Braised Short Ribs

Maine Maple Sunday was this weekend and it got me thinking about all of the fabulous things you can make with maple syrup.  This is one of my favorites, as are the Maple Scones in the previous post.  We've now got a collection of maple syrup from around the state and will be doing an in house tasting in the near future.  I'll post as soon as the results are in.

Braised Short Ribs
The crock pot is your friend when cooking these ribs.  The kitchen won’t get too hot and you can start it in the morning and have it for dinner without much fuss.  We had them with friends on a Friday night after work.  If you’d like to save this recipe for the fall, they are a great way to warm up the kitchen and the house when cooked in a stockpot!

1/2 cup peeled and sliced fresh ginger
8 cloves garlic
1/2 cup red wine
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
2 tablespoons coriander
1 tablespoon paprika
1 teaspoon cayenne
2 teaspoons ground dried ginger
1 1/2 teaspoon allspice
1 1/2 teaspoon fresh black pepper
1/4 cup canola oil
3/4 cup ketchup
1/4 cup pure maple syrup
2 tablespoons dried thyme
2 tablespoons salt
6 pounds beef short ribs, bone in
4 cups low-salt beef broth

Combine all marinade ingredients with the short ribs in a non reactive pan and cover for at least 24 hours and up to 1 week. 

When ready to prepare:
Crock-pot:  place the ribs, marinade juice and beef broth in a crock pot and cook on low heat for 8 hours or until tender. 

Stock Pot:  place the ribs, marinade juice and beef broth in an 8-quart or larger stock pot.  Simmer on medium-low heat until tender, 2 1/2 hours.

Au Jus:
Drain the juice from the either the crock-pot or stockpot.  Skim the fat off the top and reserve liquid.  Strain through a sieve and adjust for seasoning.  

Serves 6

Darn it, now I'm hungry!

© 2009 Anne Mahle

Roasted Beet and Goat Cheese Salad

GardenBeets We get the most wonderful beets from Hope's Edge Farm, a CSA in Hope, Maine and from my own garden.  Obviously the fresher the beets, the better the salad.  I adapt this recipe to what’s available; it’s really flexible.  I replace the roasted beets with roasted onions, roasted squash or steamed beans.  The pecans become pine nuts or walnuts.  The goat cheese becomes a feta or a bleu cheese; sometimes I add lemon juice to the dressing. 

Warm crusty bread and you've got yourself a meal!

Roasted Beet and Goat Cheese Salad

1 cup whole pecans 
2 pounds fresh beets, stemmed and scrubbed
2 tablespoons olive oil
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
8 ounces fresh goat cheese
1 head romaine lettuce, washed, in bite-size pieces
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
Salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 450°.  Place the pecans in a pie pan and toast in the oven for 7 minutes.Cut the beets in quarters or eighths, depending on how big they are.  Toss the beets with the oil, salt, and pepper in a roasting pan.  Roast until the beets are tender when pierced with a fork, about 45 minutes to an hour.  Set the beets aside to cool slightly, and be sure to reserve any excess liquid in the roasting pan.  Toss half of the pecans and half of the goat cheese with the lettuce, beets, oil, vinegar and salt and pepper.  Sprinkle the reserved beet liquid on top of the salad with the rest of the pecans and goat cheese and serve.

Serves 8

Chef Annie
My belly is getting happy at just the thought of this salad

© 2008 Baggywrinkle Publishing

Turkey and Red Bean Chili

If you would like to reduce the fat in this recipe even further and/or make this a vegetarian dish, replace the
turkey with 1 1/2 cups of bulgur wheat and the chicken stock with vegetable stock.  The texture is similar to that of meat and you may not even notice the difference.

Turkey and Red Bean Chili

3 tablespoons olive oil
1 pound ground turkey
1 1/2 cups carrots, peeled and diced
2 cups onions, diced
1/2 green pepper, diced
1 jalapeno pepper, diced (optional)
1 tablespoon salt
2 tablespoons garlic, minced
3 tablespoons chili powder
2 tablespoons cumin
1 tablespoon oregano
28 oz. tomatoes
28 oz. chicken stock
2 cups dried or 4 cups cooked kidney beans

1/2 red onion, minced
1 bunch fresh cilantro, minced
1 cup sour cream or yogurt, low-fat varieties will work too
2 cups grated cheddar cheese
1 cup salsa

Stove top:  Heat oil in a medium stock pot over medium high heat.  Add the turkey meat.  When the turkey meat starts to brown on the bottom of the pan, add the carrots, onions, peppers, garlic, salt and spices.  Cook until the onions are translucent.  Then add the tomatoes, chicken stock and beans. Reduce heat and simmer for at least 1 1/2 to 2 hours and until the beans are tender.

If you would like to use bulgur instead, add it after the beans have become tender and cook for another 30
minutes.  You may need to add more stock.

Crock pot:  Add all ingredients at once reducing either the tomato or stock to 16 oz or one can.  If you are
using bulgur rather than turkey, allow for one hour of cooking time at the end.

Chef Annie
Getting cozy in my kitchen 

© 2008 Baggywrinkle Publishing

Apricot-Ginger Pound Cake with Rum Glaze

This recipe is one that never fails to satisfy.  It’s a good one for a crowd, but I often make it just for the family too.  I love that it goes into a bundt pan and comes out looking all pretty.

Apricot-Ginger Pound Cake with Rum Glaze

1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter, very soft
3 cups sugar
7 large eggs
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/3 cup sour cream
1/3 cup milk
3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 cup coarsely chopped crystallized ginger
1/2 cup coarsely chopped dried apricots

2 tablespoons dark rum
2 tablespoons orange juice
3/4 cup sugar

Have all ingredients at room temperature.  Preheat oven to 325°.  Butter and flour a bundt pan.  Place the butter and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer.  Cream them together at medium speed, then add the eggs, vanilla, sour cream and milk.  Add the flour, salt and baking powder.  Gently fold in the ginger and apricots.  Spread the batter evenly in the prepared pan and bake until the cake springs back when lightly touched in the center, approximately 1 hour 10 minutes.  Cool the cake upright on a cooling rack for about 10 minutes.  Tap the sides and invert the cake onto the cooling rack.  In a small bowl, blend together the rum, orange juice and sugar.  Use a pastry brush to brush the surface of the warm cake with the glaze. 

Allow the glazed cake to cool completely before serving (approximately 1 to 2 hours).

Makes 12 large or 16 smaller servings.

Chef Annie
Baking with a gas stove instead of a wood stove

© 2008 Baggywrinkle Publishing

Salami, Tomato & White Cheddar Strata

StrataStratas are pretty common recipes in my family.  Every brunch, holiday breakfast, wedding shower and funeral seemed to include a strata of some sort.  This recipe, of course, reminds me of home and family, which is perfect as I’m suggesting you use it just as my family has for years – to make your life a little easier.  This recipe is one that I’ve used hundreds of times.  It’s extremely versatile.  You can make it the day before or even bake it ahead and freeze it.  If you are looking to go a little more elegant, use 6 to 8 oz. ramekins for individual servings.

Salami, Tomato and White Cheddar Strata

1 one-pound loaf of French or Italian bread, cut into 3/4 inch pieces
2 tablespoons butter, melted
12 eggs
4 cups milk
4 tablespoons fresh parsley
2 teaspoons dried mustard
4 cups shredded white cheddar cheese
2 cups diced tomatoes
8 oz. sliced salami, cut in half and then in 1/4 inch strips, about 2 cups

Place the bread in the bottom of a 9 by 13 inch pan or equivilant.  Beat the eggs and combine with the rest of the ingredients.  Pour over the bread and bake at 350° for 30-40 minutes. 

For baking ahead and freezing:  follow the above directions and cool to room temperature before covering and freezing.  Freeze for up to one month.  Defrost in the refrigerator and then bake at 325° for 20 minutes or until warmed through.

For baking in ramekins:  follow the above directions and bake at 350° for 15-20 minutes.

Corn, Bacon and Cheddar – Substitute 12 strips of bacon, cooked and crumbled, for the salami and 2 cups of corn kernels, cut from the cob or frozen and defrosted for the diced tomatoes.

Smoked Salmon and Dill – Substitute the bacon with 10 slices of smoked salmon and the 4 t. parsley with 2 teaspoons fresh dill.  Omit the corn.  Lay the salmon over the bread and then pour the egg and milk mixture over.

Salsa and Pepper Jack Cheese – Substitute the 1 cup salsa for the bacon and the pepper jack cheese for the cheddar.

Ham and Boursin – Substitute 1 1/2 cups diced ham for the bacon and 2 cups of boursin for the cheddar cheese.  Omit the corn.  Dot the bread with pats of boursin and then pour the egg and milk mixture over.

Serves 10-12

Chef Annie
Thinking ahead

© 2008 Baggywrinkle Publishing