Short Rib Red Sauce

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This is a sauce I like to make LOTS of. I like to freeze it  for later. This is a recipe which I like to add sauteed cremini mushrooms to and or any lovely greens in season. I simply add to the fresh or thawed base sauce; you can create whatever you wish. This recipe is also easily divided if you don’t wish to make as big a batch but why not?

Short Rib Red Sauce

1/2 cup olive oil

6 oz. diced pancetta

2 1/2 lbs. short ribs or flanken style short ribs.

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Flanken style short ribs pictured on the left. I prefer the flanken style because it has less fat and more meat.

3/4 cup flour

3 onions , small dice

3 carrots, peeled and 1/4 inch dice

1 bunch parsley chopped

6 cloves garlic , minced

1 head roasted garlic, pulp squeezed out

1 pint grape tomatoes

2 1/2 quarts tomato puree

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3 teaspoons chopped fresh rosemary

3 teaspoons dried thyme

1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano

3 bay leaves

7 1/2 cup beef broth

2 1/4 cups red wine

red pepper flakes; to taste

Additions

sauteed mushrooms

sauteed seasonal leafy greens

sauteed squash

Heat the olive oil in a 13 quart heavy pot. Cook the pancetta until crispy . Meanwhile, season the short ribs with salt and pepper and dredge in the flour. Remove the pancetta with a slotted spoon and set aside. Add the short ribs ; do not over crowd pot and brown the short ribs on all sides.

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Do not rush the browning process. It’s the browning and the luscious tiny bits left on the bottom of the pan known as the fond that add to the depth of flavor in the sauce.

Once all the short ribs are nice and brown, add the short ribs and crispy pancetta along with the remaining ingredients to the pot. Give the pot a stir ; make sure to scape the yummy bits from the bottom of the pot as you stir to combine.

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Bring the mixture to a boil and reduce the heat to a gentle simmer; cover and simmer for 1 1/2 hours. After 1 1/2 hours, remove the lid and continue to simmer for another hour. Using a slotted spoon remove the short ribs and the bay leaves. Allow the short ribs to cool enough to just handle and remove the bones. Place the short rib meat back into the simmering pot and continue to cook until short rib meat is tender enough that it shreds. Using the back of a spoon smash any grape tomatoes on the inside edge of the pan that have not fallen apart.   Shred the meat and place back into sauce simmer the sauce until thickened slightly. Serve this sauce over mashed potatoes or toothy pasta such as rigatoni, penne or tagliatelle.

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Black Bean and Corn Salad

Black Bean and Corn Salad

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This also makes an excellent pico de gallo by adding a minced serrano or jalapeno

2 cups black beans, soaked overnight

1 yellow bell pepper, diced

1 red bell pepper , diced

2 cups , sliced grape tomatoes

1 cup sliced , scallions

1 cup fresh or frozen corn

2 tsp cumin seeds

1 tsp coriander seeds

2 tablespoons sherry vinegar

1/2 tablespoon olive oil

2 tablespoon lime juice

1 tablespoon lime zest

1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes

salt and pepper, to taste

1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro

Romaine lettuce

Tortilla chips

Drain the soaked beans and place in large stockpot; cover with water or quality stock, bring to boil. Cover and reduce heat to simmer. Cook until beans are tender, not mushy. Drain and rinse. Set aside to cool.

Add the peppers, tomato, scallion and corn to beans.

In a small pan toast the spices until fragrant. Remove from heat and pulverize to a powder i n a spice grinder or mortar and pestle.

In a small bowl whisk the oil , vinegar, lime juice ,zest red pepper flakes and toasted ground spices, salt and pepper.

Pour mixture over bean mixture and lightly toss. Stir in chopped cilantro and allow to set at room temperature for 1 hour.

Line bowl with romaine lettuce and place salad on leaves. Garnish with tortilla chips.

Tomato-Okra Gumbo

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1 small onion , sliced

8 medium tomatoes, chopped

2 lbs. fresh or frozen okra, cut into 1/2 inch pieces

1/2 tsp salt

1 tablespoon butter

3 strips of bacon, fried crisp and crumbled

Place all the ingredients except the bacon into pot. Cook covered, over medium heat for 20 minutes or until tender. Sprinkle bacon over top.

Roasted Garlic and Tomato Soup

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2-3 lbs. ripe medium tomatoes

8 cloves of garlic

3 shallots

2 sprigs fresh rosemary

1 tablespoon fresh thyme

1/2 cup olive oil

4 cups chicken stock

1/4 cup balsamic vinegar

2 tsp. chopped fresh basil

1/2 tsp. black pepper

salt, to taste

goat cheese for garnish

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Lined a baking sheet with foil.

Place the tomatoes, garlic, shallots, rosemary, and thyme on the lined baking sheet. Cover with olive oil. Bake the tomatoes until they begin to brown. Using a slotted spoon , transfer the mixture to a stock pot and add half the liquid from the baking sheet. Add the chicken stock and simmer until the tomatoes and stock are reduced by one third. Add the vinegar , basil, pepper and salt and simmer for 10 minutes. Using a stick blender , process until smooth.. Strain soup through sieve. Serve  hot and garnish with goat cheese.

Hummus Sandwich with Tomato-Cucumber Relish

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Hummus:

1 1/2 cups canned garbanzo beans, drained

3/4 cup tahini paste

3 cloves garlic, minced

juice from one lemon

1/4 cup olive oil

2 tsp. cumin

salt , to taste

Tomato-Cucumber Relish

2 tomatoes, seeded and chopped

1 small cucumber, peeled, seeded and diced

1 tsp. fresh ginger

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 shallot, chopped

2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

1/2 tsp chile paste

1 tsp. fresh cilantro, chopped

salt and pepper, to taste.

1/2 cup pitted kalamata olives

baby spinach

6 rolls

Hummus:

In a bowl of a food processor fitted with a metal blade add the garbanzos, tahini paste, garlic, and lemon juice. Process until smooth. With motor running slowly pour in the olive oil. Add the cumin ans salt and process until combined. Set aside.

Relish:

Combine the tomatoes, cucumber, ginger, garlic , olives and shallot in a bowl. Add the vinegar, olive oil, chile paste and cilantro. Season to taste with salt and pepper, mix well.

Split each roll in half. Spread each bottom with the hummus. Top with relish, baby spinach and top with other half of roll.

My Boys Favorite Spaghetti Sauce

Boys Favorite Spaghetti Sauce

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1 lb. ground beef

1 onion, diced

1 cup celery, diced

1 bell peppers, diced

2 peeled carrots, grated

10 oz. sliced cremini mushrooms

1 head roasted garlic

Red wine for deglazing pan

1 small can tomato paste

14 oz. bottle ketchup

1(16 oz.) diced fire roasted tomatoes

1 tsp. season salt

2 tablespoons chili powder

Pasta water, if needed

Brown the ground beef.  Add the onions, celery, bell peppers, and carrots and saute until tender. Pour in a small amount of wine to deglaze the pan. Add the remaining ingredients and simmer on low for 30 minutes. Add pasta water if sauce needs thinned.

Grilled Beef Tacos are a quick, refreshing, budget friendly meal.

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Salsa:

2 tablespoons chopped cilantro

1/4 cup red onion, small dice

4 ripe Roma tomatoes, seeded and diced

2 jalapenos, seeded and  small dice

3 tablespoons lime juice

1 tsp. salt

1/2 tsp. black pepper

Garnish:

2 avocados, pitted, peeled and diced

2 tomatoes, seeded and diced

1/4 cup chopped cilantro

6 green onions, sliced

1/4 head cabbage, shredded

1 1/2 lbs. skirt steak

salt and pepper; to taste

2 cloves garlic , minced

2 tablespoon olive oil

juice from 1 lime

12 large corn tortillas

Combine all ingredients for the salsa and set aside.

Just before you grill, prepare the tortillas. Dip the tortillas in water and grill 30 seconds on each side . Wrap in a damp towel until ready to make tacos.

Season the steaks with salt and pepper. Rub in the garlic and olive oil. Drizzle on the lime juice. Grill over high heat or hot coals until evenly seared , about 2 minutes per side. Remove and allow to rest before thinly slicing against the grain.