Spicy Hoisin-Trip-Tip, Fusion Risotto, Broccoli Slaw Salad and Baby Watermelon

/ Friday, May 22, 2009

AH. Yesterday felt like summer thus I began craving BBQ'ed ribs. Unfortunately getting home at 7:30pm, and my lack of a slow-cooker, are not conducive to preparing anything that requires "low & slow" cooking. Therefore the conversion of the new Spicy Hoisin-Rib Recipe [ from you know where :) ] into a Spicy Hoisin-Tri-Tip began.

Trader Joe's has an awesome tri-tip cut of beef and it's relatively easy to make. The steak comes with cooking instructions right on the packaging. Season the meat however you'd like, pop it in a 425 degree oven for 30-45 minutes, let the meat rest before slicing and enjoy.

For our Spicy Hoisin-Tri-Tip, I marinated the beef in a combination of soy sauce, rice vinegar, toasted sesame oil, ginger, garlic and paprika. As the meat baked, I basted it with the spicy Asian BBQ sauce, a combination of Hoisin, Asian chili sauce, water and scallion. If you'd like the recipe, please click the link to the website.

To go with the trip-tip: "fusion" risotto and a broccoli slaw salad in an orange-rice wine vinaigrette. The "fusion" risotto gets its name from the mingling of east and west; parmesean & a dash of hoisin. It may sound weird but trust me it works!

"Fusion" Risotto

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

1/2 to 3/4 cup arborio rice
1 can beef broth
1/4 cup burgundy
Kosher salt and fresh ground pepper
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
1 tablespoon hoisin

1. Melt butter in a medium sauce pan over medium heat. Add rice and cook until well coated with the butter, 2 to 3 minutes.
2. Add burgundy, stir well to combine and let the alcohol cook off, about 1 minute. Slowly add beef broth 1/4 cup at a time, stirring between each addition.
3. When risotto has plumped up and absorbed most of the cooking liquid, season with salt and pepper to taste. Remove from heat and stirr in parmesan and hoisin sauce. Serve warm with steak.

Making risotto is much easier when you have someone to trade off with during the stirring process. Remember, you want to coax the arborio into becoming risotto. Don't add the liquid all at once! If you'd like to stir some scallions into the risotto, or maybe some grated fresh ginger, that would be nice too.

I have a phobia of not cooking meat correctly (one of the reasons I try not to eat it too often) so I tried to bust out the fancy digital thermometer I have from last summer. No batteries. Oh well. When I first removed the steak from the oven around 30 minutes in, it was way under cooked. Finally around 4o minutes it was done just right but some of the juices had escaped when I sliced it open to check if it was ready earlier. There's a trick where chefs tell you to press the cooked meat gently with your thumb to check the "doneness". If the meat is cooked through, it should offer a bit of resistance. If it feels like you're sticking your thumb into raw meat...you probably are.

Oh yes, we must not forget that baby watermelon. During a Whole Foods excersion yesterday I stumbled upon this adorable baby watermelon and needed to give it a home. Right now they're on sale: 2 for $6...run! The only problem is, they're so damn cute they're impossible to eat! I couldn't fathom cutting into my new friend...

Who knew two youngsters could make a weeknight meal look so chic? Trip-tip is a great no-fuss, quick & easy meal for your busy life. Marinade it overnight to make things even easier! Here's an idea, stock up on your favorite spices and big zip-lock baggies. Experiment with different flavor combinations just remember to include some kind of oil, some kind of acid (like lemon juice, lime juice, vinegar, even yogurt!) and lots of seasons either fresh or dried. Stick your meat of choice, with your killer marinade, in a plastic bag over night. When you get home from work, arrange everything in a baking dish, pop it in the oven and move on to other things. Depending on the protein you select, dinner will be ready for you in 9 min to 1 hour. The general rule: fish cooks the fastest, followed by chicken, pork, red meat etc. Obviously, the thicker the cut the longer it needs to incubate. Do you have a marinade that you love, or a flavor combination you'd like to have someone test out? Let me know! Enjoy :)

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