Thursday, February 24, 2011

Braising a mystery cut of beef

I went looking for beef short ribs at the Riverview Farms meat stand but I was told it wasn't going to be exactly short ribs. In fact, what he said was "Oh, there'll be ribs in there all right. Just don't expect them to be short."Inside was...mystery cut! I shall call them beef long ribs. But you can braise anything and it will come out tender and delicious, so I just treated them like short ribs.Sauteed 1 chopped onion in olive oil and butter over medium heat until soft.Turned the heat up to medium high, cleared a space in the center of the soft onion, and nestled the beef cuts in there to brown--it took about 3-5 minutes per side.Meanwhile I peeled up a ton of garlic. My mom gave me a huge sackful of whole heads of garlic so I'm using it in everything. This is about 1 head--peel each clove but leave them whole.After the beef was nicely browned on each side, I poured in about 3/4 a bottle of dry red wine into the dutch oven, covered and popped it in the oven at 300 degrees.For 4 hours.After about 2 1/2 hours had passed, I added in all the garlic cloves.After the full 4 hours had elapsed, I pulled it out and stirred in a tablespoon of dijon mustard.Everything was just falling apart into saucy bits... and the house smelled so good.Delicious over angel hair egg pasta--the kind that you buy in nests and it just unspools in boiling water. Together with this braise, it reminds you of stroganoff, but different.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Citrus takes Manhattan

Classic Manhattan, but sweet and citrusy. Bourbon, sweet vermouth...Blood orange bitters. I lik the packaging on this bottle. And a cute lil' clementine. A blood orange would be even better, for a total theme, but I had a ton of these little suckers in my fridge already. So clementine it is.Slice off a twist...Pop it in a highball with as many maraschino cherries as your drink recipient requests.Get a cocktail shaker and measure in 2 ounces bourbon.Plus a half an ounce of vermouth.And just a dash of bitters.
Halve your clementine and juice it into the shaker.
Add lots of ice...And shake it for your dog!They love it. Pour out into your highball glass, over the cherries and clementine peel.An old fashioned drink...I have also been known to add a little grenadine for ruby color and even more sweetness.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Ginger maple float

One night we were seriously craving an ice cream special of some kind but didn't have a ton of classic soda fountain stuff around the house. Ginger beer left over from some Dark and Stormys, a teeny bit of vanilla ice cream plus a couple other pantry staples...voila. This float is not super sweet and that's a good thing. First step--find a nice, spicy ginger beer. This one was good. We also made it with a Caribbean brand that kicked ass but I can't remember the name, boo. You need a little less than 1 bottle for each float.Oh Trader Maple Joes. I'm almost out of you. But it's OK because for this recipe we only need a little drizzle of maple syrup per float.You also need 2 pieces of crystallized ginger per float. Cut a little slit in one of the pieces.And mince the other piece up into teeny little sprinkles for on top.One small scoop vanilla ice cream in your pint glass. By the way, Phil felt this was not sufficient ice cream. It is the perfect amount for me though, so I think it varies widely by float-consumer.Pour over ginger beer...And a drizzle of maple syrup, then fill all the way up so it's all foamy. Drizzle a little more maple syrup on top for decoration and extra sweetness.Pop the slice of ginger with the slit over the edge of the glass and sprinkle on the chopped pieces.Lookin' good.It's super creamy and just the right amount of spicy-sweet.