Beef & Snow Pea Stir Fry

Beef & Snow Pea Stir Fry

Beef & Snow Pea Stir Fry

Beef & Snow Pea Stir Fry

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Hello everyone!!  It’s been awhile since my last blog post. At times life calls for focus elsewhere, and far away to elsewhere I went. There was a time when I would have exhausted myself to do it all, but to what end I had to ask myself. As I get older, I realize that I am a priority as much as anything and doing something for the sake of just getting it done is not the same as doing it for the joy it brings me.  Sooo, now that I have moved, dealt with the death of my mother, moved again, cleaned up a hoarder’s home, renovated my own home and assisted my father with a broken femur, I am ready to get back to me. And by me, I mean food of course LOL!

I’ve truly missed being part of the foodie community and participating in my passion.  This creative outlet and meaningful pursuit bring me a lot of joy. I’m also very excited to share that I’ve finally stepped into the world of video. It’s been great to learn and challenge myself, and I’m sure that my “being on camera” nerves will calm as it becomes my norm. You can find me on YouTube @compelledtocook and as time goes I will include videos here on the blog for some of my existing posts. My channel is very new and I still have plenty to learn and improve upon, but I hope you’ll join me in my endeavour.  Be sure to subscribe so you never miss a great recipe video. If you’ve been hanging around wondering if I’d ever post again, I thank you for your patience, and if you’re new to my blog, I welcome you.

Beef & Snow Pea Stir Fry is quick, simple and flavourful.  Thinly sliced beef gets fried quickly over high heat to keep it tender, while crisp and healthy snow peas balance the umami “ish” sauce. Let’s talk about the beef for a moment. There are several cuts that work well, and I have a couple of tricks to create tender, silky beef. My cuts of choice are tenderloin, strip loin or flank steak. Regardless of the cut you choose it is imperative that you cut it thinly across the natural grain of the meat to ensure a chewable bite.

The second trick is to add a small amount of baking soda (mixed with soy sauce) to the slices and allow to marinate. The baking soda helps to break down the meat fibres and create a silky texture. If using tenderloin, the need to marinate is less because it’s already a very tender cut of meat, however, I still do. Just marinate it for a shorter length of time, about 30-60 minutes. If using other cuts I recommend marinating for 1-2 hours. Please know that more soda does NOT mean more tender. It only adds a sharp taste to the meat, so resist the urge to do so.  Beef and Snow Pea Stir Fry is wonderful served over rice or your favourite noodle.  Enjoy!

Author:  Compelled to Cook

 

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Beef & Snow Pea Stir Fry

Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Marinating time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Servings 4

Ingredients

Beef

  • 10 ounces beef, thinly sliced across the grain, see notes
  • 1 tbsp low sodium soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp freshly grated ginger
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda

Stir Fry

  • 10-12 ounces snow peas
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/3 cup beef broth, cold
  • 2 tbsp oyster sauce
  • 1 tsp cornstarch
  • 3/4 tsp sugar
  • 1/4-1/2 tsp red chili flakes
  • as needed canola oil
  • as needed scallions, thinly sliced
  • as needed sesame seeds

Instructions

Beef

  • Toss beef with ginger and minced garlic.
  • In a small bowl stir together soy sauce and baking soda. Pour over beef and mix well to evenly coat the beef slices (I use my hands to ensure it's mixed well). Set in the fridge to marinate for 30-120 minutes depending on cut used. (see notes)
  • While the beef is marinating whisk together beef broth and cornstarch (see notes). Stir in oyster sauce, sugar and chili flakes.

Stir Fry

  • Prep snow peas by trimming the ends and removing the side string.
  • Heat a wok or large skillet over medium-high heat and add a generous splash of oil. When the oil is hot add the beef, separating the slices with your hands as you add it. Sauté for 2-3 minutes until just cooked through and starting to brown. Remove to a clean bowl and cover.
  • Add the 1/4 cup of water and snow peas to the wok and cook uncovered for 4-5 minutes, stirring occasionally until most of the water has cooked off and the peas are starting to soften but are still slightly crisp (they will continue to cook in the sauce).
  • Add the sauce to the snow peas and cook for about a minute, stirring until the sauce fully thickens. Add the beef and stir to combine and warm.
  • Serve over rice or desired noodles and garnish with scallions and sesame seeds.

Notes

-Several cuts of beef will work.  I enjoy tenderloin or strip loin, however, flank steak will work well too. Be sure to cut the beef into thin strips across the grain.
-If using tenderloin, marinating for 30-60 minutes is enough, it's already a tender cut.  If using strip loin or flank 1-2 hours is best.
-Cornstarch dissolves better in cool liquids, so if your broth is hot, allow it to cool first.  It will also dissolve better in the broth as opposed to the thick oyster sauce.

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Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies

Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies

Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies

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Not all chocolate chip cookies are created equal! For years, I’ve been making a recipe that I thought was the bomb, but as it turns out, there was a better cookie yet to be made. These Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies have taken the lead in my kitchen and have become my new favourite chocolate chip cookie. But let me be clear, my personal favourite remains my Coconut Oatmeal Cookies I’d make them ALL the time, but there’s another person in the home that deserves their favourite too. So for him (AKA husband), I make chocolate chip cookies. He’s my little cookie monster and these fantastic cookies get a double thumbs up from him too.

Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies rolled dough on a parchment lined baking tray.
A parchment lined baking tray filled with flattened cookie dough balls in making Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies.

These Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies rank number one with me for several reasons. First is the slightly crisp golden edges of the cookie. They’re great to nibble away at and exactly what you’d expect in a perfect cookie. The second is the slightly chewy center with melty chocolate when eaten while just a little warm. The third is the oatmeal, there’s just enough to call them an oatmeal cookie but the cookie doesn’t seem laden with it. It’s just the perfect balance of oats to give a little texture and chew. Fourth is the taste, there’s a little more salt and vanilla in the recipe than most call for and that really makes this cookie delicious.

Baked Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies on a parchment lined baking tray.

You’ll find the cookie dough easy enough to make and it’s made using melted butter which lends towards a chewier cookie. The dough is also nicely “scoopable” straight out of the bowl with no chilling required. Although, I have scooped and baked these cookies from a chilled state as well and found little difference in the end product. I do prefer to flatten the cookies before baking because it produces a uniform cookie that’s not too puffy in the center. Happy baking, you’ll love these cookies!

Author:  Compelled to Cook

 

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Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies

Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Servings 48 cookies

Ingredients

  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup butter, melted
  • 1 cup brown sugar, lightly packed
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 2 cups large flake oatmeal
  • 1 1/2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350°F and arrange oven rack to the middle position. Line baking trays with parchment.
  • In a medium bowl whisk together flour, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
  • Beat together both sugars and melted butter until light and creamy. Add whole eggs one at a time, and then the egg yolk, incorporating after each addition. Scrape bowl and mix in vanilla.
  • Add flour mixture all at once and mix until incorporated. Add oatmeal and mix to combine. Scrap bowl and stir in chocolate chips.
  • Using a 1-ounce cookie scoop, scoop the batter onto prepared trays spacing evenly at least 2 inches apart. Flatten cookies with the palm of your hand or the bottom of a cup.
  • Bake one tray at a time for 10-11 minutes (do not overbake). Remove from oven and allow to cool for 5 minutes on the tray before moving to a cooling rack.
  • Repeat with the remaining cookie dough.

Notes

-recipe makes approximately 48 3" cookies.
-dough can be chilled for up to 3 days and scooped as is, but will be more difficult to scoop in a chilled state. I prefer scooping room-temperature dough.
-dough can be frozen and sealed in an airtight bag or container for up to a month. Allow to thaw in the refrigerator and scoop from a chilled or room temperature state.

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Tuna Noodle Casserole

Tuna Noodle Casserole

Baked golden Tuna Noodle Casserole in a yellow serving dish on a wooden trivet.

Tuna Noodle Casserole

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Tuna Noodle Casserole is one of my favourite family casseroles.  It has just the right ratio of noodles to sauce and is topped with buttery panko breadcrumbs. It’s also cheesy, hearty and comforting and a one scoop meal with the peas baked right in. It does take a little extra time to make the sauce, cook the noodles and bake, so I would say it’s a nice weekend casserole.  The recipe is simple and uses everyday ingredients, which means there are no unnecessary trips to the grocery store.  The kids will love it and you’ll likely get leftovers as it makes a 9”x13” pan. 

Cheese sauce in a stainless steel saucepan with a metal whisk in preparation for Tuna Noodle Casserole.

Be sure not to overcook the noodles as they will continue to cook slightly while baking in the sauce. I will generally cook them a minute or two less than the package instructions. To save time and be efficient, I like to start cooking the sauce while the water comes to a boil and the noodles cook. Get the kids helping by grating cheese and flaking the tuna. Enjoy!

Tuna Noodle Casserole served on a glass plate with a wooden fork on a wooden surface.

Author:  Compelled to Cook, adapted from Food Wishes

Baked golden Tuna Noodle Casserole in a yellow serving dish on a wooden trivet.
Tuna Noodle Casserole
Print Recipe
    Servings Prep Time
    6-8 people 30-35 minutes
    Cook Time
    35-40 minutes
    Servings Prep Time
    6-8 people 30-35 minutes
    Cook Time
    35-40 minutes
    Baked golden Tuna Noodle Casserole in a yellow serving dish on a wooden trivet.
    Tuna Noodle Casserole
    Print Recipe
      Servings Prep Time
      6-8 people 30-35 minutes
      Cook Time
      35-40 minutes
      Servings Prep Time
      6-8 people 30-35 minutes
      Cook Time
      35-40 minutes
      Ingredients
      Servings: people
      Instructions
      1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
      2. Cook noodles for slightly less time than package instructions so they are al dente (firm to the bite). Drain well.
      3. While noodles are cooking, melt the 1/4 cup of butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Whisk in flour until combined. Slowly add a cup of hot milk whisking constantly until the mixture is smooth and starts to bubble. Continue adding hot milk and whisking until all the milk has been added and the mixture is smooth. Bring to a simmer and cook for 5 minutes, whisking often.
      4. Remove sauce from heat and whisk in mushroom soup, 1 tsp salt and 1/4 tsp pepper. Stir in half of the cheddar cheese, tuna, and peas until combined. Add drained noodles and stir to evenly coat.
      5. Spray a 9"x13" casserole dish with non-stick spray and pour casserole into the dish, spreading out evenly. Top with remaining cheddar cheese.
      6. Stir together breadcrumbs, melted butter, parsley and a sprinkle of salt and pepper. Spread evenly over casserole and bake on the centre rack for 35-40 minutes until bubbly and the top is golden. Remove from oven and serve immediately.

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      I may receive compensation for purchases made through this site, at no cost to the purchaser. Compelled to Cook is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com
      Cherry Salsa

      Cherry Salsa

      Cherry Salsa tops three goat cheese crostini on a wooden serving board.

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      Cherry Salsa is sweet, spicy and delicious on goat cheese crostini, baked Brie, chicken cutlets or grilled meats. Simplicity is good and this quick and easy recipe can be ready for guests without much fuss. The dried cherries offer a nice texture to the salsa and the freshly chopped jalapenos, lime and vinegar balance the cherry jam. It’s so good!

      Ingredients for Cherry Salsa arranged on and around a wooden cutting board with a bowl of dried cherries in the background.

      My favourite way to eat this lovely Cherry Salsa is dabbed on crisp crostini smeared with goat cheese. The tang and creaminess of the goat cheese make it a great pairing with the salsa and the combo makes for an easy company friendly appetizer. Another great way to use Cherry Salsa is as a baked brie topping. Simply spoon the salsa onto your hot baked brie and serve with crisp crackers, crostini or crudites. I originally found this Cherry Salsa paired up pecan-crusted chicken wings. I’ve prepared pecan-crusted chicken cutlets in the past and thought this would also be a wonderful way to use the salsa in a main course. I was not disappointed as the crunchy, nutty cutlets beg for the sweet, spiciness that the salsa offers. The recipe for pecan-crusted chicken cutlets will be coming to the blog soon, so be sure to check back.

      Looking for more company friendly appetizers?

      Tomato Confit

      Scallops with Tarragon Cream Sauce

      Miso Shrimp

      Author: Compelled to Cook, adapted from Food.com

      Cherry Salsa tops three goat cheese crostini on a wooden serving board.
      Cherry Salsa
      Print Recipe
        Servings Prep Time
        1 cup 20 minutes
        Passive Time
        30+ minutes
        Servings Prep Time
        1 cup 20 minutes
        Passive Time
        30+ minutes
        Cherry Salsa tops three goat cheese crostini on a wooden serving board.
        Cherry Salsa
        Print Recipe
          Servings Prep Time
          1 cup 20 minutes
          Passive Time
          30+ minutes
          Servings Prep Time
          1 cup 20 minutes
          Passive Time
          30+ minutes
          Ingredients
          Servings: cup
          Instructions
          1. Chop dried cherries and combine with cherry jam in a mini food processor or blender. Pulse several times until cherries are about the size of a pea or smaller. Add remaining ingredients and pulse 2-3 times to combine.
          2. Scoop into a serving dish, cover and chill for at least 30 minutes to meld flavours. Use as a topping for crostini, baked brie, breaded chicken cutlets or grilled meats.
          Recipe Notes

          -I find there is a need to first chop the cherries before adding to the food processor because everything becomes too processed in the time it takes the dried cherries to break down.  By chopping the cherries first, the mixture retains most of its texture yet everything is combined.

          -If a food processor is not available, simply chop everything by hand and combine.

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          I may receive compensation for purchases made through this site, at no cost to the purchaser. Compelled to Cook is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com
          Beef Taco Crostata

          Beef Taco Crostata

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          Beef Taco Crostata is tasty and fun with flaky pastry, taco seasoned beef and endless topping options.  It’s like a taco pie without the pie plate.  For convenience, you could use purchased pie dough but I’m partial to finding the time to make my own, especially this one, because of the added maize (corn flour).  Since corn flour is gluten-free the pastry is very tender because there is less gluten than if you used all regular flour.  Corn flour also has a nice fine texture which aids in a lighter, flakier crust as well.  

          Ground beef cooked with taco seasoning, onions, peppers and black beans in a cream coloured cast iron skillet ready for Beef Taco Crostada.

          The ground beef is cooked with onions and green pepper and then seasoned with a taco seasoning blend for flavour and spiciness. Black beans add texture, fibre and Mexican flair. Cheddar cheese brings everything together.  The fun comes adding a variety of toppings to suit your taste.  I happen to like shredded lettuce, green onions, avocado, cilantro and sour cream.  Other options may include salsa, jalapenos, guacamole, tomato, red onion and black olives. Go crazy with the toppings and enjoy it, it’s a fun family meal.

          A wedge of Beef Taco Crostada topped with shredded lettuce, tomatoes, avocado and sour cream.

          Beef Taco Crostata
          Print Recipe
            Servings Prep Time
            4 people 40-45 minutes
            Cook Time Passive Time
            35 minutes 1 hour
            Servings Prep Time
            4 people 40-45 minutes
            Cook Time Passive Time
            35 minutes 1 hour
            Beef Taco Crostata
            Print Recipe
              Servings Prep Time
              4 people 40-45 minutes
              Cook Time Passive Time
              35 minutes 1 hour
              Servings Prep Time
              4 people 40-45 minutes
              Cook Time Passive Time
              35 minutes 1 hour
              Ingredients
              Pastry
              Taco Meat
              Servings: people
              Instructions
              Pastry
              1. Combine flours and salt in a large bowl. Cut in butter chunks until pea-size or smaller. Drizzle with 4-5 tbsp of cold water and the vinegar tossing with a fork until dough becomes scraggly. Add another tbsp of cold water if necessary. Turn mixture out onto a clean work surface and knead until dough comes together. Form into a flat disk and wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for at least an hour.
              Taco Meat
              1. Heat oil in a large skillet. Add onion and green pepper and sauté over medium heat for 2-3 minutes. Add ground beef and continue to cook until beef is no longer pink and has started to brown, breaking up beef chunks as it cooks. Remove from heat and dab out any excess fat with a paper towel.
              2. Return to medium heat and add spices and water, stirring to combine. Allow mixture to come to a simmer and cook uncovered until most of the moisture has evaporated, about 10 minutes.
              3. Remove from heat and stir in beans and half of the cheese.
              4. Preheat oven to 375°F and line a large baking tray with parchment.
              5. Roll dough into a 14" circle that will be about 1/8" thick. Fold dough in half and move to your prepared baking tray.
              6. Spread beef mixture in the centre of the dough leaving a 1 1/2"-2" border of dough. Fold the dough border up and over the beef mixture, crimping the dough slightly as you go.
              7. Whisk egg with a tbsp of water and brush onto exposed pastry edge. Bake for about 35 minutes until pastry is golden.
              8. Remove from oven and top centre with remaining cheese. Cut into wedges and serve with desired toppings.
              Recipe Notes

              -The pastry can be made up to a day in advance and kept chilled until ready to use.

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              I may receive compensation for purchases made through this site, at no cost to the purchaser. Compelled to Cook is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com