Wednesday, July 21, 2010

The secret sauce and my ribs!


I couldn't stand it anymore and I had to have the ribs that I had at the Great American Food and Music Festival. I am sure you are sick of me mentioning it by now (all of my 5 loyal followers). This recipe is from Damn Good Food I also had to make Mitch's fathers coleslaw (you already know how I feel about Mitch if you have been reading my blog .


Someone found the process VERY interesting for obvious reasons.


It all started with making a vinegar and brown sugar mixture to pour over the ribs. They were then baked for 2 hours.


Next a rub is made and rubbed into the ribs and put into the refrig overnight.


Next night when ready to grill we whipped up some BBQ sauce. I have to admit that I sort of freaked out because it calls for "Open Pit" to start out with. I looked online to see what this was and it is a BBQ sauce that is sold in the midwest. I started to read how hard it was to find and that you couldn't get it in California. So being in the food wasteland I didn't think my chances were too good. I looked for options and found a recipe that was "suppose" to be similar.


I thought the fake stuff tasted like crap. Dr. Food thought it was ok but it made me even more determined to find the real thing. I called Whole Foods and no luck. I looked at Stop and luck. I looked at Price luck. I looked at Job Lots (a store here that is like Big Lots)...nope. Then I called Roche Bro. and they had it! No problem that we had to drive 20 minutes to get it. I bought 3 bottles of it. It is a food service type of deal. You add stuff to this sauce to make it your own. On its own it tastes like crap just like my internet search recipe did.


Take my word for it the resulting BBQ sauce is fantastic. Oh and by the way, when I went to the local (down the street) grocery store they had it.


Dr Food slapped those puppies on the grill and did his magic with them. Finally...


I got my ribs! I also made the coleslaw from the same cookbook and the beans were from dinner the other night.


The dog got her bone. She loves Mitch too.

Hell’s Fire BBQ Beef Ribs
Damn Good Food Mitch Omer and Ann Bauer

Nothing says summer like a good barbeque. The owner and founder of Hell’s Kitchen, Mitch Omer is grilling up some ribs!

4 Servings
8 (1 ¾ to 2 pound) beef ribs
8 cups cider vinegar
3 ¼ cups firmly packed dark brown sugar
2 cups Rose’s lime juice
2 cups Rib Rub (recipe below)
2 cups Barbeque Sauce (recipe below)

Preheat oven to 300 degrees.

Whisk cider vinegar and 2 ¼ cups of the brown sugar in a large stainless steel, glass, or ceramic mixing bowl, until sugar has dissolved.

Trim ribs of any excess fat, leaving some. Place ribs meat side down in a large roasting pan, and pour vinegar mixture over ribs. Place pan on the center rack in the oven and bake 2 hours. Remove the pan from oven and let ribs rest 1 hour in vinegar mixture. Remove ribs from the pan, and pat dry.

Whisk lime juice and remaining 1 cup of the brown sugar in a large stainless steel, glass, or ceramic mixing bowl, until sugar has dissolved. Slather each rib with lime juice mixture, and sprinkle generously with rib rub. Refrigerate at least 5 hours or overnight.

Prepare an outdoor grill with hot coals, and set a grill rack 4 inches from the coals (set heat to high if using a gas grill).

Remove ribs from the refrigerator, and let warm to room temperature, about 2 hours. Brush ribs liberally with barbeque sauce, and place on the grill. The ribs are already cooked, so you just want to heat them through, about 7-9 minutes. The sugars from the marinades and the rib rub are going to caramelize on the ribs, so keep an eye on them.

Hell’s Kitchen Rib Rub

¾ cup hot paprika
¼ cup ground black pepper
¼ cup dark chili powder
¼ cup ground cumin
¼ cup granulated garlic
¼ cup granulated sugar
¼ cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
2 Tbsp cayenne

Mix all ingredients in a medium mixing bowl. Place rib rub in a stainless steel, glass, or ceramic container with a tight-fitting lid.

Hell’s Kitchen Barbeque Sauce

2 cups Open Pit barbecue sauce
1 small (1/2 cup) chopped white onion
4 Tbsp dark brown sugar
3 Tbsp honey
2 Tbsp red wine vinegar
2 Tbsp crushed red pepper
2 Tbsp dark molasses
2 Tbsp Warchestershire sauce
2 tsp liquid smoke

Place Open Pit in a large saucepan, and warm over medium high heat. Puree onion in a food processor fitted with a steel chopping blade, and scrape into the saucepan. Stir in remaining ingredients. Heat mixture to a boil over high, stirring continually. Reduce heat and simmer 19 to 21 minutes, stirring occasionally. Let sauce to cool to room temperature and refrigerate. Makes 3 ½ cups.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Chard and White Beans . . . I Love Summer!


I can not tell you how happy my garden makes me. I love how I can just go out there and find things to make for dinner or snacks or just for no reason at all. I love standing out there in the morning and watering. So, when it came time for dinner the other night I decided to use some of my bounty that was ready for picking.


Along with the Kale that I picked I was elated to find that I had padron peppers ready to pick. If you don't know of the padron pepper you should become acquainted soon. Here is what wikipedia had to say about my little friends:

"The most famous produce of Padrón are its peppers (Spanish pimientos de Padrón), which are small green peppers from the Capsicum annuum family. They are served fried with olive oil and coarse salt. Most taste sweet and mild, though some are particularly hot and spicy, which gives its character to the dish and is perfectly captured in the popular "Os pementos de Padrón, uns pican e outros non" (Galician for "Padrón peppers, some are hot and some are not"). The level of heat varies according to the capsaicin of each pepper. Although it's not always the case, the peppers grown towards August/September tend to contain more capsaicin than the ones of June/July."


I made a little treat for Dr Food when he came home. I simply heated up a little olive oil, threw in the padron peppers and then sprinkled with a little sea salt.


In return Dr Food made me a margarita! It was ok to drink this because afterall it was Friday night.


I also had some artichokes and I had just read a recipe from Mark Bittman that I wanted to try. It was so easy and good that I will certainly make it again. I don't know what I was looking for when I found a video of Bittman making this but I am glad that I did.

Braised Artichokes
from Mark Bittman/NY Times
time: 45 minutes

4 medium artichokes
4 tablespoons butter ( 1/2 stick) (I used 1 Tbl olive oil and 1 Tbl butter)
1 cup chicken stock, or more as needed (I used 1 C chicken stock with some wine thrown in)
Salt and freshly ground pepper
Zest and juice of 1 lemon.

1. Cut each of the artichokes in half; remove the toughest outer leaves, use a spoon to remove the choke, and trim the bottom.

2. Put 3 tablespoons of the butter in a large, deep skillet over medium-high heat. When it melts and foam subsides, add artichokes, cut side down. Cook until lightly browned, about 5 minutes. Add stock (it should come about halfway up the sides of the artichokes), bring to a boil, and cover; turn heat to medium-low. Cook for about 20 minutes or until tender, checking
every 5 or 10 minutes to make sure there is enough liquid in the pan, adding more stock as necessary. Sprinkle with salt and pepper, and transfer artichokes to serving platter.

3. Raise heat to medium-high and cook, stirring occasionally, until liquid is reduced to a sauce. Stir in lemon zest and juice and remaining tablespoon butter; taste and adjust seasoning. Serve artichokes drizzled with sauce.


This is my new favorite. It is white beans (I used Cannellini Beans) with chard. I could eat this every night. I swear I could. I got it from Mariquita Farm website.

Giant Crusty and Creamy White Beans with Greens
Adapted from Super Natural Cooking by Heidi Swanson

½ pound medium or large dried white beans, cooked
3 tablespoons olive oil or clarified butter
Fine grained sea salt
1 onion, coarsely chopped
4 cloves garlic, chopped
½ baby chard, washed and roughly chopped, or 1 bunch kale, cut into wide ribbons
Fresh ground black pepper
Extra virgin olive oil for drizzling
Freshly grated parmesan for topping

Drain the beans, then heat the oil or butter over med-high heat in the widest skillet available. Add the beans to the hot pan in a single layer. If you don’t have a big enough skillet, just do the sauté stop in two batches or save the extra beans for another use.

Stir to coat the beans with the oil/butter, then let them sit long enough to brown on one side, about 3 or 4 minutes, before turning to brown the other side, also about 3 or 4 minutes. The beans should be golden and a bit crunchy on the outside and soft and creamy on the inside.

Salt to taste, then add the onion and garlic and cook for 1 or 2 minutes, until the onion softens.

Stir in the greens and cook until just beginning to wilt.

Remove from the heat and season to taste with a generous does of salt and pepper. Drizzle with a bit of top-quality extra virgin olive oil, and sprinkle with freshly grated parmesan.

Serves 6-8 as a side dish.


I also made fish with fresh pesto and dinner was done.


Good dinner.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

6 Degrees of Separation or Roasting a Chicken


Ok, you are going to have to stay with me here while I explain the title of this post. According to wikipedia : "Six degrees of separation (also referred to as the "Human Web") refers to the idea that everyone is at most six steps away from any other person on Earth, so that a chain of, "a friend of a friend" statements can be made to connect any two people in six steps or fewer." How does a chicken figure into this?

Here we go...

Kathy Gori over at Colors of Indian Cooking was having a 1 year Blogiversary and was giving away a vertical, ceramic chicken roaster. She had discovered it when Paula Wolfert (another of my cooking crushes) gave her one for her anniversary (marriage not blog). You can read the story here. Anyhow, I signed up to win this puppy because I always wanted to use one. Lo and behold I WON. I received my new gadget and planned on making dinner with it.


Stay with me...

I woke up this morning and was bored. I drank some coffee, took out a chicken to roast on my roaster so that it could defrost. Did morning stuff. I then picked up the Damn Good Food: 157 Recipes from Hell's Kitchen cookbook by Mitch Omer (my newest BFF and cook crush). I had wanted to read it ever since I got it. I also thought that perhaps I could find a BBQ sauce to slather on the chicken. This cookbook is awesome. Not only do the recipes rock but Mitch's story is the type that keeps you reading until the end. Did I mention that I still want more of those ribs that he makes? I suppose I did in my last post about Peanut Butter.

Ok, I am getting there...

As I am reading Mitch's story he mentions PAULA WOLFERT!

" I’ve been in this business for more than 35 years, and have been fortunate enough to cook for, and cook with, some very incredible people like Jacques Pepin, Paula Wolfert, and Giuliano Bugialli, to name a few. I got to study in Louis Szathmary’s library, and worked in some very good restaurants in Oklahoma, San Francisco, Boulder, Colorado and of course, Minneapolis. I have taken some knowledge from each experience and used it to guide me throughout the years."

PAULA WOLFERT (my idol) and the woman responsible for tonights dinner and the chicken roaster (well, she didn't invent it but she gave it to Kathy and the rest was history). Mitch Omer my new idol (I only have 3 right now. Mitch Omer, Paula Wolfert and Rick Bayless". I feel they cook real food and not pretentious, besides the point stuff.) Sorry, Rick Bayless isn't part of the 6 degrees. As a matter of fact, Dr Food rudely pointed out that it wasn't even 6 degrees but more like two.

So, did you get the amazing connection? Life is so cosmic. Wanna see the chicken?


All basted and ready to go. I made Honey-Chipotle Barbecue Sauce to baste the bird with.


Bird all tan and ready to eat. The pan is still in my sink "soaking" and if you come clean it for me I will feed you leftover chicken (if you are reading this today otherwise you might get sick if you are reading this next week).

I also made a Black Bean recipe from the cookbook which was meant to go with Huevos Rancheros but they looked so good I thought they would go swell with the chicken.


Buy this cookbook and make these beans!


My only dilemma was which chili powder to use...




Penzeys won.


There ya have it. I think I even confused myself on this post. I think I need a nap.
Honey-Chipotle Barbecue Sauce

2 tablespoons peanut oil
1/3 cup honey
1 (7-ounce) can chipotle peppers, with adobo sauce
3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1/3 cup Rose's lime juice
1/4 cup coarsely chopped cilantro
3 tablespoons coarse-ground mustard
3 large cloves garlic, minced (2 tablespoons)
1 tablespoon ground black pepper
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon kosher salt

Pour peanut oil into a 1/3 cup measure, and pour into a food processor fitted with a steel chopping blade. Measure honey into the same 1/3 cup measure (oil residue will keep honey from sticking). Add honey, chipotle peppers, adobo sauce and balsamic vinegar. Process until smooth. Add remaining ingredients, and process until well blended.

Place sauce in a container with a tight-fitting lid and refrigerate. Makes about 3 cups.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

When you are bored make Peanut Butter!


I am bored today. I sat down and read my new Chef Crush's book (Hell's Kitchen Cookbook and NO not THAT Hell's Kitchen it is Mitch Omer's Hells Kitchen [and Mitch was first]). In the book (which was a great read) was a recipe for Peanut Butter. I decided to give it a try.


I roasted the peanuts.


Did all the other stuff to it too.


There ya have it. Only one problem... I hate peanut butter. Yes, I am one of those freaks that don't like it. I made it because Mitch had the recipe and I wanted to make something from the book. I didn't have a brisket or I would have made Corned Beef. Oh, the ribs. Did I tell you how I still dream about the RIBS? well it is raining outside (yeah, I hate this New England weather) and I can't BBQ. So, I made the peanut butter and I am also adapting something else for tonights dinner. You will just have to wait to see what it is. I bet you are excited. Right?

Oh! Buy my crushes book. Also you can buy this Peanut Butter if you don't want to make it.

I gave the stuff I made to my neighbor. I kept some to show Dr. Food, but he hates peanut butter too. Two freaks that were meant for each other.

Mitch’s World-Famous Peanut Butter
Excerpted from Damn Good Food
Makes about four cups

3 cups salted Spanish peanuts, skins on
6 tablespoons honey
5 tablespoons light brown sugar
2½ teaspoons kosher salt
7 tablespoons peanut oil
5 tablespoons unsalted butter

Preheat oven to 375°F.

Shake peanuts onto a rimmed baking sheet, and place on the center rack of the oven.

Roast 25 minutes. Rotate the pan 180 degrees, and roast another 25 minutes, checking occasionally. Peanuts should be dark brown when done. (If they look like espresso coffee beans, well, you fucked up. Start over.) Remove from the oven, and let cool to room temperature.

Place peanuts in a food processor fitted with a steel chopping blade, and process on low until finely ground, about 30 seconds. Do not overblend; you want the peanut butter chunky, not grainy.

Dump ground peanuts into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle. Add honey, brown sugar, and salt, and blend on low speed until thickened and well mixed, about 1 minute.

Add peanut oil and butter to the food processor, and blend on low until completely emulsified, about 11 seconds. Scrape oil and butter into peanut mixture, and mix on low until smooth and creamy.

Spoon peanut butter into a container with a tight-fitting lid.

Will keep at room temperature for up to 4 weeks. After setting for a while, some of the oil may rise to the surface; simply mix this back in before serving.

Monday, July 12, 2010

2 Fantastic recipes from Rick Bayless's new book


First off let me just say that my day started off by being called outside by my neighbor Jeff to check out the bat hanging around. A BAT! Ok, it didn't go in either of my two bat boxes but it did come to visit. I am just hoping that it isn't sick and has rabies or anything. Ok, but then again I don't plan on petting it.


Two nice houses and it snubs both of them.


Ok, maybe that was a little gross for a cooking blog but the name of the blog IS BITE ME New England. I didn't mean for the bat to come into the picture though.

So, it is very hot and humid here these days and I didn't want to heat up the house but I did want to cook something good. Seeing that I just got Rick Bayless's new book "Fiesta at Rick's" and I am not going to be invited to his house for a fiesta anytime soon, I decided to have my own fiesta. It really wasn't a FIESTA though because we all spent most of the day floating around the swimming pool to stay cool.


I have to admit that baking is NOT my forte (other than bread which I have sorta conquered). My kitchen turns into a disaster area when I bake. It doesn't go well with having issues with the kitchen being overly messy while I cook (read: OCD?). Anyhow, lord knows why but I had my mind set on the Impossible Cake (Pastel Imposible aka Chocoflan) in Rick Bayless's book. It wasn't too hard.


I did not make my own cajeta. Rick said I didn't have to. He said I could buy it already made (I love Rick).


Here it is in the oven. I loved how the flan sinks and the chocolate cake floats up to the top. I will show the finished product at dessert time, but now we move on to the Grill-Braised Short Ribs with Arbol Chiles, White Beans, Mushrooms and Beer (Costillas de Res Guisadas con Chiles de Arbol, Alubias, Hongos y Cerveza).


I used shiitake mushrooms.


Found Arbol's at the mexican market that we luckily have around here.


Dr. Food manned the grill and browned the short ribs. He was a trooper because it was disgustingly humid out there.


He is the man! Perfection.


Meantime, *I* was in the house listening to music and cooking in the air conditioned environment.


I digress a bit by showing you that my stupid topsy turvey planter is actually getting grape tomatoes. I have to say that planting tomatoes in the ground works way better.


Yum. Did I tell you that I love Rick Bayless? Oh yeah, I think I did. This dish was fantastic. The Parmesan Roasted Corn on the Cob was made by Taylor and Cathy my Fiesta partners and neighbors. It was great.

You want to see the dessert you say? Ok, here it is!


It wasn't impossible. Just messy and GOOD!

Braised Short Ribs with Arbol Chiles, White Beans, Mushrooms and Beer
Costillas de Res Guisadas con Chile de Arbol, Alubias, Hongos y Cerveza

Serves 8

Rick Bayless

8 arbol chiles
2 tablespoons olive or vegetable oil
4 pounds (8 good-size pieces) bone-in beef short ribs
Salt and fresh black pepper
1 large white onion, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
8 ounces full-flavored mushrooms (think shiitakes here), stemmed and quartered
2 cups full-flavored beer (I like Bohemia)
2 cups beef broth
1 head of garlic, cut in half across the center
3 sprigs fresh thyme
One 15-ounce can diced tomatoes in juice (preferably fire-roasted)
4 cups cooked beans (homemade or canned - you'll need three 15-ounce cans), drained

1. Toast the chiles and brown the meat. Turn on the oven to 325 degrees. Break the stems off the chiles, then roll them between your fingers to loosen the seeds. Break the chiles in half and shake out all the seeds that come out easily. Set a large (7- to 8-quart) Dutch oven over medium-high heat. When the pan is hot, pour in the oil. Add the chiles and stir for 10 to 15 seconds, until they are noticeably darker and aromatic. Remove to a small plate, draining as much oil as possible back into the pan. Generously sprinkle the meat on all sides with salt and pepper. Lay the short ribs in the pan and brown them, turning frequently, until they're a rich golden brown on all sides, about 4 minutes total. Remove to a rimmed baking sheet.

2. Flavor and braise the short ribs. Add the onion to the pan and cook, stirring regularly, until golden, about 7 minutes, then stir in the mushrooms and cook another couple of minutes. Add the beer, broth, garlic, thyme, tomatoes, beans, toasted chiles, 1 1/2 teaspoons salt and a generous 1/2 teaspoon black pepper.

Return the short ribs (and any juices that have collected around them) to the pan, nestling them into the liquid. Set the lid in place and bake for about 2 1/2 hours, until the short ribs are fork tender.

3. Serve. Carefully remove the short ribs to a deep serving platter. Discard the garlic and thyme sprigs from the braising liquid. Using a slotted spoon, spoon the beans around the short ribs. Taste the sauce mixture and season with additional salt if you think necessary. Then ladle the sauce mixture over the ribs and beans. You’re ready to serve.

Impossible Cake - Pastel Imposible (AKA Chocoflan)
Serves 12 generously

Recipe from Rick Bayless

For the mold
A little softened butter and some flour
1 cup store-bought or homemade cajeta (goat milk caramel)

For the cake
5 ounces (10 tablespoons) butter, slightly softened
1 cup sugar
1 egg
2 tablespoons espresso powder dissolved in 1 1/2 tablespoons hot water
OR 3 tablespoons espresso
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup cake flour
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon cocoa powder (I like the more commonly available - not Dutch process - cocoa best here)
9 ounces buttermilk

For the flan
1 12-ounce can evaporated milk
1 14-ounce can sweetened condensed milk
4 eggs
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract, preferably Mexican vanilla

1. Prepare the mold. Turn on the oven to 350 degrees and position the rack in the middle. Generously butter the bottom and sides of a 10-inch round cake pan (you need one that's 3 inches deep), sprinkle with flour, tip the pan, tapping on the side of the counter several times, to evenly distribute the flour over the bottom and sides, then shake out the excess. Microwave the cajeta for 30 seconds to soften it, then pour over the bottom of the pan, tilting the pan to coat the bottom evenly. Set a kettle of water over medium-low heat. Set out a deep pan that's larger than your cake pan (a roasting pan works well) that can serve as a water bath during baking.

2. Make the cake. With an electric mixer (use the flat beater, if yours has a choice), beat the butter and sugar at medium-high speed until light in color and texture. Scrape the bowl. Beat in the egg and espresso. Sift together the all-purpose and cake flour, baking powder, baking soda and cocoa. Beat in about 1/2 of the flour mixture, at medium-low speed, followed by 1/2 of the buttermilk. Repeat. Scrape the bowl, then raise the speed to medium-high and beat for 1 minute.

3. Make the flan. In a blender, combine the two milks, the eggs and the vanilla. Blend until smooth.

4. Layer and bake. Scrape the cake batter into the prepared cake pan and spread level. Slowly, pour the flan mixture over the cake batter. (I find it easiest to pour the mixture into a small ladle, letting it run over onto the batter.) Pull out the oven rack, set the cake into the large pan, then set both pans on the rack. Pour hot water around the cake to a depth of 1 inch. Carefully slide the pans into the oven, and bake about 50 to 55 minutes, until the surface of the cake is firm to the touch, except for the very center . Remove from the water bath and cool to room temperature, about 1 hour.

5. Serve. Carefully run a thin-bladed knife around the edge of the cake/flan to free the edges. Invert a rimmed serving platter over the cake pan, grasp the two tightly together, then flip the two over. Gently jiggle the pan back and forth several times to insure that the cake/flan has dropped, then remove the pan. Scrape any remaining cajeta from the mold onto the cake.

Parmesan Roasted Corn on the Cob


1/2 cup mayonnaise
5 ears corn, husk and silk removed
1 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground black pepper

Preheat an outdoor grill for medium-high heat and lightly oil grate.
Brush a thin layer of mayonnaise on each ear of corn. Sprinkle the corn with the Parmesan cheese, chili powder, salt, and pepper. Wrap each ear with aluminum foil and place on the grill.
Grill, turning occasionally, until the kernels begin to brown, about 10 minutes.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Orange and Shiso Salmon


I was perusing the internet for a recipe that had salmon and shiso in it. I only found one and although it looked good it was too fussy for what I wanted to do. So, I used the ingredients that it called for but used a different amount and method of cooking. The original recipe is here. I will give you my recipe which is easier.


I started off by chiffonading the shiso. It looked really cool after I did that. Sort of like Fiddleheads.


Whirred it all up in my bullet (oh, wait till you see the bullet like machine I bought at the H Mart today. It is really cool looking and it was on sale for 25.00).


Spread the goo on the salmon and grill.


Voila! Weeknight dinner.

Shiso Rub for Salmon

1 Side of Salmon
Handful of Shiso leaves; chiffonade
Minced orange peel from 1 orange
Juice from 1/2 an orange
Salt and pepper
1 tb Ancho powder
1 Tbl Olive oil
2 tb Butter

1. Mix everything but the salmon in a food processor or bullet.
2. Spread on the salmon
3. Grill

So it was good but I dunno if I would make it again.