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Friday, February 18, 2011

short ribs in red wine and port - ffwd

Something very unusually happened here in San Antonio, we got snow.  Not much, certainly not enough to make a city ground to a stop back where I grew up.  We knew that something was going to happen.  The weathermen were all excited.  We received multiple emails on what the district would do in the event of snow.

Then, during the night, plans changed.  We got freezing rain and then, a dusting of snow.  Perhaps where you are from, the plows and salt trucks would be out in full force.  I don't think that we have any, maybe we have one or two.  So early in the morning, the city closed every highway.  Done deal, no school for anyone.  The excited weathermen talked all morning long about how ice is slippery.  All morning long, through the Today show, which is one of my favorite indulgences.  And since I normally leave at 710, I don't indulge often.  

There hasn't been real snow here for decades.  So we got up, and made a snowman on the basketball court, we tried for a snow angel.  Somewhere in the midst of all this excitement, the camera was handed from one mittened hand to another.  We have no real skill with mittens.  And we dropped the camera, and like tiny little electronic things everywhere, the camera stopped working.

So, my photos are from my phone.  And they do not do the short ribs in red wine and port justice.  I have become a big fan of cooking meat in vast quantities of alcohol.  Go Dorie.  One of the February Friday challenges was for this delicious, winter appropriate meal.

The recipe starts with a bouquet garni.  Parsley sprigs, thyme sprigs, bay leaves, rosemary, star anise and celery stalks are tied up in cheese clothe.

Short ribs are broiled on all sizes until browned and sizzling then seasoned with salt and pepper.

Onions, carrots, parsnips, ginger and garlic are sauted in oil and seasoned with salt and pepper until a little browned about 10 mins.  2 T of tomatoes is added to the pan and stirred about.

Then, an entire bottle of Syrah and 1.5 cups of port and the bouquet garni are added and boiled until the liquid reduces by a third.  The meat is added to the pot with enough beef broth to cover it.  The covered with foild and cooked for 2 hours.  The foil folded back to let some steam leave and then cooked for one more hours.  At this point, I added carrots.  We love carrots, lightly cooked.

The sauce is strained and reduced further.  The short ribs are put under the broiler and served.

This broth was delicious.  Short ribs annoy me.  I ended up taking all the meat off the bones and putting it back in the broth.  Next time, I want to try this with a lovely pot roast.

Friday, February 4, 2011

basque potato tortilla - ffwd

There is a suggestion at French Fridays with Dorie for a delicious Valentine's Day dinner.  The potato tortilla, served at warm temperature, is suggested as an appetizer.

Tortilla means something completely different in the Basque region of France than it does in Texas.  This is more like a room temperature omelet than anything that would be considered a tortilla in my neck of the woods.

You start by cooking some cubed Yukon Golds and diced onion in a cast iron pan.  Some rosemary,  garlic with the skin left on and salt and pepper are added to the potatoes and onions.  It is sauteed for about twenty minutes.  After the potatoes are tender, they are removed and the pan is wiped down.  The garlic and rosemary are removed, I had to hunt around for the garlic skins.

9 large eggs that have been beaten with salt and pepper and a pinch of cayenne are mixed with the potatoes and onions.  The mixture is returned to the oil coated skilled, cooked slowly and then put under the broiler for final browning.

We ate the tortilla warm.  My husband and daughter enjoyed it.