Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Spicy Beef Stuffed Perilla Leaves en Drunken Buddha Hand Citron Piment Sauce

     Banchan Party Platter!
     Today's Spicy Beef Stuffed Perilla Leaves appetizer is a Korean style Banchan.  Banchan refers to petite portion side dishes that are served with a meal.  When Banchan items are served on a large platter, it is party time!  
     A good way to prevent looking at a grease smeared half empty party platter is to place a bed of sauce on the platter platter.  The sauce should be thickened, so splatters and drips are avoided when guests help themselves.  The sauce also should be colorful and appealing to the eye.
     One Buddha's Hand Finger Citron can be used to make several recipes.  A little bit of this fragrant fruit goes a long way.  The same goes for roasted red bell peppers.  The sauce on the platter in the pictures above actually cost much less than one dollar to make.
     Perilla is in the mint family of plants, just like basil.  Perilla has a nice complex basil mint flavor.  Most perilla leaves are wide enough to be stuffed.  A ground meat stuffed rolled perilla leaf is a nice hors d'oeuvre portion size.

     Spicy Beef Stuffed Perilla Leaves:
     This recipe yields about 16 to 18 stuffed perilla leaves.  (Enough for 1 medium size hors d'oeuvre platter.)
     Indonesian or Malaysian Sambal Paste is available at Asian food markets.  It sold as mild, medium or spicy hot.
     Step 1:  Place 8 ounces of ground beef in a mixing bowl.
     Add 2 teaspoons of minced shallot.
     Add 1/2 teaspoon of ground galangal.  (Thai Blue Ginger Powder)
     Add 1/4 teaspoon of pure sesame oil.
     Add 2 teaspoons of spicy hot sambal paste. 
     *Add 1 or 2 pinches of sea salt if the Sambal is not salty tasting.
     Step 2:  Mix the ingredients together.
     Chill the stuffing in a refrigerator.
     Step 3:  Trim the stems off of about 14 medium to large perilla leaves.
     Roll a small portion of the ground beef mixture into a short cylinder shape that will fit the perilla leaf.
     Place the beef on the pointed end of the leaf and roll it up like a mini cigar.  
     Repeat the perilla leaf stuffing steps till there is no more beef.
     Step 4:  Place the stuffed perilla leaves on a roasting pan that is lightly brushed with vegetable oil.
     Lightly brush the stuffed perilla leaves with vegetable oil.
     Add 2 ounces of water to the pan.
     Cover the pan with a lid or foil.
     Step 5:  Place the pan in a 325ºF oven.
     Roast till the ground beef is fully cooked.  (The center temperature should be 160ºF.)
     Step 6:  Remove the pan from the oven.
     Remove the lid from the pan.
     Keep the stuffed perilla leaves warm on a stove top or in a 135ºF bain marie.

     Drunken Buddha Hand Citron Piment Sauce:
     This recipe yields enough sauce to cover a medium size appetizer platter!   (About 16" x 10")
     This is a nice looking tasty garnishing sauce that is cost effective.  A modest priced Shaoxing Wine will add plenty of flavor. 
     Buddha Hand Citron (Finger Citron) is available at organic markets and specialty markets.   This is a very fragrant citron!    
     Step 1:  Bring 2 1/2 cups of water to a boil in a sauce pot over medium high heat.
     Add 3/4 cup of Shaoxing Wine.
     Add 1/3 cup of diced Buddha Hand Citron.  (The pith is edible on this fruit, but it is slightly bitter.  Use both the pith and skin for this sauce.)
     Add 3 tablespoons of raw sugar.
     Add 1 tablespoon of agave nectar.
     Add 1/4 teaspoon of turmeric.
     Add 1/2 tablespoon of thin soy sauce.
     Add sea salt and white pepper to taste.
     Step 2:  Bring the liquid back to a boil.
     Step 3:  Reduce the temperature to medium heat.
     Add 1/4 cup of diced roasted red bell pepper.
     Step 4:  Mix about 2 1/2 tablespoons of cornstarch with 1/4 cup of cold water to make a slurry.
     Add just enough of the slurry, while stirring, to thicken the sauce to a medium thin consistency.   The sauce should be able to easily glaze a spoon.
     Step 5:  Reduce the temperature to very low heat.
     Gently simmer the sauce for 10 minutes, so the flavors meld.
     Keep the sauce warm over very low heat.  

     Spicy Beef Stuffed Perilla Leaves en Drunken Buddha Hand Citron Piment Sauce:
     Ladle enough of the Drunken Buddha Hand Citron Piment Sauce on an hors d'oeuvre platter, so it is covered with a thin layer of sauce.
     Arrange the Spicy Sambal Beef Stuffed Perilla Leaves on the platter so they look nice.
     *Garnishing with sprigs of cilantro is an option.
     Serve immediately while the hors d'oeuvres are warm!

     The flavors will inspire conversation! 

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