Thursday, June 30, 2011

Thursday's Side Dish: Tongue Ties

Other ways to serve this meat
How else can you sample cow’s tongue? The Mexicans have tamed this rough cut into Tacos de Lengua. Meanwhile, The Mixed Stew crew has prepared its own version of braised beef tongue. We suggest treating slow-cooked and thinly sliced beef tongue like sliced roast beef for cold sandwiches or hogies. For example, a French dip sandwich made from cow’s tongue will do in a pinch. You have the advantage of seasoning this cut of beef with herbs and spices that you prefer so that its obtains flavors that meet your specifications. We also suggest simply and qucikly pan-frying leftover slices of beef tongue and serving them on a split dinner roll with your favorite sandwich condiments.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Wednesday’s Helping: Tough Meat Cuts

Low and slow helps soften the subject

Living on a budget means cutting corners. Consumers are forced to select cheaper cuts of meat that don't cost as much as filet mignon, veal chops, or pork loin. What are some ways to tenderize the lower priced beef chuck, pork butt, or flank steak? Slow roasting in a crockpot or braising on the stovetop on low heat with a prolonged cooking time can help make any tough meat cut savory and flavorful. If you’re preparing leaner cuts, such as flank steak or chicken breast, we suggest pounding each raw piece with a mallet under plastic wrap, which helps break down some of the grains in such meat cuts before cooking. Don’t have a mallet? Remember that a rolling pin may suffice.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Tuesday's Cupful: Beef Tongue

A big piece of meat to chew on
You may have to ask the butcher for this cut of meat. Cow’s tongue isn’t as palatable as steak or ground beef. A tougher texture and more gamey flavor compared to more popular beef cuts translates into a bad rap for beef tongue. Success in preparing a yummy dish with this food item requires a long and slow cooking time. Slow boiling or braising beef tongue results in a tender and beefy main course. Cow’s tongue has a fat content above 60 percent. Common beef tongue recipes call for cooks to braise thick slices in red wine with mushrooms. Meanwhile, you may have sampled Tacos de Lengua at an authentic Mexican restaurant.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Monday's Bread Bowl: Braised Beef Tongue

Untie those thoughts about this meat

Don’t cringe since Don't get all tongue-tied about this recipe. This cut of meat Tongue has a lot of potential if seasoned and cooked properly. The Mixed Stew Crew braised this food item in beer for 3 hours to tenderize it. We also added soy sauce, onions, and garlic to give this dish yummy flavor. Here’s the recipe:

What you will need:

1 wooden spoon

1 stock pot with lid

1 beef tongue, sliced into 1/4th inch pieces

1 bottle of beer

1 large pepper, sliced

2/3 cup water

¼ cup corn starch, mixed into 1/3 cup water

¼ cup cilantro, minced

2 tablespoons canola oil

1 medium-sized yellow onion, diced

2 garlic cloves, chopped

¼ cup green onion, chopped

2/3 cup soy sauce

Pinch of salt

Cooking and Directions:

Heat pot for 3 to 5 minutes at medium-high heat before pouring in oil. Add yellow onion, garlic, and salt. Sautee and stir until onion turns translucent. Next, add sliced tongue and brown for 5 to 10 minutes. Stir occasionally then pour in beer and cover. Let liquid reach boiling point then reduce heat to medium-low and braise tongue for 2 ½ to 3 hours. Pour in water, soy sauce and pepper midway through the braising process and return cover. Add green onion, cilantro, and cornstarch liquid at least 15 minutes before end of cooking time. Serve with side dishes that usually accompany a regular pot-roast.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Friday’s Last Spoonful: Field Trip

Kavkaz Kebab Restaurant: Owings Mills, Md.
The Mixed Stew Crew recently stumbled onto this charming Azerbaijani restaurant in Owings Mills, MD. Kavkaz Kebab has a warm ambience with ornate Euro-Persian décor. We enjoyed house-made oven-baked flat bread served with a spicy and sweet red pesto-like dip as an appetizer. The bread arrived warm to the touch and every ensuing entrée came elegantly plated. The Lamb Kebab ($15.99) and Beef Kebab ($16.99) platters came with a side fresh green salad and saffron-spiced basmati rice. Other menu items include the Salmon Kebab ($18.99) platter and authentic Piti Soup ($6.99), which is a slow-cooked lamb and chickpea stew.

10902 Boulevard Circle
Owings Mills, MD 21117

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Thursday's Side Dish: Kimchi Mango

A spicy-sweet refreshing treat

The sweet combo of ripe mangoes make for a tasty treat in every serving of flavorful dish. It's like visiting the tropics and Asia in every bite.

What you will need:

1 wooden spoon
1 medium-sized bowl
4 large medium ripe to ripe mangos, de-seeded and with all or some of the skin removed (depending on how much you tolerate the chewy texture)
Plastic wrap
3-4 tablespoons of kimchi sauce

Dash of salt (not too much because sauce is salty)

Direction and Preparation:

Mix ingredients in bowl and cover and let sit in fridge overnight.

Helpful Hint: You may add optional ingredients, such as diced apples, to this recipe for a sweet and tart flavor kick.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Wednesday’s Helping: Pickle Chips instead of Potato Chips

A healthy snack to satisfy munchies

If you’re avoiding fatty potato chips or yummy cheese puffs, the Mixed Stew crew suggests snacking on pickled treats instead to lower your calorie intake. Young papaya and young mango have the crisp bite and tangy flavor that’s ideal for pickling. A little goes a long way and you can even pack small servings in ziploc bags with lunch for taking into work. Additionally, each serving contains all-natural fruit nutrition and fiber that’s not available in processed food items, such as crackers or even pretzels. One of the best advantages in making homemade pickled fruit is that you can control the pickling ingredients that go into preparing and seasoning each new batch.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Tuesday's Cupful: Papaya

Tropical fruit that refreshes

This fruit may bring thoughts of the tropics and Central America where it originated and thrives. The plant belongs to the caricaceae family. Look for the oblong or football shaped fruits that have an inner cavity filled with black seeds. Ripe papaya has bright orange or reddish skin with inner orange flesh that’s soft and cuts easily with a sharp knife. Expect a refreshingly sweet and unique flavor with a silky texture from ripe papaya that’s usually eaten raw. Meanwhile, young papaya possesses green skin with a firmer inside texture that’s off-white or cream colored. Cooks usually use young papaya for cooking or pickling. The fruits also contain the chemical known as papain, which is a natural enzyme that may also serve as a meat tenderizer. Add slices of young mango to any wet marinade with seasoned meat ½ hour before cooking to adequately soften tougher meat cuts. Consumers can usually find papayas at their favorite International foods supermarket. Papayas are a good source of vitamin E, folic acid, and potassium.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Monday's Bread Bowl: Pickled Papaya

The green scene of the Pacific

Young papaya fruit provides an all-natural and crisp bite to this dish. Tangy vinegar and diced hotpepper also lend a spicy oomph in every serving. The Mixed Stew crew suggests nibbling on this salty and sour snack instead of potato chips. Here’s the recipe:

What you will need:

1 wooden spoon
1 medium-sized bowl
Plastic wrap
2 to 2.5 lbs green papaya, peeled and thinly sliced
1 cup datu puti vinegar (or apple cider vinegar)
Pinch of salt
3 chile peppers, minced

Directions and Preparation:

Combine papaya, vinegar, hot pepper and salt in bowl. Toss and mix well. Cover with plastic wrap and place in fridge for at least 8 hours. Serve as a lean veggie side dish or dole out in small servings as a tasty snack.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Friday’s Last Spoonful: Food Surfing

Spice it, marinade it, and grill it

Food Surfing will feature fun food links from around the Blogosphere and Internet. These recommended links may give you other interesting ideas for making your life taste better.

BBQ RIBS RECIPES provides several yummy renditions of barbecue ribs and the traditional sides usually that go with them.

Here’s some handy tips from Time Magazine for barbecue.

Need to jazz up your outdoor bbq parties? Celebrations has different ideas to make the season more festive.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Thursday’s Side Dish: Remoulade

A tasty alternative to tartar sauce

This dipping sauce exists as the French substitute to tartar sauce that’s more popular in English speaking countries. Remoulade, like tartar sauce, is usually a mayonnaise based sauce that’s tinted yellow or reddish. A dash of curry powder or paprika gives remoulade a spicier flavor twist compared to tartar sauce. Remoulade sauce was only served with meat dishes, but has gradually become a popular condiment for fried seafood. Renditions may vary depending upon region. Some recipes call for chopped pickles, capers, or anchovies. It's very similar to a spicy Thousand Island dressing or special sauce used for THAT famous fast-food burger from the place with the golden arches. Try it as a dipping sauce for french fries!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Wednesday’s Helping: Catfish

Volumes of possibility for this fishy character

More than 2,000 varieties of these stout-bodied freshwater fish exist throughout the world. Fishermen look for the cat whisker-like barbells that grow out from the upper jaw, snout, or chin of each specimen. Each species has at least one pair of these appendages. Catfish aka bull head, wolfish, and mudcat are relatives of minnows and carp that belong to the order of Siluriformes. Size ranges from the smallest at 1.5 inch and the largest measured at more than 14 feet long depending on the different breeds. Most catfish thrive as bottom feeders and scavengers in their habitats. Catfish taste tends to vary and food experts can disagree on its flavor qualities. Farm-raised catfish contributes to this ingredient becoming more widely available on the market. Cooks may bake, fry, steam, grill, or boil this whitefish. Central European countries treat catfish as a delicacy that’s often served on holidays. Meanwhile, Americans, especially in the South, like breading and deep frying this fish. Catfish are good sources of Vitamin D, which can prevent osteoporosis and hypertension.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Tuesday’s Cupful: Background on Tartar Sauce

A fishy sauce that makes the meal

This creamy condiment can add a satisfying and tangy twist to fried seafood. Tartar sauces usually require mayonnaise spiked with any one or a few of the following ingredients: chopped cucumber, relish, vinegar, lemon juice, or mustard. Historically, similar sauce recipes date back to the Middle Ages in Europe. Some cooks may choose to serve tartar sauce with French fries or even as a salad dressing. More complex and fancier tartar sauce recipes call for capers, horseradish, or red wine vinegar. Can you think of another optional ingredient to make a unique tartar sauce?

Monday, June 13, 2011

Monday’s Bread Bowl: Fried Catfish

A Southern dish in a pinch

Here’s a tasty change of pace for the summer season. The Mixed Stew Crew sampled preseasoned and prepackaged breaded catfish from Capital Meats. They’re small seafood morsels with a lot of flavor. We fried them up in our handy cast-iron skillet and canola oil -- more like saute-frying as opposed to deep-frying. Capital Meats cuts out the labor and mess of dredging in flour and eggwash. The cooking process was relatively fast and convenient. We were able to purchase the catfish at a discount, promotional price. We're not sure regular list price is the way to go and recommend you keep an eye out at your local supermarket for sales on seasoned catfish. Sometimes, preseasoned just is the way to go when the weather is beautiful and you don't want to spend too much time prepping a meal.

Monday, June 6, 2011

We're taking a break

The Mixed Stew will be on hiatus until June 13, 2011. Go ahead and scroll through the archives for some old favorites 'til then! Cheers.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Friday's Last Spoonful: Fudge Puppies

Nothing like decadence on a stick
Can you handle a chocolate dipped waffle treat on a stick? A “fudge puppy” combines a warm, freshly baked, and fluffy waffle with hot fudge and whip cream. Customers can order fudge puppies dipped or caked with a variety of sweet toppings, such as crushed peanuts, caramel, powdered sugar, or rainbow sprinkles. We paid $4.00 to sample an authentic fudge puppy treat at a recent festival and enjoyed every bite. If you spot a fudge puppies food stand at a fair or festival near you, we recommend that you try them out. YUMM!

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Thursday's Side Dish: Toasted Almond

A nice finish to a meal

This simple ingredients contained in this beverage have the smooth combination of light cream and coffee kahlua that can give anyone a subtle buzz that’s also refreshing. A toasted almond is a fun cup of coffee for everyone that’s over the legal drinking age. We recommend starting off or concluding any or all night’s festivities with this refreshing drink:

What you will need:

1 Old Fashioned Glass aka low ball glass

2 ounces amaretto almond liqueur

2 ounces Kahlua coffee liqueur

2 ounces light cream or really delicious milk

Preparation and Direction:

Combine and mix ingredients in glass and stir. Serve immediately.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Wednesday’s Helping: Milk

More than just a kids' drink

Thoughts of milk may conjure up childhood memories of carton filled half-pints with school lunches. Variations of this beverage are usually the opaque and white liquid derived from the mammary glands of cows. Consuming this nutrient rich drink helps promote proper growth and maintenance of the human body. Milk is a great source of calcium and protein. Butterfat lends milk its color and the liquid is chemically classified as a colloid emulsion that’s water-based. The production and selling of milk remains one of the most regulated food industries in the United States. Pasteurization and homogenization of “raw milk” makes bottled milk safe for human consumption. Here’s a short primer on this healthy beverage:

Whole milk – recommended for young children and those without dietary restrictions. Whole milk possesses the highest allowed fat content with guidelines calling for no less than 3.25% milk fat.

Reduced fat milk – recommended for those that need to limit their fat intake. This is whole milk in which the milk fat has been reduced from 3.25% to 2%. Reduced fat milk contains 38% less fat compared to an equal serving of whole milk.

Low fat milk – recommended for those that need to further limit their fat intake. This is whole milk in which the fat content has been reduced to no more than 1%. Low fat milk contains 69% less fat compared to an equal serving of whole milk.

Skim milk - aka fat-free milk. The fat content has been reduced to nearly none and has an 87% water content.

Flavored milk – mainly produced to help kids get the recommended amount of 3 servings of milk every day. A sweetener and flavoring, such as cocoa powder or strawberry syrup, gets added so that it taste better for kid that don’t like the usual flavor of regular milk.

Goat’s milk – more highly consumed outside the United States with similar nutrients to cow’s milk.