Jan 092012

Hearty oxtail soup

This oxtail soup is very simple to make, it is very hearty and comforting, especially in this cold weather. You find a complete meal in a bowl of this soup. I call it soup, but somewhat comes in between soup and stew due to its thickness. Because oxtail has high fat and high gelatin content, I usually like to cook this soup only during cold weather months.
To speed up the cooking time I used the pressure cooker because oxtail is very muscular. I like to cook this soup in two steps because oxtail needs a longer time to cook and I like to visualize the pieces of potatoes, carrots and celery in my soup and not have them “pulverized”.


1 ½ -2 lbs oxtail
1 medium onion cut
3-4 garlic cloves
1 can stew tomatoes
½ tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon cooking wine
Salt and pepper to taste
4 medium potatoes cut in pieces
3 medium carrots cut in pieces
4 stalks of celery


In the pressure cooker, sauté the onion and garlic with the olive oil until slightly brown, add the oxtail and braise. Add the can of stewed tomatoes, the cooking wine and cover the oxtail with water. Close the lid of the pressure cooker and cook in high heat until the pressure has been built up. Once the pressure is on, turn the heat to low and let it cook for approximately 40 minutes or until the oxtail are tender.
Add the potato, carrot and celery to the soup and let it cook until the potato and carrot are soft, add salt and pepper to taste.
Serve hot.

I hope you enjoy this simple and hearty recipe for oxtail soup.

Curiosity Corner Jan 2013
Did you know that oxtail is a tail of a cow? And that traditionally oxtail came from neutered adult cattle, but over time oxtails have been cut from any kind of cattle.

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Aug 292011

Sliced beef with black bean sauce

This is a very easy, simple recipe for a weekday dinner. The black bean sauce can be easily found in Asian grocery stores. Therefore is something that you will see very often in Asian dinner table. It is great to serve this dish with white rice…and the left over are great for next day lunch.


¾ lb thinly sliced beef
3-4 tablespoon black bean sauce (fermented)
3 garlic cloves
1 bunch green scallion
1 onion
1 tablespoon grape seed oil or any cooking oil


Marinate the beef with the black bean sauce and finely chopped garlic. In the meantime, slice the onion and cut the scallions (1 in). Sautee the beef in the oil, set aside. In the same pan sautee the onion and the scallion, once they turn slightly soft add the beef back to the pan. Mix gently and serve hot.

Curiosity Corner Jan 2013
Did you know that the color black of the black bean is due to the fermenting/salting of soybeans?


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Feb 212011

Hearty beef and barley soup

Another soup recipe…since it has been cold…yes even here in Southern California. I’ve been making soup very often. This one is very easy, simple and so tasty. It is hearty and sure makes a great one dish meal, especially for a cold evening dinner. I used the pressure cooker, therefore the soup is ready in no time.


¾ cup pearl barley rinsed and soaked in water for 6~8 hours (or overnight)
1 small onion chopped
2~3 cloves of garlic
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon all purpose flour
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1~1 ½ lb beef for stew
1 can stew tomatoes
3 carrots, cut in cubes
3 stalks celery, cut
2 medium potatoes, cut in cubes
Salt and pepper to taste
1~2 dry bay leaves


In a bowl place the beef in cubes with the flour, soy sauce, salt and pepper. Set aside.

In the pressure cooker add the olive oil and sautee the onion and garlic, add the beef and let stir for a while, add the barley (drained) and the stew tomatoes.

Add 3 to 4 cups of water and the bay leaves.

Cook under pressure for 10 minutes. After the cooking time, remove from heat and let the pressure come down, once be able to open, add the potatoes, carrots and celery and cook for another minute under pressure.

Add salt and pepper to taste and serve hot.

Curiosity Corner Jan 2013
Did you know that in Japan, tea is made from roasted barley and is served cold as a summer beverage?

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Aug 162010

Beef Quesadilla

This is a very simple recipe, you can use leftover steak. I used some leftover prime rib from a dinner that we had at Lawry’s. It makes a fast weekend lunch or even dinner. The flour tortilla that I used was from Costco, the ones that are not cooked, you can find them at the refrigerator section, but you can use the ready cooked as well.


¾ to 1 lb leftover steak, cut in slices
3~4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 medium onion finely sliced
¼ cup fresh cilantro chopped
Salt and pepper to taste
½ tablespoon olive oil
1 table spoon soy sauce
Grated mozzarella cheese
Flour tortillas


Sautee the garlic and onion in olive oil, add the salt, pepper and soy sauce, once is slightly soft add the steaks. Sautee for a few more minutes and add the cilantro. Remove from the heat.

Heat or cook the 2 tortillas both side, set one aside.

Top one tortilla with the grated mozzarella cheese and the steak. Place the second tortilla on top and let it brown both side, until the cheese is melted.

Cut into 4 slices and serve hot.

 width=Incidental Indian Cooking for giving me this

award…it is so sweet of her to pass this award to me. Please visit her site as she have lots of yummie Indian dishes.

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Nov 162009

I don’t know why I came up with this name…maybe because I used half ground beef and half ground pork…not very creative I must say…
Like many recipes of meatballs that I’ve seen, ground beef and ground pork are mixed together, so I thought why not for a pasta sauce? Well, turn out to be yummie, so here it is…and the amazing thing is that I made breakfast with the leftover, yes…breakfast…can you believe? Stay tune!



1/3 lb ground lean beef
1/3 lb ground pork
1 tablespoon olive oil
3 cloves garlic, crushed and minced
1 small onion chopped
½ teaspoon thyme
½ teaspoon oregano
1 can Trader Joes tomato sauce
1 pinch ground allspice
Salt and pepper to taste




In a pan sautee the garlic and the onion with olive oil, add the ground meats. Let it brown.

Add the tomato sauce, thyme, oregano, allspice, salt and pepper.

Cook for approximately 20 minutes in low heat.

Serve over pasta.


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Jul 282009

As you might know, Brazil is well known for its BBQ. The meat is usually served with vinagrete sauce. This sauce is very simple and tasty, is kind of similar to the salsa, without the jalapeno. In this recipe I adapted from the original ones which use regular vinegar with balsamic vinegar. I prefer the balsamic vinegar due to its sweetness and less acidity. The vinagrete sauce can be served with not only steak but with chicken and sausage or even as a salad dressing.
Many of the meat cut is only lightly sprinkled with rock salt before grilling. By using only rock salt the taste of the meat is not overshadow by other flavors. Moreover, you will find that different cut of meats have different flavors.


1 onion chopped
2 tomatoes chopped
½ bunch Italian parsley
½ cup balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon olive oil


Soak the onion in water and drain, a few times, to release the acid.

Mix all the ingredients and let it sit approximately 2 hours in the refrigerator.



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