PW's Braised Short Ribs with Bacon Cheddar Mashed Potatoes

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Do you know the Pioneer Woman?  You should, she's a World Famous Blogger.  A gifted photographer.  And soon to be even more mainstream...because she's having a movie made about her right now.  Being played by none other than Reese Witherspoon.  Ree Drummond is also an INSANELY good cook.  I know.  I just made her Braised Short Ribs.  You should too. 

PW's Braised Short Ribs w/ Bacon Cheddar Mashed Potatoes

Here's what I used:

8 whole Bone-in Beef Short Ribs
1/4 AP Flour, for dredging
6 pieces pancetta, diced (I used bacon)
2 tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 whole medium onion, diced (I used 2)
2 shallots, peeled and finely minced
3 regular carrots, unpeeled, diced
2 cups red or white wine (I used Barefoot Merlot)
2 cups Beef broth
2 sprigs fresh Thyme
2 sprigs fresh Rosemary

4 peeled russet potatoes
1/2 cup colby jack cheese, shredded
1 tsp garlic powder
1/3 cup sour cream
bacon crisps from Braised Short Rib recipe above

Here's what I did:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Season ribs w/ S&P, and dredge in flour.

In a large dutch oven, cook pancetta (or bacon) on medium until crispy and then remove (and set aside for mashed potatoes).  Add olive oil to pancetta/bacon grease and raise heat to high.  Brown ribs on all sides for 1-2 minutes per side, and remove.  Turn heat to medium and add onions, carrots and shallots to pan.  Cook for several minutes and then add wine.  Deglaze pan (scrape bits off bottom) with cooking spoon to get the yummy bits into the mix and off the bottom of the pan.  Boil for 2 minutes.

Add broth, 1/2 tsp salt and fresh ground black pepper.  Taste and adjust seasoning as needed.  Add ribs, thyme and rosemary (whole).

Put lid on pot and cook for 2 hours in the oven.  Reduce heat to 325 and cook another 35-45 minutes.  Ribs should be falling off the bone.

While ribs are cooking, set a large pot to boil with potatoes.  Cook until soft.  Add potatoes and the last 4 ingredients together and mix with hand mixer in large mixing bowl until smooth.  Add S&P as desired.

Plate with mashed potatoes on the bottom, 1-2 ribs on top, and then drizzle/heap sauce/vegetables on top and around the plate or bowl. 

This dish definitely has a "fall/winter" vibe, but we weren't complaining.  It was decadent, delicious and surprisingly simple for what you get as a result.  Yummm.

Sausage con Queso Dip

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Velveeta doesn't last long in my house.  I may buy it for a specific recipe...but once its in the fridge, I start making plans for it.  I can't help myself.  No, its not brie, or camembert, or even chevre...but oh, the possibilities!!

This dip is great for football season, BBQ's, and you can prep it all up to take to a friend's house, and heat it up there...and its delicious.

Sausage con Queso Dip

16 oz Velveeta, cubed
10 oz can Rotel, juice included
1-2 spicy sausages, cut into small bite-sized pieces (I used Aidell's Andoullie)

Combine all three ingredients in a microwave safe bowl, and microwave on high for 4-6 minutes.  Stir every 2 minutes, to incorporate.  Serve with tortilla chips, pretzels - also great as a topping on hot dogs!

Crawfish Fettucine

Monday, May 17, 2010

Having an old friend stop by is reason to celebrate!  We used to live near Washington, DC in Arlington, VA and often had get together's, BBQ's, Bar Crawls, etc.  These days, we live in the suburbs, hence the "City 2 Burb" blog name.  Well, when Erika, an old friend from our "fun & lively" days stopped by yesterday, I knew I had to cook up something special for her.

She took leftovers.  Nick is eating leftovers today.  And I can't WAIT to warm up MY leftovers.  This was really yummy, slightly spicy, creamy, pretty (nice flash of color with the crawfish tails) and pretty simple.  I will say that you go through plenty of dishes with this recipe, but the end result is worth it, and while in the final stage of this recipe, you have time to clean the pots!  haha.

Crawfish Fettucine

Here's what I used:

2 lbs crawfish tails (Louisiana, if possible.  Chinese is ok, but not quite the same)
2 medium onions, chopped
1 1/2 tbsp dried parsley
1 green bell pepper, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1 cup butter, unsalted (no, this is not a Paula Deen recipe)
1 tsp jalapeno relish
6 oz Velveeta Cheese
1/3 cup half and half
Tony Chacheries Cajun Seasoning
1 lb Fettucine
1/3 cup shredded Parmesan Cheese

Here's what I did:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a large saucepan, set butter to melt over medium heat.  Add onions and bell pepper and let cook until translucent, about 10 minutes.  Add garlic, parsley and crawfish tails, and stir to incorporate.  Let cook another 5-10 minutes.  Add Velveeta, cream and jalapeno relish and stir to incorporate.  Taste.  Add 1 tsp Tony Chacheries or other Cajun Seasoning, Salt and Pepper to taste.

Meanwhile, set a stock pot to boil, and cook Fettucine to al dente.  Drain and set aside.

Incorporate crawfish sauce and pasta, and then add them to a glass baking dish.  Sprinkle top with Parmesan, and bake for 15-20 minutes.

I served this with warm french bread.  It was really good.

Cajun Smothered Pork Chops

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Ok, so this hails from the south, Louisiana to be exact, and from the recipe box of an old family friend.  When Nick and I started dating, over 6 years ago, he would print this recipe out of an email he had saved, and then go from there...  Now he makes it from memory, and it is I that must take notes.  While pretty easy to make, it is time consuming, as you must allow this to cook down and simmer for quite a while to achieve the right richness and consistency...but it never fails the taste test...

Cajun Smothered Pork Chops

Here's what we used:

6-8 bone-in pork chops
4-5 medium onions, chopped
1 green bell pepper, seeded and chopped
2 stalks celery, sliced lenthwise and chopped
Tony Chacherie's Cajun Seasoning
4-5 tbsp vegetable oil
3 cups water

Here's what we did:

Season pork chops with Cajun Seasoning, front and back.

In an enamel-covered dutch oven (or non-stick stock pot) over medium heat, brown the pork chops with 3 tbsp vegetable oil, about 3-4 minutes per side.  You're looking for a crusty outer layer of flavor here, but don't want to burn them.

Once all chops have been browned, remove and set aside.  Add remaining vegetable oil, and then onions, cooking until translucent and slightly browned.  Then add green pepper and celery.  Allow this to cook together for about 10 minutes, until vegetables are all wilted and softened.

At this point, add 3 cups of water, and add the pork chops back in.  Situate the chops towards the bottom of the pot, and cover them with the vegetables.  Allow to simmer on medium-low until reduced by 1/3, about 45 minutes to an hour, stirring occasionally.

Once fully reduced, check flavor of the mixture, it should thicken slightly into a "gravy".  If flavor isn't intense enough, add more seasoning.

We served this with fresh steamed long grain white rice and Cajun Corn (simply, one can sweet corn, one can creamed corn - with a touch of cajun seasoning).

Spicy Spanish Cilantro Rice

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Happy Mother's Day to all the Mom's out there!!!  I hope you're having a special day, and that YOU are not the one cooking today.  :)

Last night I found and modified a great Emeril Lagasse recipe, entitled "Poblano Pepper-Cilantro Rice".  I did have to make a few substitutions, so it became a slightly different "being" than intended - but the audience of Nick, my Dad and Sydney didn't mind.  They all loved it, and Nick isn't even a fan of Cilantro.  Also, this recipe is prepared much like a risotto, where the liquid continues to absorb, and I found I had to add broth throughout to get the best texture from the rice.

The main reason I wanted to try this, and sought the recipe out, was that I have a great crop of fresh cilantro growing in one of my garden beds out back and I wanted to use some.  I absolutely love the combination of flavors here, and having used Rotel (Spicy Tomato and Green Chilis) instead of the Poblano's also added a "spanish rice" flair to this as well, and makes for a slightly orange color, which is also very pretty.

We paired this with BBQ chicken (using the Championship BBQ Rub), and it was delicious.

Spicy Spanish Cilantro Rice

Here's what I used:

2 tbsp vegetable oil
1 15 oz can Rotel
1 med onion, chopped
1 tbsps chopped garlic
1 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup fresh cilantro, chopped (I left stems on)
4-5 cups chicken stock
2 cups long grain white rice

Here's what I did:

In a medium saucepan, heat 1 tbsp oil over medium-high heat.  Add onions and saute until translucent, about 3 minutes.  Then add Rotel (with juice), garlic, cumin, salt, and cilantro and cook for another minute.  Transfer mixture to a blender or food processor and process on high until smooth.

In same saucepan, heat remaining oil over medium heat, and add rice, stirring until translucent, about 2-3 minutes.  Add puree and cook, stirring until most of the liquid has evaporated, about 2 minutes.  Add 3 cups of stock, stir and cover, lowering heat to medium-low.  **Check mixture every 4-5 minutes, if the rice needs more liquid and rice is still crunchy/al dente, add liquid as needed.  Do this until 15-20 minutes have passed and rice is at the right soft consistency.  Remove from heat and let sit for 10 minutes.  Fluff with a fork and serve, using extra cilantro sprigs as garnish.

Chicken Piccata with Spinach Fettucine

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

This recipe is one of my favorites, it never fails to please.  It also keeps well, and the breaded cutlets make an excellent snack or sandwich later.  I have made this for fancy dinner parties, intimate dinners for two, family gatherings, etc. and in all cases, it was a winner.  I like to pair it with Colavita Fettucine Nests because the dried pasta ends up so tender, and the nests are perfectly divided into quanties for each person.  So if I have 2 people, I use 2-3 nests, and so on...and the proportions work well.

Chicken Piccata with Spinach Fettucine (for 2)

Here's what I used:

2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1/2 cup all-purpose flour (bowl #1 for dredging)
1 extra-large egg (bowl #2 for dredging)
1/2 tablespoon water
3/4 cup italian bread crumbs (bowl #3 for dredging)
Olive Oil
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/3 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (2 lemons), lemon halves reserved
1/2 cup dry white wine

Sliced lemon, for serving
Chopped fresh parsley leaves, for serving

Here's what I did:

Preheated oven to 400 degrees.

For preparation, I first rinsed, dried, and then pounded the chicken breasts to 1/4" thickness, by placing the breasts individually in a large ziplock bag, and then pounding flat with a mallet (you can also use the bottom of a drinking glass).  I also set up the three shallow bowls for dredging the chicken.  In the first bowl, mix flour, 1/2 tsp salt and 1/4 tsp pepper.  In the second bowl, beat egg and water together.  Fill the third bowl with bread crumbs.

Prior to dredging the chicken, season both sides of each breast with salt and pepper.  Then, dredge each chicken breast in the Flour, then Egg, and finally Bread Crumb Bowls.  If there are any bare spots, re-dredge with egg, and then bread crumbs to ensure an even coating.

Once chicken is fully breaded, heat 1 tbsp olive oil in non-stick skillet over medium heat, 2 minutes per side.  Then add to a cookie sheet and allow to bake in oven for 5 to 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, set a large stockpot of water to boil for the pasta.  Cook pasta as directed, for an al dente finish.

For the sauce, over medium heat, melt 1 tbsp of butter and then add the lemon juice, wine, the reserved lemon halves, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Boil over high heat until reduced in half, about 2 minutes. Off the heat, add the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter and swirl to combine.

Plate pasta, with chicken overtop, and then drizzle with sauce.  Add chopped parsley overtop for garnish.

This is an instant classic.  Enjoy!

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