Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Cool Weather Makes Me Yearn For Oxtails

It does rain in sunny Southern California. This past weekend we got much needed rain and a break from the heat. I even got out my cool weather clothes. While sitting in the nail shop waiting for my nails to dry, a big downpour started with some cool breezes. I suddenly developed a craving for my beloved oxtails which I prepare at least 3-4 times a year.

I hurried home and broke out the frozen pack I had. With a quick microwave thaw, I was in the beginning stages of preparing a Saturday, stick to your bones feast.

I served the stew over polenta.

Oxtail Stew

6 pounds oxtails
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp salt
1 tsp celery salt
1 cup flour to lightly coat oxtails for browning

3 cups onions, medium dice
1 cup scallions, sliced
2 cups diced canned tomatoes
4 garlic cloves minced
1/2 cup olive oil
1/2 cup green onions

3 cups beef broth
1 cup red wine (I used a Cabernet)
Add more water as needed to cover oxtails.

Wash then season oxtails with salt, pepper, garlic powder and celery salt. Lightly flour oxtails.

In a heavy-bottom braiser over medium-high heat, brown oxtail in batches in olive oil, drain excess oil leaving just enough to saute onions and scallion. After the onion mixture is sauteed return oxtails to braiser and add red wine, enough beef broth plus water to cover the oxtails. Allow the liquid to come to a simmer. Season with salt, cover, and put into a preheated 350 degree oven or continue to slowly simmer on stovetop for 2-3 hours or until oxtails are tender. Check to see if additional water is needed during braising process. Seasoning with more salt is recommended when finished. (note: the red wine adds a nice rich mahogany color to stew)

Sprinkle with green onions, mix and serve

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Decorated Sugar Cookies For A Baby Shower

I finally got around to finishing the cookies for my neice's baby shower. I wish I could have spent a little more time on perfecting them but all in all I am pleased with the results.

I used my favorite recipe for the sugar cookies and the royal icing. Both have never failed me.

Thanks to Nancy for a few design ideas and for jump starting my interest in doing this project.

Sunday, September 09, 2007

Results From Moorpark Family Festival BBQ Competition

I know I was supposed to let you all know when Four Q BBQ (4Q) was competing again. Well we did a competition yesterday at the Underrwood Farms, Walnut Grove in Moorpark. It was a small competition (6 teams) with this being the first attempt by the Moorpark Chamber of Commerce at a BBQ cookoff.

Pork butt Presented by fingerling versus shredded and no garnish per IBCA rules

See more pictures from the event on my Flickr site.

Also see photos by my Four Q teamate Luis from his Flickr site.

Next comp will be October 20th at the Viejas Shopping Outlet in Alpine, CA. 50 teams expected at this one. I promise more info later.

We did ok with the highlight being a 1st Place in Brisket. Our good friends Tropical Heal took Grand Championship (yeah!).

Four Q 1st Place Brisket


Tropic Heat and BBQ by Dan Tie
Tie Breaker Tropical Heat

Half Chicken
1 Tropical
2 OU8 BBQ (Todd Eves)
3 BBQ by Dan
4 Pit Stop
5 Papa Smoke House

Spare Ribs
1 Dan
2 Tropical
4 Pit Stop
5 4Q

1 Dan
3 4Q
4 Tropical
5 Pit Stop

1 4Q
2 Tropical
3 Papas Smoke House
4 Dan
5 OU8

Saturday, September 01, 2007

Cookie Designs

Those of you who follow my blog know that one of my passions is cookie designs. That is decorated sugar cookies. I have a new project I'm working on so I took to the internet in search of ideas. I was in the midst of coming up with some creative ideas for my neice's babyshower when I came across a Flickr site that impressed the heck out of me. Much so I had to share it with you all.

Web site is Nancys Fancy Cookies with more photos on her Flickr site. Check out some of her work and sets and you'll see what I mean.

Anyway, stay tuned for my latest cookie decorating endeavor.