from  deep frying- you can add a sprinkle of salt on the beef 
(preferably when it's still hot)

Make your sauce and set it aside so it's ready to pour in after sauteing the wanted veggies.

Saute half of the orange peels/zest with one jalapeno pepper in a frying/saute pan
with a drizzle of oil (veggie, corn, canola, peanut or grape seed)
(This is not a plate- it's actually a new ceramic coated frying pan)
You want to add in the green veggies next and once those are sauteed to your liking--
add the sauce and let it simmer (about 7 minutes)
( I used broccoli and green beans- simply broccoli because it's not a sweet green
veggie and the sauce for this dish is sweeter than not and the green beans
because I simply had them on hand.

Lastly, add your sauce to the veggies and as it simmers- add in your equal parts 
of corn starch and warm water mixture to thicken up the sauce. 
(If you use cold water- the sauce will break apart and lose the thickness very quickly 
and if you use hot water- it will literally cook the cornstarch making it lumpy)  
Once your sauce has thickened- turn your stove off and add the fried beef.  
This dish along with any stir-fry dish is best with a side of rice.

Tossing the orange zest on top along with a little chopped scallions give the dish a nice
garnish... if you're into that. :)    I suppose you could add a sprinkle of sesame seeds
if you really wanted especially since this sauce has a little sesame oil in it.

The recipe is as follows: 
1.5 pounds of any beef that has a low fat content. (sirloin or flank works well)
3 TBSP soy sauce
6 TBSP of cornstarch
1 large orange or 2 medium ones (clean skin for zesting)
3 TBSP molasses
1 TBSP rice vinegar
1.5 tsp sesame oil
1 jalapeno sliced thin on a diagonal (seeds taken out if you don't want super spicy)
3 garlic cloves minced
1 tsp fresh grated ginger
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes OR 2 tsp of Korean red pepper powder flakes
2 scallions (optional- chopped for garnish)
sprinkle of sesame seeds (optional for garnish)

Zestfully, Let's Cultivate Food
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