Short Rib Ragu

Short Rib Ragu

 

Recipe: Short Rib Ragu

This work great over polenta, pasta, or in a sandwich.

Ingredients

  • 5-6 pounds bone-in short ribs
  • kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon bacon fat, lard or oil
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 2 medium carrots, diced
  • 2 stalks celery, diced
  • 2 large cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon anchovy paste
  • 1/2 bottle big red wine
  • 14 ounces fire-roasted whole tomatoes and juice
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 3-4 dashes Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 ounce dried porcini mushrooms
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 large sprig rosemary, leaves chopped
  • 2 bay leaves
  • chicken stock or water
  • gremolata, recipe follows

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Soak dried mushrooms in 2 cups boiling water.
  2. Season ribs well with salt and pepper. Heat oil in large, heavy pot (I used a 5-qt. enameled cast iron dutch oven) over medium heat until shimmering. Brown ribs in batches for 2-3 minutes per side, then set aside. Pour out all but 1 tablespoon of accumulated fat from pot, then sauté onion, carrots and celery until soft. Add garlic and stir until fragrant.
  3. Create a hot spot in the pot by moving vegetables aside and leaving about a 3-inch radius bare. Add tomato paste and anchovy paste to the hot spot and stir vigorously until caramelized, then stir into the vegetables. Add red wine to deglaze and cook until liquid is reduced by half. Add tomatoes, mustard, Worcestershire sauce, mushrooms and soaking liquid (minus the last 1/4 inch to keep sediment out of your dish), plus herbs.
  4. Add ribs to pot and fill with chicken stock or water until ribs are nearly covered. Bring liquid to a boil, then cover tightly and braise in oven for at least 3 hours or until ribs are fall-apart tender.
  5. Remove ribs from liquid and set aside until cool enough to handle. Remove bay leaves and discard. While ribs cool, purée the braising liquid with an immersion blender until thick and set over medium-low heat to reduce if the sauce seems thin. When ribs have cooled down, discard bones and large pieces of fat, then shred the beef and return it to the pot. Remove from heat and cool to room temperature, skimming any large pools of fat from the surface.
  6. Refrigerate overnight. The next day, remove additional fat from the surface before reheating. Serve over polenta, sprinkled with gremolata.

Quick Notes

You’ll want a bold red wine to cook with and to serve with the meal. I recommend a 2011 J. Lohr Seven Oaks Paso Robles Cabernet Sauvignon

Preparation time: 1 hour(s)

Cooking time: 27 hour(s)

Number of servings (yield): 8

Recipe: Gremolata

Ingredients

  • 1 large clove garlic, minced
  • 1 large lemon, zest only
  • 1/4 cup parsley, finely chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil

Instructions

  1. Mix ingredients in a small bowl and let sit at room temperature for an hour before serving.

Preparation time: 10 minute(s)

Cooking time:

Number of servings (yield): 8

Inspired By: Short Rib Ragu

Quick Shrimp and Sausage Paella

Quick Shrimp and Sausage Paella

 

Recipe: Quick Shrimp and Sausage Paella

Ingredients

  • 1 can Mexican style tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 1/2 cup chopped red bell pepper
  • 2 garlic cloves minced
  • 2 cups instant brown rice
  • 1 1/3 cup reduced sodium chicken broth
  • 1/2 tsp dried thyme
  • 2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp crushed red pepper
  • 1/4 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1 large pinch saffron
  • 1 package (14-16 oz) smoked turkey sausage, halved and sliced
  • 12 ounces peeled and deviened raw shrimp (21-25 per pound)
  • 1 package (9 oz) frozen green peas
  • lemon slices

Instructions

  1. Heat skillet over medium-high heat. Spray with cooking spray. Saute onion, bell pepper, and garlic until softened, about 3 minutes.
  2. Add rice, tomatoes, broth, and spices. Bring to a boil. Cover and cook for 5 minutes.
  3. Stir in shrimp, sausage, and peas. Cover and cook until shrimp is cooked through, about 5 minutes.
  4. Remove from heat and let rest, covered, until most of the liquid is absorbed, about 5 minutes more. Serve with lemon slices

Preparation time: 10 minute(s)

Cooking time: 20 minute(s)

Number of servings (yield): 4

Zucchini Crustless Quiche

Zucchini Crustless Quiche

Recipe: Zucchini Crustless Quiche

This recipe was handed down to me by my Grandmother.

Ingredients

  • 3 small zucchini, diced (about 20 oz)
  • 8 oz diced mozzarella (or 4 oz mozzarella and 4 oz firm tofu)
  • 1.5 oz pecorino-romano shredded cheese
  • 4 eggs (or 2 eggs and 1/2 cup egg beaters)
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 2 tsp parsley flakes
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 375F.
  2. Mix all ingredients together.
  3. Bake for about 45 minutes. Center should be set and top should be brown.

Preparation time: 15 minute(s)

Cooking time: 45 minute(s)

Number of servings (yield): 4

Saffron Fregola with Seafood

Saffron Fregola with Seafood

Recipe: Saffron Fregola with Seafood

Fregola is a type of pasta from the Italian island of Sardinia, but you can easily substitute the more common Israeli couscous. Serve this hearty stew with a refreshing butter lettuce and pear salad and plenty of crusty bread for dipping.

 

Ingredients

  • 1 tsp. saffron threads
  • 1/4 cup dry white wine
  • 1 Tbs. olive oil
  • 1/2 lb. medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 1/2 lb. medium sea scallops, tough muscles removed
  • 1 small yellow onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 3 cups chicken broth
  • 1 cup fregola or Israeli couscous
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 1/2 lb. clams, scrubbed
  • 2 Tbs. minced fresh flat-leaf parsley

Instructions

  1. Crush the saffron in a small bowl and add the wine. Set aside.
  2. In a nonstick skillet over high heat, spray with cooking spray. When the skillet is very hot, add the shrimp and sear for 1 minute per side (do not cook all the way through). Transfer to a bowl. Add the scallops and sear for 1 minute per side, also without cooking all the way through. Transfer to the bowl with the shrimp.
  3. In a large, heavy pot over high heat add 1 Tbs. olive oil, the onion and garlic to the pot and sauté until soft, about 5 minutes. Add the saffron mixture and cook for 2 minutes. Add the broth and bring to a boil. Add the fregola and stir to combine, then reduce the heat to medium-low and cook for 12 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
  4. Add the clams, discarding any that do not close to the touch. Cover the pot tightly and steam for 3 minutes. Remove the lid and quickly add the shrimp and scallops. Cover the pot tightly again and continue to cook just until the clams open and the shrimp and scallops are cooked through, about 3 minutes. Discard any clams that failed to open. Ladle the stew into warmed bowls, sprinkle with the parsley and serve immediately.

Preparation time: 10 minute(s)

Cooking time: 30 minute(s)

Number of servings (yield): 4

Inspired By: Saffron Fregola with Seafood

Buffalo Chicken Chili

Buffalo Chicken Chili

Recipe: Buffalo Chicken Chili

A buffalo chicken wing inspire bowl of chili served topped with tangy crumbled blue cheese.

Ingredients

  • 1 pound ground chicken
  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1/2 cup celery, sliced
  • 1/2 cup carrots, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon cumin, toasted and ground
  • 1 cup beer or chicken broth
  • 1 (15 ounce) can diced tomatoes
  • 1 (15 ounce) can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne
  • 1/2 cup hot sauce (or to taste)
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • crumbled blue cheese to taste

Instructions

  1. Cook the chicken in a large pan over medium heat and set aside.
  2. Heat the oil in the pan, add the onions, celery and carrots and cook until tender, about 10-15 minutes.
  3. Add the garlic and cumin and cook until fragrant, about a minute.
  4. Add the beer or broth and deglaze the pan.
  5. Add chicken, tomatoes, beans, paprika, oregano, cayenne and hot sauce and simmer for 15 minutes.
  6. Serve topped with crumbled blue cheese to taste.

Preparation time: 15 minute(s)

Cooking time: 30 minute(s)
Inspired By: Buffalo Chicken Chili

Bell Pepper & Beef Curry

Bell Pepper & Beef Curry

Recipe: Bell Pepper & Beef Curry

Ingredients

  • 1 pound beef sirloin or strip steak, trimmed, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons canola oil, divided
  • 8 ounces green beans, trimmed, cut into 2-inch pieces (about 2 cups)
  • 2 red bell peppers, cut into thin, 2-inch strips
  • 1 14-ounce can “lite” coconut milk
  • 2 tablespoons red curry paste
  • 1 large mango, cut into 1-inch chunks
  • 4 lime wedges

Instructions

  1. Sprinkle beef with salt and pepper. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the beef and cook, stirring occasionally, until browned, 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer to a plate with a slotted spoon and drain any liquid from the pan; wipe out the pan.
  2. Reduce heat to medium. Add the remaining 2 teaspoons oil, green beans and bell peppers to the pan and cook, stirring, just until the beans begin to color, 2 to 4 minutes. Combine coconut milk and curry paste and pour the mixture into the pan. Bring to a simmer. Cover and cook until the vegetables are just tender, 2 to 3 minutes. Return the beef and any juice on the plate to the pan along with mango; cook, stirring once or twice, until heated through, 2 to 3 minutes. Serve with lime wedges over noodles.

Preparation time: 10 minute(s)

Cooking time: 35 minute(s)

Number of servings (yield): 4

Inspired By: Bell Pepper & Beef Curry

Seared Pork Tenderloin with Skillet Cherry Mostarda

Seared Pork Tenderloin with Skillet Cherry Mostarda

Recipe: Seared Pork Tenderloin with Skillet Cherry Mostarda

Ingredients

  • 1 small (1-pound) pork tenderloin, trimmed of silverskin
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil plus more for pork, divided
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 cup cherries, smashed to remove pit (defrost if using frozen)
  • 1/4 red onion, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon grainy mustard
  • 1 teaspoons white-wine vinegar

Instructions

  1. Heat a large, heavy skillet over medium-high heat until very hot. Rub pork tenderloin with olive oil and season generously with salt and pepper. Add pork to pan and cook, turning often, until evenly browned, about 14 minutes total. Transfer to a cutting board to rest. (Reserve skillet.)
  2. Add 1 tablespoon olive oil and onion to reserved skillet. Cook, stirring release browned bits from bottom of pan, until onion is tender, about 4 minutes. Stir in cherries, vinegar and mustard to skillet.
  3. To serve, slice tenderloin into 1-inch pieces and top with cherry mostarda.

Preparation time: 10 minute(s)

Cooking time: 25 minute(s)

Number of servings (yield): 4

Inspired By: Seared Pork Tenderloin with Skillet Cherry Mostarda

Shrimp Cobb Salad

Shrimp Cobb Salad

Recipe: Shrimp Cobb Salad

Ingredients

  • 4 slices center-cut bacon
  • 1 pound large shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • Cooking spray
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt, divided
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon whole-grain Dijon mustard
  • 1 (10-ounce) package romaine salad
  • 2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 cup shredded carrots (about 2 carrots)
  • 1 cup frozen whole-kernel corn, thawed
  • 1 ripe peeled avocado, cut into 8 wedges

Instructions

  1. Cook bacon in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat until crisp. Remove bacon from pan; cut in half crosswise. Wipe pan clean with paper towels. Increase heat to medium-high. Sprinkle shrimp with paprika and pepper. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add shrimp to pan; cook 2 minutes on each side or until done. Sprinkle with 1/8 teaspoon salt; toss to coat.
  2. While the shrimp cooks, combine remaining 1/8 teaspoon salt, juice, oil, and mustard in a large bowl, stirring with a whisk. Add lettuce; toss to coat.
  3. Arrange about 1 1/2 cups lettuce mixture on each of 4 plates. Top each serving with about 6 shrimp, 1/2 cup tomatoes, 1/4 cup carrot, 1/4 cup corn, 2 avocado wedges, and 2 bacon pieces.

Preparation time: 15 minute(s)

Cooking time: 10 minute(s)

Number of servings (yield): 4

Inspired By: Shrimp Cobb Salad

Angel Hair Nests with Lemon and Smoked Salmon

Angel Hair Nests with Lemon and Smoked Salmon

Recipe: Angel Hair Nests with Lemon and Smoked Salmon

Ingredients

  • 4 Angel Hair Nests (~2 oz each)
  • ¼ cup high-quality extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2-3 lemons
  • 1 8 oz. package smoked salmon
  • kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Instructions

  1. Cook Angel Hair Nests according to package directions. Using a slotted spoon, remove nests when cooked as desired and drain on paper towel-lined plate for 30 seconds.
  2. Place three nests on each serving plate. Drizzle each nest with extra-virgin olive oil then top with two small pieces smoked salmon (see photos). Grind some fresh pepper onto each nest, then grate zest from lemons over nests. Serve and enjoy!

Preparation time: 10 minute(s)

Cooking time: 10 minute(s)

Number of servings (yield): 4

Inspired By: angel hair nests with lemon and smoked trout

Sausage Stuffed Zucchini Boats

Sausage Stuffed Zucchini Boats

Recipe: Sausage Stuffed Zucchini Boats

Ingredients

  • 1 1/4 cups favorite marinara sauce
  • 4 (31 oz total) medium zucchini
  • 1 tsp oil
  • 1/2 small onion, finely diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1/2 cup diced red bell pepper
  • 14 oz lean Italian poultry sausage, removed from casing
  • 1/2 cup part skim shredded mozzarella
  • 8 tsp grated Parmesan cheese

Instructions

  1. Bring a large pot of water to boil.
  2. Preheat oven to 400°. Cut zucchini in half lengthwise and using a spoon or melon baller, scoop out flesh, leaving 1/4″ thick. Chop the scooped out flesh of the zucchini in small pieces and set aside.
  3. Drop zucchini halves in boiling water and cook 1 minute. Remove from water.
  4. Place 1/4 cup of sauce in the bottom of a 9 x 12″ baking dish, and place zucchini halves cut side up.
  5. In a large saute pan, brown sausage, breaking up as it cooks into smaller pieces until browned; set aside. Heat oil and add onion, garlic and bell pepper. Cook on a medium-low heat for about 2-3 minutes, until onions are translucent. Add chopped zucchini, season with salt and pepper and cook about 2-3 minutes. Combine with sausage and cook a few more minutes.
  6. Using a spoon, fill each hollowed zucchini with 1/3 cup cooked sausage, pressing firmly. Top each with 2 tablespoons each of sauce, 1 tablespoon each of shredded mozzarella cheese and 1 teaspoon each of parmesan cheese. Cover with foil and bake 35 minutes until cheese is melted and zucchini is cooked through.

Preparation time: 20 minute(s)

Cooking time: 45 minute(s)

Number of servings (yield): 8

Inspired By: Sausage Stuffed Zucchini Boats

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