Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Thai Beef with Basil

As our windows are open in Florida and we are enjoying lovely, breezy weather, our thoughts do go back to Montana where, today, they are having snow flurries and freezing temps.  We really are spoiled, only spending the perfect time of the year in that beautiful state.

However, today has been pretty special here at the home place.  We have replanted some of our herb garden and we do use it.  This morning there were omelets with fresh tarragon (have you tried it?), bagels and home-cured gravlax with fresh dill and for our Sunday dinner, we added fresh thyme to sauteed baby bella mushrooms to go along with a pre-salted steak and sauteed sweet onions.

I noticed how great the sage was looking, so we are planning our Thanksgiving dinner with that herb in mind also.  What would that be?

And we have basil growing in several different places.  We find it a tricky herb to keep flourishing in our garden, so by placing it in different locals, we seem to be more successful.

The November issue of Bon Appétit had a recipe that would take care of a lot of our basil.  We made a few changes, but still liked the outcome very much.  This is a simple dish that we will probably make often.

Thai Beef with Basil

Serves 4 from Bon Appétit

3 Tbsp. vegetable oil, divided
6 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
2 red chilies, thinly sliced
1 lb. ground beef  (we substituted ground lamb which we enjoyed)
1/2 cup low sodium chicken broth
3 cups fresh basil leaves, divided
2 medium carrots, julienned or coarsely grated
2 scallions, thinly sliced
4 Tbsp. fresh lime juice, divided
2 Tbsp. soy sauce
1 Tbsp. fish sauce such as nam pla or nuoc nam
1 tsp. sugar
Steamed rice and lime wedges

Heat 1 Tbsp. oil in a large skillet over high heat.  Add garlic and chile and cook, stirring until fragrant, about 30 seconds.  Add beef and cook, breaking up with a spoon and pressing down firmly to help brown until cooked through and nicely crisped in spots, 8-10 minutes.

Toss carrots, scallions, 1 Tbsp. lime juice and remaining chile, 1 cup basil leaves and 1 Tbsp. oil in a small bowl.

Mix soy sauce, fish sauce, sugar and remaining 3 Tbsp. lime juice in another small bowl until sugar dissolves.

Top rice with beef and slaw and drizzle with soy dressing.  Serve with lime wedges for squeezing over.  

This was a very flavorful dish.  I actually liked the ground meat instead of sliced meat for a change.  It is a quick meal and only 240 calories per serving.   We really did enjoy the ground lamb, but do want to try the ground beef the next time.  We love Thai food and this was an easy recipe to follow for a quick meal. 

We served it over Jasmine rice which absorbed all the juices.  We were a little disappointed that the basil taste was not stronger.  Perhaps, next time, more basil and leaving the leaves whole will do the trick.  Of course, a great red wine was served with this meal. 


  1. We need to plant our winter herb garden too, but haven't found the time yet. You've inspired me with this lovely Thai dish. The weather is certainly perfect for it.

    Count us in the lamb lovers. What a great way to use ground lamb.

  2. Susan, that sounds delish! and we do love Thai. Next time you come, we'll cook Thai. ;)

    PS: wish I could open my windows right now, but it's raining and 51 F

  3. The Thai dish looks delicious. It's always nice to get herbs from your own garden.

  4. I can only dream of a winter herb garden! Thai is one of my favorite cuisines and your dish looks delicious.


  5. The only Winter herb garden that gets planted here in Colorado is on my window sill ... and yes, I need to do that. This recipe sounds really really good. Thanks for posting. Pinned to try later.

  6. That looks good! I brought my herbs inside for the winter... we'll see how they do.

  7. This dish sounds wonderful, Susan. I love all the flavors you have combined here and the fact that I don't need 50 ingredients to make it. The fresh crunchy carrot slaw is the perfect finish.

  8. Susan, I now that I have a greenhouse here in wetville, I'll be planting basil indoors next summer. This recipe seems enough incentive for me to try it again.
    Thanks for sharing it. Fresh, good and healthy!

  9. I think my cooking improved significantly when I started using fresh herbs. You have inspired me. I have rosemary and mint, but something happened to my thyme and my basil is gone.

  10. We don't use tarragon nearly enough, Susan. I'm going to try it in my next omelet!
    Tasty lo-cal beef dish, too.