Sunday, August 24, 2014

Spicy Cherry Glazed Ribs

-1/3 c cherry balsamic vinegar
-1/3 C dried cherries
-1 Serrano pepper, finely diced
-2/3 C chicken stock
-1/2 c onion, finely diced
-2 garlic cloves
-2 tsp dark maple syrup, or a pinch of sugar for sweetness

-1 rack pork ribs, I used spare, salt and pepper and hit it with a dash of Worcestershire 

Ok first, you want to cook all the glaze ingredients in a sauce pan on medium until it reduces down a bit and the cherries are nice and plump. Don't get me wrong you can reduce it to your hearts content, but I am an impatient soul so you know I didn't make it over thirty minutes. 

When it is done, transfer it to a food processor and blend. It just occurred to me that I probably could have used my immersion blender. I really need to remember that I own that nifty thing more often. 

Anyway blend it up nice and good and put about 2/3 of the glaze on the ribs (split between the two sides). Wrap them in a foil pack and bake on 350F for two hours. 

Very very carefully remove the wrap (at least the top) and put the remaining glaze or desired portion of it on the ribs, in the meanwhile letting your oven heat up to 385F. 

Put the ribs back in the oven and let them bake uncovered another 20 minutes to carmelize and really get a crust on them. 

The thing I love about foil packing ribs is that they are fall off the bone tender when you pull them out. Yes they take a while and yes it has a lot of steps but this is probably the best rack I have made. They had a hint of a kick to them without being obviously spicy, which is the right balance that I like to hit. I like when spice sneaks up on you, but doesn't necessarily overwhelm you. In the back of your mind you know it's there but like any good dish it's so much more than just your face burning. 

I realized that I had already messed up my 52 weeks of wonderful initiative as I did not post last week. It's like my boss told me one day, sometimes life just gets in the way. 

After a whirlwind of shopping for a new car and driving all over creation, I did this week sign on the line and found myself in a brand spanking new Subaru Crosstrek. 

Don't get me wrong, I'm really not a fan of new cars usually. Why eat that depreciation when someone else could right? 

But the Crosstrek was the first thing I had sat in since the loss of my beloved old Durango that I instantly fell in love. It's kinda like when I met my boyfriend for the first time and I thought "yep, that one". But unlike a guy a car doesn't have a choice, so really the process is a lot less messy when you think about it...

Regardless, it took me three days from the time I saw it until I could bring it home. I figured I would catch all kinds of heck from my family, but for the most part they have been really supportive and impressed. 

The fact of the matter is, we spend tons of time in vehicles. Most of us commute around 30 minutes to work, we take trips in them, heck we even eat meals in them sometimes. So regardless of the fact that I did love not having a car payment for so long with the Durango, and would not have had one much longer with the jeep I just traded off, I just don't advocate for driving something you hate. 

I tested a CR-V, a RAV-4, and an Outlander. I was really bummed out, and didn't want to pay for six years on something that just wasn't meshing with me. The aforementioned boyfriend, who really is quite awesome, suggested looking at Subaru and we ran across a Crosstrek while scouring the Internet. After that, it was about three minutes in to the test drive that I decided "yep, this one". 

And like I said, cars are a bit simpler and you don't ever have to look nice or say clever things to get their attention, so this was right up my alley (hah, kidding, I attempt to look nice every now and then). So now me and the Subes (her nickname) are tearing up the roads and having a grand ole time. 

How does this have anything to do with these ribs? Well other than the fact that it made me forget to post last Sunday, essentially nothing. But I never promised that I wouldn't ramble. 

But seriously make these ribs and impress everyone you know. Or make them and don't tell anyone so you can eat them all yourself. I won't judge you. 

Happy crafting!
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Sunday, August 10, 2014

Raspberry Rolls

-3 packs raspberries with 2 TB sugar, a dash or two of ginger, and 1/4C balsamic vinegar (I used Espresso bean by Fustini's) let them sit about 20 minutes and then mash
-2C AP flour, plus another 3/4 as needed
-1/4C sugar
-1 packet yeast
-1/4C milk
-1/2C water
-2.5 TB butter
-2 eggs
-optional almond butter
-juice from mashed berries (strained)
-1 to 2C powdered sugar
-2 TB butter

Mix the flour, yeast, and sugar together. Warm the butter, milk, and water until its about 110-115F or so. Add that to the dry ingredients, adding eggs next. Add enough flour that it just forms a ball. It should be a sticky dough. 

Turn it out on a well-floured surface. Roll it out into a big square, the thinner the better. Spread the almond butter if you decide to use it and spread the raspberry mix on, draining as much liquid off as you can and saving it. Roll the dough up carefully and cut 1 inch slices off. 

Set the slices in a pan, I lined mine with parchment paper. Space them out as much you can and let them rise in a warm place for an hour. Preheat your oven to 350F and bake for 20 minutes or until they start to brown. 

Mix the icing ingredients and drizzle over when they come out of the oven. 

You could also just dust them with powdered sugar. I prefer icing any day. This dough is a great base for any cinnamon roll flavor you want to concoct because its friendly and only requires the hour of rise time. 

Until next time!

Happy crafting. 
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Sunday, August 3, 2014

Guinness Marinated Spicy Baked Ribs

-1 rack of spare ribs
-1 bottle of Guinness 
-spice rub: 2TB chipotle pepper flakes, 2TB paprika, 2 tsp garlic, 2 tsp ground mustard, 1 tsp celery salt, 1 tsp minced onion, 1 tsp oregano

Make a foil pack and set the ribs on it. Pour half the beer over the top, season with spice rub, flip and repeat on the other side. Let them sit in the marinade refrigerated overnight after closing up the foil pack. 

Preheat your oven to 350F and bake the ribs for 2 hours. Remove from oven and turn heat up to 385. Carefully unwrap the pack cutting if necessary to expose the top of the ribs. Return to the oven for another 20 minutes to get a nice crust. 

Yes, really tasty ribs are really that simple. I like ribs that are fall off the bone tender, and typically will do them in a crockpot. But this spare rack was really inexpensive, and doesn't quite fit in my crock. I love pork cooked in Guinness, and I really think it works well here. The steam from all the liquid helps get the meat nice and tender, and the beer and spice rub work well together. 

I most certainly did not hear any complaints from my boyfriend, so I would say these were quite successful. It's nice to be able to get a full flavor meal like this without the sugar content in BBQ sauce. I would call it a win all around. 

Happy crafting!
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