Friday, January 30, 2015

Pan-Grilled Polish Sausage in Asian Mustard Sauce

Developed Fall, 2014, in part to reduce carbohydrate intake. If you cut the carbs, that only leaves proteins and fats, the other major nutrient groups. Sausage has plenty of both, and rich flavor to boot. Here, a European meat product is seasoned with Asian flavors for a quick 'small plate' treat.
4 oz kielbasa, split lengthwise
1 t vegetable oil
1 T water
1 T mature vinegar (a Chinese vinegar made from sorghum and wheat) or balsamic vinegar
1 t Chinese rice wine or dry white wine
1 T coarse mustard (Dijon or bratwurst style)
Heat a small, heavy skillet over medium-high. Add the oil. When shimmering, add the sausage, cut side down. Grill 3 to 4 minutes undisturbed. Turn when browned, and grill 1 to 2 minutes more. Remove to a serving plate and cover. Deglaze the hot pan with water, vinegar, wine, and mustard. Return the sausage to the sauce, reheat, spooning over the meat. Serves one or two with extra mustard on the side, if desired.

Ingredient: Chicken Stock Concentrate

Many dishes call for the addition of chicken stock, and so a convenient source of ready-to-use stock is handy. This recipe exploits the retail availability of 'Better Than Bouillon', a thick paste that is diluted to make usable stock. While easy to keep on hand in the refrigerator, the product is not easy to measure or to dissolve, especially in small quantities. This recipe solves the problem by turning the solid concentrate into an easily measured liquid concentrate. Measuring the paste with a digital scale greatly simplifies the process. A fine quality balance with 1 g sensitivity and 5 kg capacity can be purchased on eBay for less than $10, including shipping. Every kitchen should have one, especially if a family member has special dietary needs, such as diabetes.
1 oz (28 g) chicken concentrate (Better than Bouillon™, Reduced Sodium)
1 c (250 g) water
Place a small saucepan on the scale and tare it. 'Tare' means to zero out the weight of the container. Weigh in 28 g of concentrate. Using two teaspoons makes it easy to dispense the concentrate accurately. Add the water, and heat to boiling with occasional stirring until the paste is dispersed. Alternatively, a plastic or glass microwavable container can be used. Pour the hot concentrate into a sanitized glass jar or bottle. Store cold, tightly sealed. To use, shake well, and mix one part of stock with three parts of hot water. Makes one quart (liter) of stock. Variation: Substitute beef- or seafood-flavored concentrate.

Monday, January 26, 2015

Shrimp Egg Foo Yung

Recorded January 2, 2015. Prepared many times over the decades for family. Virtually carbohydrate free, rich in fiber, vitamins and minerals, and protein.
vegetable oil
6 oz (150 g) Napa cabbage, shredded crosswise
6 oz (150 g) mung bean sprouts, rinsed and drained
6 oz (150 g) yellow onion, thinly sliced through poles
6 oz (150 g) raw shrimp, shelled, and cut into bite-sized pieces
8 eggs
1 t sugar
2 t salt, divided
1 t sesame oil
1 T soy sauce
1 t fish sauce
In a round bottom wok over medium heat, heat a tablespoon of oil until hot but not smoking. Add the onions, season with a teaspoon of salt, and cook covered over moderate heat for three minutes. Add the cabbage, and continue cooking for two minutes more. Stir in the bean sprouts. Cook for a minute and mix in the shrimp meat. When lightly cooked, transfer the mixture to a shallow bowl to cool. In a large bowl, whisk the eggs until frothy. Stir in the seasonings. When cool, fold the vegetable-shrimp mixture into the eggs.

To make an omelet, heat a tablespoon of oil in the wok until sizzling hot. Ladle in a half-cup of the egg mixture. The eggs should puff up. Lower heat to medium and cover. After about two minutes, gently turn the omelet, and cook the other side for a minute. Repeat the process. Makes 8 omelets. Serve with Egg Foo Yung Sauce with white rice on the side. 

Friday, January 23, 2015

Egg Foo Yung Sauce

Developed January, 2015. Closely approximates typical sauce served at Chinese-American restaurants.
1 t vegetable oil
1/4 t minced garlic
1 c chicken stock
1 T oyster sauce
1 T soy sauce (Kikkoman™ is good)
1 t Chinese rice wine or dry sherry
1/2 t sugar
1/2 t salt
1/4 t white pepper
1/2 t sesame oil
1 T corn or tapioca starch
2 T cold water
Heat the oil in small saucepan, and stir in the garlic. After 15 seconds, add the chicken stock and bring to boil. Stir in seasonings and return to fast simmer. After a few minutes, stir in starch suspension and stir until the sauce thickens. Adjust salt and pepper. Serves 2, but easily doubled.

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Ingredient: Reuben Sandwich Dressing

Developed January, 2015. The 'correct' dressing for a Reuben sandwich (a grilled sandwich of corned beef, Swiss cheese, and sauerkraut on deli rye) has many definitions and designations. 'Russian' dressing and 'Thousand Island' dressing are widely cited, but rarely defined. Here is a picquant dressing that nicely complements The Reuben's flavorsome ingredients.
1/2 c (112 g) mayonnaise
1/4 c (60 g) ketchup
1/4 c (60 g) hot mustard (English or Dijon)
2 T (30 g) prepared horseradish, drained
2 t (10 g) Worcestershire sauce
1 t (5 g) lemon juice
1/4 c (60 ml) dry minced onion
1/2 t (3 g) salt
Add ingredients to a small bowl and mix thoroughly. Cover with plastic wrap and set aside to mature for at least an hour. Refrigerate unused portion in tightly closed container. Yields about a cup of dressing.