TRENDING: #SLAB OF BABY BACK RIBS

Sunday’s supper will be oh so good. Looking forward to lovingly rip this beautiful slab (pork ribs) apart. I’ll  devour each morsel of slightly sweet, tart and mouth-watering flesh which was cooked to perfection. A fork-tender goodness comes to mind.

It has been some time since I’ve been down this culinary route. And, by golly, from a taste-test of this specimen, already my taste buds are leaping with joy. When it comes to food as this, I can’t help myself; it’s all fingers in. They will be sticky and that’s alright. Each bone will be handled just right. I’ll gnaw and suck each one until I’m satisfied.

Sunday’s supper is looking up alright.

BRAISED BEEF CHUCK FLANKEN RIBS

Felt like having something beefy in my weekend food repertoire.Decided to go with a  few flanken ribs. These are basically thin cuts which are approximately  a half-inch thick and cuts across the bones.

Some of the ingredients that created this succulent dish are:

  • finely chopped ginger
  • balsamic vinegar
  • soy sauce (low sodium)
  • salt/black pepper
  • fresh thyme
  • crushed garlic
  • a sprinkle of sugar
  • onions
  • celery
  • mini bell peppers

Seared ribs on both sides in a drizzle of canola oil. Added an assortment of root veggies. Then covered ribs with cold tap water. Additional water was added when needed. This simmered and braised with a lid on for about one and a half hours or until ribs were fork tender.

Mouth-watering  ribs were garnished finely chopped Italian parsley.

BRAISED CHUCK STEAK IN RED WINE/BALSAMIC SAUCE

I was so excited to partake of supper. I’m more of a seafood and poultry diner. However, once in a while I like to indulge in a succulent piece of beef. Had the craving for same and went with the chunk portion of same.

Chuck steak is relatively inexpensive compared to filet mignon and takes a longer time to tenderize. I fetched a pack with three portions for $5.99. Chuck was marinated overnight with salt, black pepper, crushed garlic, fresh thyme, and balsamic vinegar. The vinegar acted as a tenderizing agent as well as providing a brown hue along with flavors.

Steak was brought to room temperature; then browned on both sides in a drizzle of olive oil. I used a half cup of Cabernet Sauvignon wine to de-glaze  skillet. Roughly chopped onions, and celery were added along with fresh thyme, and rosemary. Also, a squeeze of ketchup and a pinch of sugar were added.

CHUNK STEAK AND OTHER INGREDIENTS IN SKILLET FOR BRAISING
CHUNK STEAK AND SOME OF THE INGREDIENTS IN SKILLET FOR BRAISING

Fresh tap water was added and lid placed on skillet. Steak simmered low to medium heat for approximately 80 minutes until fork tender. Additional water was added when needed. A few grape tomatoes were tossed about five to seven minutes to end of cooking time.

BRAISED CHUNK STEAK
BRAISED CHUNK STEAK

The root veggies released all their delicious flavors and juices and enhanced the taste of the steak. Served up chunk steak with roasted carrots and a herbaceous helping of red-skinned potatoes which soaked up all the amazing flavors. The steak kept its shape but was fork-tender and succulent.

A fresh serving of spring green beans gave the dish a contrasting and crispy taste. While the red and sweet grape tomatoes used to top steak popped and excited my taste buds. Me and my palate were super-happy as we sipped on Cabernet Sauvignon.

 

BRAISED BALSAMIC/GINGER BEEF RIBS

There’s a season for everything. If you’ve been following me, you know that I indulge in mainly poultry (chicken/turkey) and seafood. However, once in a while, I deviate and like to enjoy a good pork dish, piece of steak or any other protein. I believe in a fine balance.

This afternoon I decided to go that ‘meaty’ route. Moreover, today is a perfect day for same as I wanted a dish to warm my stomach and comfort me during this extremely windy, wet and cool day here in Florida.

My choice of protein was a beef rib dish. Decided to braise same and infused fresh ginger and balsamic vinegar. I made sure to remove extra remnants of fatty tissue and season with pinch of salt, black pepper, crushed garlic, balsamic vinegar, soy sauce and crushed ginger root.

Ribs were browned in a sturdy skillet with a drizzle of canola oil under medium to high heat. And, then roughly chopped celery, onions, extra garlic, fresh thyme and crushed pimento (all spices) were added.

BEEF RIBS AND ROOT VEGGIES FOR BRAISING
BEEF RIBS AND ROOT VEGGIES FOR BRAISING

Cold tap water was then added to cover ingredients. With lid on under low to medium heat, ribs slowly simmered to a fork-tender finish for approximately two and half hours. In between cooking process, water was added when evaporated. Also, other ingredients  like a pinch of brown sugar, spices and chopped scallion were added.

The ribs produced a delicious brown gravy that tasted very succulent. Moreover, the ginger root was not overpowering; but, blended well with all the other ingredients. I served same with a beet root/carrot steamed rice with a few dried cranberries along with sauteed cabbage. Ribs were garnished with fresh parsley.

BRAISED BALSAMIC/GINGER BEEF RIBS WITH CARROT/BEET ROOT STEAMED RICE AND SAUTEED CABBAGE
BRAISED BALSAMIC/GINGER BEEF RIBS WITH CARROT/BEET ROOT STEAMED RICE AND SAUTEED CABBAGE

 

 

SNAPPER WITH SWEET/SOUR PICKLES

It’s not all the time that my palate and I are on the same plate. However, today, there was no debate. After days of consuming the feathery ones (turkey and chicken), my palate and I came to a rapid consensus.

We decided to go fishing. Thanks to the king of the hour, (whole snapper). As per usual, I made a few scores across the surface. Scoring same allowed the salt and black pepper and other spices to penetrate within.

In a hot skillet, a combination of canola and coconut oil was added along with a clove of garlic. The garlic provided additional flavor to fish. And, this was fished out and tossed. After drying fish with paper towel, it was lightly sprinkled with whole wheat flour and then pan-fried on medium heat and set aside.

PAN-FRIED SNAPPER
PAN-FRIED SNAPPER

Julienned bell peppers, onions, along with finely chopped scotch bonnet peppers, grape tomatoes, pimento (all spices) were slowly sauteed under low heat. Then, vinegar, honey, thyme, scallion with a splash of water were added. I made sure to season along with salt, and pepper.

Pan-fried snapper was then added back to skillet under low heat for approximately three minutes on each side. Fish soaked up all the aromatic spices and flavors. My palate and I were in ‘Surf Land’.

 

 

 

TREADING ON THE LIGHT SIDE FOR SPRING #PAN-SEARED TARRAGON FLOUNDER/PUREED COCONUT CHICKPEAS

It might not be so in certain locales; however, the calendar is saying that’s springtime. In my neck of the woods, there’s no denying. The temperature on the outskirts are already several degrees up and at interval, there is that cool balance of breeze. For heaven’s sake, even my orchid is acknowledging the changing of the ‘baton’. It has bloomed!

ORCHID IN BLOOM FOR SPRING
ORCHID IN BLOOM FOR SPRING

So, in honor of spring, I’ve decided (well, my palate and I) to go on the lighter side of things. After all, I’ll be wearing a little less during these warm months; therefore, it’s imperative that I start making wiser choices.

As a result, I decided to make use of a stock pantry item, chickpeas (garbanzo). In a small stockpot, I softened a chopped onions along with garlic. To that I added fresh coconut milk along with chicken broth. I made sure to season with salt and pepper to taste along with a pinch of curry powder. All ingredients were simmered on low to medium heat. Then, drained chickpeas were added.

When most of the liquid was evaporated,  chickpeas were cooled and placed in standing blender. These were brought to a pureed finish dish. On this delicious bed of protein/fiber packed dish I added a couple of pieces of pan-seared tarragon flounder.

FLOUNDER FOR SEARING WITH TARRAGON/BUTTER
FLOUNDER FOR SEARING WITH TARRAGON/BUTTER

Fish was seasoned with salt and pepper to taste. Then, fish pieces were lightly coated on one side with bread crumbs and seared in olive oil, butter, lemon and tarragon herb.

PAN-SEARED FLOUNDER
PAN-SEARED FLOUNDER

Flounder pieces were topped with caramelized onions with a generous drizzle of balsamic vinegar. To my dish I also added some garlic/butter spears of asparagus after they were quickly blanched.

FINISHED DISH OF PAN-SEARED TARRAGON FLOUNDER ON A BED OF PUREED CHICKPEAS AND SERVING OF ASPARAGUS
FINISHED DISH OF PAN-SEARED TARRAGON FLOUNDER ON A BED OF PUREED CHICKPEAS AND SERVING OF ASPARAGUS

To finish the dish, a few whole chickpeas were tossed on top. All ingredients, spices and herb complimented the dish in a huge way. Moreover, I was satiated for hours. Hurray, for spring!

 

 

I TURNED UP MY CABBAGE A NOTCH BY ADDING BALSAMIC VINEGAR/HONEY

There is something to be said about the cruciferous purple(some might call it red) cabbage. It perches in close proximity the savoy and other green types. Not many will opt to take it home; yet, it stands out as if to say “pick me!”.

But, many ponder what to do with same. If only they knew that purple or red consists of even more nutrients than their green version. Well, that’s what food scientists state. A cup of cooked red cabbage has great amounts of vitamin K, B6, etc., fibers and other beneficial nutrients that aid the in the prevention of certain cancers.

So, other than loving the beautiful brilliant hue, I often like to cook with same because it tastes amazing and yield a contrasting color to my dish. I especially like to include it with salads because it gives an extra crunch.

Anyway, I had a fairly small one and decided to do a quick steam more of a saute. It took me virtually a few minutes to shred. As I cut it open, I couldn’t help but to observe the inner white veins.

SHREDDED PURPLE (RED) CABBAGE
SHREDDED PURPLE (RED) CABBAGE

I softened chopped onions, crushed garlic in a drizzle of olive oil. To that I added a pinch of salt and black pepper to taste; then shredded purple cabbage. I tossed and turned on low to medium heat and proceeded to add a splash of balsamic vinegar, soy sauce and squeeze of honey. The vinegar and honey took it to another level.

In just a few minutes my sautéed purple cabbage was complete. Because it was brunch time, I served some with some pickled codfish.  Oh, that was a perfect pairing. The cabbage still had some crispness to it and taste so delicious.

 

A ROASTING AFFAIR ##ORANGE/HONEY ROASTED CHICKEN/APPLES/CARROT/SWEET POTATOES

Guys, I wasn’t in the mood to cook stove top. Moreover, I had to go toil to bring home the ‘bacon’. As a result,  I allowed my oven to do most of the work.  I did a prepping job of marinating six pieces of dark chicken parts (3 drumsticks and 3 thighs). With the drizzle of a little balsamic vinegar, the sprinkle of salt, pepper,dried basil and crushed garlic, skinless chicken parts were left to absorb all the flavors and spices for approximately 3 hours.

Oven was pre-heated at 400 degrees. On a sheet pan sprayed with Pam oil, chicken parts were placed along with apple slices and wedges of carrot. Chicken parts, apple slices and carrot were roasted for approximately 45 minutes, turning once half-way through the cooking process. The apples expelled amazing tart/sweet juices that were absorbed by the chicken.

CHICKEN PARTS ALONG WITH CARROT WEDGES AND APPLE SLICES - HALF-WAY THROUGH COOKING PROCESS
CHICKEN PARTS ALONG WITH CARROT WEDGES AND APPLE SLICES – HALF-WAY THROUGH COOKING PROCESS

In a small stock pot, the juice of a fresh orange along with two teaspoons of honey, splash of vinegar and soy sauce were simmered under low heat. Also, a pinch of salt and pepper were added. Chicken parts were given an extra ten minutes after they were brushed with orange and honey sauce.

Orange/honey roasted chicken was served with roasted sweet potatoes sprinkled with cinnamon plus the wedges of carrot and apple slices. The dish was a tad sweet, sour and tart  which gave my taste buds loads of excitement. To say I was happy is an understatement; I was over the moon.

Guys, that’s what beautiful things are made of. If only I never had to go toiling…..