SCORE! A Winning Recipe with My Wing Man

Sometimes I find it’s hard to believe I am almost 40 years old. There are also moments like this post which become a jolting reminder that I am part responsible for raising a generation of humans.

14 years ago this happened………

Now, this happened…….

My soccer star almost a high schooler nephew is interested in cooking. I remember as if it was yesterday Jonas working hard to say, “Choo Choo TWAIN.” It was so dang cute. Today he has the swagger of a teenager and is almost taller than me. That’s him #15!

Since I’ve willingly inserted myself into a life for which I influence young people, I was more than happy to educate Jonas in the kitchen. I choose Thai Beef with Peppers for two reasons. One, it is an uncomplicated dish and I could focus on helping him with his knife skills.

Two, sometime in the last couple years, I had Jonas and the rest of his family over for dinner. I made Thai Beef with Peppers. However, I made the kids chicken nuggets. I knew my kids wouldn’t have eaten the Thai Beef because of the spice, I was certain my niece and nephew wouldn’t eat it.

I was wrong and being an adult I will take complete accountability for that flub bub. Jonas and Bella LOVED it. You may remember Bella from the post Cupcakes and Cousins. So, it only made sense to teach Jonas the meal for which he was destined to have that evening, but instead was subjected to processed frozen “meat.”

THAI BEEF & PEPPERS:

1 1/4-11/2 pounds of flank steak, skirt steak or London broil, your choice

2 red peppers, sliced thin

1 large sweet onion, sliced thin

4 teaspoons of Sambal Oelek (chili paste)

1 tablespoon of fish sauce

1 teaspoon of oyster sauceĀ 

4 teaspoons of brown sugar

1 Tablespoon of soy sauce

1 tablespoon of rice wine vinegar

A handful of Thai basil or Italian basil*

1 tablespoon of cornstarch mixed with a tablespoon of water

Canola or vegetable oil

Rice, cooked per package directions

*I have never been able to find Thai basil in the stores around where I live, but I do grow it during the summer. Italian basil is a fine substitute. Thai basil is hearty and can withstand high temperatures. Italian basil is much more delicate and you will want to wait to add this basil until the end.

I got my sous chef to work on slicing the peppers and onions. He was given instruction on two types of knives, an 8 inch chef’s knife and a serrated utility knife. One must be careful slicing red peppers because of the waxy exterior. However, the slippery coating would be no match against a properly sharpened knife. Jonas preferred the chef’s knife!

Then Jonas thinly sliced the beef against the grain. Cutting the beef against the grain is important and allows for a much more enjoyable eating experience.

Hello MOM, I see you back there!

Chef Jonas whisked the sauces and the sugar together and set it aside. At this time, mix the cornstarch and water in a separate bowl and set aside.

Time to heat up the wok. A cast iron pan would also work nicely. Jonas and I were feeding 10 people and we tripled the recipe. Doing so requires us to work in batches stir frying the veggies and beef.

Heat a tablespoon of oil in a pan over high heat. Once the oil is hot, toss in the veggies and onions. Stir fry until almost soft.

Remove the veggies from the pan and set aside.

Heat another tablespoon of oil over high heat and then add the beef. Stir fry until almost cooked through.

Add all the meat and veggies back to the pan. Pour in the sauce, basil, cornstarch and water.

Toss the mixture around and bring the sauce to a boil. Once the sauce is thickened, turn off the heat.

Serve the Thai Beef & Peppers over rice. Prepare your rice before you start cooking your Thai Beef & Peppers.