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Recipes that include beef

Chinese Borscht

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Fusion food sometimes sounds new and modern, like a fanciful restaurant theme. We forget that borders between countries and cultures have existed since far back in history, where ingredients, flavors, and recipes have been shared.

Chinese Borscht Title Pic

My late grandma Olia (on the right, below) grew up near the border of China and Russia, where she ate lots of this Chinese version of Borscht. She taught my mom how to make it and my mom taught me. My mom admits removing the potatoes and sour cream from the version Grandma Olia taught her (most Chinese versions don’t include sour cream) and I’ll admit, I made a few changes too. My mom always used canned beets and since I’m not a fan of canned products (due to the BPA in the adhesive), I use fresh beets. I also cut the veggies into smaller pieces just to make it easier to eat. (Caya obviously in mind.) The result is a healthy and hearty soup with meat and veggies that glow pinkish-red (which totally amuses Caya). It comforts to the core and I get nostalgic every time I take a sip.

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Taiwanese Beef Noodle Soup

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

It’s taken a very long time for winter to come this year and I’m not complaining.  However I have been waiting for my noodle soups; they are one of my favorite categories of food. (Have you ever thought about what your favorite food categories are, as opposed to favorite foods?) Credited for getting me through the freezing cold days, I just love wrapping my hands around steamy bowls bigger than my head. I slurp away my chills with Wonton Noodle Soup, Ramen, Pho, any noodle soup, I love them all! It seems crazy that FoodMayhem is nearing it’s fifth anniversary and yet I’ve never posted the noodle soup I grew up on: Taiwanese Beef Noodle Soup.

Taiwanese Beef Noodle Soup 4

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Chinese Beef and Peppers

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Growing up, meals were almost always Chinese family style. Everyone gets a bowl of rice and a large plate to fill-up with goodies. On any regular weeknight, 4 to 6 different dishes would be set in the center, and we’d take first, seconds, and thirds, to our hearts’ content. Sometimes we’d end with soup, and always fruit. As I got older, I realized how impressive it was that my mom, who worked full-time, put this spread on the table night after night. It was always different too. (You can tell by now, my mom’s got quite a roster up her sleeves.)

One of the tips/tricks that makes this possible is offering a mix of dishes she already made ahead of time with one or two that can be thrown together really quickly. She might have marinated cucumbers in the morning as we got dressed for school. A variety of “red-cooked” meats, egg, or bean curd was probably made on the weekend. When she walked through the door, she’d whirl around the kitchen: steaming a fish and stir-frying another two like it was as easy as skipping. This led me to some wrong assumptions. I thought that every mother in the world did that and I thought it was no-sweat, easiest thing ever. I know now, I was so wrong.

Beef and Peppers

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West Lake Beef Soup

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Lon’s grandma Rose loves Chinese food. Her favorite course is soup and her most favorite Chinese soup is Egg Drop Soup. Her doctors want her to lay off the sodium so Lon’s family hasn’t been taking her to the Chinese restaurants she used to frequent; and of course, that made her sad — I think we can all relate to being told not to eat something. So this week, when I went to cook with my mom, I asked to learn one of my favorite soups: Shi Hu Neo Ro Gung. This translates to West Lake Beef Soup.

I thought Grandma Rose would like to try this authentic Chinese soup (rarely known by the non-Chinese) because it has a white egg drop in it, as well as little bits of beef, so she can get a little more nutrition. We made it low sodium for her and packed individual containers that could be heated easily in the microwave.

East Lake Beef Soup in stacked bowls 2

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Single Serve Hot Pot Soup

Friday, November 6, 2009

I love hot pot and if you love hot pot, you’re surely familiar with the soup at the end. Once it gets cold out, I start craving that soup, the melding of so many flavors. It’s soothing and nourishing, exactly what the doctor ordered. But, hot pot is a group activity, a perfect way to have a lengthy relaxed meal with friends and family. Yet, I’m often stuck having lunch all by myself.

Single Serve Hot Pot Soup 2

Even though I’m willing to spend a lot of time making elaborate meals for others, I rarely do that just for myself. For a weekday lunch, you just want it to be easy, fast, filling, and decently healthy. This is it, made in one pot, in roughly 10 minutes. There’s no chopping and it tastes just like Hot Pot Soup.

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Doubanjiang Beef Short Ribs

Friday, October 16, 2009

It’s pretty un-like me to toot the horn of my Asian peoples, but I have to hand it to them, they are geniuses when it comes to using beans. Some times, you even forget that the famous soy sauce, all that liquid umami, is made from fermenting soy beans. Then there’s black bean sauce, also a fermented bean, which is responsible for dishes like Clams in Black Bean Sauce. The Bomb! Lesser known ones like ground bean paste, sweet bean paste, broad bean paste, and more, fill my mom’s pantry. Who would have thought to make all these great sauces from beans? Well, thank goodness somebody did, because they are all vital in a Chinese kitchen.

Doubanjiang Beef Short Ribs 2

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Korean Tacos

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

The LA based Kogi BBQ Truck, serving Korean Tacos, is so famous these days, we hear about it in New York. Sadly, it doesn’t seem like they’re hitting the big apple any time soon. But, I have received a message from a group of guys that are going to be launching their own Korean Taco Truck, The Krave, around Jersey City. More on that soon.

For now, feeling deprived of Korean Tacos, I whipped some up from my imagination. It’s a pretty simplistic take and perfect as an easy party solution.

Korean Beef Taco 3

Korean Tacos
~about 16 (5″) tacos

Red pepper sauce

  • 1/4 cup Korean red pepper paste
  • 1 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 teaspoons sesame oil

Beef

  • 1 teaspoon vegetable oil
  • 1/3 cup chopped scallions
  • 1 lb ground beef

Peppers and Onions

  • 2 teaspoon vegetable oil
  • 1 1/2 cups sliced red onion
  • 1/4 cup sliced garlic
  • 1 large bell pepper, thinly sliced
  • kosher salt and white pepper

Assembly

  • 14 to 16 (5″-6″) corn tortillas, warmed
  • sesame seeds for sprinkling

Instructions –

1. Make red pepper sauce by stirring together paste, sugar, and sesame oil. Set aside.

2. Make beef by heating the oil in a medium sized ceramic pot on medium high heat. Stir in scallions and mix for about a minute. Crumble in beef and brown while breaking it up with a wooden spoon. When you don’t see any pink left, mix in 1/4 cup of the red pepper sauce. Stir around for another minute. Remove from heat and set aside.

Korean Beef Taco Filling

3. To make vegetables, heat oil in a wok on high heat. Soften onions and garlic with a few pinches of salt. Add peppers and stir until softened but not mushy. Adjust seasoning.  Set aside.

Peppers and Onions

4. Spread a thin layer of red pepper sauce in the middle of each tortilla (optional). Scoop a generous amount of beef (2 to 3 tablespoons) onto each tortilla and top with peppers and onions. Sprinkle with sesame seeds.

Korean Beef Taco 8

You can also just set out bowls of each component and allow guests to assemble themselves.

Korean Beef Taco 4

Notes:

You can buy corn tortillas or make them yourself. It’s pretty easy. We just bought instant corn masa flour and followed the directions on the bag.

Maseca

You may have noticed the purple tinge on the peppers. Yup, it’s a purple bell pepper, which looses the darkness of the purple when you cook it but it still looks unique.

You can use any color pepper you want, even a spicy one if you want. They will have different tastes but I can’t imagine any one being bad.

purple pepper, scallon, onion, garlic

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The Breakfast Burger

Thursday, August 6, 2009

I know several people who love breakfast foods so much, they often eat it for dinner. I also know several others who look for ways to make a heartier breakfast. Either way, this breakfast burger satisfies at any time of day. Here, I cut or mold everything into a 3″ round because I’m a silly perfectionist but you can make the burger less fussy without such tight size restrictions.

MMM….runny egg yolk.

bitten breakfast burger

The Breakfast Burger
~6 servings

Biscuits

  • 2 cups self-rising cake flour
  • 2 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, but into little pieces
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable shortening
  • 1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons heavy cream

filling

  • 6 (1/4″ thick) slices of ham
  • a few drops of vegetable oil, divided
  • 6 beef burger patties (3 1/4″ diameter, 3/4″ thick)
  • 6 eggs (small would be perfect but any size can be used)
  • kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Instructions –

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

2. Cut butter and shortening into flour. Stir in 1/2 cup of heavy cream with a fork. Add up to 2 tablespoons more heavy cream in order to get the dough to stick together. Once the dough can be pushed together, flatten to a little more than 1/2″ thick on a well floured surface.

3. Cut with a 3″ circle cutter and place on un-greased cookie sheet. Push left-over dough together and cut into 3″ circles again. Bake for 14-16 minutes, or until lightly golden.

4. While biscuits are baking, cut ham with 3″ circle cutter. Set aside.

burger patties and ham

5. Heat a flat cast iron pan with just a wipe of oil, over medium high heat. Season burger patties and cook until just under desired doneness. Set the patties on a plate and allow to rest. This will also allow some liquid to drain so you don’t make the burger soggy later. (You can heat up the ham on the pan if you want – optional.)

6. Heat a large flat non-stick pan with a bit of oil (or non-stick spray) over low heat. Crack the eggs, keeping them whole, into the pan, spaced out and not touching if possible (or use more than 1 pan). Do not flip. Just cook until desired doneness. Remove from to cutting board. If the eggs are too big, cut with 3″ circle cutter.

cutting sunny side up egg

7. When biscuits are done, split them in half very cautiously. Place ham on the bottom piece, then burger patty, then egg, then biscuit top. Serve immediately.

breakfast burger with Hash Browns

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Lon’s Ragu

Monday, July 20, 2009

A long time ago I worked in south Brooklyn (Sheepshead Bay) in the back of a charity, in a small room that barely fit me and Theresa, a hardcore Italian-American. She was a great person, but had a harsh (typical Brooklyn) personality; she had a raspy voice and didn’t take BS from anyone; especially about “gravy” vs. “sauce”. If you’re thinking “gravy” is something brown you pour over steak, move on, you’re not ready for this.

Theresa explained that a tomato-based sauce without meat in it (like marinara), is “sauce.” If it contains meat, then it is not a “sauce” it’s “gravy.” So what is the premier gravy? Ragu.  (p.s. I do not agree with her assessment, this is sauce).  Also, this is another checkpoint, if you think I might be referring to the bottled sauce, you are on the wrong web site.

Seriuos Ragu 1

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Banh Mi Burgers

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Since I made the Carrot and Daikon Slaw, I’ve been anticipating a Banh Mi Sandwich, but when I started making dinner, I had a wild craving for some juicy red meat. The compromise was a Bahn Mi Burger. There’s no way that could be bad right? Not only was it not bad, Lon and I gobbled it down, barely coming up for air, and then agreed to make it again soon. We also contemplated opening a little shop that only sold Banh Mi Burgers and taro fries. Yes, we did have it with taro fries. It was perfect.

Bahn Mi Burger and Taro Fries

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