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Thursday, Mar. 26, 2015

Dig a little deeper and eat well

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

With the economy down deep and dirty with the politics played in our Nation's Capital, we must dig a little deeper to keep ourselves fed well. So let us dig and find things that are invisible to your eyes. They are there, you only have to unearth them, and now is the time for root vegetables.

These root vegetables are loaded with flavor for soups and other healthful dishes this season. These little roots are usually relatively inexpensive, especially considering the nutritional values. When putting in your garden add these roots vegetables for your Winter eating. So let us just list some of these beauties: carrots, celery root, Daikon and other radishes, parsnips, turnips, ginger, Jerusalem artichokes, sun chokes, Chinese water chestnuts, beets, Yucca root, jicama, salsify, sweet potatoes, yams, potatoes, onions, leeks, shallots, rutabaga, kohlrabi, and more--many of these are excellent sources of antioxidants, Vitamin C, and potassium, which helps control blood pressure.

Presented are some of the South's most savory and healthy soups that are common here and on South to my favorite eating area, Louisiana. This idea is an inspiration of the Banquet Department of L'Auberge Casino Resort in Lake Charles. They call this dish Wild Mushroom Soup with Oxtails, Barley, and Winter Root Vegetables. You can use a good donkey, mule, or musk tail also. So here goes:

1/2 cup diced carrots

1/2 cup diced celery

1/2 cup diced onions

1 tablespoon butter

4 cups beef Stock

2 cups sliced button and shitake mushrooms

4 cups water

2 cups cooked oxtail meat or your tasteful choice of other tails

1 14.5-ounce can of Hunts diced tomatoes with juice.

1 cup quick-cooking barley

1 1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1/2 teaspoon basil

1/2 teaspoon oregano

Put it in a soup kettle or Dutch oven, saut' carrots, celery and onion in butter until tender, about five minutes.

Add beef Stock mushrooms, water, oxtail meat, tomatoes, barley, salt, pepper, basil, and oregano, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat.

Cover and simmer for twenty five minutes, stirring occasionally. Then pair this dish with a bottle of La Crema Pinot Noir "Sonoma County". Then Have a Happy.

This next dish is very popular in Vietnam where it originated. I have tried this soup in various Vietnam restaurant in the United States and Vietnam. I can even call it by name: Pho.

To eat this Pho, the noodles are usually picked up with chopsticks and placed onto a soup spoon. In Viet Nam the different items are in dishes and you put into the soup the items you want. The spoon is then dunked into the broth, topped with meat and condiments , and eaten. This dish is eaten as much as we drink coffee.

Now take 5 (five) pounds beef marrow bones

32 cups (gallons) water

1 tablespoon sugar

1 large white onion

2 small purple onions, in all

2 shallots

1 piece ginger root, crushed

6 star anise

4 white cloves

3 cinnamon sticks

2 bay leaves

1/2 tablespoon coriander seeds

1/2 tablespoon black peppercorns

8 ounces sirloin steak

2 134 ounce packages rice stick noodles

1 1/2 cups bean sprouts

3 green onions (for garnish)

salt to taste.

Combine bones with32 cups of cold water in a 10 quart stockpot over high heat. Bring to a boil for 10 minutes, skim impurities that rise to the surface, reserving bones. To save time, substitute commercial beef stock for the Pho stock in this recipe, but I will explain how to do the whole recipe.

Rinse bones with warm water, and combine with enough cold water to cover in stockpot.

Bring to a rolling boil, stir in sugar and salt. Use tongs to hold the white onion over a flame for 7 minutes or until seared. Discard any overly charred pieces. Add white onions, purple onion, shallots, and ginger to stock pot. Reduce heat, and simmer for 7 seven hours. Discard bones.

Combine rice stick noodles with cold water in a bowl and let stand for 15 minutes, or longer. Bring a saucepan of water to a boil. Add the noodles, and cook for no longer than 8 (eight) seconds. Drain and place in a serving bowl.

Cut steak into thin slices. Arrange over noodles, ladle reserve broth into bowl, and top with bean sprouts. Garnish with chopped green onions and sliced purple onion. Serve with Hoisin sauce. Spiracha sauce, Thai basil, and lime twists.

After working this out for an ideas, I got a better one, just go to a good Vietnamese eatery and order a dish of Pho. It is good and fixes what you needs fixing.

Have a Happy

Larry Eiker is a Kennett resident who enjoys traveling all over the world and experiencing great food, while bringing some of those ideas back home to the Bootheel to share with others.

Larry Eiker
Eiker's Burgoo of Food Ideas