Did you all have a good Fourth of July? We spent the day indoors, avoiding the massive crowds in Boston, drinking homemade Sangria, and playing Risk. Which I'm terrible at, by the way. Seriously bad. All day it looked like it was going to rain, and all day it didn't. Even so, we piddled around all day, snacking on pigs in the blanket and guacamole.
Around 11pm, we climbed out onto his balcony to watch the fireworks. Just as the first fireworks started erupting, and everyone on my block simultaneously started cheering, the sky opened up. Within seconds we were drenched, watching all the people down below scatter to find shelter. We looked at each other, my mascara running and his glasses all drippy, and all at once we were both in stitches, laughing so hard at this inexplicable situation that we, and the entire city of Boston, had found themselves in. We laughed, we watched fireworks, we embraced the absurdity. The fireworks lasted about 20 minutes, as did the rain, naturally.
It was the best Fourth of July I've ever had.
Sometimes the thing that you thought would ruin something, ends up making it that much more memorable. To me, it's a reminder that I'm in control of almost nothing, and that's pretty exhilarating. It's freeing to let go and embrace the rain. It's comforting to know that you're in the same boat as everyone else. Sometimes, it'll rain during the fireworks on the Fourth of July. That's life, and I think it's pretty beautiful.
Let's spend less time worrying, and more time laughing in the rain, less time thinking about the things we can't control, and more time doing the things we love. And right now, in the height of summer, let's spend less time in the kitchen and more time seeing life.
Stir fry is perfect for getting out of the kitchen quickly, if you didn't know.
Let's do it!
This stir fry starts with very thinly sliced skirt steak. Stick the steak in the freezer for about 15 minutes before you slice it. That, and a sharp knife, will ensure that you get the thinnest slices possible.
Stir fry goes fast, which is why I like it. But keeping that in mind, it's best to have all of your ingredients prepared before you start. Assemble ingredients!
Boil half a box of linguine in some salted water until al dente. Reserve some of the starchy pasta water, then drain and set aside.
Meanwhile, add some grape seed oil or vegetable oil to a large skillet or wok over medium high heat. Add beef strips and cook until browned, about 5 minutes.
Remove the beef with a slotted spoon to a plate and add trimmed green beans. Let cook for about 3 minutes, then add garlic and fresh ginger. Let cook for about 3 minutes more.
Return the beef to the pan with any accumulated juices on the plate. Stir to combine and add fresh chopped cilantro, lime zest, lime juice, soy sauce, and chili sauce, like Sriracha. Add noodles along with a splash of the pasta water to loosen them up, and toss to combine.
Serve with some chopped cilantro on top and some extra soy sauce and Sriracha if your heart desires.
And that's it! A simple, delicious, Summer meal that has you in and out of the kitchen in 30 minutes. The garlic and ginger give it a nice bite, and the noodles soak up all that lovely soy and Sriracha flavor.
I adore cilantro, I think it makes everything taste so fresh, however if you are cilantro-averse, you can substitute basil for a nice herbaceous kick.
Fresh, light, and quick recipes. That's all I want this Summer. That, and maybe a couple more rain storms.
Here's the recipe!
Beef and Noodle Stir Fry with Green Beans (Heavily adapted from Everyday Food, July/August 2012)
- 1 tablespoon grape seed or vegetable oil
- 1/2 pound skirt steak, cut into very thin strips
- 1 pound green beans, trimmed
- 2 tablespoons grated fresh peeled ginger, grated on a microplane grater
- 4 cloves garlic, grated on a microplane grater
- 1 lime, juice and zest
- 3 tablespoons soy sauce
- 1 teaspoon Sriracha, more if desired (this stuff is spicy though!)
- 1 cup fresh cilantro leaves, chopped, plus more for garnish
- 1/2 pound linguine
- Place skirt steak in freezer for 15 minutes. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and add linguine. Cook to al dente, reserve some of the pasta water, then drain. Set aside.
- After 15 minutes in the freezer, cut the skirt steak against the grain into very thin slices. Heat oil in a large skillet or wok over medium-high heat. Add steak and cook, flipping once, until cooked through. Remove to a plate with a slotted spoon or spatula.
- Add green beans and cook for 3 minutes. Add garlic and ginger and cook for 3 minutes more. Return beef to the skillet and add soy sauce, Sriracha, cilantro, lime zest, and lime juice. Add drained pasta to the pot and splash a little cooking water to loosen things up a bit. Toss to combine, until the noodles have soaked up some of the sauce and everything is well combined.
- Serve with chopped cilantro on top.