Fast & Easy Dinner: Beef and Asparagus Stir-Fry

The other day, I met the associate editor from Yum Sugar at a wine tasting event for Nirvino, the #1 wine related app for the iPhone.  She was telling me all about the quick and easy recipes on their website, so here’s one that piqued my interested.  I basically do the same thing but with bell-peppers, onions, and mushrooms.  I’ll be giving the asparagus version a try this week!

From Williams-Sonoma
Beef and Asparagus Stir-Fry


1 1/2 lb. sirloin steak, cut into thin strips
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1/4 cup hoisin sauce
2 Tbs. dry sherry
1 tsp. chili oil
1/4 cup peanut oil
1 yellow onion, thinly sliced
3/4 lb. slender asparagus, trimmed and cut on the diagonal into 1-inch pieces
3 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes
Steamed rice for serving


  1. Lightly season the beef with salt and black pepper.
  2. In a small bowl, stir together the hoisin sauce, sherry, chili oil and 1/2 cup water. Set aside.
  3. In a wok or large fry pan over high heat, warm the peanut oil. Working in batches if needed to avoid crowding, add the beef and cook, turning once or twice, until lightly seared, 2 to 3 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer to a plate.
  4. Add the onion and asparagus to the pan and cook until tender-crisp, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the garlic and red pepper flakes and stir-fry for 15 seconds.
  5. Return the meat and any juices from the plate to the pan, add the hoisin mixture and stir well. Simmer briefly until heated through.
  6. Divide the rice among shallow bowls, top with beef and asparagus, and serve immediately.

Watch Your Fingers!!!

So last night I was slicing/mincing garlic with one of my freshly sharpened Shun knives, and for those of you who know Shun’s, that’s Sharp!

I had my fingers tucked as usual, but my index stuck out just a tad.  Normally you end up taking a chunk of meat off your finger tip when this happens, OUCH, but somehow, the fine edge of my Shun chef’s knife happened to literally shave off part of my fingernail right to the skin!  Boy did I get lucky, sort of…

The Injury

The Culprit

Now check out these knife skills videos from Alton Brown and Bobby Flay.  Check out :48 sec into Bobby’s Video for exactly what I was doing last night.

Bobby’s Knife Video

Alton’s Knife Skills & Care

Mom’s 1978 Apple Sausage Stuffing

As we ramp up to Thanksgiving, it’s typically customary for everyone to share their recipes and ideas for the perfect turkey or stuffing.

My mom was asked by a co-worker today at work to share her Sausage-Apple stuffing recipe.  I wanted to giver her mine to share, naturally thinking it was better, but as I examined this newspaper clipped recipe dated November 19, 1978, I realized it’s basically the exact same thing!

So without further ado, I bring you the ultimate stuffing/dressing recipe.  And remember, it’s called stuffing only when it’s inside the bird, otherwise it’s dressing!

1lb Italian Sausage
1/4 lb butter or margerine
1 medium yellow onion, finely chopped
2 cups celery, finely chopped
8-12 cups bread cubes, left out to dry out in advance
3 cups Granny Smith apples, peeled and cubed
1 cup Raisins (optional)
1 tsp each, marjoram, sage, salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
Turkey Broth, start with 1/2 cup and add based on consistency

– Start by browning sausage in the largest skillet or dutch oven you have, stirring with fork to break up.
– Remove meat to bowl and drain off fatt.
– Add butter and aromatics (onion, celery, garlic) and cook together for 3-5 min.
– Add bread cubes, stirring to toast lightly with aromatics.
– Add sausage back to skillet, along with diced apples and spices
– Toss together and mix well.
– Slowly stir in turkey broth to reach desired consistency.
– Add stuffing to body cavity of the turkey.

This is where the recipe ends.  If you wish to use this recipe as a dressing, which I prefer to do, at this point you will then need to scoop the entire mixture into a large baking pan or Pyrex.  Place in the oven along with the turkey for the last 45 min of cooking time.

Directions for the Perfect Pumpkin Pie

So I have to give my friend Brenda credit for this one.  It’s not so much directions word for word on making the perfect pumpkin pie.  But as they say, picture tells a thousand words…

Poached Eggs with Lentils – From the Foodbuzz Top 9

I found this very interesting recipe today on Foodbuzz from their Top 9.  Looks tasty, and I’ll definitely be giving it a shot this weekend when I’m home with the rentals (rhymes with Lentils 🙂 ) for Thanksgiving!

Poached Eggs with Lentils – Italy Blog Posts – Foodbuzz.

Welcome to UrbanHomeChef

Welcome everybody to UrbanHomeChef, where cooking a good meal no longer has to be frustrating or even require a restaurant quality kitchen!

I hope to share with everyone my passion for good food and some of the random recipes I come up with off the top of my head. A big shout out goes out to my dad, whose way of cooking always inspired me to try something different. Just open up the cupboard or fridge, see what you got and go from there. That’s the way it was always done in my house growing up, and the way I still do it today.

Let me know your thoughts, share your stories, recipes and photos, and most of all, DON’T LET IT GET COLD!

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