Taiwanese Beef Soup: From Sumos to Oxtails

February 4th, 2017

Taiwanese Beef Soup

Before I get to this delightful soup recipe, I have to share some fun I had last week.  I have a dear friend who has moved just over the mountain from me.  Barbara has built a lovely home on acreage with a barn.  She raises goats for their wool and milk.  She prefers a vegetarian diet.  The two of us went to Whole Foods together on a shopping outing.  It is obvious what each of us bought.

Sumos

 

 

Oxtails
Sumo oranges are in season right now.  They are a cross between mandarin oranges and navel oranges.  Barb bought these.  Because I was making the beef soup, I needed both beef shanks with marrow bone and oxtail.  I asked the butcher for oxtail and he went into the walk-in refrigerator and brought out a whole cow’s tail and flashed it about.  “Do you want me to cut this up for you?” he said. The look of horror on Barb’s face was priceless.  He cut it up and we left the store giggling at our incongruent tastes. Barb said, “If you invite me to dinner I would prefer quiche and a salad.”

Taiwanese Vegetable Soup

The heady combination of beef with bones and marrow, plus soy sauce, chilies, star anise and ginger makes for a rich broth and tender meat that cooks slowly for hours.  A meat lover’s delight.  Ladle the soup into bowls and add cooked Chinese noodles and broccolini.  Adjust the amount of chilies to your taste.  I used 2 Thai chilies in the soup and garnished it with slices of Habanero chilies.  I will omit the too hot Habaneros next time, even though they looked pretty.  This was slightly adapted from Hélène Dujardin on her blog Tartelette.  It is best to make this a day ahead of time so you can skim the fat from the top after refrigerating.

TAIWANESE BEEF SOUP

Make this ahead of time so you can refrigerate and remove the fat before reheating

3 pounds bone-in beef shanks with marrow bones still on
1 pound beef oxtails
3 tablespoons canola oil
10 garlic cloves, bruised
one 1 1/2-inch piece of fresh ginger, cut into 6 slices,
5 scallions, halved crosswise
1 teaspoon Chinese five-spice powder
3 star anise
1 teaspoons peppercorns
2 Thai chili, split lengthwise
1/4 cup roasted red chili paste
1/3 cup rice wine vinegar
8 tablespoons light soy sauce
10 cups water
1 pound broccolini, stems halved
1/2 pound Udon noodles
cilantro
extra freshly sliced Habanero red chili (optional)

In a large stock pot, heat half the oil over high heat. Sear half of the beef shanks and oxtails on both sides, about 2 minutes per side. Remove from the pot and repeat with the remaining oil and beef pieces.
Add  all the remaining soup ingredients, except the broccolini, noodles and cilantro.
Bring to a boil then lower the heat to low, cover with the lid askew and cook for about 3 hours or until the beef is tender and falls off the bone.
Turn off the heat, and remove the beef pieces with a slotted spoon. Let the beef cool then shred it off the bones. Discard the bones. Strain the soup into another pot and put the meat into that pot. Refrigerate overnight. The next day, skim the fat that has risen to the top then reheat the soup on low heat.
In the meantime, blanch the broccolini in boiling water for about a minute. Set aside. Cook the noodles according to package instructions. Divide the noodles and broccolini among 6 bowls, ladle soup over noodles and garnish with cilantro and extra chili if desired.

Printable Recipe 

Celery Root Velouté

January 28th, 2017

Celery Root Soup

If you would like a luxurious soup to serve as a first course, you couldn’t do any better than this Celery Root Velouté from Mimi Thorisson’s new cookbook French Country Cooking.  It is very simple to make and is quite different from any other soup I have made before.  Starting with a gnarly celery root, one of the least appealing vegetables I have ever seen, you end up with a thing of beauty.

Celery Root Soup

I love the idea of serving the soup with a crisp slice of bacon.  Crumbled into the bowl, it adds a crisp counterpoint to the velvety soup.  My husband and I both loved the flavors achieved with just a few ingredients.  The hint of mustard pairs well with the earthy taste of the celery root.

Celery Root Soup

Whether you serve this as a first course or as a light lunch, you can’t go wrong with this unique recipe.  Another winner from Mimi Thorisson.

CELERY ROOT VELOUTÉ

3 tablespoons salted butter
1 celery root (about 2 pounds), peeled and cut into small cubes
Fine sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 cups whole milk
3/4 cup chicken stock
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
Extra-virgin olive oil
Piment D”espelette or mild chile powder
6 slices bacon, cooked until crisp

In a large pot, melt the butter over medium-low heat.  Add the celery root, season with salt and pepper and cook for 5 minutes.  Pour in the milk and stock and bring the soup to a simmer.  Cover, reduce the heat, and simmer until the celery root is tender, about 20 minutes.

Purée the soup, preferable using an immersion blender.  Stir in the mustard and season with salt and pepper as needed.  Serve hot, drizzling each portion with a little olive oil and sprinkling with a pinch of piment d’Espelette.  Top each bowl with a slice of bacon.

Makes 6 servings

Printable Recipe

Winter Salad

January 22nd, 2017

Winter Salad

We are spending more time in the kitchen this winter.  Usually we are in Florida this time of year.  But we sold the Florida house last spring and this is our first year experiencing winter in North Carolina. Granted we don’t have the brutal weather of the north, but it has been snowy, bleak and cold.  We’ve had fires in the fireplace, cooking some of our meals there.  There have been roasts and grilled poultry, lots of soups and casseroles.  All of this heavy cooking makes me hungry for something light and nutritious.

Winter Salad

This winter salad utilizes canned black beans and chickpeas along with easily found winter vegetables like cucumbers, cherry tomatoes, red onions and celery.  It keeps well in the refrigerator and can be turned into several different dishes.  Served on its own it is delicious but you could also:

1. Serve it over ground beef tacos.
2. Mix it with couscous or tabouli.
3. Add to a green salad.
4. Add canned tuna and serve it in a pita bread.

Winter Salad

This bright salad is getting us through the dreary weather.  One bright spot is that we will be leaving soon for 6 weeks in a rental house in Florida.  It is in a different small town for us and we are looking forward to it.

WINTER SALAD

1 Can Chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1 Can Black Beans, drained and rinsed
1 English cucumber, stripes peeled and diced
1/2 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
2 stalks celery, diced
1/4 cup red onion, diced
1 small bunch parsley, chopped
Juice of 1 lemon
1 Tablespoon white wine vinegar
3 Tablespoons olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste

Mix all ingredients through the chopped parsley in a large bowl.  Combine the lemon juice, vinegar, olive oil and salt and pepper in a small bowl.  Add to salad and toss well.  Store in the refrigerator for up to a week and use as you please.

Printable Recipe

 

Pork Tenders with Onion Marmalade, Mustard Cream Sauce & Raspberries

January 13th, 2017

Pork Tenderloin with Onion Marmalade, Mustard cream sauce and raspberries.

The winner of the Mary-James Lawrence cookbook is Ruth Swanto. Thank you everyone for participating.  I will be in touch Ruth.

Back before 2000, we lived in Greensboro, NC. for many years.  We were fortunate to have a Gourmet cooking school and shop called Roosters.  Mary James Lawrence, the owner and instructor was an inspiration to many Greensboro residents.  I took many cooking classes there, not only from Mary James, but from several other professionals in the food industry.  Ben and Karen Barker, James Beard Award winning chefs, were two of them. Their Durham restaurant, Magnolias, since closed, was one of our favorite destinations and their cookbook, Not Afraid of Flavor, holds a special place on my cookbook shelf.   Shirley Corriher, author of the biochemist’s take on food, Cookwisewas another.  There was a time when everyone in Greensboro was making her Spicy Firecrackers; a seasoned saltine cracker. Mary James brought in many people from the cooking scene.

Mary James Dishes it Out

In 2007 Mary James published a cookbook.  It is now out of print, but I was fortunate to get several of them from Mary James.  I would like to share this wonderful cookbook with one lucky winner.  All you have to do is leave a comment  I will number the comments and draw a winning number.

Pork Tenderloin with Onion Marmalade, Mustard Cream Sauce and Raspberries.

There are so many wonderful recipes in this cookbook.  Many of them come from the popular deli that Roosters had.  It was called Roosters on the Run and was a great place to grab a ready made meal.  Everything from meatloaf to chicken salad to the famous Roosters chocolate cookies.  But this recipe for Pork Tenders with Onion Marmalade, Mustard Cream Sauce and Raspberries really appealed to me.  I am always looking for attractive and tasty dishes to serve to company and this fills the bill.  The onion marmalade made with raspberry vinegar centers the plate.  The pork tenderloin medallions napped with mustard cream sauce surround it and the fresh raspberries add fresh vibrancy to the presentation.

Mary James now leads groups on tours to Southern France.  You can find her on her blog.  Roosters is now closed, but I and many residents of Greensboro are thankful for all of the memories and cooking advice that we received.  Thank you Mary James Lawrence.

PORK TENDERS WITH ONION MARMALADE, MUSTARD CREAM SAUCE AND RASPBERRIES

2 Pork Tenderloins
1/4  cup Dr. Pete’s Burgundy Marinade or your favorite marinade
2 (3-inch) pieces rosemary

ONION MARMALADE
1/4 cup olive oil
2 large onions (10 cups), slice thin
1/2 cup raspberry vinegar
1/3 cup honey
1 teaspoon paprika
salt and freshly ground black pepper

MUSTARD CREAM SAUCE
3 tablespoons minced shallot
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 cup white wine
2 cups cream
2 1/2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon dried thyme

Fresh raspberries (garnish)

Trim tenderloins of fat and silver skin.  Place in Ziploc bag.  Add marinade and rosemary branches.  Marinate for 6 to 8 hours in the refrigerator.

Prepare charcoal grill or preheat gas grill.  Add tenderloins and grill to internal temperature of 165 degrees.

ONION MARMALADE
In a large saute pan, heat olive oil.  Add onions and saute until beginning to caramelize.  Add the raspberry vinegar, honey, and paprika.  Reduce until thickened and glazed.  Season to taste.  Ten cups of onions yields about 3 1/2 to 4 cups marmalade.

MUSTARD CREAM SAUCE
In a 2-quart sauce pan or saucier, sate shallots in olive oil until beginning to brown.  Deglaze with white wine.  Whisk in cream and mustard.  Add thyme.  Reduce to coating consistency.  Can do ahead.  Store in refrigerator.

TO SERVE
Slice pork into 1/2 medallions.  Place small mound of Onion Marmalade in center of plate.  Surround with several pork medallions.  Puddle Mustard Cream Sauce on or just in front of meat.  Sprinkle with fresh raspberries.

Printable Recipe

Jamaican Chicken Soup for the Dark Days of Winter

January 6th, 2017

Jamacian Chicken Soup

The weather is frightful.  The skies are grey.  But the light still burns in our homes and on our hearths. We have put away the trappings of the holidays and are hunkering down for the long dark days of Winter. Warming soups and bread fresh from the oven are my preferred ways to fight the winter doldrums. And a great soup to brighten your days is this Jamaican inspired recipe.Jamacian Chicken Soup

With the bright additions of curry and allspice, this chicken, black bean and black-eyed pea soup hits all the right notes.  I added Himalayan red rice to the mix because I had it in my pantry.  I found it while cleaning out dated foodstuff.  Sometimes impulse buys get shoved into corners.   Himalayan Red Rice is grown in Nepal and has a red hued bran.  It is colorful for pilafs.

Jamacian Chicken Stew

We have a snow storm predicted for the mountains this weekend so I am happy to have a pot of soup and homemade Rosemary Olive Oil Bread stashed away.  Cooking is a good way to survive anything nature throws at you.

JAMAICAN CHICKEN SOUP

1 lb. boneless chicken breast, cut into bite-size pieces
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 cup chopped onion
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon curry powder
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1/4 cup red wine
1 (15-ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 cup frozen black-eyed peas, thawed
1 (28-ounce) can diced tomatoes
2 cups chicken broth
1 cup water
1 1/2 cups cooked rice (I used Himalayan Red Rice)

Heat oil in a dutch oven.  Add chicken pieces and saute until browned.  Remove chicken and set aside.  Add onion to casserole and cook until transparent.  Add garlic and saute for 30 seconds.  Add all of the spices and cook over low heat for about 1 minute.  Add wine and reduce slightly.  Return chicken to casserole and add the remaining ingredients.  Cover pot.  Bring to a boil and then reduce to low and cook for at least 30 minutes.  Garnish with parsley or cilantro if desired.

Printable Recipe

 

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