Happy New Year!

Happy New Year, people!  I spent mine drinking cheap champagne with mango puree and playing board games with Husband and some friends. Then we watched the ball drop in Times Square while Jenny McCarthy made out with some dude in uniform. Her lipstick smeared all over his mouth and made it look like he was the Herpes King of 2013…. Awkward! Though not as awkward as Kathy Griffin trying to grab Anderson Cooper’s package all night…. (o_O)

It seems various cultures have some sort of “lucky” food you are supposed to eat on New Year’s Day. There’s noodles, pork, black-eyed peas, collard greens…  Koreans eat “duk mandu guk” (rice cake dumpling soup). When I was a kid, my mom would put my sisters and me to work making mandu while we watched the Rose Bowl parade on tv. She would pack most of them into the freezer for future use but some were used for duk mandu guk which was our breakfast, lunch and dinner for that day. I kind of miss that. The dumpling making, that is. I’ve been wanting to do that again but haven’t mustered the energy or found the time. Maybe I should just have a dumpling making party…

Click on the picture to go to TasteBook’s recipe

This year, I was too lazy to make a pot for myself despite it being fairly easy to make. Instead, Husband and I went out for Mongolian BBQ and then for dinner, I fried up some dumplings. I also napped. Don’t judge me….

Resolutions wise, same ol’, same ol’…. lose weight, exercise, blahblahblah. I want a croissant.

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas!

Today was my first attempt at making prime rib. I was wrestling with what to prepare for dinner this holiday. We had ham at Thanksgiving so another one just didn’t sound appealing despite the fact that I LOVE ham… I was waffling between beef and lamb but couldn’t make up my mind. Xmas eve, I ventured to our local Bristol Farms where the guy behind the meat counter talked me into rib roast. I had entertained the thought of prime rib so this decided it.

I seasoned it with olive oil, kosher salt, pepper, garlic powder and Italian seasoning.
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Asian Pear Ginger Tart

I love easy recipes. I also like changing them up to cater to my personal tastes. So when I came across Pioneer Woman’s easy apple tart, the gears in my mind started turning on how I could alter this recipe to make other similar desserts for different seasons and moods. I had some Asian pears sitting in my fridge that needed to be eaten. Those seemed like a good substitute. And instead of brown sugar, ginger sounded like a good idea. When I went to my BFF’s house to make Beef Wellington, we also made this Asian pear ginger tart.

I have to say, this was delicious. I really like the spicy note the ginger gave to the sweet pear. We were munching away at the leftover pears in the bowl and thinking how good a compote of this would go on pork chops.

Making the layers

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Beef Wellington

Happy Friday the 13th! The first one of 2012…

Yesterday, I got to visit my BFF, Sarah. She lives all the way in Temecula, a 2 hr trek from me so we don’t get to spend time as much as we would like. One of the things we share is our love of food; while I tend to eat out more, she cooks all sorts of goodies at home. So whenever we get together, food is definitely part of our visit. Sometimes we’ll go out for exotic cuisine and other times, we’ll cook together, something that started in our Academic Decathlon days in high school. This visit, we decided to tackle Beef Wellington, a dish both of us have been wanting to try for a while now. Of course, between my 4mth old and her two kids, 4yrs and 17mths, we may have been a little insane to take on this challenge. Oh well, that’s all part of the fun, right? ;)

Making the duxelles

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Breaking in the Le Creuset – Braised short ribs

(To the tune of the “Chef’s Song” in “The Little Mermaid”)
Le Creuset
Le Creuset
How I love Le Creuset
Love to braise
And to stew yummy meat…

For Christmas, Husband bought me my first piece of Le Creuset. I had been mentioning wanting a French oven for a while now; I guess repeating myself works on him!

Shiny!

I decided to make braised short ribs as my first dish using my red round 5qt. This would test it out on the stove and in the oven. Also, beef…something Husband loves and I had to make him food he would eat. I did some research on how to make braised short ribs and holy geebus, there’s a lot of recipes out there. In the end, I just sort of winged it based on what I saw in common between all the recipes.

Hello ribs... Imma cook you n eatchu

First, I threw some salt n’ pepper on 2 lbs of short ribs.

It's just flour, officer. Honest.

Just browned the outside

Then I coated the ribs in flour and seared them in the pot. I put in enough extra virgin olive oil to coat the bottom of the French oven.  I put the ribs aside.

And in go the veggies

Next, I took the veggies I had roughly chopped and threw them in. 1 big carrot, 2 stalks of celery, about 1/2 an onion… I let them cook for a few minutes to soften up.

In went 2 cups of chicken stock, 2 cups of red wine (I used pinot noir), 1tsp of salt, 1tsp of garlic salt, a bunch of pepper and garlic powder and 3 branches of rosemary. The liquid was just enough to cover most of the meat. I scraped the bottom of the pot to make sure I got all the flavor from the seared meat.

Ready to serve...

I put the lid on my Le Creuset and stuck it in the oven @ 350F for 2-2 1/2 hours. When they were done, I let it all rest for another 20-30 mins, mainly cuz I was busy putting the baby to bed and then had to whip up some instant mashed potatoes to serve with it. Yeah, I know… I go thru the trouble of making braised short ribs only to serve them over INSTANT mashed potatoes? I had baby brain and completely forgot to pick up some potatoes to roast so that was all I had in my pantry. Anyways, the sauce from the pot went really well over the potatoes. Yum.

Eat it up. YUM!

This came out AWESOME. Fall-of-the-bone fork tender, flavorful… Husband said I could make this any time for him which means he loves it. Not he likes it or he thinks it’s okay. He LOVES it. WOOHOO! I think next time though, I’ll mince the rosemary cuz eating the leaves was annoying.

I really liked this recipe. It was easy to prepare and was low maintenance. I didn’t have to babysit this while it was cooking, a major plus for Mommy. I’ll definitely be coming back to this one. Now what to cook in my Le Creuset next?

Braised Short Ribs
Recipe type: Main
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 6-ish
 
Braised short ribs. Easier than you think.
Ingredients
  • 2lbs beef short ribs
  • 2 cups red wine (I used Pinot Noir)
  • 2 cups chicken stock (beef or vegetarian should be fine, too)
  • 1 carrot
  • ½ onion
  • 2 stalks celery
  • 3 branches of rosemary
  • Salt (I used Kosher salt)
  • Pepper
  • Garlic powder
  • Flour
  • Extra virgin olive oil
Instructions
  1. Salt and pepper the short ribs.
  2. Coat ribs in flour
  3. Heat a 5qt+ French oven over high with enough oil to coat the bottom of the pot.
  4. Sear the meat on all sides and set aside.
  5. Turn heat down to medium.
  6. Add chopped vegetables to pot and let cook for a couple of minutes.
  7. Add stock, wine, 1tsp salt.
  8. Add garlic powder, pepper and more salt to taste.
  9. Add rosemary branches (or minced rosemary).
  10. Place lid on pot and put into center of preheated 350F oven.
  11. Cook for 2½ hours.
  12. Let rest for 20-30 mins then serve.

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