I had these particular dumplings at the Palais Imperial in Ottawa a while ago. They weren’t spectacular exactly, but they do get a mention for being a bit unexpected.
The full name from the Chinese characters on the menu (see the inset in the above picture), read Ginger Scallion Beef Dumplings, which amplifies the English name by also specifying the scallion that is included, not as part of the filling, but as a steaming ‘companion’ along with the thick shreds of ginger. What is a bit odd is that the final character in the name is (jiǎo) which typically refers to a dumpling with a flour wrapper. Here, a bean curd skin, also known as ‘tofu skin’ is used to enclose the filling. This product, which is purchased in dried sheets and then reconstituted, is often used to make steamed rolls in dim sum houses, but only occasionally to make dumplings in this shape.
Anyway, the filling here was decent if unremarkable (lightly seasoned and well textured), but the choice of wrapper really made for a different experience. Tofu skins, when steamed, don’t have the same al dente resistance as wheat doughs and it has almost a ‘papery’ mouthfeel when you first bit in to it. That may not sound especially appetizing, but, in fact, it is quite a nice texture and makes a pleasant change in a series of dumpling courses. I enjoyed these…
A while ago, I introduced you to Beef Marrow Bones and included a short recipe illustrating an appetizer in which the marrow form certain can be enjoyed as a delicacy by itself. I also mentioned, in that post, that the primary use for beef marrow bones is generally for stocks. As such, as most of my readers will immediately recognize, they are equally useful in the preparation of soups.
One could certainly braise large number beef marrow bones in a suitable liquid, along with other ingredients, and make a great soup that way alone, but, while the result would be very hearty indeed, it would also be necessarily, well… ‘rustic’ in appearance (not that there is anything wrong with that, of course)
Anyway, it is possible to make a soup that has a slightly more ‘elegant’ presentation, and which also allows one to enjoy the pleasure of extracting the marrow separately (rather than have it dissolve in the stock). I did this for the soup you see pictured above by using some pre-roasted marrow bones as follows:
First, I roasted 8 marrow bones and then used five them to make a stock by simmering them at very low temperature (to prevent cloudiness). I also added some vegetable trimmings and a little white wine. I then blanched some bok choy, and grilled slices of mushroom and set these aside. For the final cooking … I sautéed onion in a pot, added my remaining three marrow bones and simmered them in the strained stock for a half-hour or so. Finally, I added the bok choy and mushrooms, seasoned with salt and pepper, then simmered for a just a little while longer and served…
Marrow, the rich, fatty substance in the center of certain animal bones, has long been used as a food by humans. It is very nutritious, and thus has been used for eminently practical reasons, but it has also, at various times, and in various cuisines, been regarded as something of a delicacy.
Chiefly, one finds bones being used in the preparation of hearty stocks, and occasionally extracted and eaten as sort of a ‘side benefit’ in certain dishes, but, for a long time, the idea of marrow being a treat in and of itself has been a bit dormant in the west. This, however, has been changing in recent years, and the appetizer of roast marrow bones you see posted above, and for which a recipe will follow, is a common representation of the trend … Continue reading “Foodstuff: Beef Marrow Bones”
A while ago, I posted a recipe for my homemade Madras Curry Paste and I wanted to try using it in something other than a ‘curry’ style dish. I came up with the idea of doing something along the lines of a Satay, but with the flavors of India and made the dish you see pictured abve. I made it is an appetizer but you could make larger (and more) skewers and serve them over rice for a more substantial course. Here, I served mine on a bed of finely shredded cabbage and Jalapeno peppers that were macerated in a little garlic salt before being tossed with some oil and lemon juice… Continue reading “Madrasi Grilled Beef”
Today’s recipe is my take on a simple appetizer dish I have enjoyed a couple of times in Japanese restaurants. Basically, it consists of Enokitake (Enoki Mushrooms) wrapped in thin slices of beef and then grilled with some sort of sweetish glaze. For this preparation, I have used Japanese Eel Sauce… Continue reading “Enoki Beef Rolls”
A while ago, my Irish blogger friend, Conor Boffin, did a very nice post featuring Braised Beef Shanks he called Daub of Beef. I remembered that I still had some beef shank in my freezer and I decided to use his dish as an inspiration for something along the same lines. I have chosen a very nice Merlot for my wine addition, and I am also using a little Madeira as well. Unlike Conor, I am not using fresh mushrooms, but I do add some chopped, reconstituted Shiitake early on and I also add some diced carrot towards the end. This dish turned out as nicely as I am sure was Conor’s… [ Continue reading “Braised Beef Shank”
The little appetizer you see above is made with the Japanese style rare beef, which I have already introduced to you as Beef Tataki, and pairs it with a Horseradish Sauce and a little salad garnish made from lightly salted shreds of cabbage. If you look at my post on Horseradish Root, you can see the basic sauce I made from it in the last picture. The sauce here is essentially that, although I blended it to be a little smoother and added some finely minced scallion and parsley. The combination that results here is something of an east-west fusion, although the spirit is mostly Japanese as the horseradish is very similar to Wasabi and shredded raw cabbage is the standard accompaniment for Tonkatsu. Anyway, although I found the beef needed a little salt at the table, this was a very nice little light lunch…
Today’s post illustrates a rather interesting use for the Mint-Jalapeño Salsa I prepared for you a little while ago. I was wondering how mint could be used to produce the same delicious results with beef as it does with lamb, and using my salsa seemed like a good place to start. I am not giving you a formal recipe, as such, since, once you have the salsa prepared, all you need do is slather it on some good quality beef ribs and let them marinate overnight before giving them a good roasting in a 450 degree for about 30 minutes until nicely browned and the meat is just beginning to pull away from the ends of the bone.
As for the success of the experiment, the meat was done to a turn, and I loved the flavor as a whole but I was a bit disappointed that the mint flavor was milder than I would have liked. In truth, I wasn’t even sure that mint would go well at all with strong beefiness of the ribs but the flavor combination ended up being delicious… just not, unfortunately, strong enough. Next time, I may try marinating beef ribs in the more potent sweet-and-sour flavours of my more traditional Mint Sauce.
This dish I have been working on is something of an east-west fusion in that it incorporates a traditional Indian dish known as ‘Keema Saag’ in the basic form of the more well-known Shepherd’s Pie. Basically, ‘Keema’ is minced (ground) meat, while ‘Saag’ refers to a whole range of greens, with spinach often being used in many western renditions of Indian dishes. Here I have used both Kale and Swiss Chard with the result that you get a Shepherd’s Pie with the added spiciness of a curry, combined with a good way of getting some greens into your diet… Continue reading “Keema Pie”
Satays, or skewers of seasoned meat or fish, are Indonesian in origin but have been adopted by the cuisines of many nations and there countless varieties and permutations in the flavorings and modes of service. Traditionally, these are grilled treats, being an especially popular ‘street food’, but if grilling is not an option you can do a passably decent job in your frying pan at home… Continue reading “Pan-fried Beef Satay”