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 

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

 

Christmas Favorites

December 6th, 2016

Braised Short Ribs for Christmas

It has been rainy days and clouds for the last week.  We are happy for it because it has stopped the raging fires that have endangered our lives for weeks.  We feel for the people affected by the fires in Gatlinburg, as they were impacted much more than our community.  Our community sent much needed resources to the firefighters in their area.  These few weeks have been a time of reflection, thankfulness and love of neighbors.

I haven’t had much time to cook. Photography ops show only grey skies and low light.  So, for at least for the moment, I will rely on previous posts to convey my love of the season.  The food in December is a labor of love.  A beautiful entree is required.  It shows your guests that they and the holidays are special. This first dish, above, is one that David made for Christmas a few years ago.  It is now our Christmas Beef Short Rib Recipe.  It looks like the season with the red tomatoes and green beans and is absolutely delicious.

Maple Glazed Stuffed Pork Tenderoind

One of my triumphs in recipe development is this Maple-Glazed Stuffed Pork Tenderloin that I entered in a Food52 recipe contest.  It was a finalist for the top spot.  This is a beautiful entree wrapped in bacon and drizzled with honey.  Your guests will love it.

Ham Loaf

The final entree is somewhat humble, but one of my favorites because it was what my Mother served to guests when she was entertaining.  It is a Ham Loaf with a thick sweet glaze that will have you licking your fingers.  It is simple but festive with the cross hatching and a glistening cloak.

I hope this brings you inspiration for the holidays.

Broccoli Wild Rice Casserole and Fire on the Mountain

November 17th, 2016

Broccoli Wild Rice Casserole 1

It all started innocently.  Hikers climbed to Party Rock on the mountain behind our home on November 5th.  Neighbors heard young people hooting upon arriving at the pinnacle.  Shortly thereafter smoke started billowing down the mountain. It was just a small fire.  The next day helicopters starting buzzing our house.  The fire had spread and they were scooping water from the lake and transporting it to the top of the mountain and dumping it on the blaze.

Fire 1

Notice the helicopter in this photo.

Fire 2

We were out on the lake when all of this was happening.  The helicopter is coming in for another scoop of water in this picture.  We thought it would be under control in no time.

Fire

It was not to be.  The fire went from a few acres to over 4000 acres over the next week.  Winds had picked up and the fire spread both east and west along the ridge line.  Evacuations were ordered. We were told to leave.  What do you take when told to evacuate?  It was a harrowing experience.  We gathered clothes, medications, files, paintings, family photos and David’s favorite wine collection in our two cars and left with our dog Daisy.

Lake Lure Inn

We went a few miles across the lake to The Lake Lure Inn and Spa.  They were accepting refugees from our side of the lake and had reduced the rate to well below half of what they would normally charge.  We spent three days here with our neighbors and eventual friends.  The only silver lining in this story is how wonderful it was to meet and spend time with our neighbors.

moose-and-goose

We had communal meals in the Moose and Goose Lounge every night while we were there.  Everyone was displaced and worried, but we managed to make the best of it.

Cabin

On the fourth day of the evacuation David and I moved to a cabin owned by good friends Tom and Diana. They live out of the state so the cabin was available. It was just the respite that we needed.  I was able to cook a few meals; spaghetti and this soup.  We relaxed with good books and the stillness of the isolated woods surrounding us.  The evacuation notice was lifted the next day and we returned home.  With over 700 firefighters battling the blazes, our small area was declared safe.  Our air quality is not great but our home is safe.  We are thankful.  The fire may burn for another few weeks, but with the dedicated fire crews we feel that we will get through this.

Broccoli Wild Rice Casserole

So . . . I am back in my kitchen.  As part of the blog posts that I promised on Thanksgiving side dishes, I made this Broccoli Wild Rice Casserole.  The recipe comes from the Pioneer Woman who can be relied upon to offer great recipes.  There are several steps involved in making this, but it all comes together easily and can be prepared ahead of time.  Just slip it into the oven an hour before your meal.  It has lots of broccoli, mushrooms, carrots, celery and wild rice with a thickened sauce of chicken broth and cream.

Broccoli Wild Rice Casserole 3

Thanksgiving this year brings much more to be thankful for than I have ever expected.

BROCCOLI WILD RICE CASSEROLE (Recipe courtesy of Ree Drummond)
I halved this recipe for just the two of us, except for the carrots and celery. Recipe as written is for the full amount.

INGREDIENTS:

2 cups uncooked wild rice
8 cups low-sodium chicken broth or stock, plus more if needed for thinning
3 heads broccoli, cut into small florets
8 tablespoons (1 stick) butter
1 pound white button or cremini mushrooms, finely chopped
1 medium onion, finely diced
2 carrots, peeled and finely diced
2 stalks celery, finely diced
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 teaspoon salt, or more to taste
1 teaspoon black pepper, or more to taste
1 cup panko breadcrumbs
2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley

DIRECTIONS:

Add the wild rice to a medium saucepan with 5 cups of the chicken broth. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, then reduce the heat to low and cover the pan. Cook until the rice has just started to break open and is slightly tender, 35 to 40 minutes. Set aside.
Meanwhile, bring a pot of water to a boil and prepare an ice water bath. Blanch the broccoli by throwing the florets into the boiling water until bright green and still slightly crisp, 1 1/2 to 2 minutes. Immediately drain the broccoli and plunge it into the bowl of ice water to stop the cooking process. Remove it from the ice water and set aside.
Heat a large pot over medium-high heat, then melt 6 tablespoons of the butter. Add the mushrooms and onions and cook, stirring occasionally, until the liquid begins to evaporate, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the carrots and celery and cook until the vegetables are soft and the mixture begins to turn darker in color, 3 to 4 minutes.
Sprinkle the flour on the vegetables, stir to incorporate it and cook for about a minute. Pour in the remaining 3 cups of broth and stir to combine. Bring the mixture to a gentle boil and allow it to thicken, about 3 minutes. Pour in the heavy cream, stirring to combine. Let the mixture cook until it thickens. Add the salt and pepper, then taste and adjust the seasonings as needed.
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
Mix together the cooked rice and broccoli and tip into a 2-quart baking dish. Using a ladle, scoop out the vegetable/broth mixture and spoon it evenly all over the top, totally covering the surface with the vegetables.
Melt the remaining 2 tablespoons butter, then pour it into a separate bowl with the panko breadcrumbs. Toss the mixture together to coat the breadcrumbs in butter, then sprinkle the breadcrumbs all over the top of the casserole.
Cover with foil and bake the casserole for 20 minutes, then remove the foil and continue baking until golden brown on top, another 15 minutes. Sprinkle on the parsley after you remove it from the oven.

Printable Recipe

© Penny Klett, Lake Lure Cottage Kitchen. All rights reserved.