Garlic Herb Ribs

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We make pork ribs as a year round dinner option.  There is something so great about knowing your dinner will turn out moist and delicious with minimal effort every time.  Usually I make them as the previously posted “Easy Oven Ribs” with a rib rub and spicy barbecue sauce.  Tonight I wanted to mix it up a little bit, making up a rub of my own that doesn’t have the traditional spicy barbecue flavoring.  With the drippings in the pan I made a gravy, but didn’t need it, so I will save it for some mashed potatoes or biscuits in the future.  The rub is pretty versatile, if you like it I would suggest making a large portion to use on chicken, pork, or even burgers storing in an airtight container at room temperature for quick use.

For a side I made a red cabbage and shaved brussel sprout coleslaw, using the same dressing directions previously posted for the “Summer BBQ Coleslaw”.

Ingredients:

1 Tbsp salt, just shy of full
1 Tbsp ground pepper, heaping
2 tsp onion powder, heaping
1 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp dried thyme, heaping
1/2 tsp celery powder
1/4 tsp mustard powder
1/4 tsp sugar

1-2 racks of meaty pork ribs
1 bottle of beer per pan

Directions:

1. Combine all dry ingredients, stir well.

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2. Arrange ribs on a shallow cooking sheet.  Season with rub, patting into surface of meat on both sides of the rack.  This rub is pretty potent and salty, so you don’t need to season too heavily.  Arrange meaty side up on the cooking sheet.

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3. Pour beer into the pan to completely cover the bottom and seal tightly with foil.  I used Stella, as I wanted a lighter beer flavor to pair nicely with the garlic herb rub.  You can use anything you want, I’d recommend a pilsner or other light lager.

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4. Bake in oven at 225º F for 4 hours; to speed up the cooking time without sacrificing moisture you can up the temperature to 285º F for 3 hours.

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To make the gravy with the drippings in the pan was so simple, and it seems such a waste to dump all that juicy goodness.  I poured the drippings into a small sauce pan and added 1/2 cup of water (adjust based on taste and amount of liquid reserved) to cut some of the saltiness, then thickened with corn starch as directed.  When I got the consistency I was looking for I added a small handful of diced shallots and almost a tablespoon of brown sugar.  Whisking together and simmering on low for about 5 minutes.  Really delicious, but like I said the ribs were so moist they didn’t need the gravy, so I’ll use it for another meal in the next day or two.  Biscuits and gravy for brunch?

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Enjoy!

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Strawberry Mimosa

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No Sunday brunch is complete without a delicious mimosa.  For this morning I made it a little extra special as the sun is shining and spring is slowly showing itself.  This is a must repeat for Easter Sunday brunch!

I used fresh strawberries for this recipe and liquefied them in the Vitamix with a little lemon juice.  If you use a regular blender you will probably have a few strawberry chunks or seeds floating around, but I’m sure it will still be delicious!  This recipe was a good amount for 4 mimosas, so double or triple as needed :).

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Ingredients:

6-7 Fresh Strawberries, more for garnish
1 Tbsp Fresh Lemon Juice
Domaine De Canton (Ginger Liqueur)
Champagne

Directions:

1. Blend strawberries and lemon juice together in Vitamix increasing speed to high for up to 45 seconds to liquefy.

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2. Add strawberry mixture to champagne flute to taste, about 1 Tbsp.  Add 1/2 Tbsp of ginger liqueur to the glass and fill rest of the way with champagne.  The bubbles from the champagne will mix everything together in a minute or so, no need to stir.

3. Garnish with a strawberry or lemon wedge.

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You can make the strawberry and lemon juice the night before, sealed in the fridge in an airtight container.  I am looking forward to making this with other types of fruit as they come in season this summer.  Adding fresh mint or basil to the Vitamix would create a nice flavor as well!

Cheers!

 

Garlic Herb Stuffed Chicken


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This dish came together the other night when having my family over for dinner.  I needed to make something easy and hearty after a day of work.  I started by making a homemade red sauce with roasted red peppers to go over some whole wheat angel hair pasta.  While the red peppers were roasting in the oven I threw in a garlic bulb to roast, you never know when you will want roasted garlic.  I wasn’t exactly sure what to do with the chicken, but the breasts were really thick so I started by cutting slits through the center 3/4 of the way through.  Initially I did this planning to butterfly to cut down on cooking time.  Once I made the slit I decided to stuff them with herbs and garlic instead.  I cut a handful of herbs from my window garden and mixed them with the roasted garlic and cracked black pepper to make the stuffing.  Dabbed with butter on top, it baked perfectly staying moist and full of flavor.

I recreated this dish a few days later, to use up the remaining sauce.  This time I served it with spaghetti squash and topped with garlic sauteed mushrooms.  So good and so easy!  You can use any herbs you have on hand, I happened to use a different combination each time I’ve made this.

Ingredients: 

4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
2-4 cloves of roasted garlic
handful of fresh herbs, chopped (I used thyme, parsley, and chives)
1 tsp black pepper, more for serving
2-4 pads of butter
2 cups of fresh sliced mushrooms
2 cloves fresh garlic, minced
1/2 tsp crushed red pepper

Directions: 

1. Start by roasting your garlic:  cut the top few centimeters off the cloves leaving skin intact.  Drizzle with oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper, then loosely wrap in foil.  Place in oven at 400 F for 45 minutes.  This works well if you are roasting red peppers for sauce or spaghetti squash for serving.  Otherwise I try to roast garlic a few times a week so I have some on hand for use during the week.

2. Cut through the chicken longways nearly the entire way through, keeping it as one piece to stuff.

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3. Mix together your chopped fresh herbs, minced roasted garlic, and black pepper in a small dish.  Rub this mixture generously in the center of the chicken, then line the breasts in a small baking dish.

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4. Rub any remaining herb mixture on top of the chicken and dab with butter, be generous.

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5. Bake at 350 for 25-30 minutes or until cooked through.

2014-03-07 20.16.016. For serving I sauteed the mushrooms with 2 cloves of minced fresh garlic, 1-2 pads of butter, and red pepper flakes on medium/low for 10 minutes.

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Enjoy!