Monday, December 5, 2016

Braised Beef Short Ribs


This incredibly hearty and warm dish is the perfect way to sooth your soul as frigid temperatures find their way into the northern hemisphere.  Take advantage of the mercury dropping by letting this slow braise warm up your kitchen. 




3 1/2
pounds


Bone-in Beef Short Ribs, English
cut
2
tbsp
Flour
1
tsp
Black Pepper
2
tbsp
Vegetable Oil
1/2

Large Onion Diced
1/2
cup
Carrots Diced
5
cloves
Garlic
3
cups
Beef stock unsalted
3
cups
Dry Red Wine
3

Sprigs Fresh Thyme
1

Sprigs Fresh Rosemary


Salt
2

Bay Leaves


Heat oil in a large Dutch oven over medium high heat until almost smoking.  Take short rib sections and dust them with flour shaking off any excess.  Brown short ribs on all sides until they are a deep mahogany brown then set them aside.  You may need to do this in two separate batched in order to ensure there is plenty of room for the meat to brown properly. 

Sauté the onions, carrots, and garlic in the residual fat while scraping the bottom to lift the fond. 

Once the onions are translucent, deglaze the pan with the wine and reduce the wine until it no longer smells of alcohol. 

Then add the beef stock, herbs, and short ribs. 

Bring the pot to a simmer and cook over med low heat or place into a 300 degree oven for about 2 hours and 15 minutes.  Check the meat for tenderness.  It should be easy to shred but no quite falling off the bone.  Once they are tender, remove the short ribs and reduce the sauce until slightly thick enough to glaze the short ribs.  Season the sauce with salt to taste and serve hot over the short ribs.  You can serve the short ribs with mashed potatoes, polenta, or rich Romano risotto like I did.

Monday, August 29, 2016

Refreshing Cucumber Mint Lemonade



It's is still really hot here in Texas and every now and then we need a little pick me up without booze.  We have enjoyed a few pitchers of this wonderful mocktail in our house over the past couple of weeks.  We also suspect that it would taste great with a touch of gin too!

Ingredients:
3 each        Medium Cucumbers
½ Cup       Lemons
10 each      Mint Leaves
7 each        Packets of stevia, monk fruit sweetener, or Sweet n’ Low


Directions:

Peel the cucumbers and cut them into chunks.  Count out the ten mint leaves.

 
Add the cucumber, mint, and one cup of water to the blender.  Blend until smooth and the pass the juice through a fine strainer.  


Juice enough lemons to make ½ cup.  Five small lemons worked out perfect for me.  


Mix together the cucumber mint juice, lemon juice, and your choice of sweetener in a pitcher.  Top off the pitcher with four more cups of water.



Friday, June 24, 2016

Recipe: Carmelized Onion Galette


I want to warn you about this dish…  This is simply a mix of items that I enjoy and had on hand.  I understand that Brie and Provolone aren’t a normal combination but, I also know that Crème de Brie is way too soft to hold its own in this application.  What better match would counter the soft buttery Brie than a smoky and substantial Provolone?  I then found myself thinking that the puff pastry was so soft and decadent and may require a crunchy element.  Pine nuts were the perfect solution.  They could add a flavorful crunch without overpowering everything else, right?  Then came the need for a green.  I probably would have preferred dandelion greens here but arugula fit right in.   I think I will blame this creation on American ingenuity.  Enough of that…. It was FANTASTIC!!!  This galette was extremely decedent and hit all the right notes.  It was more than perfect accompanying a bottle of Chardonnay.



Caramelized Onion Galette
1 sheet, frozen puff pastry
3 Tbsp. Crème de Brie
7 slices Provolone cheese
¼ cup caramelized onions
¼ cup pine nuts, toasted and salted
1 handful baby arugula

Caramelized Onions
2 yellow onions, in ¼ inch sliced
3 Tbsp. butter
2 Tbsp. white wine
1 Tbsp White Balsamic vinegar
2 sprigs fresh thyme leaves
Salt, to taste

Caramelized Onion Galette
1 sheet, frozen puff pastry
3 Tbsp. Crème de Brie
7 slices Provolone cheese
¼ cup pine nuts, toasted and salted
1 handful baby arugula

Slice the onions into ¼ inch round slices.  Heat the butter in a medium skillet.  I recommend using a stainless steel pan for this.  Cook the onions for about an hour over low heat, stirring about every ten minutes.  The onions are done cooking when they take on a deep brown color.   Deglaze the pan using the wine and vinegar.  Once most of the liquid has evaporated, season with salt to taste and add the thyme leave. 
Preheat oven to 425 degrees.  Roll out the puff pastry sheet into 14” by 14” square and then the corners making it into a round.  Transfer the dough to a parchment lined baking sheet.  Spread the Crème de Brie onto the puff pastry.  Top with an even layer of provolone.  Fold over four sides of the pastry making it into a square.  Bake for ten minutes and remove.  Top the galette with half of the caramelized onions and bake for three more minutes.  Remove the galette from the oven and sprinkle on the pine nuts and arugula.  Cut into slices and serve.