Sunday, November 21, 2010

Charlie's Beef Short Ribs with Red Wine

While Tova was visiting me in Boston, Charlie surprised us by making dinner using the slow cooker. It was his first time using a slow cooker, and the dish turned out beautifully! Since Tova and I didn't know exactly when we'd be home from our errands, he could just let the short ribs simmer away in the slow cooker until we were ready to eat. This recipe is adapted from Beth Hensperger & Julie Kaufmann's Not Your Mother's Slow Cooker Cookbook.


1 c dry red wine, such as a Zinfandel or Cabernet Sauvignon
2/3 c ketchup
3 T soy sauce
2 cloves garlic, crushed
2 T brown sugar
1/2 t freshly ground black pepper
4 lbs beef short ribs, on the bone
2 medium-size yellow onions, chopped


1. Combine the wine, ketchup, soy sauce, garlic, brown sugar, and pepper in the slow cooker and mix until smooth.
2. Add the ribs, submerging them in the sauce. Distribute the onions over the ribs.
3. Cover and cook on LOW until tender and the meat starts to separate from the bone, 7-8 hours.
4. Transfer the ribs to a platter and set aside. Let the sauce cool for a bit, then spoon the liquid fat off the surface and discard.
5. Pour the sauce over the ribs and serve immediately.

Serves 4

Serving suggestion: Scrub a few potatoes, prick them, and pop them into a 400-degree oven about an hour before the ribs are ready. When the potatoes are done, place one in each bowl or plate, gently mash with a fork, and spoon the ribs and sauce over top.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Shredded Kale Salad

1 bunch kale, stem removed and shredded
2 cloves garlic, minced
juice of 1 lemon
1/2 onion, thinly sliced (optional)
1 avocado, diced
splash of olive oil
salt and pepper to taste

Combine kale, garlic, avocado, and onion (if using) in a bowl. Dress with olive oil and lemon juice, then season with salt and pepper.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Savory roasted squash

squash (for this recipe I used a North Georgia Candy Roaster but any kind will work)
extra virgin olive oil
(optional) freshly ground black pepper
(optional) finely chopped thyme, rosemary, & sage (approx 1/2t each per cup of squash)
(optional) chile flakes & orange peel (approx 1/4t chile and zest from 1 orange per cup of squash)

Preheat the oven to 400°F.
With a strong vegetable peeler, remove and discard the squash's skin.
Remove and discard the seeds.
Slice the flesh into 1/2-inch cubes.
Drizzle with olive oil and salt (1/2t per cup of squash).
Sprinkle with either:
herb mix, or,
chile/orange zest mix, or,
freshly ground black pepper.
Toss to combine.
Place on a baking sheet lined with foil.
Roast for 15-20 minutes until the squash is tender and begins to brown.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Cauliflower Black Pepper Cake

Recipe slightly adapted from smitten kitchen. Surprisingly quite good!

medium cauliflower
1 large red onion, chopped
3 T olive oil
1/2 t rosemary or sage, preferably fresh
10 medium or 8 large eggs (I used our eggs)
Handful basil, chopped
Scant 1 1/2 C white-wheat flour
2 1/2 t baking powder
1/2 t ground turmeric
1 C grated Romano cheese
Salt and black pepper
Butter, for greasing pan

Break cauliflower into medium florets and place in a pot with a teaspoon of salt, cover and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes, until quite soft. Strain well.

In another pan, saute red onion with rosemary or sage until soft. Remove from heat and allow to cool.

Whisk eggs, olive oil and onion mixture together. Stir in basil. Add flour, baking powder, turmeric, cheese, 1 1/2 teaspoons salt and several grinds of black pepper. Stir to remove lumps and then gently stir in cauliflower.

Grease a 9" pan with spray, pour cauliflower batter in, and bake at 350 for 30-45 minutes,
until golden brown and set. Be careful not to over-bake.

Pumkin Lemongrass Soup with Corn

1 fresh lemongrass stalk, root end trimmed and 1 or 2 outer layers discarded
1 large onion, chopped
butter or oil
1 1/2- 2lbs (4 C) butternut or other sweet squash, peeled, seeded, and cut into 1-inch pieces
2 1/2 cups fresh or frozen corn kernels
5 cups water

Slice bottom 5 inches of lemongrass into chunks. Melt a bit of butter or oil in a pot and combine lemongrass, onion, and 1 teaspoon salt. Cook until onion is softened, about 10 minutes. Add squash, corn, water, 1 1/2 teaspoons salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper and bring to a boil over high heat.

Reduce heat and simmer, covered, stirring occasionally, until squash is tender, about 10 minutes. Remove from heat and discard lemongrass (if you can find it).

Purée soup and then strain it through a fine-mesh sieve, pressing hard on and then discarding solids. Season with salt and pepper.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Sweet Potato Soup

Here's an easy and yummy soup I made this past week using sweet potatoes from Wilson Farm in Lexington.

3/4 cup finely chopped onion
1 cup finely chopped leek, washed well and drained
2 large garlic cloves, minced
3 large carrots, sliced thin (about 1 1/2 cups)
1 bay leaf
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 pounds (about 3 large) sweet potatoes
a 1/2-pound russet (baking) potato
5 cups vegetable or chicken broth
3/4 cup dry white wine
1 1/2 cups water
1/4 cup maple syrup
1/2 t cinnamon
1/4 t nutmeg
1/4 t ginger
Salt and pepper to taste

In a kettle cook the onion, the leek, the garlic, and the carrots with the bay leaf and salt and pepper to taste in the butter over moderate heat, stirring, until the vegetables are softened. Add the sweet potatoes, peeled, halved lengthwise, and sliced thin, the russet potato, peeled, halved lengthwise, and sliced thin, the 5 cups broth, the wine, and the water, simmer the mixture, covered for 15 to 20 minutes, or until the potatoes are very tender, and discard the bay leaf. In a blender (or with an immersion blender) puree the mixture in batches until it is very smooth, transferring it as it is pureed to a large saucepan. Stir in the maple syrup and the spices. Taste and adjust the seasonings, adding more maple syrup, spices, or salt and pepper as needed. Serve warm with fresh bread!