As the arrival of our daughter gets closer, J and I have started perfecting some of our favorite restaurant dishes at home. We finally got this dish perfect and couldn’t be happier. The original recipe can be found here.
Vietnamese Bo Luc Lac
Beef Marinade Ingredients : makes the gravy
Dipping Sauce Ingredients (this is our favorite part it really brings the whole dish together!)
Prepare marinade by combining garlic, oyster sauce, sugar, fish sauce, soy sauce and sesame oil with the beef for at least half an hour, preferably 1-2 hours let marinate in the refrigerate. (Note: If you're thinking ahead (like we occasionally do), feel free to combine the beef and the marinade and freeze the mixture. Then you can just take it out of the freezer and put it in the refrigerator when you leave for work.)
Prepare vinaigrette by mixing rice vinegar with salt and sugar. It should be a balance of sour, salty and sweet. It should look something like this:
Thinly slice the red onion and use about 3-4tablespoons tablespoons the vinaigrette to pickle and set aside covered in fridge for about 10 minutes (longer is better here too!). Prepare bed of lettuce and tomatoes in a serving platter and set aside.
Heat a large wok or pan over high heat.
Add about 2 tablespoons cooking oil and when it begins to smoke, add an even layer of beef and allow to sear for about 2 minutes, before “shaking” to sear the opposite sides for about another 1-2 minute more to brown all the sides. Do this in batches to cook all the beef if necessary. This will sear the beef so it looks like this:
Transfer beef to bed of watercress and tomatoes.
Drizzle another 3-4 tablespoons of vinaigrette over the beef and greens and top with pickled red onions.
Lastly, squeeze lime juice over salt and pepper in a small bowl and use for dipping the beef, or feel free to just drizzle it on.
The dipping sauce should look like this:
This has to be in my top 10 favorite dishes of all time. I love the veggies and the balance of all five flavors. I also love that the rice isn’t even really necessary for this to be a filling meal. Plus even if you do all the prep work right before dinner, the whole start to finish time is only about 30 minutes.
Or homemade chile rellenos. A new grocery store opened in our town and it is amazing. I’ve described it as if Trader Joes and Whole Foods had a baby. The produce is fantastic. When I stopped by opening day, the poblanos were some of the best I’ve seen since leaving Texas. So I roasted them and we had them for dinner.
Homemade Stuffed Poblanos
In a blender or food processor, combine tomatoes in puree, jalapeno, half the onions, and 2 whole garlic cloves; puree.
Season with salt to taste.
Pour sauce into a 9-by-13-inch baking dish; set aside.
Add a little oil to the skillet and sauté the onions, garlic and cumin.
If using ground beef, brown the beef in the same skillet with the garlic and onions, if you want, add some of the salsa.
Add half the poblano in the salsa covered baking dish.
Dividing evenly, spoon the onions and beef into the poblano half.
Sprinkle poblanos with the shredded pepper jack cheese.
If room add, the other poblano half with the inside in the salsa (so the skin side is up). (Since there wasn't room in our dish, I just added them where there was room.)
Bake uncovered for about 20 minutes.
Add the Velveeta cubes and cover with the other poblano half. Note: you'll want to use a fork or other utensil, the poblano tops will be hot.
Return to the 425 degree oven for 20 more minutes or until the salsa is slightly thickened and the poblano half on top is starting to brown.
The poblanos that were on top of the salsa roasted up quite nicely adding a sweet char to the pepper. Next time, I’ll roast the entire poblano before adding the filling. Other than that, the only other addition is to smother the entire stuffed poblano in Mag Mud for extra creaminess.