Thursday, November 3, 2011

Halloween, Snow, and Paula Wolfert Short Ribs


It all started with me being sorta festive. We didn't decorate this Halloween which is weird for us. We have an arsenal of spooky. So, I decided to get my spook on and cook. Dr. Food was in on it with me.


So I got the new Paula Wolfert Cookbook The Food of Morocco I know I say this all the time but I love Paula. I want to be Paula. Why do I love her so much? Well, I think it is because not only are her recipes amazing but she is a damn good writer. I am always interested to actually read what she says about food. I think that she makes people stretch their taste buds but not in a lambs brain kind of way.

Once again this recipe was pretty simple and so good. It is Short Ribs with Roasted Cauliflower


I don't think I ever have had roasted cauliflower. It is my new favorite.


See? I have a Tagine and everything but then I didn't have the diffuser. I didn't want the tagine to break so I didn't use it. I used a saucier that I have.


As far as *I* was concerned it made no difference. It was so good.


A little couscous with preserved lemon. I know I know. You don't serve couscous with a tagine because it is a whole dish in itself but this one was because I wanted it damnit. In case any of you haven't heard I live in New England and not Morocco (although I may as well live in Morocco as far as how far away my family is from me).


I was in ignorant bliss eating this. Little did I know that the next day would bring this:


Uh yeah. It is October. We got 8" of snow and then lost our power. So, to show what a good sport I was I cooked dinner in the dark.


Yes I am wearing two sweatshirts but I am being a trooper. I stopped being a trooper and stopped taking pictures of this dinner. It was Chicken and Chorizo and to tell you the truth I don't remember the rest of what happened. The cold got to my brain and I wasn't laughing anymore. We can all laugh at it now because the electricity is back.

You laugh for real and I will come punch you in the shoulder. It wasn't fun or funny. I still have residual grumpiness.

Beef Tagine with Cauliflower
Paula Wolfert

Coarse salt
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
¼ teaspoon ground turmeric
5 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
3 pounds beef short ribs or 2 pounds bone-in beef shoulder, trimmed of excess fat and cut into 1- to l!4-inch chunks
1 teaspoon sweet paprika
½ teaspoon ground ginger
½ teaspoon ground cumin, preferably Moroccan
1 medium white or red onion, grated
2 tablespoons finely chopped cilantro
2 tablespoons finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
One 2-pound cauliflower
Pinch of red pepper flakes or cayenne, or to taste
12 ounces Roma (plum) tomatoes, peeled, halved, seeded, and chopped
Juice of 1/2 lemon

NOTE: I used a Saucier instead of a tagine because I didn't have a diffuser for the tagine that I DO have.

Heat a tagine, preferably flameware, set on a heat diffuser over medium-low heat until warm. Mix 1 teaspoon salt, the pepper, and turmeric with 1-1/2 tablespoons of the olive oil and add to the warm pan.

Add the beef and saute gently until golden on all sides. Place a crumpled piece of parchment directly over the meat, cover tightly, and cook for 15 minutes, without lifting the cover. (The meat will cook in its own juices, drawn out by the salt over low heat; do not add water.)

Add the paprika, ginger, cumin, grated onion, half of the herbs, and lli cup water. Cover again with the parchment paper and the lid, and simmer gently for 3 hours, until the meat is very tender and has fallen off the bones.

Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 400°F.

Cut the cauliflower in half, then cut each half lengthwise into ½ inch-thick slices. Lightly brush a jelly-roll pan with 3 tablespoons of the olive oil. Mix the remaining 'A tablespoon oil with 1/2 teaspoon salt and a pinch of red pepper flakes and gently toss with the cauliflower. Spread the cauliflower out in one layer on the pan and roast for 15 minutes. Use a spatula to turn the slices over and roast for another 15 minutes, or until lightly caramelized. Remove from the oven, cover loosely with paper towels or a kitchen towel, and set aside.

Remove the meat from the tagine and remove and discard the bones. Return the meat to the tagine and lightly brown in the fatty juices. Tilt the pan and spoon off and discard the excess fat. If necessary, add a few tablespoons water to make a smooth sauce.

Scatter the cauliflower, tomatoes, and the remaining chopped herbs over the beef. Bring to a boil to reheat. Correct the seasoning with salt, black pepper, red pepper flakes, and the lemon juice, and serve at once.


  1. Spooky both of you...:)  but the food is delicious! 

  2. Those are the coolest aprons I've ever seen. I would actually wear one if it looked anything like that! Ok, maybe I wouldn't, but I'd at least show it to people instead of stuffing it in a drawer.

    Hi to Dr. Food. I've never seen what he looks like before.

    I am glad to see you back and with all your fingers and toes (?). I'm sorry that you had to experience February in October. That just isn't right.  At least you made this amazing meal. It looks delicious. I've not roasted cauliflower either....I must try this now.

  3. You guys are truly scary!!! Yikes, those aprons! I know I'm using a lot of exclamation points here but there is no other recourse. I'm only glad you didn't go all Donner Party on each other while snowed in, I'll attribute that to your excellent cooking skillz and Paulas' book

  4. Looks sooooooo soooo good. Those aprons are the most bad ass aprons I have EVER seen. My husband got me some crappy one with a unicorn butcher chart. (shhh!!! I didn't say it was crappy) 

    I think it was supposed to be a joke because I was obsessed with unicorns when I was little. 

  5. that apron seriously scared me! so creepy! but your food on the other hand (and I do mean that figuratively, not as in severed hand way) looks so delish! I would love to try a tagine. always a scream, Janis. Hugs.

  6. Um. Those aprons are amazing. I want them. and that beef tagine. my my. 

  7. Hope you have your power back by now… but in the meanwhile this sounds like just the stick-to-the-ribs kind of dish to keep a body warm. 

  8. Splendid! I've just reserved the book at the library and now can't wait to try it. The CT branch of my gang is still without power, but the little guys finally got to go Trick or Treating yesterday. I am new toyo ublog and can't begin to tell you how happy I am to have found. I've spent some time browsing through your earlier posts and I love the food and recipes you share with your readers andI'll definitelybe back. Have a wonderful weekend. Blessings...Mary