Category Archives: Beef

Pad Thai Recipe and Red Boat Fish Sauce

When writing about Emeril’s Wok Seared Duck Salad, I mentioned his recommendation for fish sauce with the ingredient list.  Shortly after posting, Red Boat Fish Sauce asked if I would try their sauce to compare.  I only recommend products I like and use, so it has taken me a couple of weeks to put it to the test.

Starting with Shrimp Lo Mein, I was pleased with the clean, bright flavor that melded perfectly into the sauce without being too salty or fishy.  The second recipe we tried it in was Pad Thai with Beef (below) and again, it brought a balanced dimension of savory flavor.  I was equally pleased to discover this new sauce has so few ingredients, just anchovies and sea salt.

Additives like hydrolyzed vegetable protein is commonly used in commercial fish sauces as a short cut to enhance flavor.  According to Celiac Solution, “HVP (hydrogenated vegetable protein), HPP (hydrolyzed plant protein), TVP (textured vegetable protein), MSG (monosodium glutamate) could contain wheat if made outside of the U.S.A.” This is a concern for anyone trying to avoid gluten and still enjoy Asian foods.

We cannot always be sure about the ingredients used in restaurants, but at home, I use pure, whole ingredients, as close to the natural source whenever possible.  I look for products like Red Boat to add to my pantry because quality ingredients make a difference in taste and eliminating unnecessary additives from our food is important to us.

To find out where to buy Red Boat Fish Sauce near you, just click on the link or order online directly from Red Boat.

Other recipes to try:
Thai Peanut Sauce
Beef Lo Mein
Thai-Style Pineapple Wraps

Pad Thai with Beef

Pad Thai with Beef

Adapted from Emeril’s Pad Thai
Serves 4
8       ounces  dried rice noodles
1/4    cup Red Boat Fish Sauce
2       tablespoons  rice wine vinegar
2-3       tablespoons  sugar or coconut palm sugar, adjust to taste
1       tablespoon  tamarind paste
1/2     teaspoon  crushed red pepper
3       tablespoons  coconut oil
7       cloves  garlic — minced
1       lb  beef, pork, or chicken (or a combination) — sliced in 1/4″ strips; or shrimp halved lengthwise
2       large  eggs
8       ounces  bean sprouts (about 2 cups) — rinsed and dry
2       cups  green onions (2-3 bunches) — white and green parts, chopped
1/3     cup  roasted, unsalted peanuts — coarsely chopped
1/3     cup  fresh cilantro leaves — minced
1        tablespoon  lime juice
1        whole  lime (optional) — cut into wedges for garnish

In a large bowl, combine the noodles with enough warm water to cover.  Soak until just tender, about 30 minutes, then drain and set aside.

In a small bowl, combine the fish sauce, vinegar, tamarind paste, crushed red pepper, and sugar; stir until the tamarind paste and sugar dissolves and is well blended. Set aside.

In a wok or large skillet, heat the oil over medium-high heat.  Add the garlic, and cook, stirring, for 30 seconds or just fragrant.  Add the meat and cook until the just cooked through, about 2 minutes.  Transfer to a plate and cover to keep warm.

Add the eggs to the skillet and cook, stirring to break up into small pieces, about a minute.  Add the onions and allow to cook for 30 seconds to soften slightly. Add the sprouts, onions, fish sauce mixture, and noodles, and cook until mixed well and warmed through, stirring frequently.

Add the reserved meat and peanuts, and cook for 30 seconds to incorporate into the noodles.  Toss with the cilantro, lime juice, and serve immediately with lime wedges and Sriracha sauce on the side.

Shared on the following Blog Hops:
Premeditated Leftovers Hearth and Soul


Emeril’s Rigatoni with A Beefy Mushroom Gorgonzola Sauce: Or Something Like That

Grilled Tri-tip Roast with Beefy Mushroom Gorgonzola Sauce

It was the sauce that drew me to this ah-may-zing recipe; Emeril has got it goin’ on in Sizzling Skillets and Other One-Pot Wonders with this one.  I do not think it matters much what type of beef or pasta you put with it either, the sauce carries the meal. Wine, shallots, garlic, fresh herbs, blue cheese, and cream?  “Aw, yeah, babe”, Rigatoni with a Beefy Mushroom Gorgonzola Sauce is the real deal.

Since we try to eat less pasta these days and I had a Tri-tip roast on-hand, I adjusted the recipe without altering the deeply flavored, beefy mushroom sauce. Grill-lover that I am, I could not pass up the chance to cook the tri-tip over a flame, while baking a sweet potato and whipping up the sauce.  Obviously, the entire meal did not come from just one pot; it took two pots, an oven, and a grill. However, as my husband said, “The sauce took the tri-tip to a whole new level”, so it was worth every bit of extra clean-up.

As delicious as it would be over pasta, it was terrific poured over the baked sweet potato AND the broccoli—though there are no photos of such indulgence as evidence.  This is another recipe easily made gluten-free with a simple substitute of sweet rice flour for all-purpose flour as well as using gluten-free pasta, or like us, enjoying a sweet potato in lieu of pasta.

Grilled Tri-tip Roast with Beefy Mushroom Gorgonzola Sauce

An earthy depth of flavor from the blue cheese and mushrooms, savory herbs throughout, Beefy Mushroom Gorgonzola Sauce kicks anything up a notch—this is a must try recipe. Can one recipe be worth the price of an entire cookbook full of fantastic recipes?  If any can, this one comes really, really close.

Click on the Photo for Pre-order Info

Order a copy of Emeril’s Sizzling Skillets so you too can enjoy this and more than 130 other delectable recipes!

Disclosure: For my participation in The Secret Ingredient’s One-Pot Blogger Cooking Party, I received a copy of Sizzling Skillets and Other One-Pot Wonders, a jar of Emeril’s Essence seasoning, and a set of Emeril – by zak! Table Art 7-piece. Once the party concludes, upon my successful completion, I will receive a $50 grocery reimbursement and a set of Emeril’s cookbooks.

Junk in Food: Ugh, Not That Too!

Hearty Beef Chili

A pot of Hearty Beef Chili was on the agenda today, the weather cool and rainy.  All the usual ingredients assembled, over five pounds of meat to brown and fill the stock pot. As I opened the cans of beans and tomatoes (yes, I use canned because they are easier to measure and store for when the mood strikes), I noticed ingredients I hadn’t really paid attention to before.  Making chili for years, perfecting it to our family’s preferences, it is one of those recipes I just make on autopilot.

Until today.

Reading the label on the Kuner’s chili beans, I noticed flour (cracker meal) and soybean oil, two things I tend to avoid, but there is was in my chili beans.  This does not work for my daughter trying to avoid gluten either.  It is beans for goodness sake; I assumed it would have a little extra cumin and chili powder, but not white flour and soybean oil. Unfortunately, it was already mixed in. The black beans and kidney beans were a different brand without any additional junk, thankfully.

Then there were the S&W Italian style stewed tomatoes…picked up a case at Costco since the goal was a big pot of chili.  High fructose corn syrup? Really?! Ugh, I don’t know if I was more disappointed in the brand or in myself for not reading the label and just assuming.  I am a label reader if there ever was one and for the life of me, do not know how I missed it.

It looks like I will be adjusting the brands I use for my chili from now on…

What about you, ever been surprised by once trusted brands?

Labor Day Eats: Feature Fridays

Labor Day became a federal holiday 117 years ago, marked by parades and parties recognizing trade and labor organizations.  Today, families enjoy one last vacation before school starts, NFL and college football seasons begin, and backyard parties abound.  If entertaining or creating a dish for a potluck is on the agenda for this three-day weekend, here are a few ideas to get your creative juices flowing.  Instead of featuring just one site this week, there is a whole list—Enjoy!


Barbeque Menu – Savoring Today
10 Labor Day Menus – Ezra Pound Cake
Labor Day Gourmet Grilling Party Menu – Recipe Girl

Main Dishes/Meat:

Grilled Thai Ginger-Garlic Pork Chops – Fine Cooking
Grilled Chicken Kebabs with Roasted Red Pepper Dip – Family Fresh Cooking
Sausage Kebabs – Bell’ Alimento
Jamaican Jerk Chicken – Kayotic Kitchen
Pancetta-Gruyere Burger with Grilled Vidalia Onions – Savoring Today
Vegetarian Recipes for Barbecue Season – New York Times

Appetizers & Sides:

Melon & Mint Salad – Shutterbean
Roasted Garlic and Dill White Bean Dip – How Sweet It Is
Roasted Carrots with Goat Cheese – Jungle Frog Cooking
Sauteed Corn with Chile Peppers, Ginger and Garlic – Cinnamon Spice
Grilled Summer Sweet Corn – Simply Sugar & Gluten Free
Romaine Salad with Hatch Chile Dressing – A Communal Table
Goat Cheese Balls with Herbs, Pecans, & Bacon – The Kitchn
Parmesan Rice Crisps with Roasted Tomato Salsa – Gluten-Free Goddess


Brownies for Grown Ups – The 21st Century Housewife’s Kitchen
S’mores Pie – Foodess
Chocolate Caramel Peanut Bites– Sweet Pea’s Kitchen
Limoncello Cheesecake Bites – Bitter Sweet
Rustic Peach & Plum Tart – Eyes Bigger Than My Stomach
Honey Cinnamon Peach Pie – My Kitchen Addiction

Beef Stew with Rice, Onions, and Tomatoes [Boeuf À La Catalane]: Test Kitchen Tuesday

Yesterday was the birthday of the late, great, culinary icon Julia Child, so it seemed only fitting to include a recipe from Mastering the Art of French Cooking for Test Kitchen Tuesday.  It has been a delight to glean from her style and expertise in this two-volume set—I wholeheartedly relate to her affinity for butter and cream. In honor of her birthday, HuffPost Food compiled clips from The French Chef, Julia Child & Company and Julia & Jacques: Cooking at Home—you’ll want to check it out and reminisce.

Beef Stew with Rice, Onions, and Tomatoes [Boeuf À La Catalane] is described in the book as a hearty dish from the Spanish-Mediterranean corner of France.  I have included some of the detail of the instructions, simply to honor Julia’s style and original voice, but have adjusted for American bacon, canned tomatoes (unless you have a garden or a nearby farmers market), and the fact that a Dutch oven will work just fine in lieu of a casserole.  Mine is in the oven right now and the aroma is divine!

I hope you join me in this delicious adventure!

In the next week or so:

1.  Make the recipe (posted below)
2.  Leave a comment describing your experience, opinion, adjustments, or suggestions.  ♥ If you do focus on altering it to economize, choose healthier ingredients or techniques, make it gluten-free/allergy sensitive, embellish for entertaining, or incorporate into batch/once-a-month cooking, please mention that too.
3.  Subscribe to comments so you can see what others have done.
4.  If you are especially proud of your creation, send a photo to, or include a link to your site with your comment.

Beef Stew with Rice, Onions, and Tomatoes (Boeuf A La Catalane)

Source: Mastering the Art of French Cooking Vol I, by Julia Child, Louisette Bertholle, and Simone Beck — Copyright: 2001 by Alfred A. Knopf
Serves 6
1/4       pound  chunk of bacon
2         tablespoons  olive oil
3         pounds  lean stewing beef — cut into squares 2 1/2″ across and 1″ thick
1 1/2    cups  onions — sliced
1         cup  raw white rice — unwashed
1         cup  dry white wine or dry vermouth
2         cups  beef stock or canned beef bouillon
salt to taste
1/4       teaspoon  pepper
2         cloves  garlic — mashed
1/2        teaspoon  thyme
Pinch   saffron
1          bay leaf — crumbled
1          pound  tomatoes — peeled, seeded, juiced, and chopped —
(about 1 1/2 cups pulp)
1          cup  Swiss cheese or Parmesan cheese — grated

Preheat oven to 325°

“Remove rind and cut bacon into lardons (1 1/2-inch strips, 3/8 of an inch thick.) Simmer in 1 quart of water for 10 minutes. Drain, dry, and brown lightly in oil in the skillet. Remove with a slotted spoon to the casserole.”–Julia

Since bacon in America is smoked, you may not want to lose that flavor by simmering it in water first, but you certainly can. Heat the olive oil in a Dutch oven over medium heat and lightly brown the bacon. Remove from the pot and transfer to a platter, set aside.

Dry the meat so it will brown well. Lightly salt and pepper the meat.  Brown the meat on all sides in the rendered bacon fat. Once browned, place it on the platter with the bacon, and set aside.

Lower heat to medium-low, and brown the onions. Remove and transfer to the platter with the meat, and set aside.  Add additional oil to the Dutch oven if too dry and cook the rice over moderate heat for 2 to 3 minutes until it turns milky in color. Transfer to a separate bowl and set aside until later.

Add the wine and stir over medium heat to dissolve any fond in the pan. Return the meat and onions to the pan and add stock or bouillon almost to the height of the meat.  Stir in the pepper, garlic, and herbs. Bring to a simmer over medium-low heat, cover tightly, and set in lower position of preheated oven for 1 hour.

Remove casserole from oven. Stir in the tomatoes, bring to a simmer, cover, and return to the oven for an additional hour of simmering. When the meat is almost fork tender, remove pot from oven. Raise oven heat to 375°.

Skim off any excess fat. Stir in the rice. Bring to a simmer over medium-low heat, cover, and set back in the oven for 20 minutes until the rice is cooked. Do not stir the rice. At the end of the time it should be tender and have absorbed almost all the liquid.  Just before serving, fold the cheese into the beef and rice.

Shared on the following Blog Hops:
The Nourishing Gourmet Pennywise Platter Thursday

Pancetta-Gruyere Burger with Grilled Vidalia Onions

Pancetta and Gruyere cheese mixed with ground beef from a local butcher deliver a burger worthy of peak grilling season.  Lean pancetta infuses savory, juicy flavor without overpowering the beef, while the earthy, distinct flavor of Gruyere brings a rich nuance.  A few basic seasonings, toasted bun, grilled Vidalia onions and you are ready to eat right there at the grill—no other condiments required. Of course, it is good manners to share, so you’ll want to wait ’til you get to the table.

Pancetta-Gruyere Burger with Grilled Sweet Onions

Serves 4
1        pound  ground beef — 90% lean
4        ounces  pancetta (lean) — chopped
1/2      cup  Gruyere cheese — cut into 1/4″ cubes
1/2      teaspoon  smoked paprika
1/2      teaspoon  granulated garlic
1/2      teaspoon  onion powder
1/2      teaspoon  freshly ground black pepper
1        large  sweet onion — Vidalia
4        buns
olive oil

Slice onion to create 1/4″ discs, drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper; set aside. Lightly butter the buns and set aside.

Gently mix seasoning, pancetta, and cheese into ground beef. Form 1/3 lb. patties with meat mixture.

Grill onions over medium-high heat until softened and lightly browned on both sides.

Grill burgers over medium heat until seared well on both sides and cooked through. While the burgers finish, grill buttered buns (butter side down) until toasted.

Serve the burger on the toasted bun with the grilled onions piled on top.

Shared on the following Blog Hops:
Hearth & Soul Blog Hop
The Nourishing Gourmet Monday Mania
Real Food Whole Health Traditional Tuesdays
SS & GF Slightly Indulgent Tuesday
Mom Trends Friday Food
Real Food Whole Health Fresh Bites Friday
EKat’s Kitchen Friday Potluck
Real Food Forager Fat Tuesday

Coffee Rub for Ribs: Test Kitchen Tuesday

Grilling for more than 20 years with a serious love for coffee that spans the same time, I’m not sure why it has taken so long to try a coffee rub to season ribs.  After reviewing a number of options for Test Kitchen Tuesday, I landed on this recipe from Recipes Planet, persuaded by the author’s description. He doesn’t include a recipe for cooking the ribs, so my plan is to use my own Missouri-Style Ribs recipe, using this coffee rub on beef back ribs.

I hope you join me in this delicious adventure!

In the next week or so:

1.  Make the recipe (posted below)
2.  Leave a comment describing your experience, adjustments, or suggestions.
3.  Subscribe to comments so you can see what others have done.
4.  If you are especially proud of your creation, snap a photo and send it to me at so it can be included in this post or include a link to your site with your comment.

Coffee Rub for Ribs

Source: Recipes Planet
Serves: 4
2      tablespoons  freshly ground coffee
2      tablespoon  kosher salt
2      tablespoons  paprika
1       tablespoon  ancho chile powder
1       tablespoon  dark brown sugar
1       teaspoon  oregano
1       teaspoon  garlic powder
1       teaspoon  onion powder
1       teaspoon  ground black pepper
1/2     teaspoon  cocoa powder
1/2     teaspoon  coriander

Note from Recipes Planet author: Not a coffee drinker myself, I wasn’t sure how this would go over, but I ended up loving it-the way the coffee plays with the other spices, smoke, and meat. And the coffee-ness didn’t dominate. Rather, the ground beans added an earthy quality to an already complex mix of flavors. The ribs eaten dry were fantastic, but even better with a coating of stout barbecue sauce.