Balsamic & Beer Braised Short Ribs with Parsnip Puree




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One of Danny’s favorite cooking methods is braising meats.  In the summertime we do a lot of Kahlua Pork taco’s that Danny braises the pork all day long in a banana leaf.  So we try to incorporate braising in some of our other meals throughout the year.  I recently came across Balsamic & Beer Braised Short Ribs with Parsnip Puree in a new cookbook we received for Christmas, The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook by Deb Perelman, she also has a awesome food blog.  Both her Blog and Cookbook have so many amazing mouthwatering recipes!!

Ingredients – Braised Short Ribs (Serves 4 to 6):
5 lbs Bone-In-Short Ribs
Kosher Salt
Freshly ground black pepper
2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
1 Large red onion, chopped
3 Large Carrots
4 Garlic Cloves, smashed and peeled
2 Tablespoons tomato paste
1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
3 Tablespoons worcestershire sauce
24 Ounces of Dark Beer or Cider
2-3 Cups of beef stock
Minced fresh flat leaf parsley (to serve)

Preheat the oven to 325 F.

Season the short ribs generously on all sides with salt and pepper. Heat a large Dutch oven over high heat, and add olive oil to coat the bottom. Once the oil is hot, brown the short ribs on all sides, in batches. Transfer the browned ribs to a plate.

Once all the ribs are browned, turn your heat down to medium-high and pour off all but one tablespoon of fat. Add the onion and carrots, season to taste with salt and pepper, and cook until softened and lightly brown, about 10 minutes. Add the garlic cloves and saute 3 more minutes. Add the tomato paste and cook for another couple of minutes, until thickened. Now add the vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, and beer, scraping all the yummy bits stuck to the bottom of the pot.

Return the browned ribs to the pot; try to place them in meatiest sides down. If not all will fit this way, put some in standing on their sides with the bones facing vertical. Add enough stock just to cover the ribs. Bring the liquid to a simmer, then turn off heat. Cover the pot tightly with foil, then with the pot’s lid.

Bake for 3 hours, or until the meat can easily be pierced with a knife, or pieces can be torn back with a fork. Remove from the oven and let rest for 15 minutes, uncovered. Skim as much fat as possible off the top.

Preheat your oven to 420 F. Remove ribs from the braise and spread them out on a baking sheet (I greased mine with cooking spray first). Roast for 15 minutes, or until the edges start to crisp. Meanwhile, strain the braising liquid into a saucepan and simmer it over high heat for 10 to 15 minutes, until reduced by a third.

Ingrediants – Parsnip Purée
2 pounds of parsnips
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/3 Cup of heavy cream
1 Tablespoon horseradish sauce or freshly grated horseradish
kosher salt and fresh ground pepper to taste
Peel parsnips and cut into medium sized chunks. Place parsnip chunks in a large pot and cover with cold water. Place over moderately high heat, cover pot and bring to a boil. Once boiling reduce heat to a simmer. Cook for 20 to 30 minutes or until parsnips are fork tender.
Drain cooked parsnips. And either place in food processor with the remaining ingredients or use an immersion blender to puree the parsnips.

To serve, place a mound of parsnip puree on your plate, then top with 1-2 short ribs and ladle with sauce. Garnish with Parsley.  Enjoy!!


Caribbean Jerk Salmon Tostadas with Grilled Pineapple Peach Coconut Salsa (Taco Tuesday!!)

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Danny and I love Mexican food (me growing up in the Southwest it has always been a big part of my life and same for Danny growing up in the Dallas area) and we try to do something Mexican each Tuesday night.  We love trying fun Mexican fusion and knew I had to try this recipe when I came across it on the Half Baked Harvest!
Ingredients (Serves 4):
  • 1 pound salmon
  • 1/4 cup ketchup
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce (use reduced sodium for less salt)
  • 1 tablespoon fresh orange juice
  • 1 tablespoon molasses
  • 3 teaspoon curry powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon fresh ginger
  • 1 clove garlic, minced or grated
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 pineapple, sliced into sticks and grilled
  • 1 peach, chopped (Optional, when they are not in season can be difficult to get)
  • 1/2 cup grape tomatoes, quartered
  • 3 tablespoons toasted coconut
  • 1 jalapeno, seeds removed and chopped
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • salt and pepper, to taste
To assemble
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 (small) corn tortillas (we like to hand make ours, super simple!!)
  • 1/2 cup cooked black beans, rinsed and drained if canned
  • 1 cup rice cooked with half coconut milk
  • 1/2 cup cheddar cheese, shredded
  1. If you choose to use premade corn tortillas, heat a skillet over medium heat. Add olive oil about 1/4 teaspoon at a time, add one tortilla and cook for about 30-60 seconds per side, until just golden and bubbly. Remove and let drain on a paper towel. Set aside until ready to use.  If you choose to make your own follow the instructions on the back of the Masa bag.  We like to add some Olive oil in the masa mixture.  Divide the mix into how many tortillas you want and use a metal tortilla press into a tortilla.
  2. Preheat the grill to medium high heat.
  3. In a glass measuring cup or bowl combine the ketchup, soy sauce, orange juice, molasses, curry powder, cayenne pepper, ginger, garlic and olive oil. Whisk to combine.
  4. Add the salmon to a medium size bowl or gallon size ziplock bag and rub with about 1/4 cup of the sauce. Reserve the remaining sauce for later.
  5. When the grill is hot, add the salmon, flesh side down (this is also when I grilled the pineapple for the salsa). Grill about 3-4 minutes and then flip, baste with a little of the jerk sauce and grill about another two to three minutes. Remove the salmon from the grill, allow to cool a few minutes and then remove the skin from the salmon and cut into four equal pieces.
  6. While the salmon cools make the salsa. Grill or broil the pineapple until charred (again, I did this while grilling the salmon). Allow to cool and chop into chunks. In a medium size bowl toss the grilled pineapple, chopped peach (if you are able to get), tomatoes, jalapeño, toasted coconut, cilantro, lime juice and salt. Toss well and taste. Add more salt if needed.
  7. Toss the coconut rice with the black beans.
  8. Preheat the broiler to high.
  9. Divide the rice among the 4 tostadas and top with equal amounts of cheddar cheese. Place under the broiler for 30 seconds or until the cheese is melted, watch closely. Remove from the oven and top each tostada with a piece of salmon and then top with the pineapple peach salsa. Serve and enjoy!!

Thai Coconut Soup!!

Thai Coconut Soup Ingrediants

Mortar & Pestle

Thai Coconut Soup Stewing!

Thai Coconut Soup 

 I was able to travel throughout Thailand with my family a couple of years ago. Since then Thai food has always held a special part of my heart and life and I try to incorporate a Thai or Vietnamese dish each week in our weekly menu. I followed this recipe from My New Roots. This Thai Coconut soup is super tasty and a great addition to a cold winter night!!
Ingredients (Serves 3- 4):
2 cans coconut milk
10 cilantro roots
6-7 stalks lemongrass
3 shallots
2-4 bird’s eye / Thai chilies (to your taste)
50g / 1.75oz galangal root (or ginger if you are not locate)
50g / 1.75oz palm sugar (or coconut sugar)
12 kaffir lime leaves
generous handful of white button mushrooms, sliced
4 cloves garlic
juice of 3 limes
3 Tbsp. fish sauce (or tamari or salt to taste)
about 1 cup water (depending on the consistency of the coconut milk)
Kitchen Utensils:
Mortar & Pestle
Metal Sieve
1. Begin by preparing all the soup’s ingredients. Wash the cilantro well in a bowl full of water, swishing the greens and roots around until completely free of dirt. Remove the upper portion of the stems, and setting them aside for garnish – we just want to use the roots here. Cut the lemongrass off where the white base portion ends and discard the tops. Pound the lemongrass until they are cracked and open. Slice the shallots. Peel and cut the galangal into chunks and pound it until it releases a little liquid. Tear the lime leaves into smaller pieces. Slice the mushrooms. Peel and smash the garlic.
2. In a medium saucepan, place the coconut milk, cilantro roots, lemongrass, shallots, chili, galangal, sugar, lime leaves, and garlic. Bring to a very gentle simmer and cook for about 15 minutes, with a lid on.
3. Strain soup through a sieve into another saucepan. Discard all solids. Add the sliced mushrooms, lime juice, fish sauce, and water until it is the right consistency. You want the soup to be light, but still creamy – this is up to you. Bring soup up to a light simmer again just to cook the mushrooms slightly. Do not boil. Season to taste and serve immediately with cilantro leaves, a slice of chili, extra lime and thinly sliced lime leaves. Serve with rice or Thai rice noodles, if desired.