This is a blog featuring my personal stories of food, gardening, yachting, photography, travel and life.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Braised Oxtail in Red Wine and Mushroom Sauce

Oxtail, literally the tail of the ox cut into sections about 2 inches in length, was once thought of as just another part of the animal to eat as nothing would have been wasted. Today, it is the tail from a beef cow and seldom used. It is mostly bone but with succulent chunks of meat if you are willing to do a bit of work for them. Surprisingly, of late, oxtail has become a delicious addition to many upscale restaurants.

Never seen an oxtail at your supermarket? If you can find it, you will usually find the price very affordable. You may have to ask your butcher to order them. At my local supermarket they are often on display but go unpurchased until they wind up in the mark down bin. Sad, because the lowly oxtail, properly prepared, can be a richly delicious bonne bouche.

Here is one recipe I recently developed that I found delicious.

Braised Oxtail in Red Wine and Mushroom Sauce
Serves 6

6 pounds of oxtail cut 1 1/2 to 2 inches thick
2 cups Red Wine
2 cups of sweet onions such as Walla Walla sliced 1/4 inch
4 cups of assorted mushrooms chopped and sliced--shiitakes, criminis, chanterelles, oysters, porcinis and or morels (Use what you can find and experiment. Wild are best.)
2 cups of good beef broth
1/2 teaspoon fresh ground Black Pepper
4 teaspoons Kosher Salt
1/4 cup Olive Oil
2 tablespoons Parsley, coarsely chopped

Brown off oxtails in a large, heavy dutch oven. When browned, remove oxtail pieces with tongs. Add onions, mushrooms, celery, carrots and bay leaf to oil. Saute until tender. Add oxtail back into vegetables. Add wine beef broth and wine. Bring to a boil, cover, reduce heat to a simmer and cook on stove top for 3 hours or until the meat is nearly falling off the bone.

Uncover, tilt the dutch oven slightly, and skim as much fat as possible using a bulb baster or ladle. Remove the meat to a plate and keep warm. Remove bay leaf. Bring heat back up to high and reduce the pan sauce until thickened. Adjust salt and pepper to taste.

Serve oxtails over pasta or mashed potatoes and pour sauce over oxtails. Serve sprinkled with the chopped parsley.

Salmon Leftovers?

A problem like this probbably seldom happens as salmon prepared most of the time is most likely consumed without a thing left on the platter. But, on that rare occasion when a few tidbits might be left behind, don't throw it away. Use it to prepare a romantic, easy-to-fix, gourmet brunch on a lazy Sunday morning.

Scrambled Eggs with Salmon and Hollandaise

4 eggs
Salt and Pepper
1 T sweet butter
2 T diced shallot
Leftover salmon rough chopped or broken into bits
4 slices of bacon, cooked and broken into bits
2 T of chopped parsley or other fresh herb of your choice

In a non-stick pan, melt butter then add shallot and saute until transluscent. Crack eggs into a bowl, add a splash of water to them. Add salt and fresh ground pepper to your likeing. Whisk the egg mixture well to get a fluffier outcome. Pour eggs into the pan with butter and shallot. Sprinkle bacon and herbs over the eggs evenly. Scramble mixture to doneness of your liking.

2 slices of a good rustic-stye bread toasted

Quick and Easy Hollandaise Sauce

3 egg yolks
1/4 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 dash hot pepper sauce (e.g. Tabasco™)
1/2 cup butter

In a blender, combine the egg yolks, mustard, lemon juice and hot pepper sauce. Cover, and blend for about 5 seconds.
Place the butter in a glass measuring cup. Heat butter in the microwave for about 1 minute, or until completely melted and hot. Set the blender on high speed, and pour the butter into the egg yolk mixture in a thin stream. It should thicken almost immediately. Keep the sauce warm until serving by placing the blender container in a pan of hot tap water.


Place a slice of the toasted bread on a plate, dish scrambled eggs over the toast. Ladle the Hollandaise over the eggs and around the plate. Sprinkle a bit of Paprika over the Hollandaise.

Serve with a glass of Mimosa (Orange juice and champagne) and the Sunday paper. Bon Apetit!

Monday, October 15, 2007

Salmon Recipe from Tim

We were over visiting our friends Tim and Kevin the other day. I was sharing my good fortune during my summer fishing trip. We were making a date to have them over for a salmon dinner and Tim mentioned a recipe he had that he particulrly liked. I liked teh basic idea, but as is my way, I took it and walked off in a slightly different direction. Here is what I came up with:

Salmon with a Citrus, White Wine and Dill-Mustard Sauce

4-3-4 oz. Salmon filets with skin on.
1/2 cup--Dijon Mustard
4 T fresh lime juice
Large splash of white wine
fresh dill finely chopped
2 T--sweet butter
Finely Chopped Italian Parsley for garnish

Thinly sliced shallots or,
thinly sliced sweet onion such as Walla Wallas
1 c canola oil

In a sauce pan stir together mustard, lime juice, and wine. Bring to a boil and reduce to a thickened sauce. Finish by stirring in the butter. Use a pastry brush to coat each filet, skin side down, with the sauce.

Bake in a pre-heated 350 degree oven. Cook about 15-20 minutes or until salmon flakes with a fork.

Using a vegetable slicer or mandoline, slice onions paper thin. In a fryer or put oil in a heavy skillet, heat oil to 350 degrees being careful. Dry onions carefully before frying. Place onions in oil and deep fry until golden brown. Drain and salt onions. Before serving the finished salmon, place a small nest of the onions on a plate. Place the finished filet on the onion nest. Drizzle remaining around the onion nest and the plate. Sprinkle plate with finely chopped Italian parsley. Serve.