Saturday, July 4, 2009

Oven Ribs

Yes. These were made in an oven.

Take your raw baby back ribs and put them in a high-sided, oven-safe pan. Fill the pan up with about an inch of water. Add 1/4 C apple cider vinegar to the water. Add the plain, raw ribs into the pan. Cover the pan tightly in aluminum foil, crimping the edges so that no steam escapes.

Put them in the oven for an hour at 225 degrees F.

Remove Ribs from pan and onto a jelly roll pan. Coat the ribs in your choice of BBQ sauce. (We used Sweet Baby Ray's Sweet n' Spicy sauce)

Put the pan on the second to top rack in the oven under the broiler. Broil until bubbly. Remove and baste again with sauce. Replace pan under the broiler. After about 5 minutes under the broiler, these babies are ready to be separated and devoured.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Risotto Cakes

Back when I made my Beer Can Chicken, I saved the carcass and boiled it in water all night with an onion and some celery. It made the most flavorful stock. I filled Ziplock bags and froze that flavorful stock and began having dreams of using it to make risotto for the first time.

There were the most beautiful English Peas at the market the other day. I happily shelled my peas and knew I would put them in with the risotto. Another addition was bought at the store, a lovely ear of corn. So with my stock, corn & peas, I was going to have a lovely risotto

It was a great risotto in fact, but too much for just F. & me. So I spoke with my most trusted source, my grandmother on whether you could freeze risotto or not. She told me in fact she freezes individual tablespoons of risotto to make Risotto Cakes.

And that’s what I did. I lined a cookie sheet with some wax paper and scooped heaping tablespoons of my risotto mixture. Then, I stuck them in the freezer overnight.

When my lovely Matron of Honor came over for dinner the other week, I knew just what I’d make as my premier. I took the frozen cakes out and let them thaw about 5 minutes. Then, they took a quick dip in an egg wash, and into a mixture of homemade breadcrumbs & panko breadcrumbs before hitting the hot oil in a sauté pan.

Ten minutes later…

Saturday, May 16, 2009

The Garden

the backyard Garden, age: 3 weeks.
I was so close to joining a CSA this year. In fact, I did enroll, and then I backed out and canceled my order. Instead, I decided I would support a family CSA. My Family's.
Okay, not really a CSA. But we are in it for a fun summer of hobby vegetable gardening this Summer. We have over 30 tomato plants. Over 15 pepper plants. Cucumbers, zucchinis, bush beans, leeks, onions, and countless herbs and even some cutting flowers.
It's progress is magical. After half a week of heavy raining, the bean's (not seen in this photo) went from 2" bean sprout stubs into magical broad multi leafed plants. The onions already can be harvested as "green onions." We have three blooms on the tomato plants, and we also saw three baby red bell pepper buds.
It's all very excited.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Things are a growin'

Things are definitely growing down here in the garden. I went out on Friday morning and spent the day with Mom & Dad weeding- boy, was it rough work. But so worth it!!

We've also got quite a few little sprouts of baby veggies!!

Friday, April 10, 2009

Pineapple Pavlova

In April's Gourmet this month, they feature a Berry Pavlova (meringue with lemon curd topped with ... you guessed it: berries!). My F. doesn't care overly for berries though, so I made ours with pineapple. Though not as photogenic, this Pineapple Pavlova was really divine.

First comes making the meringue:

3 egg whites
pinch of salt
3 tb. cold water
1 Cup superfine granulated sugar
1 TB cornstarch
1 ts rice wine vinegar

Let the egg whites come to room temperature for a half hour and mix cornstarch and sugar together. Then, add the egg whites to your mixer on medium with a pinch of salt to arrive at soft peaks (about 6 minutes). Add water, and re-arrive at soft peaks (another 3 min. or so).

On medium high speed, gradually add tablespoon by tablespoon of the sugar mixture to the egg whites. Let the mixture go for another minute after incorporating all the sugar mixture. Add the vinegar and continue to mix for another 5 min. or until glossy with stiff peaks.

Spread the mixture onto parchment paper and stick in a 300 degree F oven for 45 min. When the time's up, open the oven door and let the meringue cool undisturbed for an hour.

Meanwhile... make the lemon curd!

1 C sugar
6 TB room temp. butter
2 whole eggs
2 egg yolks
1/2 C fresh lemon juice

Cream sugar and butter together over medium speed in your mixer. Then, add the eggs until incorporated. Finally add the lemon juice. (The mixture may look lumpy)

Put the mixture in a heavy bottomed saucepan. Stir constantly over medium low heat. The butter may separate out a little before it's all warmed. No worries, keep stirring over medium low heat until the mixture reaches 170 degree F. This will take 25 minutes or so, so get comfortable. Once it reaches 170, you're good to go with delicious lemon curd.

Then it's easy as pie to assemble. Remove the meringue onto a dish, spoon lemon curd in the center crater of the meringue and then top with pineapples.

The Pavlova is really fabulous. There's a layer of the meringue that's crisp and brittle, and then the center is luxuriously marshmallow-y. Enjoy!

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Potatoes Gribiche

Recently, one of the blogs, The Wednesday Chef , featured a recipe that is also on another blog I read, Chocolate and Zucchini. And since this latest reference to this recipe, I've found myself desiring it: Potatoes Gribiche. Potatoes tossed in a sultry smokey paprika vinaigrette spiked with pickles and salty. The thoughts whirled until I had to make it. At 1am, bien sur.

While the original recipe is much larger - I was only cooking for myself at past midnight. Also, I lacked the shallot & capers the original recipe call for. However, I fancy my recipe was quite tasty in it's own right.

Warm Potato Salad

1. Roast - 2 hand size Yukon gold potatoes cubed & tossed in olive oil, sprinkled with salt and pepper at 425 F for a half an hour.

2. Mix - 1 chopped hard boiled egg, three minced baby dill pickles, 8 manzanilla olives, 1 ts. sherry vinegar, 1/2 ts. Dijon mustard, 1/2 ts. dried onion, 1/4 ts. granulated garlic & 1/4 ts. smoked Spanish paprika

3. Toss them together & Enjoy!

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Beer Can Chicken

Beer Can Chicken

Take one 5 lb chicken and give it a good rinse and one over, plucking off any yellow outer skin hanging on or feathers. Sit the Chicken on a ¾ full open beer (we used Miller Lite). Rub the chicken of a mixture of ~1/4 C olive oil, 3tb salt/spice mixture.

To make potatoes on the side, par boil 1 lb. halved red new potatoes for about 5 minutes. Then drain and toss with a blended mix of 4 tb. Olive oil and half of a packet of onion soup mix. Arrange the potatoes around the chicken.

Cook the chicken dish in the center of a 325°F oven for an hour.

After an hour of cooking the chicken (once it reaches an internal temp of about 130°F) prepare the glaze.

We used a small bottle of Orangina type juice drink, the juice of half a lemon and one lime, ¼ ts fresh ground ginger, red pepper flakes & cayenne pepper, finished off with a nice dredge of honey. Let your glaze ingredients come together for a good half hour then dab it all over with a brush then pour remainder over chicken.

Let the chicken go until it reaches a temperature of 180°F (in the breast, ~165°F in the thigh)

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Crock Pot Pulled Pork

So my mother actually came up with this recipe. My mother doesn't actually like to cook. But I will give her credit when due; this dish turns out great every time. My Fred loves barbeque, and this way was so simple and easy.

Crock Pot Barbeque

At 10 pm the night before take a 5lb boneless and netted pork shoulder and put it in a medium sized crock pot. Add a couple cups of chicken broth and 1/4 cup of apple cider vinegar and a 1/4 ts crushed red pepper flakes. Put the crock pot on "low" and let it go all night.

At 9ish the following morning, turn off the crock pot, and remove the netted pork shoulder to cool. Strain the liquid off and reserve. Clean the crock pot. Once cool, remove the netting from the pork. The boneless shoulder will break apart easy where the bone once was, when this happens, scrape the fatty bits off the meat with a knife, then "pull" the pork apart with two forks.

Put the pulled pork back in to the crock pot with about two cups of the reserved liquid. Let it go until you're ready for a fabulous pork lunch. Serve with steamed buns and a tablespoon of your barbeque sauce of choice.