Had a wonderful day off cooking with my daughter. I decided to blend a couple ideas together and we made oxtail stroganoff. The stroganoff sauce was based on the oxtail, assorted mushrooms including porcini for deep, intense, earthy taste, and red wine. The sauce was finished with sour cream to balance out the strong and potentially bitter flavors of the wine and mushrooms. It worked out pretty well.
We started by marinating the oxtails overnight in soy sauce, garlic, and a bit of onion. In the morning, I rolled the oxtail in flour and then put them in the broiler. I often will use a dutch oven to sear them and then make stew in the dutch oven, but today I wanted to try a broiling technique I had seen in a facebook foodie group I’m in. It worked pretty well. Continue reading →
Wood Ear (sometimes known as Cloud or Black Fungus) mushrooms are a common, yet interesting, ingredient in Asian cooking. Used more for it’s texture, than it’s mild flavor, the mushroom still adds a substantive quality to the dish. You can buy them dried, or you can buy them fresh. Around the San Francisco Bay Area, they are easily found in Asian markets. If you don’t have access to an Asian market, or one that carries the fresh variety, the dried are just as good. You can find them online here:
In my video, you can get an idea as to the texture and appearance of the mushroom.
If you have never seen or tried cooking with this ingredient, don’t fear! It’s really hard to go wrong with this in savory dishes. Just slice or chop up and add it. The taste is mild, as is the gentle crunchiness of it. It’s excellent to add a little texture to a silken tofu dish or even scrambled eggs.
One of the things I like to do with it is cook it and serve in Vietnamese spring roll rice paper or in leaves of Romaine lettuce hearts. Costco seems to have the Romaine lettuce nearly all the time.
A nice savory filling for use in lettuce or rice crepes.
(caveat with the ingredients, it's ALL to taste. I usually don't measure a thing when cooking Asian foods. The measurements below are my best guesstimate, having cooked this just a half hour before writing).
1-2 lb. Ground Beef (ground pork or chicken would work too)
1 tsp. Soy Sauce, or to taste
½ tsp Lee Kum Kee chicken powder (opt.) http://bit.ly/LKKChickenBouillonPowder
½ tsp Beef powder (opt.) http://bit.ly/BeefStockPowder
2 Thai Bird's Eye Chili Peppers, chopped very fine (to taste)
2 cloves Garlic, chopped fine
3 Tbs Corn Starch
¼ cup Cold water
Salt and Pepper to taste
Mix all the ingredients except the cold water.
Add the cold water a little at a time, until you have a soft, wet meat mixture, but not so much that it's puddling.
Preheat a wok with a few tablespoons of oil to med-high.
Once the oil is hot, add the meat and leave for 3 minutes.
Stir, breaking up any lumps to a medium fine ground texture.
Strain excess oil and service in a bowl.
This works well with Romain lettuce "tacos", butter lettuce cups, or Vietnamese spring roll wrappers. http://bit.ly/SpringRollWrapper
Serving suggestions. Have a bowl of cooked rice noodles or bean thread noodles. You can serve it with Hoisin sauce as a condiment to be spread inside as well. If you're using spring roll wrappers, have cucumber shreds and lettuce or spring mix to put inside and add a nice fresh, healthy crunch to it. A small bowl of lemon or lime wedges will put a contrasting sour to complement the salty, savory, and spicy taste of the meat.