Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Basil Pesto

I have made arugula pesto before but have wanted to make traditional basil pesto for a while now.

This recipe was super easy and you can store in your freezer if you don't want to use it right away!



  • 1/3 cup toasted pine nuts
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • ½ cup Parmesan cheese
  • ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt & pepper to taste
  • Juice of 1/2 a lemon

Makes approx. 1 cup

Toast the pine nuts over low to medium heat until they are slightly browned - you will be able to smell them once they start toasting!

Transfer the pine nuts to a food processer. Add the basil. Pulse until combined.  
*I use a mini food processor for pesto if I am not making a large batch - the larger food processor is too big to pulse everything enough**

Add the garlic and juice from 1/2 a lemon and pulse again.

With the food processor running and add the olive oil in a continuous stream, stopping and scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary.

Add the grated cheese and pulse until combined.  

Season with salt & pepper to taste.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Beef and Broccoli Stir-Fry

I work in the Downtown Crossing area of Boston so Chinatown is right around the corner. We take a lot trips into Chinatown for Dim Sum, Hot Pot and sushi but recently I was taken to the Asian market C-Mart. 

At C-Mart you will find rows of fresh produce, asiles of noodles, nuts, soy sauce, hot sauce, duck sauce...I could go on forever. They have everything you could ever want to create your ideal Asian dish. And the prices are insanely cheap!!

Most signage is in Chinese so I definitely recommend taking someone who can read what everything is - at least for your first trip over there!

I have been C-Mart a few times since my first visit and on my most recent trip I picked up some fresh broccoli and a package of linguini-ish noodles. I knew then and there I had to make stir-fry for dinner.

The key to stir-frying is to have all of your ingredients portioned out and cut to size before putting anything in your pan. Once your wok (or saute pan) is screaming hot just follow the recipe and add ingredients as needed. 

I loved how this beef and broccoli stir fry came out and I had tons of left overs. I will definitely be putting this meal in my regular rotation!


  • 1 lb of boneless sirloin steak, sliced against the grain as thin as you can 
  • 2 tablespoons of soy sauce, divided
  • 1 teaspoon of sugar
  • 1/2 cup of beef broth **I used chicken broth because it was all I had at home**
  • 1 tablespoon of cornstarch
  • 1 tablespoon of hoisin sauce
  • 1 teaspoon of Sriracha (or 1/2 teaspoon of crushed red pepper)
  • 2 tablespoons of canola oil, divided
  • 1 tablespoon of minced ginger
  • 2 teaspoons of minced garlic
  • 4 cups of chopped fresh broccoli florets
  • 1/4 cup of water
  • 1/3 cup of sliced scallions (the green part only)
  • 1 tablespoon of toasted sesame seeds
  • 1 package of pre-cooked, refrigerated chinese noodles of choice **rice would work too!**

 Combine the sliced beef 1 tablespoon soy sauce, 1 teaspoons of sugar, and beef. Set aside.

Stir together 1 tablespoon soy sauce, broth, cornstarch, hoisin, and Sriracha. Set aside.

Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a wok (or large saute pan) over medium-high heat. Add beef mixture and saute for 3 minutes or until browned. Remove beef from pan. 

Add remaining 1 tablespoon oil to pan. Add ginger and garlic and cook 30 seconds, stirring constantly. 

Add broccoli and 1/4 cup water. Cook 1 minute. 

Add scallions and cook 1 minute, stirring constantly. 

Add broth mixture and beef mixture. Cook 2 minutes or until beef is thoroughly heated and sauce is slightly thick. Top with toasted sesame seeds. 

Toss with noodles.

And serve! 

Once you can make one stir-fry there is a million ways to switch it up!

What is your favorite stir-fry recipe?