Tag Archives: Chilies

Fragrant Indonesian Beef, Braised in Coconut Milk (Rendang Daging Sapi)

Beef_Rendang1Yesterday (Sunday) was so relaxing and leisurely. I was in the mood to make something a bit more involved and delicious, so I decided to make one of my favorite Indonesian dishes, Beef Rendang, or Rendang Daging Sapi. I know, the ingredients list is a mile long, and the process takes all afternoon (did I mention “leisurely”). But this dish is worth the effort, and your family will be drawn in by the fragrant, intoxicating and spicy Indonesian smells coming from the kitchen! Definitely a Sunday recipe. I hope you’ll try this dish when you have the time!

1 whole nutmeg, cracked into coarse pieces with a meat pounder
5 whole cloves
6 shallots, coarsely chopped
3 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
6 large red Thai bird chilies, stemmed and finely chopped
1 1/2 tsp ground turmeric
1 1/2 tsp Laos powder
2 inches ginger, peeled and very thinly sliced cross-wise
5 candlenuts
2 1/2 lbs beef chuck, trimmed and cut into 2-inch pieces
2 14-oz cans coconut milk (not “lite”)
1 Tbsp brown sugar
2 1/4 tsp salt
3 stalks lemongrass, each with 1/2 inch removed from each end, outer leaves remove, lightly pounded and tied into a knot
1 4-inch cinnamon stick
7 whole kaffir lime leaves
1 Tbsp kecap manis

Make a past be first processing the nutmeg and cloves into a powder in a food processor. Add the shallots, garlic, chilies, turmeric, Laos powder, ginger and candlenuts. process until you have a smooth paste.

In a large bowl, combine the beef and spice paste.

In a large Dutch oven, combine the beef mixture, coconut milk, brown sugar and salt. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring constantly. Reduce heat to low, add the lemongrass knots, cinnamon stick and kaffir lime leaves. Stir gently until ingredients are combined. Simmer gently, uncovered, until just about all the liquid is evaporated, the oil from the meat and coconut milk is visible and the meat is very dark and tender. This process can take up to 3 hours, so you’ll need to be sure to stir about every half hour (mine goes the full 3 hours). Remove from heat, stir in the kecap manis and season with additional salt if desired. Serve with steamed jasmine rice and your favorite Indonesian sambals.

Serves 4 — 6.

Grilled Meatloaf with Romesco Sauce

Grilled_Meatloaf (1 of 1)Perfect weekend for outdoor cooking here in New England! As many of my readers know, I love meatloaf of all kinds — I’ve adapted one of my favorite recipes for the grill. The added benefit is that you’re not heating up the kitchen, and in particular, the meatloaf takes on a fantastic smokey bbq flavor. The romesco sauce is not typically served with meatloaf (usually served with shrimp/prawns), but I served it with this dish, and it  was a spot-on compliment to the meatloaf. This is an unusual, but great summer outdoor dish — I hope you’ll try it this weekend!

2 slices of bread
1/3 cup milk
2 slices bacon, finely chopped
2 Tbsp butter
1 medium onion, finely chopped
7 cloves garlic (3 of them finely minced or grated; 4 unpeeled)
1 celery rib, finely chopped
1 carrot, finely chopped
2 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1 Tbsp cider vinegar
1/4 ground allspice
2 1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
1/2 cup pitted prunes, finely chopped
1 1/2 lean ground beef
1/2 lb lean ground pork
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1/3 cup chopped parsley

1 plum tomato, halved and seeded
4 red Thai bird chillies, cut lengthwise and seeded
4 Tbsp shelled hazelnuts
1/3 cup sun-dried tomatoes in oil, drained and finely chopped
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 Tbsp red wine vinegar
Pinch of salt
2 Tbsp water

For meatloaf, combine bread and milk in a medium bowl. Set aside to soak. Heat bacon in a small skillet over medium-high heat. Cook until crisp. Remove from skillet with a slotted spoon to paper towels. Set aside to cool.

Meanwhile, heat butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Once foam subsides, add onion, minced garlic, celery and carrot. Sauté 5 minutes. Cover, reduce heat to low and simmer 5 minutes. Remove from heat. Stir in Worcestershire sauce, vinegar, allspice, salt and pepper.

Squeeze excess milk from soaked bread, and place in large bowl. Add onion mixture, prunes, beef, pork, eggs and parsley. Combine with hands. Form into a loaf and place in an appropriate, disposable aluminum pan, approx. 8 inches x 10 inches.

Prepare gill for indirect cooking at 400 degrees (e.g. flame on one side, dish on other).

Place meatloaf in aluminum pan on hot grill. Cook covered for 1 1/4 hours, or until meat reaches an internal temperature of 155 degrees F. Remove from grill, cover with aluminum foil and let stand for 10 minutes.

For the romesco sauce, heat oven to 400 degrees F (can also be done on grill with the meatloaf).  Line a baking sheet with foil. Wrap garlic cloves in foil and place on sheet (or disposable aluminum sheet) together with tomato, chiles and bake for 12 minutes. Add hazelnuts and bake for another 4 minutes. Remove tray from oven and let cool 15 minutes. Peel the tomatoes and squeeze both tomatoes and garlic into a food processor. Add the hazelnuts, sun-dried tomatoes, chilies, olive oil, vinegar, salt and water. Process to a smooth, creamy consistency.

Slice meatloaf and serve with romesco sauce and mashed potatoes and perhaps, some green beans.

Serves 8.

 

 

 

Grilled Black Bean Burgers with Chipotle Guacamole

Grilled_Black_Bean_Burger (1 of 1)I consumed what seems like a ton of meat at a cook-out on Saturday, so I wanted to grill something meatless. I generally don’t think veggie burgers grill well because they are so delicate (loose, runny, etc.), so I did my best to use binders (flour, cornmeal and eggs) and a technique (freezing) to come up with something that would work well on the grill — I was successful! These burgers held up and grilled easily to perfection, and the creamy chipotle guacamole on top was absolutely delicious. I hope you’ll try them next time you grill out!

2 15-oz cans black beans, rinsed and drained
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1/4 cup cornmeal
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 medium shallot, finely diced
1 large clove garlic, very finely grated or minced
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground ancho chili
3 1/2 tsp salt, divided
2 ripe avocados, peeled, pitted and coarsely chopped
1 Tbsp lime juice
Fresh corn cut from 1 ear
1 plum tomato, seeded and diced
2 scallions, chopped
1 chipotle chili (from can, in adobo sauce), very finely chopped
1/4 cup sour cream
Lettuce

Combine first 9 ingredients (black beans through ground ancho chili) and 3 tsp salt in a food processor. Process until ingredients are well-incorporated, but not puréed. Spoon 6 equal portions onto a platter that has been sprinkled with some cornmeal. Form into patties, cover with plastic wrap and place in freezer until firm (about 1/2 hour).

Meanwhile, prepare the guacamole by placing the avocados and lime juice in a bowl. Mash with a fork until smooth. Stir in the balance of ingredients (corn through sour cream). Cover and place in refrigerator.

Prepare grill. Remove burgers from freezer and place on the hot grill. Grill 5 minutes per side. Serve with lettuce on hamburger buns that have been brushed with butter and browned on the grill. Top each with a generous portion of the guacamole.

Serves 6.

Grilled Indonesian Pork Satay with a Spicy Peanut Sauce

Indonesian_Pork_Satay (1 of 1)I’m about to get a brand-new pellet grill — can’t wait to show you how it does! In the mean time, I fired up the Weber grill and made these fantastic satays. This variety comes from the island of Bali (I believe it’s the cinnamon and nutmeg that make them Balinese). I love the combination of spices in these – wonderful with the peanut dipping sauce! This dish is a bit involved, but very well worth the effort. I hope you’ll give this one a try this weekend!

1 tsp + 1 Tbsp vegetable oil
2 tsp sambal ulek, divided
1/2 tsp + 2 Tbsp brown sugar
3 shallots, chopped
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1 tsp grated fresh ginger
1/2 tsp Laos powder
1 stalk lemongrass, outer leaves removed, lower six inches finely chopped
1 tsp coriander seeds
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
2 green cardamom pods
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/8 tsp grated nutmeg
1 Tbsp tamarind water or lime juice
1 tsp salt
1 lb lean ground pork

1 small onion
3 Tbsp peanutbutter
4 tsp kecap manis
1 tsp ground coriander
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1 stalk lemongrass, crushed
1 Tbsp lemon juice
1 cup coconut milk

Soak about 18 bamboo skewers in water.

Combine 1 tsp vegetable oil, 1 tsp sambal ulek, 1/2 tsp brown sugar and the next 13 ingredients (shallots through ground pork) in a food processor. Process well until you have a smooth paste. In a large bowl combine paste and ground pork. Use hand to ensure ingredients are well-incorporated. Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour.

Meanwhile, prepare peanut sauce by heating 1 Tbsp vegetable oil in a small sauce pan over low heat. Add onion and cook until soft, about 3 minutes. Stir in1 tsp sambal ulek, 2 Tbsp brown sugar and the next 6 ingredients (through lemon juice). Slowly heat, gradually adding the coconut milk, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat, cover and set aside.

Get grill going.

Mold about 2 Tbsp of the pork mixture onto each skewer (as in the picture above). Place satays on grill and cook, turning occasionally until done, about 7 minutes. Serve satays with the peanut sauce and steamed jasmine rice.

Serves 4.

Spicy Indonesian Coconut Beef (Dendeng Santan)

Coconut_Beef (1 of 1)It’s been a while since I’ve posted a nice, Southeast Asian dish — the spring weather we’ve been waiting so long for finally arrived over the weekend, so I was in the mood for something spicy (“hot,” “piquant,” etc.). I ended up making one of my favorite Indonesian beef, Dendeng Santan (which translates roughly to dried beef in coconut juice, I think). Indonesians typically cook with lean (tough) cuts of beef, such as top round — the beef is cooked for a long time to the point that it is extremely tender and delicious. I didn’t have that much time, so I made this dish with a lightly marbled, boneless beef sirloin steak. The end result was a tender, delicious Indonesian beef dish in a fraction of the time. This dish is delightfully spicy and flavorful — I hope you’ll try it tonight!

1 lb boneless sirloin steak, put in the freezer 30 minutes (to aid in thin slicing), then thinly sliced across the grain into 2-inch long pieces.
2 large cloves garlic, peeled and very finely grated or minced
2 candlenuts, grated
1/2 tsp ground coriander
1 Tbsp tamarind water
1 tsp brown sugar
1 tsp ground galangal (Laos) powder
1 tsp salt
1/2 cup coconut milk, divided
1/2 tsp terasi
2 tsp sambal ulek
2 Tbsp vegetable oil
2 red Thai chilies, thinly sliced on the diagonal, for garnish

In a large bowl, combine beef slices, garlic, candlenuts, coriander, tamarind water, brown sugar, galangal powder and salt. Mix well, set aside and let stand 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, combine terasi and 1/4 cup of the coconut milk and the sambal olek in a small bowl.

Heat oil in a large wok or Dutch oven over high heat. Add beef mixture and cook 2 minutes. Add coconut mixture and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat to low and simmer gently for 20 minutes. Remove lid. Add the remaining 1/4 cup coconut milk. Bring to a boil over high heat. reduce heat to low, and cook 15 minutes, or until liquid is considerably reduced. Serve with steamed jasmine rice and a spicy Indonesian relish, such as sambal petai. Garnish with Thai chilies.

Serves 4.

American Black Bean Chili with IPA Beer

Black_Bean_Chili (1 of 1)Chili is a popular go-to comfort food in this household, especially when the snow is as deep as f#$^%$! and the temperature is constantly below f*^%k!. I have many recipes for chili, and this is a combination of the things I like the best about each. Additionally, I’ve added IPA (India Pale Ale Beer) and allspice, which I think help to create a fantastic depth of flavor for this version. I hope you’ll try it next time you are wanting comfort food!
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 large onion, diced
4 garlic cloves, very finely grated or minced
1 1/2 lbs lean ground beef
1 large green bell pepper, diced
2 Tbsp chili powder
1 Tbsp ground cumin
1 tsp dried oregano
1/4 tsp ground allspice
2 Tbsp tomato paste
2 Tbsp brown sugar
3 – 5 dried Thai (or similar hot) chilies, cut with scissors into 1/8 pieces, seeds and all
3 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
1 28-oz whole peeled tomatoes, squeezed to a pulp in a bowl by hand
3 15-oz cans black beans, rinsed and drained
1 12-oz bottle beer (preferably IPA)
Sour cream for garnish
Grated white cheddar for garnish
Diced fresh tomato for garnish
2 Tbsp chopped fresh parsley
Tabasco sauce (optional) for garnish

Heat oil over medium-high heat. Add the onion, garlic, beef and bell pepper. Cook for 8 minutes.

Stir in the next 8 ingredients (chili powder through ground black pepper) and cook 1 minute.

Stir in the beans, squeezed tomatoes and beer. Increase heat to high and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer 1 hour. Remove lid and simmer an additional 30 minutes, or until chili has thickened. Remove from heat and let stand 15 minutes. Adjust seasoning (I added an additional 2 1/2 tsp salt, which seemed good). Ladle into serving bowls, garnishing each with a dollop of sour cream, cheddar cheese, diced tomato, parsley and a few drops of Tabasco sauce. I like to serve with fresh, crusty bread.

Serves 6.

Red Lentil Soup with Aromatic Spices

Red_Lentil_Soup (1 of 1)Last evening was blustery and cold here in New England. We even had some snow — it was the perfect night for this delicious version of red lentil soup! Red lentil soup seems to have various versions around the world, each with its unique variety of spices. The star of this international version is the spice, fenugreek, which has a wonderfully distinctive sweet smell that is similar to maple syrup. In fact, if you can’t find fenugreek (but please try!), you can substitute it in this recipe by omitting the sugar and adding 1 tsp maple sugar. The simmering of this soup melds the flavor of the fenugreek very nicely with the other spices in the dish — I hope you’ll try it tonight!

2 Tbsp olive oil
1 large yellow onion, finely diced
2 garlic cloves, finely grated or minced
1 red Thai chili, minced
2 tsp cumin seeds
2 tsp coriander seeds
1 carrot, peeled and finely chopped
1 tsp ground fenugreek
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
1 Tbsp tomato paste
1 cup red lentils
7 1/2 cups chicken stock
1 Tbsp lemon juice
1 small red onion, finely chopped
1 Tbsp chopped parsley
Crusty bread

Heat oil in a large Dutch oven over medium heat. Stir in yellow onion, garlic, chili, cumin and coriander seeds. Sauté 4 minutes. Stir in carrots and cook another 3 minutes. Stir in fenugreek, sugar, tomato paste, red lentils and chicken stock. Increase heat to high and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer 40 minutes with lid ajar. Stir occasionally while simmering.

Remove soup from heat. Add lemon juice and adjust seasoning (I added another 1 tsp or so of salt, which seemed about right). Ladle soup into serving bowls and garnish with red onion and parsley. Serve with crusty bread.

Serves 6.