Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Braised Short Ribs, Take 2

Tonight I finished up the short ribs that I started yesterday. They were delicious. We had a dinner guest and didn't think he wanted to eat after 8 p.m. - so I seared and braised the short ribs last night (about 2 hours) and then finished them up with an hour on the stove tonight.

Instead of a fancy sauce like the first try this time I kept it simple. I used beef broth, onions, parsnips, a mix of herbs, salt and pepper. On the side we had mashed potatoes and parsnips (to carry over the flavor from the short ribs). The ribs came out very tender and full of flavor. Our guest proclaimed, "That's good cooking Doris." The mashed potato and parsnip side dish was also full of flavor, including the same herbs as the short ribs. More photos are in the Food Photos album on the right.

Basic Braised Beef Short Ribs
Beef short ribs
3-5 parsnips, cut into 1 inch pieces
1 yellow onion, cut into 1 inch pieces
1 1/2 cup beef broth
3 bay leaves
2 tbsp. herb mix (thyme, parsley, etc.)
Salt and pepper

For cooking details, see the original Short Ribs post, using the ingredients above.

Mashed Potatoes and Parsnips
Yukon gold potatoes, quartered
Parsnips, cut into 2 inch pieces
1/4 cup milk
Herb mix (same as above)

Place potatoes and parsnips in a large pot.
Fill with cold water, enough to cover by 1 inch.
Bring to a boil, and boil for 12 minutes.
Drain and return to pot.
Add milk and mash with potato masher until desired consistency.

Prep Time - 15 minutes
Cook Time - Active time: 20 minutes; Passive - 3 hours (ribs)
1 large dutch oven with cover, 1 baking sheet, 1 large pot, potato masher, chopping board and knife

Monday, January 26, 2009

Ravioli with Vodka Sauce

Tonight's dinner was a quick and easy meal - leaving time to prep for tomorrow's dinner (short ribs take 2). We bought some fresh pasta from the store and combined it with a jar of vodka sauce, and served it with frozen garlic naan. Tasty and done in 12 minutes. Sorry, we ate it so quickly that we forgot to take a photo.

This gave me time to do some prep work on dinner for tomorrow night. We are having Short Rips, take 2. This time I'm skipping the cranberries and using beef broth, parsnips, and onions as the ingredients. Should be tasty!

Tonight it will cook for about an hour and a half, and then another hour tomorrow when we get home from work. We are having a dinner guest tomorrow - this will be a nice fancy meal to serve. I'll post the final results tomorrow. It will be served with green beans and some sort of potato (not sure if it will be roasted or mashed). Stay tuned for the delicious description.

Here is a preview of the seared short ribs waiting to go back in the pot:

Sunday, January 25, 2009

"Fiesta" Meatloaf

Not sure if this is the best name for the recipe, but it's essentially a southwestern flavored meatloaf. Meatloaf is a frequent item on our dinner menu - each time with a different twist. I usually make it in muffin tins. The meatloaf cooks quicker and it makes for easier leftovers for lunch. It's easy to come up with variations based on the flavor of the week (or what we have in the fridge). You can swap veggies, sauces, and side dishes. The flavor for this week is southwest, served with roasted Yukon gold potatoes, and guacamole on the side. Enjoy!

"Fiesta Meatloaf"
1 lb. ground sirloin
1 red pepper
1/2 an onion (any color)
2 stalks of celery
1/2 a jalapeno
1/2 cup breadcrumbs
1/2 cup salsa + 1/2 cup salsa
1 egg, beaten with a splash of milk

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Put ground beef in a large mixing bowl and break up.
Cut onion, pepper, celery and jalapeno into about 2 inch pieces.
Put vegetables into a food processor and pulse until they are in small pieces.
Add veggies to the meat in the bowl.
Add bread crumbs, 1/2 cup salsa, and egg to the bowl.
Mix until well combined.

Either put into greased muffin tins or use a 1/4 cup measuring cup and scoop into patties on a greased baking sheet. Top each muffin with a spoonful of salsa. Bake for 20 minutes, until meat is cooked thoroughly.

Southwest Roasted Potatoes
Yukon gold potatoes (as much as you need), cut in quarters.
Chili Powder
1-2 garlic cloves
Olive oil

Toss the potatoes in olive oil and spices. Place on a baking sheet. Bake alongside the meatloaf, checking after 15 minutes to make sure they don't burn.

Prep time - about 10 minutes

Cook time - 20-25 minutes
2 bowls, chopping board and knife, food processor, muffin tin/baking sheet, second baking sheet, spatula and spoons.


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