Every so often I tend to get a craving for something I have not had in quite a while: could be due to scarcity of a product, seasonal/weather related issues (as in this case), or price/time constraints. I was in the mood for some baby back ribs, so despite cold winter weather, I created a nice indoor version.
A day ahead, I had made a marinade of brown sugar, soy sauce, ancho chili, and some soy sauce. I put the rubs in a ziploc bag and left in the fridge overnight until the next afternoon. I set the oven to 450 and prepped the ribs by placing them on cooling racks over a sheet pan. I then cooked them for 20 minutes with the curved side upwards.
In the meantime, the extra marinade I put in a small saucepan and added some fresh ginger, garlic, and a little corn starch. I then heated lightly until it started to boil, added in some ale and let simmer until it reduced to a nice consistency like bbq sauce. After the initial 20 minutes in the oven, I then took the rack out, basted the ribs on the same side and put back in for about 10 minutes. I then flipped the ribs over, coated the other side and cooked for another 15 minutes.
Nice sticky glaze, tender juicy ribs. A nice side of seasoned fries.
At the beginning of the month my older brother had turned 30. We had a nice little get together (had a surprise as my parents came down as well) and we had a nice little meal (crab stuffed shrimp, filet mignon, and a good amount of homemade Sangria, champagne, wine…). It all ended with a cake I had made. It is an Italian style cheesecake in 3 different sections: plain, chocolate glaze, and cannoli.
A nice meal consisting of a bacon wrapped filet topped with a nice wine-vegetable reduction. The asparagus was sauteed and then topped with some shredded parmesan. The sweet potato is twice baked- gets an initial baking as a whole then they get halved, gutted, make a nice whipped potato mix, spoon back into the skin and bake again. They are then topped with a simple bacon-sesame brittle.
From when I was young and growing up to the present time, there has been quite a change in the popularity of pizza “styles” or trends. It always used to be either your typical pizza place greasy cheese pizza or you had the generic deep-dish styled pizzas. Topping wise there was not a lot of variety growing up but over time we’ve come to places creating “artisanal” or flatbread styled pizzas- essentially in many ways taking dishes or meals and converting into pizzas.
I went with a nice “thin” crust as its the style I prefer. Topping wise I went with some chicken I had sauteed almost like a lemon chicken with some added seasonings and garlic as well as diced up pieces of bacon.
Cheese-wise I like to go with a blend. I used a combination of fresh mozzarella, a nice imported sharp provolone, an asiago, and a mild cheddar.
Personally, I am big into mushrooms so for my own pizza I had the addition of chanterelle mushrooms. After laying out the dough, I added the sauce then some of the cheese. I then laid out the toppings (not too much as then when it cooks it would be soggy) and then I threw on some more cheese to melt on top. Overall bake time was about 20-25 minutes (I utilize a baking stone to bake on- really makes a nice crust).
Not a meal I make too often (actually on fairly rare occasions) so when I do, I like to spruce it up a bit and try some different things.
A while back I had done some shopping at Whole Foods and while in going through their meat case I came across some nice looking buffalo meat so I bought some. For these burgers, this meat was the base for burger, to add some extra fat (buffalo meat is on the leaner side, I put a few slices of bacon in a food processor and then mixed it into the buffalo grind.
While this was going, I cooked some bacon strips in a separate pan (added some pepper to make it peppercorn bacon). In a small saucepan, I took some pear slices I had sliced up and cooked them in some butter and brown sugar. In another small pan I made some crispy fried onion strings with fresh onion and a buttermilk coating.
When the burgers were close to being finished, I threw on some cur pieces of brie cheese and let it melt. I then tossed on some of the onion strings, and topped with the pear.
For most of the people I know, this is somewhat of an underutilized type of meat/animal when it comes to making a meal.
In this case, I did a simple pan sear with some salt, pepper, and oil. In a small saucepan I made a pomegranate based sauce where I utilized both the fresh seeds whole as well as the juice (along with some orange juice) and made a thickened sauce. This particular flavor combination cuts well into the “meatiness” and bold flavor of the lamb.
The first side dish was a broccoli rabe with fresh garlic and cracked pepper sauteed in olive oil. For the second side I created some potatoes au gratin. I sliced the potatoes on a mandolin slicer and made a stock-based sauce to put them in the casserole dish. I made interchanging layers of potato and cheese (I used a combination of asiago and provolone) and then baked in the oven until a nice golden crust was formed.