Monthly Archives: July 2012

Preserving | Pat Crocker

 

A great way to sample today’s harvest tomorrow.

Preserving: The Canning and Freezing Guide for All Seasons

TITLE: Preserving: The Canning and Freezing Guide for All Seasons
AUTHOR: Pat Crocker
PUBLISHER: William Morrow
CUISINE: Canning/Preserving

• • • • •

Featured Ingredient: Mason Jar
A Mason jar is a molded glass jar used in canning to preserve food. The mouth of the jarA friend in the kitchen; or, What to cook and how to cook it .. (1899) by CircaSassy has screw threads on its outer perimeter to accept a metal ring (or “band”). The band, when screwed down, presses a separate stamped steel disc-shaped lid against the rim of the jar. An integral rubber ring on the underside of the lid creates a hermetic seal to the jar. The bands and lids usually come with new jars, and bands and lids are also sold separately; while the bands are reusable, the lids are intended for single use when canning. [Wikipedia]

• • • • •

First Impressions
If you’re into canning or preserving food in any way shape or form, this cookbook will make your eyes bulge (in a good way). It is really something to see. 541 pages of pure preserving pleasure. The cover says 140 recipes, but, there it seems there is WAY more going on here than just recipes. The author, Pat Crocker, is also the photographer. And, she did a wonderful job. Big, bright, colorful images are used throughout. It doesn’t appear to be a canning handbook. It’s more than that. It’s a guide to making the freshness and flavor of each season last.

• • • • •

What You’ll Find Inside (aka Table of Contents)
Introduction
Preserving Basics
Spring
Summer
Fall
Winter

Each of the seasons is broken down by the fruit or vegetable that is available at that time. There are a lot! Too numerous to breakout. Sixty different sub-categories.

• • • • •

FLASHBACK: 1978

I realize that canning people are happy people, but, this is over the top! I’m not sure who told this guy that wearing that apron was a good idea. Obviously, he had no clue that YouTube would come thirty almost years later.

• • • • •

The Best Of The Book (Our Favorite Recipes)

Spring Herb Aioli Blueberry Grunt
Currant Catsup Grilled Salmon with Asian Plum Sauce
Dilled Beans Curry Pickling Spice Blend
Thai Turkey Garlic Scrape Pesto Potatoes
Country Style Chicken Vanilla Pears and Gingerbread
Honeyed Beets Frozen Coleslaw
Chile Corn Bread Gremolata
Lemon Curd Pineapple Mustard
Grilled Scallops with Roasted Tomato, Fennel and Basil Relish Roasted Onion and Garlic Marmalade

 

Under the artichokes sub section is a great recipe for Roasted Chicken Thighs, Artichokes and New Potatoes (p. 78). If this tastes half as good as it looks it should be a family favorite for years to come. I love nectarines. So, the Curried Summer Salad (p. 172) is a no brainer. Those spices blend great with that fruit. I’ve always wanted to try my hand at dill pickles. I’ve had the chance, but, never took the leap. I’m marking this recipe for Classic Dill Spears (p. 222) for when I take my maiden voyage into the world of pickle making. And, I can only think of ten thousand uses for this Mediterranean Herb Paste (p. 440). It might even taste great on your corn flakes.

• • • • •

Special Features
OK, here’s the best way to sum this up: The entire cookbook is one big special feature. I wouldn’t even know where to begin. Each fruit or Preserving: The Canning and Freezing Guide for All Seasonsvegetable has unique handling tips and uses. There is a lot of storage advice and super useful timing charts. The basics section up front gives you a pretty good look at the canning process. A nice list of the required equipment follows. Since canning and preserving is a specialized thing, it’s helpful to see the list of things you’ll need. A glossary of terms helps you answers some of the questions that you will inevitably have. In the back of the book is an online resource list. Fantastic. There is one thing missing. With a book this size, it would have been great to have a bookmark ribbon. I can imagine this book will be littered with Post-It notes. You’ve got to keep your place one way or another. What no metric conversion chart? You just scored a few extra point with me!

• • • • •

Conclusions
If you want to learn how to can like a pro you’ll only need one book. This one. You could probably toss the others out and not miss them much. I thought the process was tough. Pat breaks things down in easily understandable pieces. I’ve never canned a thing in my life. It’s not that I haven’t wanted to. I just haven’t. After reading Preserving: The Canning and Freezing Guide for All Seasons I can’t wait to pick my cucumbers and get at it!

• • • • •

Culinary Expertise Required: 6.5
1= Boiling Water (novice) 10= Liquid Nitrogen (expert)

Preserving: The Canning and Freezing Guide for All Seasons

Resources, Links and Press
Pat Crocker’s Website
National Center for Home Food Preservation
Ball Corporation
Preserving at Harper Collins

Monday Books | Frozen Delights

 

Nothing beats the heat like a cool treat.

Chocolate Sundae By TheCulinaryGeek

Is there a better way to cool down on a hot summer day than a refreshing dish or cone of your favorite ice cream? Probably not. Scooping it from the cardboard carton is OK. But, how about whipping up some of your very own frozen delicacies? That’s WAY better.

There have been some fantastic cookbook releases in the past couple of years aimed at making you an ice cream guru. Guru might be a little ambitious, but, at least you will lose the newbie tag.

Jeni Britton Bauer’s award winning book, Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams at Home is a superb example of how the mystery of ice cream making can disappear with the right instructor. Sweet Cream and Sugar Cones comes through in that regard too. You can read our review of the Bi-Rite Creamery’s just released ice cream cookbook here.

Enough talk. Let’s scooping. Here are our Monday Books selected just for you!


Sweet Cream and Sugar Cones: 90 Recipes for Making Your Own Ice Cream and Frozen Treats from Bi-Rite Creamery Jeni's Splendid Ice Creams at Home The Perfect Scoop: Ice Creams, Sorbets, Granitas, and Sweet Accompaniments Molly Moon's Homemade Ice Cream: Sweet Seasonal Recipes for Ice Creams, Sorbets, and Toppings Made with Local Ingredients
Ben & Jerry's Homemade Ice Cream & Dessert Book The Ultimate Ice Cream Book: Over 500 Ice Creams, Sorbets, Granitas, Drinks, And More The Best Ice Cream Maker Cookbook Ever The Ciao Bella Book of Gelato and Sorbetto: Bold, Fresh Flavors to Make at Home
Making Artisan Gelato: 45 Recipes and Techniques for Crafting Flavor-Infused Gelato and Sorbet at Home Scoop: 125 Specialty Ice Creams from the Nation's Best Creameries The Ultimate Frozen Dessert Book : A Complete Guide to Gelato, Sherbert, Granita, and Semmifreddo, Plus Frozen Cakes, Pies, Mousses, Chiffon Cakes, and ... of Ways to Customize Every Recipe to Your Icebox Desserts: 100 Cool Recipes For Icebox Cakes, Pies, Parfaits, Mousses, Puddings, And More [


This Month’s Best Selling CookbooksCookbook Man’s Cookbook Calendar

Girl Hunter | Georgia Pellegrini

 

They say that the hunt is half the fun.

Girl Hunter: Revolutionizing the Way We Eat, One Hunt at a Time

TITLE: Girl Hunter
AUTHOR: Georgia Pellegrini
PUBLISHER: Da Capo Lifelong Books
CUISINE: Game

• • • • •

Featured Ingredient: Javelina
A peccary (plural peccaries; also javelina and skunk pig; Portuguese javali and Spanish2011/365/65 I'm So Pretty... by cogdogblog jabalí, sajino or pecarí) is a medium-sized mammal of the family Tayassuidae, or New World pigs. Peccaries are members of the artiodactyl suborder Suina, as are the pig family (Suidae) and possibly the hippopotamus family (Hippopotamidae).They are found in the southwestern area of North America and throughout Central and South America. Peccaries usually measure between 90 and 130 centimetres (3.0 and 4.3 ft) in length, and a full-grown adult usually weighs between about 20 to 40 kilograms (44 to 88 lb). The word “peccary” is derived from the Carib word pakira or paquira.

• • • • •

First Impressions
If you’re expecting a straight forward game cookbook, you will be surprised. Pleasantly so. This cleverly written book is part cookbook, part travel log. It’s a collection of hunting stories with some nicely crafted recipes at the conclusion of each “hunt”. Girl Hunter, Georgia Pellegrini, ushers us through her journey to get better acquainted with her meals. Some people just grow tomatoes. Not this girl, she’s out tracking squirrels in upstate New York and stalking elk in the vastness of Wyoming.

• • • • •

What You’ll Find Inside (aka Table of Contents)
The Beginning and the End
The Village
Hunting the Big Quest
Grouse and Other Creatures
Calamity Jane
The Upland High Life
A Moveable Feast
Waiting for Pate in the Floatant
All of the Jewels That Get Unnoticed in the World
NASCAR Hog Hunting
Seeing the Forest for the Squirrel

• • • • •

Sometimes bagging that rabbit may be more difficult than it first appears…

• • • • •

The Best Of The Book (Our Favorite Recipes)

Wild Turkey Schnitzel Pulled Javelina
Apple Wood Smoked Pheasant Stuffed Quail
Braised Hog Belly Buttermilk Fried Rabbit

 

I’m lucky. I have a friend who’s a hunter. The best part is he is willing to share. His freezer is pretty well stocked with venison, elk and caribou. We also have a county 4H youth fair close by. So, we have pretty easy access to ducks, rabbits, turkeys and the like. For most of these recipes I can find the main ingredient. That might be a tad tougher for others. Yes, there are some recipes that looked pretty delicious. I like Moroccan food. So, the Pheasant Tagine (P. 122) is right in my wheelhouse. Love those flavors. Jerry and I are going to make an attempt at the Elk Jerky (P. 85). So, you’ll see a complete post later on that recipe. Keep an eye out for that. If I can get him to part with some prime venison meat, I would like to try the Fried Venison Backstrap (p. 162). The original method is to cook this over an open campfire. We’ll have to see just how ambitious we are when the time comes.

• • • • •

Special FeaturesGirl Hunter: Revolutionizing the Way We Eat, One Hunt at a Time
Lots of stuff packed into the back of the book. A nice section on marinades and gravies. There are two great charts located there. One for birds, the other for game. They list cooking temps and the characteristics of the meat. There is also a nice chart for aging game meat and birds. And what would a book on wild game be without a metric conversion chart?? I was sweating that one, second to last page! The only glaring omission is a list of game purveyors. Not everyone can go out and shoot their own dinner. Some people like me love the meat, but, don’t have the stomach for the killing part. Others, may just not have access or opportunity. There are lots of great places you can get game without trudging out to the fields. I’ll give you some online resources at the end of this post.

• • • • •

Conclusions
This was a fun ride. From beginning to end, a great tale of education and indoctrination. You can tell that Georgia develops a rich respect for the food she is eating. The recipes are medium difficulty. The hardest part for most will be gathering the necessary ingredients. It’s not a game reference per se. But, it does have some special features you may refer back to again and again. If you’re looking for a tantalizing story that is intertwined with some delicious end results you’ve found your prey.

• • • • •

Culinary Expertise Required: 6.5
1= Boiling Water (novice) 10= Liquid Nitrogen (expert)

Girl Hunter: Revolutionizing the Way We Eat, One Hunt at a Time

Resources, Links and Press
D’Artagnan – Great site for all type of game meat and birds
Georgia’s Website
Follow Georgia on Twitter
Hunting Trips

Old School | Shrimp Toast

 

Sitting right alongside a pile of old magazines. In a dusty box, tucked away on a seldom used shelf. Or, possibly in a prominent place in your busy kitchen. There they sit. A piece of culinary history. Sometimes taken for granted, other times revered. Your family’s food legacy. This series of articles, “Old School”, aims to take those family traditions out of the recipe box and put them back on the plate.
Let’s enjoy the past together!

My Mom’s recipe box seems like a logical place to start…

Shrimp Toast

My mom was not a gourmet chef. She was a pretty capable home cook. She cooked delicious meals. Nothing flashy, just great home cooked food. She never owned an immersion blender, but, her soups turned out just fine. Her idea of “sous vide” was, Green Giant Boil n’ Bag. But, those veggies always came out perfect. Never fail (OK, maybe a touch on the soggy side).

She had a box of family recipes. As you can tell from the image above they’re well loved. At one point she transcribed them onto the computer and printed them out. She may have been trying to save the original cards. That appears to have been only partly successful.

Like most families, a lot of our traditional recipes revolved around the holidays. A special set for Thanksgiving and then a collection for everything else. Thanksgiving had/has its dishes that you could easily make any other time of the year, but, for some reason don’t. Sure you may cook a turkey from time to time. I know I do. But, the rest of the array of Thanksgiving foods make their appearance just once per year.

One of our turkey day standards was my mom’s Shrimp Toast. I’m sure she didn’t invent this recipe. But, like so many other family food finds, she is the default creator since no other attribution can be found (or admitted to).

Canned Shrimp

My sister has been in charge of making the Shrimp Toast at our Thanksgiving gathering for a while now. She’s a pro. In a blind taste test, four out of five tasters would be unable to discern which person had whipped up this year’s batch. Probably even five out of five. That’s a tribute to how well the original recipe has held up over time (and, to my sisters ability to follow directions.)

Want a try at it? Sure you do. The beauty is, if you make it right now, it won’t have a holiday association attached to it. That means you can make this easy and delicious appetizer year round and still feel pretty good about yourself.

Shrimp Toast

Ingredients
¼ butter, softened
1 can tiny shrimp
1 small jar, Old Tavern sharp cheddar
¼ tsp. garlic powder
1 Tbsp. mayonnaise
6 English muffin halves

Method
Preheat oven to 350°. In a medium size bowl, mix all of the above ingredients except the muffins together. Mix well.

Shrimp Toast Mixture

It should look like this.

Shrimp Toast Mixture

Spread the mixture on the 6 muffin halves. Cut each muffin into 6 pie shaped pieces. If you want to make this ahead, you can freeze the coated muffin pieces for later cooking.

Place pieces on a baking sheet and bake for about 15 minutes. Keep an eye on them on so they don’t burn. Remove from oven and serve immediately. It’s OK to burn the roof of your mouth like you would on a slice of pizza. I was led to believe that’s part of the charm.

Shrimp Toast

Remember, don’t eat too many. You’ll want to save room for your turkey and pumpkin pie!

We would love to show off one of your family recipe cards. Click here. Send us a message and we’ll tell you how we can make that happen.

The Inspired Vegan | Bryant Terry

 

Time for an inspired mid-summer meat intermission.

The Inspired Vegan: Seasonal Ingredients, Creative Recipes, Mouthwatering Menus

TITLE: The Inspired Vegan
AUTHOR: Bryant Terry
PUBLISHER: Da Capo Lifelong Books
CUISINE: Vegan

• • • • •

Featured Ingredient: Sweet PotatoSweet potatoes & carrot ready to roast By SaucyGlo
The sweet potato (Ipomoea batatas) is a dicotyledonous plant that belongs to the family Convolvulaceae. Its large, starchy, sweet-tasting, tuberous roots are an important root vegetable. The young leaves and shoots are sometimes eaten as greens. Of the approximately 50 genera and more than 1,000 species of Convolvulaceae, I. batatas is the only crop plant of major importance—some others are used locally, but many are actually poisonous. The sweet potato is only distantly related to the potato (Solanum tuberosum). [Wikipedia]

• • • • •

First Impressions
This book is comfortable. Even if you’re not familiar with vegan cooking. It makes you feel like you’re part of the club. There is a welcoming and understated way about it that makes it easy to casually leaf through. It’s mainly produced in black and white. There is one section, around mid-book, of color food images by Jennifer Martiné. There are also other gray scale drawings/illustrations/photos scattered throughout (credited p.201). The book is divided into manageable sections. The Basics touches on ingredients that are used to complete the recipes that follow. There are also a variety of “master recipes” in this section.

• • • • •

What You’ll Find Inside (aka Table of Contents)
Basics
Interlude
Menus (Spring, Summer, Winter, Autumn)
Index

• • • • •

Music is obviously a BIG part of Bryant’s life. Here’s a little of his “inspiration”. Listen and be inspired yourself.

• • • • •

The Best Of The Book (Our Favorite Recipes)

Strawberry-Basil Agua Fresca Gumbo Zav
Tortillas stuffed with Swiss chard, currants and spicy guacamole Gingered black sesame-seed brittle
Double garlic rice Paprika Peanuts
Velvety grits with sautéed summer squash, heirloom tomatoes and parsley-walnut pesto Rustic Johnny cakes with caramelized onion relish

 

I love Indian food. I’m a late comer to the cuisine. But, it now ranks near the top of hit my list. One of my favorite restaurants, Chutney’s Etc. in Sarasota Florida, serves a basmati rice that I flip for. I’ve been trying to get the actual recipe from the owner for years. No dice. Now, I think I may have found something that comes pretty darn close, Yellow Basmati Rice (p. 71). It might not be my friend Ash’s exact dish. But, it should take care of my cravings in between visits. The Sliced Cucumber and Mint Salad (p. 91) is a nice cool starter for a hot day. And, the Citrus-Hibiscus Sorbet (p. 137) completes a summertime meal with a flash of flavor.

• • • • •

Special Features
The Inspired Vegan: Seasonal Ingredients, Creative Recipes, Mouthwatering MenusWhen you first flip through The Inspired Vegan it doesn’t appear to have any special sections or callouts. Boy, how wrong can a first look be? This book is loaded with nice extras that have been thoughtfully woven into the fabric of the book itself. It’s a very unassuming way to do it. Just like the book. There is a fantastic list of the authors “Inspirations (p. xxi)”. Eclectic. And, a nice insight into what will follow. A large percentage of the recipes have their own personalized inspirations listed on the page. Delightful music and books abound in these sidebars! These are obviously inspirations from Bryant’s life, not mine. So, being a lover of all genres of music, I was listening for days to sounds that were new to my world. An unexpected and appreciated bonus. The seasonal chapters are divided into individual menus. For a non-vegan like myself, this makes putting together a coherent vegan meal a snap. Your guests will be convinced you do it every day.

• • • • •

Conclusions
This cookbook is a labor of love and as the title suggests, Inspired. Even for the meat lover there are many dishes you could combine with a more traditional menu and have a little something for everyone. Bryant Terry is dedicated to bringing healthy food to everyone. This especially includes communities that are traditionally underserved. The author has a passion for the subject of access to nutritious food for all. It’s a passion that these communities have benefitted from in a real way. His love for his craft and his community shines through in living color on every black and white page.

• • • • •

Culinary Expertise Required: 6
1= Boiling Water (novice) 10= Liquid Nitrogen (expert)

The Inspired Vegan: Seasonal Ingredients, Creative Recipes, Mouthwatering Menu

Resources, Links and Press
Bryant Terry’s Website
Bryant Terry Interview – Grist
Bryant Terry on Culinate
Follow Bryant on Twitter

Monday Books | Hot Dog!

 

America loves its dogs. Today’s the day to grab one!

Hot Dog with Potato Chips By TheCulinaryGeek

It’s National Hot Dog Day! Ok, it’s not like we need another excuse to grab one of this countries favorite foods. But, you’ll have to admit, this is a pretty good one.

We eat tons of the delicious summertime favs each year. It could be at the ballpark, the beach or with friends at a backyard BBQ. The venue doesn’t really seem to matter. We love our dogs.

In celebration of this years big hot dog day, I’ve picked out some special hot dog related books for your dining and dancing pleasure. Please choose one that you feel properly captures the spirit of the day.


 

Hot Diggity Dog: The History of the Hot Dog Great American Hot Dog Book, The: Recipes and Side Dishes from Across AmericaThe Man Cave Hot Dog Cookbook - 25 Awesome Hot Dog Recipes For The Man Cave The Black Book of Hot Dog Stand
Nathan's Famous Hot Dog CookbookStan the Hot Dog ManThe Burger and the Hot DogMy Hot Dog Went Out, Can I Have Another? : A FoxTrot Collection
Dear Hot DogAmerican Classic Digest - Hamburger and Hot Dog Backyard BBQ (In the Pantry Classics) How the Hot Dog Found Its Bun: Accidental Discoveries and Unexpected Inspirations That Shape What We Eat and Drink10 Little Hot Dogs


This Month’s Best Selling CookbooksCookbook Man’s Cookbook Calendar

Ultimate Camp Cooking | Faverman & Mac

 

A kitchen as big as the great outdoors!

Ultimate Camp Cooking

TITLE: Ultimate Camp Cooking
AUTHOR: Mike Faverman and Pat Mac
PUBLISHER: Andrews McMeel Publishing
CUISINE: Grilling/Outdoor

• • • • •

Featured Ingredient: The S’MoreS'More By sanchom
I don’t know a campout that’s complete without S’Mores. It is one of the simplest recipes you can make. But, it takes patience and technique to pull off a perfectly melted campfire treat. Graham crackers, marshmallows and chocolate. Three ingredients that when combined in just the right proportion and at just the perfect temperature makes a summertime memory like no other.

• • • • •

First Impressions
It’s a nice size, easily portable. And, has a comfortable, well-worn texture to it. It almost feels like an old Boy Scout handbook. I think the cover may possibly be waterproof. I’m not going to experiment, I’ll leave that to you. The recipes are contained on one or two pages at most. That means there is no need to flip pages to continue a recipe. If you’re actually using this on a camping trip, any recipe that’s more than two pages may be too complicated anyway. I always like to give photo credit. In this case an entire page (p.199) is dedicated to the topic. Go there if you’re interested.

• • • • •

What You’ll Find Inside (aka Table of Contents)
Ultimate Camp Cooking Basics
Appetizers
Entrees (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, Vegetarian)
Side Dishes
Soups and Salads
Sauces
Desserts
Metric Conversions & Equivalents (Yes, its own chapter!)

• • • • •

Now to get you in the mood for a campfire makin’, S’more eatin’, good time…

Yumm!!

• • • • •

The Best Of The Book (Our Favorite Recipes)

Brie Cheese Wrap Omelet in a Bag
Ponderosa Steak Sandwich Jerk Chicken
Chicken Camp Casserole Chicken Pot Pie
Camp Roast Pulled Pork Taco Bar
Beer Brats Cedar Plank Salmon
Pat Mac’s Chili Monkey Bread

 

Are there some recipes that rise above the campfire flame? Indeed there are. The Dutch Oven Benedict (p.38) seems like it would be an awesome start to a day of hiking, fishing or exploring. It’s pretty rich. You’re going to want to move around a little after eating it. A dinner consisting of Drunk’n Flank Steak (p.91) and Dad’s Potatoes (p.142) would be a perfect end to a day in the great outdoors. It’s certainly a BIG upgrade from the typical food you get on a camping trip. Unless, that trip includes an RV of some type and a personal chef. Let’s finish the day off with an individual Camp S’More Pie (p.193). A creative take on a true outdoor classic.

Special Features
If you’ve never been camping, or cooked outdoors there are some great tips here. Ultimate Camp CookingThe Basics section has ideas for meal planning, packing and camp site cleanup. If you need suggestions on how to handle a bear in your camp, you can quickly flip to page 22-23. You may want to read this section ahead of your trip. My “favorite” feature, the Metric Conversion Table rears its head. In this cookbook it has its very own chapter! The reality is that this time the chart may actually be useful. I’m assuming you’re not bringing the resources of your entire home kitchen out into the wilderness with you. And, there’s a better than even chance you won’t have a cell signal. So, if you have the need to convert, you’re all set. I’m not quite sure what’s up with the Fahrenheit to Celsius to British gas mark table, but, if you happen to be camping in the UK you’re covered. The stories from Mike and Pat make for some entertaining reading. If you’re bored on your camping trip or it’s raining and you’re tent-bound, you’ll have some material.

Conclusions
Ultimate Camp Cooking is a fun read. It’s obvious that the authors enjoy what they’re doing. One look at the cover image and you’ll know that they won’t be taking the subject too seriously. And, as much as the cookbook seems like a novelty, there are some great recipes inside. There are only three appetizers, but there are a ton of main courses. Four vegetarian dishes, but, loads of great sides. It seems like a mix that would work well if you have limited cooking resources. The hardest part to any of these dishes is the cooking process itself. Things are cooked outside and not necessarily grilling. Once you have the fire built, the recipes go together easily. It might not produce five star restaurant food, but, it is certainly five star camping food. Your camp site cuisine will be the envy of all. Your neighbors will be drooling over their box of Cheez-It’s and bag of Dorito’s when they spy your dinner. While you’re finishing off your Stuffed French Toast (p.82), enjoying a beautiful morning, they’ll be looking despondently at their cold Pop-Tart. Sad…

Culinary Expertise Required: 4.5
1= Boiling Water (novice) 10= Liquid Nitrogen (expert)

Ultimate Camp Cooking

Resources, Links and Press
Ultimate Camp Cooking Website
Monkey Bread Gone Bad – Video
Mac and the Big Cheese on Facebook
Enjoy Utah! – Cookbook Review

Is This The Best Short Rib Recipe Ever?

 

Can you turn a hater into a lover with just one recipe?

Simple Smoked Beef Short Ribs

Hater is probably a little on the strong side. Maybe, indifferent, disinterested and unimpressed are better descriptors. Hating would imply an extremely strong dislike. In this case, a general “I just don’t get it” sums things up.

My wife. She’s not a short rib fan. Question: “Why should that matter to me?”. Answer: “It shouldn’t.” But, it does.

When we go out to eat she can order whatever her heart desires off the menu of available dishes. At home, that’s another matter. We usually don’t have a menu of available dishes. It’s more of a what would you like for dinner proposition. I’m the cook, so, it’s me doing the asking. Much to my disappointment, short ribs are never the answer.

I was determined to give one last attempt at winning her over. America’s Best Ribs hit my doorstep early this spring and in it was the perfect recipe for my final assault. Simple Smoked Beef Short Ribs.

There’s nothing terribly fancy here. At least from a recipe standpoint. Some marinating, rubbing and a little slow cooking, That’s about the extent of it. There are two very distinct ways to grill short ribs. One way involves taking boneless short ribs, butterflying them and cooking them quickly over high heat.

The other method, the one I chose, roasts the ribs slowly on the bone. Breaking down the connective tissue and fat as they cook. The result should be a tender and delicious almost falling off the bone morsel. I figured this style gave me the best chance at winning over my subject.

Here’s how to do it.

Ingredients
Mustard Slather
1 cup prepared yellow mustard
¼ cup dill pickle juice
¼ cup red wine vinegar
2 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
2 Tbsp soy sauce
1 tsp granulated garlic
1 tsp ground ginger

Rub
2 Tbsp sea salt
2 Tbsp course ground black pepper
1 Tbsp granulated garlic
2 tsp white cane sugar

6 beef short ribs, bone in 4 to 5 inches long
BBQ sauce for serving if desired

Method
Outline each of the short ribs with a sharp pointed knife. It just means to free the meat a little from the bone on each end. Combine all of the mustard slather ingredients in a small bowl. Brush the mixture onto the ribs. Make sure and cover all of the meat well. Combine all of the ingredients for the rub in a small bowl. Sprinkle the rub mixture of the slathered ribs. It should look like this.

Simple Smoked Beef Short Ribs

Heat your smoker or BBQ to 230° to 250°. If you’re using a grill, prepare it for indirect cooking. Oil the rack so the ribs won’t stick. Place ribs over the side with no direct heat. Cover and cook 1 to 1½ hours. Turn over and cook for 45 minutes more. Turn over one more time and cook for an additional 45 minutes or until they reach an internal temperature of. 185°. They will hopefully look similar to this.

Simple Smoked Beef Short Ribs

You can still see a little of the mustard slather left on the meat. Here’s another look.

Simple Smoked Beef Short Ribs

Pretty delicious looking, right? You can see how the meat has pulled away from the bone. That’s where step one pays off.

When the ribs are done remove from the grill and tent loosely with aluminum foil for about 10 to 15 minutes. You can also wrap them tightly in foil, place them in a paper bag, close it up and let it sit on your counter for 30 to 45 minutes. The meat will still be piping hot and this will help reconstitute some of the moisture that was lost during the dry cooking process. That’s what I did.

Serve with BBQ sauce if desired. Check out the finished product.

Simple Smoked Beef Short Ribs

WOW! That is going to win over even the toughest short rib critic. At least that was my thought.

And, the verdict. Well, let’s just say that my wife is now a tiny bit less apathetic about the whole short rib thing. I wouldn’t categorize her as jumping on the short rib bandwagon. But, maybe she won’t give me “the look” the next time I suggest it. It was a home run for the rest of my guinea pigs that evening. But, I wasn’t worried about them to begin with.

If you’re interested in our review of America’s Best Ribs, you can view that HERE.

America's Best Ribs

America's Best Ribs

Recipe Adapted. America’s Best Ribs, Simple Smoked Beef Short Ribs, Paul Kirk & Ardie Davis. Andrews MacMeel Universal © 2012

The Skillet Cookbook | Josh Henderson

 

From the truck to the diner, Skillet is a delicious journey.

The Skillet Cookbook: A Street Food Manifesto

TITLE: The Skillet Cookbook: A Street Food Manifesto
AUTHOR: Josh Henderson
PUBLISHER: Sasquatch Books
CUISINE: Diner/Street Food

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Featured Ingredient: Aioli
Aioli is a Provençal traditional sauce made of garlic, olive oil, and (typically) egg. There areaioli bright with yolks with Ladleah's chickens and Morse's pickles by kthread many variations, such as the addition of mustard or, in Catalonia, pears. It is usually served at room temperature. The name aioli (alhòli) comes from Provençal alh ‘garlic’ (< Latin allium) + òli ‘oil’

Aioli is, like mayonnaise, an emulsion or a suspension of small globules of oil and oil-soluble compounds in water and water-soluble compounds. Egg yolk can be used as an emulsifier and is generally used in making aioli. However, mustard and garlic both have emulsion-producing properties and some variants (such as Catalan Allioli) omit the egg. [Wikipedia]

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First Impressions
I love The Skillet Diner, so it’s a little tough to be subjective. But, duty calls and I must try my best. Here goes. The book itself has a retro feel to it. That’s owed in large part to the black and white format. Photographs by Sarah Jurado provide a glimpse into the diner and the famous Skillet food truck/Airstream. The dishes included are spilt nicely between meal types. The small finish size means it won’t need much real estate on your book shelf.

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What You’ll Find Inside (aka Table of Contents)
Breakfast
Lunch
Dinner
Dessert

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Food trucks have been around for a little bit now. So, when you watch this old news report featuring the Skillet truck it seems funny. Food served out of a truck, what a crazy concept, I can’t believe that would catch on…

Oh, I’ve got a bonus video for you today. The Poutine that Skillet serves is amazing (as you find out later). Here’s a look at this unique Canadian food fav. What is Poutine?

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The Best of the Book (Our Favorite Recipes)

Skillet Granola Guanciale with Fried Egg on Brioche
Crab Cake Po’Boy with Lemon “Aioli” Duck Tacos
Fried Chicken Sandwich with Pickled Jalapeno “Aioli” Mexican-Style Hot Chocolate

 

I’m lucky enough to have been to the diner. My son and I actually took my wife there for Mother’s Day (what a treat for her, right?). I had to be talked into ordering the Skillet Poutine (p. 67). I’m not sure why, probably a brain cramp. It is a bowl of pure, unrepentant, deliciousness. If you’re a fan of cheese or gravy fries, then this will blow you away. The Sockeye with Mashed Potatoes (p.109) is a great way to showcase some of the Pacific Northwest’s amazing seafood. And, of course it would be hard to pass up the Nutella Crostini (p.128). Nutella spread on anything is great. It’s ramped up with the addition of a little caramelized banana.

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Special Features
The Skillet Cookbook: A Street Food ManifestoThe commentary on the history of the food truck and diner are an important part of the book. It’s easy to see after reading through the stories just how passionate Josh is about his food. It gives some great context to the recipes that follow. As a way to wrap this up in a tidy package, there is a short look at Josh’s food/business/life philosophy towards the back of the book. It’s presented in a very thoughtful, humble and introspective way. Interesting given that the fact that the food is so bold and confident. It’s a nice way finish the meal.

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Conclusions
If you have a Skillet connection of any kind, this book is a must for you. If you don’t, this is a fantastic way to acquaint yourself with some of Seattle’s best food. The recipes aren’t for culinary novices. Some dishes suggest a one day head start! They’re doable, but, you’ve got to want it. There are just over thirty recipes in the book. It seems like there’s more. The book has a feel that is a lot like the finished food. Easy to love, but, leaves you wanting more.

Culinary Expertise Required: 6.5
1= Boiling Water (novice) 10= Liquid Nitrogen (expert)

The Skillet Cookbook: A Street Food Manifesto

 

 

Resources, Links and Press
The Skillet Street Food Website
Seattle Times review of the diner
Skillet Street Food on Twitter
Seattle Magazine review of the diner

Monday Books | The Beardys

 

This year’s award winning cookbooks are out. And, you should own them.

The James Beard Award

It’s the Oscar, Tony, Emmy and Grammy all folded into one nice delicious recipe that is impossible to resist. I’m talking about the James Beard Foundation Award For Excellence. Or, as I affectionately refer to it, The Beardy. In the food world, it’s a BIG deal.

Each year the James Beard panel of experts selects the best in their field. We’re not just talking about chefs here. There are awards given for a broad scope of culinary related skills and endeavors. Cookbooks being one of the more hotly contested categories.

The annual awards, which were presented this past May recognize a wide variety of cookbooks and cuisines. From the Hugh Acheson’s A New Turn In The South to Paula Wolfert’s The Food of Morocco and just about everything in between.

If there isn’t room on your cookbook shelf for these soon to be classics you need to do a little cleaning. Here’s the list of this years recipients. Go grab your chef coat…


2012 James Beard Foundation Book Awards

Modernist Cuisine: The Art and Science of Cooking More Home Cooking: A Writer Returns to the Kitchen A New Turn in the South: Southern Flavors Reinvented for Your Kitchen Jeni's Splendid Ice Creams at Home
Bitters: A Spirited History of a Classic Cure-All, with Cocktails, Recipes, and FormulasRuhlman's Twenty: 20 Techniques 100 Recipes A Cook's Manifesto Super Natural Every Day: Well-loved Recipes from My Natural Foods Kitchen The Food of Morocco
All About Roasting: A New Approach to a Classic Art Blood, Bones & Butter: The Inadvertent Education of a Reluctant Chef


Cookbook of the Year
Modernist Cuisine | Nathan Myhrvold with Chris Young and Maxime Bilet

Cookbook Hall of Fame
Home Cooking and More Home Cooking | Laurie Colwin

American Cooking
A New Turn in the South: Southern Flavors Reinvented for Your Kitchen | Hugh Acheson

Baking and Dessert
Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams at Home | Jeni Britton Bauer

Beverage
Bitters: A Spirited History of a Classic Cure-All, with Cocktails, Recipes, & Formulas | Brad Thomas Parsons

General Cooking
Ruhlman’s Twenty | Michael Ruhlman

Focus on Health
Super Natural Every Day: Well-Loved Recipes from My Natural Foods Kitchen | Heidi Swanson

International
The Food of Morocco | Paula Wolfert

Single Subject
All About Roasting | Molly Stevens

Writing and Literature
Blood, Bones & Butter: The Inadvertent Education of a Reluctant Chef | Gabrielle Hamilton


Click on any of the book cover images or text links to purchase your copy.