Tag Archives: smitten kitchen

short ribs two ways

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I can’t get enough of short ribs.

If I see them on a menu, I always order them. And for many years, that was the extent of my short rib relationship.

That all changed this year when I started cooking my way through the Smitten Kitchen and Mad Hungry cookbooks, and both had short rib recipes that I had to try my hand at immediately.

Disclaimer: The pictures here are incomplete, because I ate the finished product before I had the chance to snap some. I promise that I’ll make these again (no hardship there) and fill them in later!

First up, Smitten Kitchen’s balsamic and beer braised short ribs. These will knock your socks off. Couldn’t be a more delicious and more perfect food to serve at your next dinner party. The marinade that you reduce into a thick glaze is addicting… 

5 lbs. bone-in flanken cut short ribs, at room temperature, trimmed of excess fat (i used boneless because that’s what i could find, and loved it)
Kosher salt and black pepper
2 tbs olive oil
1 large red onion, chopped
4 garlic cloves, smashed and peeled
2 tbs tomato paste
1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
3 tbs Worcestershire sauce
2 bottles (24 oz. total) dark beer, such as black lager
2 to 3 cups beef stock (i didn’t end up needing this)

Preheat the oven to 325 F. Season the short ribs generously on all sides with salt and pepper. IMG_4577

Heat a large Dutch oven over high heat, and add olive oil to coat the bottom. Once the oil is hot, brown the short ribs on all sides, in batches. Transfer the browned ribs to a plate.IMG_4578IMG_4580

Once all the ribs are browned, turn your heat down to medium-high and pour off all but one tablespoon of fat. Add the onion, season to taste with salt and pepper, and cook until softened and lightly brown, about 10 minutes. IMG_4581

Add the garlic cloves and saute 3 more minutes. Add the tomato paste and cook for another couple of minutes, until thickened. Now add the vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, and beer, scraping all the yummy bits stuck to the bottom of the pot.IMG_4582
Return the browned ribs to the pot; try to place them in meatiest sides down. If not all will fit this way, put some in standing on their sides with the bones facing vertical. Add enough stock just to cover the ribs. Bring the liquid to a simmer, then turn off heat. Cover the pot tightly with foil, then with the pot’s lid.
Bake for 3 hours, or until the meat can easily be pierced with a knife, or pieces can be torn back with a fork. Remove from the oven and let rest for 15 minutes, uncovered. Skim as much fat as possible off the top. (Note: I let them cool slightly and put them in the fridge overnight. Before continuing, just warm them on the stove).

Preheat your oven to 420 F. Remove ribs from the braise and spread them out on a baking sheet (I greased mine with cooking spray first). Roast for 15 minutes, or until the edges start to crisp. Meanwhile, strain the braising liquid into a saucepan and simmer it over high heat for 10 to 15 minutes, longer if you want a thicker glaze.

To serve, place a mound of parsnip puree on your plate, then top with 1-2 short ribs and ladle with sauce. When I made these for a dinner party, I used the parsnip puree, however in the picture below I served them with polenta which was delicious too.

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the meat is so moist and tender it literally falls apart

Next up are Mad Hungry’s oven braised red wine and soy sauce short ribs. These are much simpler and less hands-on to prepare because you marinate and cook the ribs in the same baking dish, and you don’t have to brown the ribs before braising!

1 onion, finely sliced
4 garlic cloves, smashed
1 leek, cleaned and finely chopped
1 carrot, finely chopped
4 sprigs of fresh thyme, or 1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 cup red wine
1/2 cup soy sauce or tamari
1 tablespoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
3 1/2 pounds short ribs
2 to 3 Idaho potatoes, peeled and cut in quarters (optional)
1 stalk celery, finely chopped

Mix all the ingredients except the meat and potatoes in a 9- x 15-inch roasting pan.IMG_5200

Add the ribs and rub all over with the marinade. The meat should fit comfortably in a single layer in the pan. Cover and let marinate in the refrigerator for 6 hours or up to overnight. Occasionally turn the meat over in the marinade. Remove from the refrigerator 30 minutes prior to cooking.

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Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Braise the short ribs for 2 1/2 to 3 hours, reducing the heat to 350 degrees Fahrenheit after an hour. Turn the ribs over. Add the potatoes in the last 40 minutes of cooking. Add water to the pan if too much liquid evaporates. You want to end up with glistening ribs in a reduced glaze.

[I don’t currently have any pictures of the finished product, but I promise I’ll take some the next time I make them!]

Conclusion: Both of these recipes are top notch. The Smitten Kitchen one is a bit more refined and the presentation is cleaner, so I’d make those if you’re looking to impress dinner guests. I made them for a dinner party of 20 and they were a hit. The Mad Hungry ones are much more laid back and perfect for a weeknight meal as long as you can be near the stove for 3 hours. Short ribs require little hand holding and are very forgiving because they’re hard to overcook. Bottom line, these will be your best friend in the kitchen.

baked chicken meatballs

since this is a blog of all of my favorite foods, i couldn’t believe it when i realized that i had never posted these chicken meatballs. i can’t get enough of these, and i’m not surprised, considering the recipe came from Smitten Kitchen. these are the perfect “i don’t know what to make for dinner” or “i want to impress my dinner guests with minimal effort” meal. if i haven’t convinced you yet, i’m going to stop trying, but please for the love of g-d, just make these, okay?!

Beauty, right?

Beauty, right?

baked chicken meatballs

while you could certainly serve these with pasta, as is tradition, i prefer a simple side of sautéed spinach or a big salad.

Serves 4

3 slices Italian bread, torn into small bits (1 cup)
1/3 cup milk
3 ounces sliced pancetta, finely chopped (you can swap in Canadian Bacon if you can’t find pancetta, which i have done many times, or leave the extra meat out altogether)
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 small garlic clove, minced
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
1 large egg
1 pound ground chicken
2 tablespoons tomato paste, divided (i like tomato paste so i usually use more)
3 tablespoons finely chopped flat-leaf parsley

Preheat oven to 400°F with a rack in the upper third of the oven. Soak bread in milk in a small bowl until softened, about four minutes.

Cook pancetta, onion, and garlic in one tablespoon oil with 1/2 teaspoon each of salt and pepper in a large skillet over medium heat until onion is softened, about 6 minutes. Let it cool for a few minutes.

Squeeze bread to remove excess milk, then discard milk. Lightly beat egg in a large bowl, then combine with chicken, 1 tablespoon tomato paste, pancetta mixture, bread, and parsley.

ready to be mixed

ready to be mixed

Form 12 meatballs and arrange in a 4-sided sheet pan or roasting dish. Stir together remaining tablespoon or two of tomato paste and oil (i usually use less than a tablespoon) and brush over meatballs (i usually just spoon a drop over each and smoosh it down).

oven ready

pre oven

Finally, bake in upper third of oven until meatballs are just cooked through, 15 to 20 minutes (though mine took a good 5-10 minutes longer).

Beauty, right?

fin.

i know what i’m having for dinner tonight.

bon appetit,
e

muffins and mimosas: a foolproof guide to brunch, part two

A long time ago I posted a foolproof guide to brunch part one. I didn’t mean to wait so long before following up, but I recently hosted a birthday brunch for a friend, and made a few new dishes that were so delicious I couldn’t wait to share them with you. IMG_3801

For this brunch I relied entirely on Smitten Kitchen, which you all know is my favorite food blog. I decided to have an egg component, a carb component (or two) and an fruit component for the perfect balance.

baked ranchero eggs with blistered jack cheese and lime crema

i was told by a close friend that this was “the best thing i’ve ever made”, so i think that speaks for itself. this recipe is outstanding. it would make an amazing dinner too. the eggs, cheese, lime scented sour cream and the crispy tortilla strips…YUM.

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Recipe from “The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook,” by Deb Perelman

For the ranchero sauce:
1 jalapeño, or to taste
1 28-ounce can fire roasted tomatoes
1 medium white onion, roughly chopped
1 large garlic clove, peeled and crushed
Salt and black pepper, to taste
1 1/4 cups cooked black beans, drained

For the tortilla strips:
2 tablespoons olive oil
4 small corn tortillas
Salt, to taste

12 large eggs
1 1/2 cups coarsely shredded jack cheese

For the crema:
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice
1 cup Mexican crema or sour cream

For garnish:
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro

To make the ranchero sauce, preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Quarter and seed the jalapeño, if desired, and toss into a blender. Add the tomatoes, onion, garlic and several pinches of salt and pepper. Blend until smooth.IMG_3781

Pour into a 12-inch oven proof skillet, add the black beans and bring to a simmer. Cook for 10 minutes or until sauce has reduced slightly.

Meanwhile, make the tortilla strips. Brush a baking sheet with 1 tablespoon of the olive oil. Cut the tortillas into 1/2-inch wide strips and arrange them on the oiled tray. Brush the tops of the strips with the remaining tablespoon of oil and sprinkle with salt.

Bake for 3 to 6 minutes, or until they are brown and crisp.

Make the crema by stirring together the lime juice, crema and a pinch of salt.

Once the sauce has thickened slightly, remove the pan from the heat and break the eggs across the surface of the sauce, distributing them as evenly as possible. Return to heat, cover the pan and simmer eggs gently in sauce for 10-12 minutes, or until the whites are nearly but not completely opaque. Sprinkle surface of the tomato and egg mixture with the cheese and broil until the cheese is bubbly and a bit blistered – just a few minutes. Garnish with dollops of lime crema, broken pieces of tortilla strips and cilantro.

cinnamon toast french toast

because this can be assembled ahead of time it is a hostess’ dream. it’s rich and eggy with an amazing crunch, and it was great with vanilla greek yogurt dolloped on top.

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recipe from Smiten Kitchen

1/2 cup (100 grams) granulated sugar
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
16 slices (from a 1-pound or 450 gram loaf) white sandwich bread
1 stick (4 ounces or 113 grams) unsalted butter, softened
3 cups (710 ml) whole milk
6 large eggs
1/4 teaspoon table salt
2 teaspoons (10 ml) vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Whisk the cinnamon and sugar together in a small dish. Line two large baking sheets with foil. Place the bread slices on the baking sheets in one layer. Spread each slice of bread with 1 teaspoon of butter, then sprinkle each slice with one teaspoon of the cinnamon-sugar mixture.IMG_3775

Toast the trays of bread in the oven until the bread is golden, and until the cinnamon-sugar makes a caramelized crunch on top, for about 7 to10 minutes. Reduce the oven temperature to 375 degrees and let the toast cool slightly.IMG_3782

Generously butter a 9×13-inch baking dish. (You might have a little butter leftover but I wanted to build in some leeway in case, understandably, you weren’t buttering your bread with precise teaspoon measurements!) Cut two slices of the cinnamon toast in half horizontally. Arrange the cinnamon toast down in two rows along the width of the pan. Begin with the bottom half of one slice of toast, then fan 7 more slices in a row, finishing with the top half of the slice. This ensures that those served the end pieces of the baked French toast are not stiffed with thin slices! Repeat with another 7 full slices and 1 halved slice of cinnamon toast in the second row.IMG_3785

Whisk the milk, eggs, salt and vanilla in a medium bowl and pour evenly over cinnamon toast in baking dish. Let sit for 15 minutes (or overnight, if you’re preparing this ahead of time) so that the custard absorbs a bit.IMG_3786

Before baking, if you’ve got any extra cinnamon-sugar (you’ll likely have a tablespoon or two), sprinkle it over the French toast. Bake for 30 minutes, until puffed and golden and until no liquid seeps out of the toasts when they are nudged about in the pan. Cut into squares and serve plain, or with a dollop of plain yogurt and fresh berries, or maple syrup.

plum poppyseed muffins
i have always loved lemon poppyseed muffins, so when i saw the recipe for these i knew that i had to try them out. i love that they’re filled with fresh plums, whole wheat flour, and greek yogurt which keeps them moist. delish!
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Recipe from “The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook,” by Deb Perelman
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and browned and cooled, plus butter for muffin cups
1 large egg, lightly beaten
¼ cup granulated sugar
¼ cup packed dark or light brown sugar
¾ cup sour cream or a rich, full- fat plain yogurt
½ cup whole-wheat flour
1 cup all- purpose flour
¾ teaspoon baking powder
¾ teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon table salt
Pinch of ground cinnamon
Pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
2 tablespoons poppy seeds
2 cups pitted and diced plums, from about ¾ pound Italian prune plums (though any plum variety will do)

Preheat your oven to 375 degrees. Butter twelve muffin cups.
Whisk the egg with both sugars in the bottom of a large bowl. Stir in the melted butter, then the sour cream. In a separate bowl, mix together the flours, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, and poppy seeds, and then stir them into the sour- cream mixture until it is just combined and still a bit lumpy. Fold in the plums.
Divide batter among prepared muffin cups.IMG_3794
Bake for 15 to 18 minutes, until the tops are golden and a tester inserted into the center of a muffin comes out clean. Rest muffins in the pan on a cooling rack for 2 minutes, then remove them from the tin to cool them completely.
breakfast apple granola crisp
classic dessert with a few tweaks that made it great for breakfast. this was great served with vanilla greek yogurt and berries. and it was even better the next day.
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Recipe from Smitten Kitchen

3 pounds of whatever apples, or mix of apples, you like to bake with, peeled, cored and cut into medium chunks
2 tablespoons lemon juice
3 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1 teaspoon cinnamon
Salt
1 stick (8 tablespoons or 4 ounces) unsalted butter
1/4 cup honey
1/2 cup flour
2 cups oats
1/2 cup sliced almonds
1/2 shredded coconut (sweetened or unsweetened, as you wish; I used unsweetened)

Preheat oven to 400°F. Mix apple chunks with lemon juice, sugar, cornstarch, cinnamon and pinch of salt in a 9×13-inch baking dish until apples are evenly coated.IMG_3773

In a medium saucepan, melt the butter with the honey. Stir in the flour, oats, almonds, coconut and another pinch of salt until clumps form. Sprinkle evenly over the apple mixture and bake in the oven for about 45 to 55 minutes, or until the apples are softened and bubbly.IMG_3774

Should the granola brown before you wish it to, cover the baking dish carefully with foil for all but the last few minutes of baking time, when removing the foil will help the granola recrisp. Cool to room temperature and then stash in the fridge to eat with your morning yogurt.

i know this was a long one, but now you have all of my favorite brunch recipes in one place!

bon appetit.

roasted eggplant with yogurt-tahini sauce and cumin-crisped chickpeas

One of my favorite finds in New Orleans so far has been the Hong Kong Market on the West Bank. It’s an awesome asian supermarket that fills my chinatown void and has some of the best produce in all of nola.

They have the most awesome selection of eggplants. Baby italian and indian eggplants and the long and slender asian ones. Whenever I make the trip over there, I always pick up an assortment of eggplants and run home to make this Smitten Kitchen cookbook recipe.IMG_3118

The combination of the roasted eggplant, thick and creamy yogurt tahini sauce, fresh parsley and crispy chickpeas is nothing short of perfection. It would be an awesome appetizer for a party, or a nice light dinner.

roasted eggplant with yogurt-tahini sauce and cumin-crisped chickpeasIMG_3122

1- 15.5 oz can of chickpeas, drained, patted dry on paper towels
5 tablespoons olive oil
Course or kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
3 pounds small italian eggplants

yogurt-tahini sauce

1/3 cup tahini
2/3 cup thick plain greek yogurt
3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 teaspoon table salt
1/3 cup cold water
2 tablespoons coarsely chopped fresh flat leaf parsley

crisp chickpeasIMG_3116

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees and toss the chickpeas with 2 tablespoons olive oil, 1/4 teaspoon coarse salt, freshly ground black pepper, and ground cumin. Spread them on a baking sheet and roast them on the top rack for 30 to 40 minutes, shaking it every now and then until they are browned and crisp.

roast eggplantIMG_3120

Brush a large baking sheet with a generous tablespoon of oil. Halve the eggplants lengthwise, arrange them, cut side up, in one layer on oiled sheet. Brush the cut sides lightly with a little additional oil, and sprinkle them with generously with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Roast for 15 minutes and then flip them over and roast them for another 15 minutes.

while those are roasting, make the yogurt-tahini sauce

Whisk together tahini, yogurt, lemon juice, garlic and salt. The mixture will become very thick, so add water a tablespoon at a time, until the mixture is smooth but thick.

to serveIMG_0014

Arrange the eggplant cut side up and dollop generously with yogurt-tahini sauce. Sprinkle with crisped chickpeas and parsley. Eat immediately. IMG_0013

bon appetit!

 

Apple Bundt Cake/Dinner Club Potluck

As you can see, I’m really trying to make the most of fall with all these apple recipes! For a Cornell Dinner Club Fall Potluck last week Charlotte (my roommate from last year) and I decided to make one of our smitten kitchen (http://www.smittenkitchen.com) favorites, Mom’s Apple Cake. It is so easy and beautiful and delicious and we thought it would be the perfect potluck addition.

Charlotte prepping

Alternating cinnamon sugar apples and batter

Ready for the oven

Recipe from http://smittenkitchen.com/2008/09/moms-apple-cake/

6 apples, Mom uses McIntosh apples
1 tablespoon cinnamon
5 tablespoons sugar
2 3/4 cups flour, sifted
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup vegetable oil
2 cups sugar
1/4 cup orange juice
2 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
4 eggs
1 cup walnuts, chopped (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a tube pan/bundt pan/loaf pan. Peel, core and chop apples into chunks. Toss with cinnamon and sugar and set aside.

Stir together flour, baking powder and salt in a large mixing bowl. In a separate bowl, whisk together oil, orange juice, sugar and vanilla. Mix wet ingredients into the dry ones, then add eggs, one at a time. Scrape down the bowl to ensure all ingredients are incorporated.

Pour half of batter into prepared pan. Spread half of apples over it. Pour the remaining batter over the apples and arrange the remaining apples on top. Bake for about 1 1/2 hours, or until a tester comes out clean.

YUM

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Here are some pictures from the potluck:

Apple Slaw

Homemade buckwheat gnocchi

Homemade Rabbit Pate

Action shot

Delicious corn bread with whipped maple butter

pumpkin pies, bread puddings, oh my