MAUREEN’S FABULOUSLY FUDGY BROWNIES

Phil is very hard to please when it comes to brownies, bran muffins, and some types of cakes (angel food, layered coconut cake are two that come to mind).  I am always trying different recipes hoping to hit one that will awe him. Brownies, according to the resident expert, have to be dense, fudgy, big, contain nuts, and probably meet a number of other criteria that have not yet been conveyed to the person in charge of baking them (aka curve balls).  Last March, on a trip to Hawaii to celebrate our 15th wedding anniversary, he went crazy for brownies sold at a very unassuming spot, a little cafe at the entrance of Turtle Bay Resort. I admit that they were indeed spectacular, but all my attempts to get their recipe were ignored. Then, I saw this recipe at Maureen’s blog, and decided to give it a try.  They were nothing short of amazing.  I knew they would be, and the best part is, my hard-to-please husband agreed!

Maureen Brownies 22

FABULOUSLY FUDGY BROWNIES
(from The Orgasmic Chef)

Screen Shot 2015-06-26 at 2.27.20 PM

READ ON TO FIND OUT…  

I want to make sure everyone reads Maureen’s masterpiece of a post on the subject. No one should miss it, so click here for the full post, recipe included, and you can thank me later… Who else but Maureen could compose a superb post on brownies that starts with not one, but TWO episodes of flying creatures emptying their guts on her head?  Now, do you want to know what makes her post even more special for me? The fact that many many years ago (July 1986), while walking the streets of former Yugoslavia, a pigeon dropped what seemed to be a full bucket of warm, greenish-white liquid on my head, from the balcony of a building. Of course,  not a single drop hit my former husband, his Mom and his Dad who were walking next to me, and had the laugh of their lives at my expense. We had to take a bus back to the hotel, with yours truly still plastered in pigeon poop (#totallynotdistractinglysexy). Can you imagine my mood?  This is just one more reason I consider Maureen my virtual sister. And although so far I haven’t had the unique pleasure of getting showered with bat’s or crow’s poop, I can testify that the pigeon kind smells disgusting.  I am sure my readers are delighted to know that. Ready for that brownie now?

;-)

Maureen Brownies1

Isn’t that a thing of complete beauty? And the smell as it baked, and later cooled was OUT OF THIS WORLD AMAZING!  Yes, in all caps, it deserves it. These babies were moist, dense, intensely flavored, and the walnuts took care of that monochromatic nature of brownies that some people might object to.  Give this recipe a try, especially if you have a brownie-snob in your home… I guarantee these will please the toughest critic.

Maureen, thanks for the great recipe, and of course, for the amusing write-up…  if I was next to you during the crow-attack, I would do my very best not to laugh, instead would help you get back into socially acceptable shape. I am nothing if not magnanimous.

ONE YEAR AGO: Wheat Berry Caraway Bread

TWO YEARS AGO: Mexican Focaccia 

THREE YEARS AGOSunny Kamut Salad with Roasted Lemon Vinaigrette

FOUR YEARS AGO: Pane de Casa & Crostini

FIVE YEARS AGO: Down-home Dig-in Chili

SIX YEARS AGO:  Cinnamon Rolls

HOW ABOUT SOME COFFEE WITH YOUR STEAK?

Have you missed the 6th anniversary of my blog?
Only a few days left to enter my giveaway!
Click here to join…

If you’ve never used coffee in marinades or dry rubs for meat, you are missing a great opportunity to enjoy its mysterious flavor added to usual suspects such as herbs, peppers, and spices.  I’ve blogged before on a take on pork tenderloin that I still think is one of the best recipes I have in the blog, and that uses coffee as one of the ingredients.  But today I’ll switch gears and apply a coffee-based dry rub to beef. The recipe, published by The New York Times,  was recommended by our very dear friend, Marijo, who happens to be a great cook, so when she raves about something, I am all ears. And taste buds. It did not take me too long to jump on it, although it is taking me a long time to share it here.  What else is new?  That’s the way Sally rolls…

Steak_Coffee

ALL-PURPOSE CALIFORNIA BEEF RUB
(as published in The New York Times)

2 tablespoons finely ground coffee
1 ½ tablespoons kosher salt
1 ½ tablespoons granulated garlic
1 heaping teaspoon black pepper
1 tablespoon brown sugar
¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
¼ teaspoon ground cloves
¼ teaspoon cinnamon

Combine all ingredients and store in an airtight container.

Rub on the meat you intend to grill and leave it for at least one hour, overnight works too.

Grill to medium-rare, or to the level of your choice (hopefully not well-done!)

Allow the meat to rest for 10 minutes before slicing.

ENJOY!

to print the recipe click here

Comments: I’ve made this recipe quite a few times, with flank steak, flatiron steak, tri-tip, and even bison rib eye steaks. For the bison rib eye, I adapted it to sous-vide and it turned out spectacular, but the photos not so much, so I won’t dedicate a special blog article for it.

SOUS-VIDE METHOD: Apply the rub, and seal the meat in a plastic bag (vacuum is fine, water replacement method will work too). Leave the meat in the fridge for one hour or more, whatever is convenient with your schedule.   Place the bag in the water-bath set for 134 F (medium-rare) for a minimum of 3 hours.  I left mine for almost 6 hours, as I started cooking it at lunch time and we enjoyed the meat at dinner time that evening.  Once the meat is cooked, open the bag, discard the liquid accumulated inside, pat-dry the surface with the meat with paper towels.  Sear on a blazing hot grill or cast iron pan.

To our taste, the sous-vide was by far the best method for bison steaks. Same applies to flatiron. For flank and skirt steak, we think there is not much improvement by going the sous-vide route, both cuts of meat cook perfectly fine on the grill. Whatever your method of cooking, this rub is money!  Give it a try…

Marijo, thanks for sending this recipe our way,
looking forward to many more!

ONE YEAR AGO: Celebrate Wednesday with a Spiral Kick!

TWO YEARS AGO: Carrot Flan with Greens and Lemon Vinaigrette

THREE YEARS AGO: Granola Bars

FOUR YEARS AGO: Awesome Broccolini

FIVE YEARS AGO:  A Twist on Pesto

SIX YEARS AGO: Ciabatta: Judging a bread by its holes

SECRET RECIPE CLUB: LEMON LAVENDER BARS

Once again the end of the month brings the excitement of Reveal Day for us members of The Secret Recipe Club.  For those who don’t know what it’s all about, the club pairs two food bloggers in secret, and on reveal day everyone posts their recipe of choice.  I was assigned the blog Turnips2Tangerines, hosted by Lynn, from Wisconsin. Lynn’s site is a very sweet spot, with many recipes centered on all things dessert, but you will also find plenty of savory dishes to drool over. She also publishes a monthly feature called Culinary Adventures, where the cooking of a particular country is highlighted through a menu and recipes. Very nice, check her latest post on Sweden by clicking here.

When classes are over Phil and I tend to get a lot busier in the lab, with daily meetings at 7:30am.  I know that the occasional sweet treat is more than welcome by our students, so I jumped on Lynn’s blog with that thought in mind.  The moment I saw her post on lemon lavender bars, I looked no further.  But, at some point I must make her Chai Spice Cupcakes with Vanilla Frosting. They look adorable, and of course, spices make sweets special.  Or how about a Banana Bundt Cake with Maple Glaze? Yeah, baby…

LemonLavenderBars1
LEMON LAVENDER BARS
(from Turnips2Tangerines)

for the crust:
2 cups flour
3/4 cup confectioners’ sugar
1 cup cold butter
1/2 t culinary lavender

for the filling:
4 eggs
5 T fresh lemon juice
1 T grated lemon peel
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/4 cup flour
1 t baking powder
1 t culinary lavender

Heat the oven to 350 F.

In a bowl combine flour, confectioners’ sugar and lavender; cut in butter until crumbly (I used the food processor).  Press into an ungreased 13 x 9 x 2 inch baking pan. Bake for 20-30 minutes or until lightly browned.

Make the filling by beating the eggs in a bowl until frothy.  Stir in lemon juice and peel.
In another bowl combine the sugar, flour, and baking powder. Stir into the egg mixture, mixing well with a whisk.  Pour over baked crust, and sprinkle lavender over the top.

Bake for 25 minutes or until set. Cool on a wire rack, cut into bars. If you want, sprinkle confectioner’s sugar before serving.

ENJOY!

to print the recipe, click here

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Comments:  Yellow might be one of my favorite colors, so it’s only natural that I always have plenty of lemons in the fridge. Plenty.  I cannot imagine cooking without them, even savory dishes.  Lavender is another flavor I am fond of, but of course it needs to be in small doses, it’s easy to have it overpowering a dish. In these bars, the amount of lavender was just right.  I decided to use the food processor for the crust because I felt that the lavender would be better dispersed throughout the crust by doing so. After processing, I dumped everything on the counter and made sure the flour was all coated with butter, no big spots of dry flour remaining.  It is also important to try to spread the crust as evenly as possible, so that it browns at the same rate in the oven. I almost managed to do that, but one corner ended up a bit over-baked.  No major harm done, though.

The bars made a Monday morning early meeting much easier to go through…

LemonLavenderBars2

Lynn, thanks for a lovely recipe, and I hope you had a great time with your assignment this month!  For my readers, you are all invited to browse through the goodies made by my fellow screters from group D. Just poke the blue frog at the end of this post, and have a blast!

ONE YEAR AGO: Quinoa Fried Rice

TWO YEARS AGO: Carrot Flan with Greens and Lemon Vinaigrette

THREE YEARS AGO: The Secret Recipe Club: Granola Bars

FOUR YEARS AGO:  Awesome Broccolini

FIVE YEARS AGO:  A Twist on Pesto

SIX YEARS AGO: Ciabatta: Judging a bread by its holes

CARREMENT CHOCOLAT: THE SHOW-STOPPER


Carrement Chocolat Cake

Grab a chair, make yourself comfortable, this will take a while.

I suppose I could call this post A Convoluted Approach to Cake Baking.  I won’t publish the full recipe, as that would not be fair with Dorie Greenspan. After all, it’s the cake on the cover of her book, a cake she developed as an alternative for one of those masterpieces conceived by Pierre Hermé, and I am sure a lot of sweat and who knows, maybe a few tears were involved in her culinary quest to perfect it. Those truly interested can get a copy of her latest book, which by the way, I reviewed not too long ago (shameless self-promotion).

The cake has five components. FIVE. Which proves I was not in the right frame of mind when I decided to go for it. Let’s count them together:

1. A chocolate cake that must be sliced in half.
2. A chocolate filling, custard-type.
3. A syrup to soak the cake.
4. A ganache to ice the cake.
5. A topping of cubed bittersweet chocolate, salted. Surprisingly, those cubes are not simple pieces of chocolate that you can grab in the store. You are supposed to make them yourself.

That was the cake chosen to celebrate my 6 years of blogging.  Excuse me while I wipe tears from my face, I laughed so hard I cried a little…   Moving on…

The cake is a typical French layer cake, supposed to be shorter than your regular American type layer cake. Short and sweet… A single cake, baked in a 8 x 2 inch round pan, sliced in half, etc etc.  Please notice that the composite photo below clearly shows two cakes instead of one. Has Sally gone mad? I won’t answer this specific question. Let’s just say that I allowed the first cake to cool for 5 minutes in the pan, then inverted it on a rack  as instructed. One fourth of the cake stayed inside the pan, laughing at me (insert crass language here). I scraped it all as carefully as I could, pasted the pieces together, but of course realized that slicing that poor baby in half would be impossible for someone with my skills. Quickly, I assembled all the ingredients again and baked a second cake. The level of distress was getting a bit high, and it was only 8:30 am on a sunny Saturday.

composite
For the second cake, I used parchment paper to cover the bottom of the pan, and greased the living bejesus out of it. I also waited 30 minutes to invert it. That cake unmolded like it was baked by an expert  on Ace of Cakes. I danced a little to celebrate, and moved on to the making of the chocolate custard filling. The recipe starts mixing whole milk with sugar, so I promptly mixed the 3 tablespoons of sugar called for in the ingredients and proceeded to warm up the milk, only to find out that in that stage you add only 1.5 tablespoons of sugar.  The remaining sugar is beaten with egg yolks a little later in the method (Sally visualizes Dorie Greenspan giving a small lecture on how to read a recipe carefully before starting to make it). Poured the milk down the drain (please, don’t lecture me on waste), started all over.  The custard almost curdled on me, but it did not.  I danced a little to celebrate, and moved on to the making of the salted chocolate cubes and shards.

SaltedChoc

That involves melting good quality semi-sweet chocolate, gently and carefully, and adding the correct amount of Maldon salt flakes.  I did all that, but thought that the amount of chocolate seemed a little small. What the heck, Dorie knows what she’s doing when it comes to cakes. Placed the concoction in the freezer, where it would stay until next day. In theory. Not in practice. Later, much later that day, while I was making the icing, I noticed something under the stove peeking out. Four squares of semi-sweet chocolate that somehow found their way there, and only by a miracle were not consumed by Buck, the forever famished Jack Russell who sniffs and swallows food items within a mile in 1 second flat.

Puzzled, I tried to find out in which step of the recipe I lost that chocolate. I had just weighed the chocolate for the icing, and those pieces were the exact weight I expected them to be. So the missing pieces had to be for the chocolate cubes, the salted chocolate now in the freezer. Hummmm… that doesn’t bode well, does it?   Already worried, I went to the freezer, grabbed the salted batch, unwrapped it, whacked a little piece and tasted it… Aaargh!!!!!!  Way way WAY too salty, absolutely horrible, it would have ruined my cake…  Back to square one, I quickly re-made the salted chocolate and put it in the freezer at 9 pm on a Saturday evening that felt as if I had run a marathon in Arizona, mid-July.

Next day, the big day of assembling my masterpiece!  I had an important decision to make, go for a single cake sliced in half, or do a double cake using both layers.  Thinking back, I should have used the good cake, sliced in half, and frozen the other one to make something like a trifle, maybe? But I got greedy. Made the simple syrup, spooned some on the first cake, placed it over a rack on a baking sheet.  Added the filling. Topped with the second cake, added syrup, and placed the whole thing in the fridge for one hour.  I have a picture for you from that stage, and those who are experienced cake bakers might be able to see the type of trouble I set myself for.

fridge

Two problems… I think the cakes, although baked in the exact same pan (I simply washed it after the first cake played that nasty trick on me), ended up with slightly different diameters, so the top one was just a tiny bit bigger. I did not even notice at first.  Second problem, I did not allow the filling to ooze out, thinking that it would be too messy.  I am the daughter of my Dad, and we both hate any type of sugary mess. That was a major faux-pas, because I did not end up with a smooth surface in between the layers. Once I was done covering the cake (with not enough icing, I should add), the whole thing looked like Pillsbury Dough Boy going out for a karate lesson with the belt tightened too tight.  No bueno, folks, no bueno.  By then, I was in complete distress, rushed to the backyard where the husband was covered in sweat and mud while trimming trees, and informed him that my cake had been ruined. I also informed him that I would never ever be taking a picture of that “thing”, or any other cake again. And, finally I made it clear that my blogging days were over. I know for a fact that he rolled his eyes to the skies above, but he refuses to admit it, saying it was my imagination. Still, after pointing out the harsh reality that I often receive a lot more sympathy from our dogs, he promised to go back inside and help me out. Then, he reminded me that his Grandma was a fantastic cake baker and he’s got her genes (insert my own eye roll here, it’s appalling the type of stuff I have to put up with; I’ve got some great genes too, just don’t walk around bragging about them).

Staring at the cake, he said “it’s not that bad.”  That, in Phil’s speech means “Holy cow, you really screwed this one up big time!”.  He analyzed the situation and asked me to make a second batch of icing. At that point the cake was already costing me three times as much as it should, but who am I to count pennies in such a situation?  A full batch of icing was made and cooled while we had dinner. Late that Sunday, my dear husband put perfect icing music on, and patiently covered all boo-boos, smoothing out the surface as best as he could. Then I topped the cake with a properly salted batch of chocolate cubes and shards. And collapsed on the sofa.

Slice

THE OUTCOME

All the struggle was more than worthy!  The cake was absolutely delicious, rich, decadent, and the topping of salted chocolate, salted just right, by the way… was the perfect match for the cake underneath it.   My advice for those who want to try it:  read the recipe carefully, spread the preparation over a couple of days, and make it short and sweet as intended. One cake, sliced in half, no need for more.  Squish the cake filling so that it oozes out, like a competent brick layer would do with cement. Don’t worry about the mess. It will ensure that the layers will be well matched, and the icing will cover it all as icing is meant to do. On a side note, there must be some type of literally prize for someone who manages to use cake filling and cement in the same phrase. No? Well, that’s a shame!

Dorie, thanks for a fantastic recipe, it was a great opportunity to push my limits.  And of course, a special thank you to the man who stands by me when even I can hardly stand myself… Thanks to him, I shall keep on blogging…

Most important lesson learned: never underestimate your opponent. Never!

;-)

ONE YEAR AGO: Salmon Sous-Vide with Miso-Maple Glaze

TWO YEARS AGO: Avocado “Hummus”.

THREE YEARS AGO: Moving is not for sissies!

FOUR YEARS AGO: Awesome Broccolini

FIVE YEARS AGO: Pizza! Pizza!

SIX YEARS AGO:  From Backyard to Kitchen

THE BEWITCHING KITCHEN TURNS SIX!

IT’S GIVEAWAY TIME!

Six years ago I composed a post and hit “PUBLISH” for the first time, with trembling fingers and the excitement of starting a new path. For six years I’ve shared recipes, photos, stories, reviewed cookbooks, fitness videos, baked a lot of bread, quite a few desserts, and invited you over many virtual tours of our kitchen. It’s been absolutely great!  During this time I’ve made connections with a number of food bloggers and readers that now feel like real life friends. That side-benefit of blogging I could not foresee on day one, and I love it!

As I prepared this post, I noticed about 25 wordpress drafts waiting to go live, and probably nearly as many folders in my computer of recipes and photos “to be blogged soon”. Come to think of it, I could quit cooking anything new for about 6 months and still keep the site going. I have no intentions of slowing down my cooking, but such a backup of posts definitely makes life easier. Who needs a hobby that is a source of stress? No, not me, not into it. However, in such a special day we must have cake, which all of a sudden places the stress threat on RED ALERT. Plus. I’m not talking a simple cake, but one defined by Dorie Greenspan as a “show-stopper”.  I tried my hands at her “Carrèment Chocolat”.  Here is the result of my labor of love, which ended up as Phil’s labor of love too.

Carrement Chocolat Cake2

HAPPY 6th BIRTHDAY, BEWITCHING KITCHEN!

I will dedicate a special post for the making of this cake, let me just say that it was worth the stress and the many boo-boos made by yours truly, and fixed by her awesome husband.  Stay tuned.

A blog anniversary would not be complete without a giveaway to show appreciation for my readers.  You make blogging fun and rewarding. I am giving away a signed copy of David Leite’s The New Portuguese Table.  I take this opportunity to thank David for sending me a signed copy super fast… much appreciated!

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Portuguese cuisine doesn’t get the recognition it deserves. Being Brazilian, I grew up under the influence of many such dishes, not only because of Brazil’s colonization, but because my Mom’s parents were both born and raised in Portugal. I have memories of my childhood and teenage years back home, when grandma (Vovo’ Florinda, who lived with us), would make “bolinhos de bacalhau” (salt cod fritters) and the smell made me want to turn around and go back to school.  I was a silly young girl, who twisted her nose at many classic Portuguese dishes. I feel bad because I never even tried one of her fritters. Shame on me! Maybe now that I am older and so much wiser (or as I like to put it… much older and a little wiser), I can do justice to Vovo’ Florinda‘s cooking by offering this book to one of my readers.  To enter the giveaway, simply leave a comment in this post. Comments will be open until July 1st, and the winner will be announced the following day. If you’ve never commented before but have been following my blog, I would love to “meet” you, so don’t be shy anymore, and say hello! Contrary to my usual approach, I won’t reply to every comment in this post, so let me say upfront:  Thank you for taking part of my virtual celebration!

I invite you to follow me on the road to my seventh year of food blogging. I promise there will be cakes, breads, and dog tales. I’ve shown you this photo before, but I love it so much, I want to share it again… Plus, who knows how long Chief will be with us? Hard to tell… at almost 16 and a half years old, he still loves going for walks and staring at the road ahead. Like all of us do… The unknown, the possibilities. All there, waiting for us.

sunsetwalk1

A walk at sunset with the pups…


ONE YEAR AGO:
The Bewitching Kitchen turns Five!

TWO YEARS AGO: The Bewitching Kitchen turns Four!

THREE YEARS AGO: The Bewitching Kitchen Turns Three! 

FOUR YEARS AGO:  The Bewitching Kitchen turns Two!

FIVE YEARS AGO:  Bewitching Birthday!

SIX YEARS AGO: Welcome to my blog!

FAB CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES

These cookies were originally called “Flourless Almond Butter Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies.” If that’s not a mouthful of a name, I don’t know what is…  But doesn’t it sound great? Flourless immediately conveys a soft, melt in your mouth fudgy texture. Almond butter is the grown-up, classy version of peanut butter. Once you add chocolate chips, oats, and a touch of coconut (omitted from the already long name), you can stop searching for the perfect cookie to start the day. Or as a mid-morning snack…

The recipe comes from Zainab’s blog, Blahnik Baker. Zainab is a food blogger who is working hard to finish her PhD in neuroscience. I remember those days (the PhD days, not the neuroscience); they are bittersweet like the best piece of chocolate. Part of you is thrilled by the vision of the finish line approaching, but getting there is never easy. Always harder than you anticipate.  I don’t know a single PhD candidate who at the time of the defense said “I started writing my thesis early enough, it all went smoothly”.  Nope, never. But, one way or another, we all seem to get there, and at some point forget the pain, enjoy the thrill.

Choc Chip Cookies1

FAB CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES
(from Blahnik Baker)

⅔ cup old-fashioned rolled
1 teaspoon baking soda
¾ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
⅓ cup coconut flakes
1 cup almond butter (I used coconut almond butter)
⅔ cup dark brown sugar
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
⅔ cup dark chocolate chips

Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Line two baking sheets with wax paper.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the oats, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and coconut flakes

In another medium bowl, using a hand mixer or stand mixer, mix the almond butter and sugar until smooth. Add in the eggs, one at a time, and mix until combined. Beat in the vanilla extract.

Reduce speed to low and add in the dry ingredients. Mix until just combined (do not over mix). Using a rubber spatula, fold in the chocolate chips by hand.

Using a medium cookie scoop, scoop 2 tablespoon rounds of dough onto the prepared sheets.

Bake cookies for 9-11 minutes. Let cookies cool on sheet for 2 minutes. Transfer cookies to a cooling rack and let cool completely.

ENJOY!

to print the recipe, click here

CookieDough
I did not grow up eating cookies, they were not part of my family tradition. However, since moving to the US, I developed intense fondness for cookies with rolled oats.  A common American practice is to dunk cookies in milk, but I find that hard to watch. It actually makes me a little queasy, much to the amusement of one of my stepsons, who loved to tease me about it. But, the truth is that even with my anti-American stance on the dunking of a cookie, I suppose that this one would be perfect for such objectionable act.

Cookie Balls

We loved these cookies! If you don’t have coconut almond butter, use the plain type, but don’t omit the coconut flakes, they contribute a nice texture and that tropical flavor that makes these babies special and unique.

cooling

Zainab, thanks for the recipe, and good luck in this final stretch of your research, have a batch of cookies nearby, they do give a lot of energy and will make writing a tad easier. Wishful thinking?

;-)

ONE YEAR AGO: Pumpkin-Chipotle and Kale Pizza

TWO YEARS AGO: Enchiladas Suizas a la Marcela Valladolid

THREE YEARS AGO: The Little Apple

FOUR YEARS AGO: Majestic Sedona

FIVE YEARS AGO: Watermelon-induced Daze

BABY BACK RIBS WITH TOMATILLO GLAZE

Ribs are one of Phil’s favorite meals, and my default recipe has been on the blog for quite some time.  This version is different because instead of the regular barbecue sauce it calls for a tomatillo glaze. Much lighter in terms of sugar content, but very flavorful.  I actually made the exact recipe from Mary Sue Milliken a couple of years ago, but this time I tweaked it and to our taste it was close to perfection.  If you always make ribs with the red, sticky barbecue sauce, try this version for a totally different take. The tomatillos give them a brighter flavor, so get those napkins ready, and dig in!

RibsServed3_opt-2

BABY BACK RIBS WITH TOMATILLO GLAZE
(inspired by Mary Sue Milliken’s recipe)

for the dry rub:
2 racks of baby back ribs
2 1/2 tablespoons kosher salt
1 tablespoon dry mustard
1 tablespoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 large lemon, sliced
1 large lime, sliced

for the tomatillo glaze:
1 shallot, diced
3 tablespoons olive oil
10 tomatillos, husked, washed and roughly chopped
1 Serrano chile, sliced
1 large bunch fresh cilantro, roughly chopped
2 to 3 tablespoons maple syrup
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Heat oven to 325°. Combine first 5 ingredients in a small bowl. Place each rack of ribs on a double layer of foil; sprinkle rub all over ribs. Wrap racks individually and divide between 2 baking sheets.

Bake ribs until very tender but not falling apart, about 3 hours. Carefully unwrap ribs; pour any juices from foil into a 4-cup heatproof measuring cup; reserve juices. Let ribs cool completely.

Meanwhile, make the tomatillo glaze: In a large saucepan over medium-high heat, saute the shallot in the olive oil until golden. Add the tomatillos and Serrano chile and cook, stirring frequently, until the mixture thickens, 30 to 45 minutes. Add the reserved rib pan juices (discard the top layer of fat) and cilantro and cook an additional 10 minutes. Puree in a blender and add the maple syrup. Cook over low heat for 10 minutes, stirring constantly and being careful not to burn. Adjust seasoning with salt and pepper.

Turn the oven heat up to 450 degrees F, or heat the grill. If finishing the ribs in the oven, brush generously with the glaze and bake another 10 minutes per side, basting with the glaze every 2 to 3 minutes. To grill, generously glaze the ribs and grill 5 minutes per side, frequently brushing with additional glaze. Cut the ribs apart and serve hot with extra glaze on the side.

ENJOY!

to print the recipe, click here

dry rub

 Ready to go into the oven, low and slow does it!

tomatillo glaze

Comments: My default recipe is similar in the overall method of cooking the ribs covered, low and slow, then adding a glaze and blasting it in a very hot oven or grill.  But usually I skip any dry rubs and simply season the ribs with salt, pepper, lemon slices on top.  I decided to change gears this time and after searching cookbooks and websites for the ultimate dry rub, I came up with this one. Not overly spicy, but if you like more heat pump up the cayenne and that should do it.

The tomatillo glaze makes the ribs shine! The recipe makes more than you’ll need for brushing during the final phase of cooking, so warm some up and enjoy with your meal.  Leftovers would pair well with a pork tenderloin or grilled boneless chicken breasts.

closeup1The meat is falling off the bone tender, the glaze is a little tangy, a little sweet, a little spicy and plenty delicious! Great recipe, definitely a perfect option for those living in the USA with the 4th of July celebrations coming up…

This post is dedicated to my Dad, who left us 11 years ago today.
He would have loved these ribs…

Papai

ONE YEAR AGO: Ten Years Ago

TWO YEARS AGO: Someone Got a Summer Shave

THREE YEARS AGO: Border Grill Margaritas

FOUR YEARS AGO:  Goodbye L.A.

FIVE YEARS AGO:  Vermont Sourdough