Lebanese Beef and Hummus with a Simple Cucumber Salad

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I would have figured that being done with the bar exam and having significantly more time in my life that I would have more time to cook. And that’s true – I have a lot more time to cook. But the weather has been making it really hard for me to want to. When it’s 100 degrees outside, turning on any source of flame just seems unbearable. So I’ve been eating out more than I should, so that I can pay other people to be in a kitchen that’s too hot.

Last night was an exception though. It wasn’t excruciating hot and I really did need to cook. So I made this very easy recipe.

I can’t even believe how easy it was. It was so easy. But despite being super simple, my boyfriend announced, “This is the best thing I’ve ever eaten!”

I’ll leave that credit to the very garlicky store bought hummus.

Though not pictured, we ate this with tortillas that I fried up in the leftover cumin infused oil.

Lebanese Beef and Hummus with a Simple Cucumber Salad
(source)

Ingredients
1 tbsp olive oil
1 lb skirt steak, cut into small strips
1 tbsp ground cumin
6 tbsp garlic hummus
2 cucumbers
1 wedge lemon
salt, to taste

Directions

1. Heat a large pan over medium-high heat. Heat the olive oil. Add the beef and stir fry the beef for 2 minutes.

2. Add the cumin and continue to cook the beef until no longer pink. Stir occasionally.

3. While the beef is cooking, skin the cucumber. Then shave the remaining cucumber into thin ribbons, making sure to discard the watery seeds in the middle. Place the cucumber shavings in a bowl. Toss with the juice from the lemon wedge and salt.

4. Smear 3 tbsp of hummus on each plate. Top with the beef. Arrange the cucumber salad on the side.

* serves 2

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Tempura Sushi Salad

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This month the movie at Food ‘n Flix was very different than the one I hosted last month. Instead of a French dystopian movie, this month’s movie is a documentary about a Japanese sushi chef. Camilla is our host this month, having picked this documentary with its beautiful shots of sushi.

If anyone knows sushi, it’s Jiro. But frankly, this movie didn’t inspire me to make sushi – it terrified me. I’ve never done it before, so I knew any attempt from me would be laughable. I can just see it. It’s embarrassing even in my head. Maybe one day I’ll try sushi, but then not document my failure, because who wants everyone to see that? Being that Jiro is a huge perfectionist, I think he would have appreciated my refrain from trying to participate in his art.

In the film, Yamamoto tells us that there are five attributes of a great chef:

1. Take your work seriously
2. Aspire to improve
3. Maintain cleanliness
4. Be a better leader than a collaborator
5. Be passionate about your work

I am not a cook. I am an amateur that cooks for myself and my boyfriend. I enjoy food, but I am no cook. But I find these attributes so important to employ in all fields of work, to be a good lawyer I’ll need many of those traits as well. The only that might not quite apply is 4, because I think leaders also need to collaborate, but those five attributes can be applied to more than just cooks.

Be passionate.

Anyway, because I did not feel inspired to make sushi, I took it and ran with it a bit. I decided I’d use all the things I love in sushi and make a salad. Though I actually really love raw tuna in my sushi (along with other raw fish,) I’m not sure of where I could get fish fresh enough to eat raw and I didn’t want to chance severe sickness. I instead made tempura with shrimp and green beans. Considering my favorite sushi roll is the spider roll (with fried soft shell crab, yumm!) making tempura for my sushi salad seemed appropriate.

FoodnFlix

Join us at Food ‘n Flix, get inspired, be passionate.

Tempura Sushi Salad

Ingredients
1/2 cup white wine
1/2 tsp salt, divided
8 shrimp, peeled and deveined
a handful of green beans with the ends snapped off
1/4 cup flour
1/3 cup ice water
1/4 cup cornstarch
1 egg yolk
1/4 tsp sugar
1/2 cup shortening, divided
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 cup cooked rice
2 carrots, diced
1/2 cucumber, diced
1 sheet nori, cut into strips
1 avocado, diced

Directions

1. Marinate the shrimp in the white wine and 1/4 tsp of salt for 20 minutes.

2. Mix together flour, ice water, cornstarch, egg yolk, sugar, 1 tsp of the shortening, baking powder, and 1/4 tsp of salt. Once well mixed, coat the shrimp and the green beans with the batter.

3. Heat the shortening in a cast iron skillet or a wok. Once hot add the shrimp and the green beans, in batches, a few at a time. Cook the shrimp about 3 minutes per side, until golden brown. Flip and cook for about 3 more minutes on the other side. Continue until all the shrimp and green beans are fried. Let drain on a paper towel.

4. Put your salad together in a bowl. Add 1/2 cup of rice in each bowl. Surround with the cucumber and carrot pieces. Top with half of the tempura per bowl. Top with avocado and nori.

(serve with soy sauce if you want some!)

* serves 2
* besides Food ‘n Flix, this dish is shared with #FoodieFriday & Foodie Friday

Chickpea Croquettes with Greek Salsa

I’ve seen Belleau Kitchen’s Random Recipes Roundups around the web for the last few months. I keep intending to participate and then for whatever reason, I don’t. But I love participating in things like this, so I’m going to try to participate in Random Recipes every month. It keeps my cooking from getting too regular when I participate in fun events. It keeps it all exciting. This month the challenge at Random Recipes was based on birthday dates. The instructions told me to take my birthday date (in my case 2, my birthday is December 2nd, coming up by the way!) and to count that many books over on my recipe bookshelf. I counted from right to left and landed on this old, tattered book that I  actually almost always like what I cook out of it…

This book came from my mom’s when she was clearing out some old cookbooks. You know, one man’s trash is another man’s treasure. In this case, one mom’s old tattered cookbook has provided her daughter with some pretty tasty recipes. The recipes all seem weird. The pictures are so dated. But I haven’t made anything bad out of this book yet, so it really wasn’t a bad random pick this month for Random Recipes.

To pick the recipe I was instructed to randomly open the cookbook and to make the recipe on the page I opened it to. I opened the book to page 180 and there were three recipes: Squash Tsimiss, Chick Pea Croquettes, and Pineapple Charlotte. I opted for the croquettes as I had a can of chickpeas in the pantry. I followed the recipe almost exactly as it was written in the cookbook. But since the recipe was only for croquettes, I needed to add more to my meal than just these chickpea patties. To supplement the recipe I whipped up (or rather chopped up) a Greek topping for the croquettes. This was a simple, filling meal.

Chickpea Croquettes with Greek Salsa

Ingredients
1 25-oz can chickpeas, drained and dried with a papertowel
a pinch salt
1/4 tsp dried basil
1/4 tsp dried oregano
1/4 tsp dried thyme
1/4 tsp garlic chili sauce
1 clove garlic, minced
1 slice sourdough bread, toasted
1/2 cucumber, cut into small pieces
1 tomato, cut into small pieces
1 green onion, chopped
1/2 tbsp olive oil
1/2 lemon, juiced
1/4 cup crumbled blue cheese

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 350. Put the chickpeas and the bread in a food processor and grind for about 20 seconds.

2. Place the chickpea and bread into a bowl and combine with salt, herbs, garlic chili sauce, and garlic. Mix well with your hands. Form the mixture into balls one inch in diameter. Place on a nonstick cookie sheet. Bake for 20 minutes.

3. While the croquettes are baking, chop the ingredients for your salsa (cucumber, tomato, green onion.) Combine the vegetables, olive oil, lemon juice, and blue cheese together in a bowl.

4. When the croquettes are cooked, cover with salsa.

* serves 2; 5 croquettes per serving
* 464 calories per serving
* Shared with Random Recipes, Mix it up Monday, & Mealtime Monday

Lime Shrimp Fried Rice

 

I have a thing about lunches. I hate leftovers. I don’t really like sandwiches unless they’re purchased from a deli and the only thing I did in the creation of the sandwich was fork over some money. I really like my lunches to be just as delicious as my dinners – just different from my dinners.

My coworkers go out to eat so often. I really save money eating the way I do and I probably end up being a lot more satisfied than they are. When school starts next week I’m going to make sure I bring lunch with me on those days I’m on campus all day also, because cafeteria food and my stomach don’t always make the best pair.

Lime Shrimp Fried Rice

Ingredients
2 cups rice, uncooked
2 3/4 cups water
4 tbsp vegetable oil
1 tsp salt
2 eggs, beaten
1 garlic clove, minced
6 oz shrimp
1/3 cup green onions, minced
1 cup cucumber, diced
1 cup tomatoes, diced
1 tbsp sesame oil
6 tbsp fish sauce
2 tbsp sugar
1/2 jalapeno, seedeed, devined, and minced
2 tbsp lime juice

Directions

1. Cook the rice in a rice cooker or in a pot with the water. Once cooked remove and allow to cool.

2. Place 3 tbsp of vegetable oil and 1 tbsp of sesame oil in a small bowl. Whisk to combine. Set aside.

3. Place the 3 tbsp of fish sauce and sugar in a small bowl. Whisk to combine. Set aside and finish the rice.

4. Place a large skillet over high heat. Add the vegetable oil/sesame oil combination and heat.

5. Add the beaten eggs and create an egg “pool.”

6. Add the garlic on top of the eggs to prevent it from burning. With a spoon, life and stir the egg mixture to break up the eggs.

7. Add the cooked rice and continue to stir-fry until the rice begins to brown.

8. Sprinkle with the fish sauce/sugar combination. Continue to lift and stir the rice.

9. Add the shrimp, continuing to cook for about 8 minutes or until the shrimp are cooked all the way through.

10. Stir in the vegetables.

11. Stir together the jalapeno, lime juice, and remaining fish sauce. Whisk to combine. Stir into the rice mixture.

* serves 4
* 392 calories per serving