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Welcome to My Kitchen

Spring soup and sweets

Series: Recipe Column | Story 63

April 12, 2018

Spring keeps tempting us with bits of sunshine between bouts of April downpours. The ground is too soggy to do much garden preparation, so it is a good time to clean out your freezer. Those who purchase a whole beef and have it cut to order, may find an oxtail among the end of season packages.

Oxtail Stew is a rich, savory dish, but it requires some long, slow, cooking times. Using a slow-cooker to prepare this dish makes the process manageable. The key to a good mild flavor is slow cooking and tomato. The acid in tomatoes is best suited to tenderizing and flavor enhancement than other cooking acids. Any tomato product will work.

Oxtail Stew

2-3 pounds oxtail, cut in 3 inch sections

3/4 cup all-purpose flour

2-3 Tbsp cooking fat or oil

1 medium onion, sliced

2 cups tomato, sauce, stewed, chopped, etc.

1 1/2 cups beef broth (15 ounce can)

1 tsp salt

1/4 tsp ground black pepper

4 large carrots, peeled and cut in 1/2 inch slices

4 large potatoes, cut in 1 inch chunks

In a large skillet, heat fat over medium high heat. Roll or shake oxtail pieces in flour. Brown well on all sides.

In a large slow-cooker, combine browned meat, onions, tomato, broth and seasonings. Cover and cook on low 8-10 hours or until meat falls from the bones. Cool and chill mixture over night. Skim off congealed fat. Add carrots and potatoes and up to 1 cup water. Cook on low, about 6 hours or until vegetables are done. Yield: 4-6 servings.

Dinner rolls, biscuits or garlic bread go well with this stew. I heard there was a run on prepared garlic bread over the Desert 100 weekend. Garlic bread is so easy to prepare with just a few ingredients involved.

Home Prepared Garlic


1 loaf French or sourdough bread

1/4 – 1/2 cup butter, softened

1/2 to 1 tsp garlic powder, or 4-6 cloves garlic peeled and minced

1/2 tsp parsley leaves rubber fine

Optional: 1 tsp finely minced chives

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Pull out a sheet of 18 inch aluminum foil 24 inches long (or size that fits your loaf of bread).

Cut bread loaf in half horizontally and set aside.

In a small bowl, combine butter and seasonings. Blend well until smooth and seasonings are evenly distributed.

Spread cut surfaces of bread very generously with butter mixture. Place top half on bottom half and cut into 3/4 to 1 1/2 inch slices. Assemble in loaf shape in the center of foil. Seal tightly in foil. Place in preheated oven and bake 15-20 minutes or until heated through. Turn foil packet once during baking to evenly distribute garlic flavor. Yield: 6-8 servings.

Frozen bread dough is a handy item to keep on hand in the freezer for quick recipes, but it really needs to be used before the ‘Best By” date. If the dough is not to far past the date, Frozen Bread Cinnamon Rolls are an easy way to successfully salvage the product. You may use any favorite sweet roll filling, but a basic cinnamon, sugar mix will make some nice morning treats as well.

Frozen Bread

Cinnamon Rolls

1 loaf frozen bread dough, thawed according to package directions

1/4 cup butter, melted

1/2 cup brown sugar

1 tsp ground cinnamon

Roll out thawed dough into a 12 by 8 inch rectangle. Spread with the melted butter. Sprinkle with the sugar and cinnamon.

Roll up dough tightly from a 12 inch side. Cut roll into 12 slices and place cut side down in a well greased 8 x 11 inch baking pan. Set in a warm place and let rise until double in bulk.

When ready to bake, preheat oven to 375 degrees. Place raised rolls in oven and bake 15 to 20 minutes or until golden brown. Yield: 12 rolls.

Local fishermen report the cool wet spring has produced some productive fishing days and the colder water temperature makes for a quality catch. Rod Webster shared a recipe for Trout Patties that are easy to make and add variety to fish menus. Cooking the trout poaching method makes bone removal easy.

A quick tutorial on the poaching cooking method follows. Place 1-1 1/2 cups water in large covered skillet. Add fish or item to be poached and bring to a simmer over medium high heat. Reduce heat as needed to keep just at a simmer for 15–20 minutes or just until fish is done, firm and just turning opaque. Drain and cool, then remove any bones and flake meat.

Trout Patties

2 cups flaked, poached trout, bones and skin removed

1 small onion, diced very fine

2-3 Tbsp butter

2 eggs

1 packet instant chive and onion mashed potatoes (4 ounces, yield 2 cups)

In a small skillet, fry onion in butter until translucent. Mix into potatoes. Add trout and eggs and mix until well combined. Form into patties about 3/8 inch thick.

In a large skillet, heat cooking oil over medium low heat. Fry patties until well browned on each side. Serve immediately. Yield: 6-8 patties.

Note: if you can’t find onion and chive potato mix, use a plain packet and add 1/4 tsp onion powder and 1 tsp of minced chives.

Share your favorite spring recipes with your fellow readers. Several new and interesting salads were shared at a recent potluck meal and I have requests out for the recipes. After a long wet winter, salads sound good. Send your recipes to: Welcome to My Kitchen, c/o The Odessa Record, P.O. Box 458, Odessa, WA 99159, email or drop them in the Welcome to My Kitchen mail tin in the Odessa Record office. Now it should be safe to start seeding bedding and vegetable plants. Just remember, to keep plants well protected past Mothers Day. Seems we always get a surprise frost about that time.


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