Thai Beef with Chiles and Basil Over Coconut Rice

This dish was from an old issue of Everyday Food and it's one of those keeper recipes. Just ask my friend Stephanie who showed me her copy of the recipe, tattered, stained and well loved. It has become a favorite with her family and she makes it often. I think you'll love it too, not only because it's delicious but because it is lickety split to make. And now that we've put it into a recipe's even easier!

If you can read the copy above you'll notice I've made a few changes based on preference. I add a few extra veggies for color, crunch and why the heck not? This is also great with green beans! On Stephanie's suggestion, I've upped the fish sauce and soy sauce. And in my picture up top, I forgot to put in the lime wedges which are key!! They add the perfect citrus tang. You can serve this with brown rice, regular rice or skinny rice noodles too.

* Denotes the pantry items you'll need if you buy our recipe kit.

1 1/4 cups jasmine, basmati or jasmati rice*1 can (13.5 ounces) coconut milk*
1/4 cup fish sauce*
1/4 cup soy sauce*
1 teaspoon brown sugar*
1 tablespoon vegetable oil*
3 garlic cloves, chopped
6 jalapeno chiles, seeded and sliced into 2-inch matchsticks (I know this seems like a lot, but it's not. You can go down to 5 but it's a big part of the dish. Half of the chilies are cooked which takes a lot of the heat out, and the other half adds a nice bite but is in no way overpowering. Really.)
1 cup of carrots, cut into matchsticks
1/ 4 to 1/2 red onion, sliced into cresecents
1 pound ground beef
1 cup loosely packed torn fresh basil leaves
Lime wedges, for serving

In a medium saucepan, combine rice, coconut milk, 3/4 cup water, and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Cover and bring to a boil; reduce to a simmer, cover, and cook until rice is tender and liquid has been absorbed, about 25 minutes. The coconut milk can scorch pretty easily, so make sure you are using a think bottom saucepan and that you bring it to a boil over medium-high heat and not high.

When rice is almost done, combine fish sauce, soy sauce, and sugar in a small bowl; set aside. Heat a cast-iron skillet or wok over high. Add oil and heat; add garlic and half the chiles. Cook, stirring constantly, 15 seconds. Add beef and carrots and cook, breaking up meat with a wooden spoon, until completely browned, about 4 minutes. Add soy mixture and cook 30 seconds. Add basil and remaining chiles and onion and stir to combine. Serve beef over coconut rice with lime wedges.