Sunday, June 27, 2010

Holy Shit.

Pardon my French, but this is one of the best dinners we've had in a long time. #2 on Ryan's top 5 list of things I've ever made (#1 being this one).

I was thumbing through the latest edition of Sunset mag on my way home from Phoenix earlier in the week and came across a recipe for peach and ginger glazed ribs. Within pages was a recipe for spicy hoisin and sesame corn. What a pair! Ryan finally had a day off so we fired up the grill to test-drive these puppies.

Almost an entire roll of paper towels later (it's a messy one!), we're stuffed. As I'm polishing off my third (stop judging) glass of wine, I figured I'd post this now before a month goes by and I realize I forgot to do it.

Anywho, onto the recipes.

Let's start with the ribs, they take longer.

You will need:

1 tbsp minced garlic
4 tsp minced fresh ginger
1/4 cup soy sauce
2 1/2 lbs baby back ribs- cut into riblets (ask your butcher to do it)
1/2 cup peach preserves
1 1/2 tsp hoisin sauce
2 tsp rice vinegar
1 tbsp halced and sliced red chile
1/2 cup peeled and chopped peaches
1 tbsp chopped green onion

NOW, if you're cooking for 2 or 4, I would suggest cutting this recipe down accordingly. This serves 8. As delicious as they are, I don't know how they do as leftovers, and ribs aren't a super cheap cut of meat. I got 1 1/2 pounds and had only 1 rib leftover, what? We were hungry!

Combine garlic, 1 tbsp ginger and the soy sauce in a large mixing bowl. Toss the ribs in the bowl and let marinate in the fridge for at least one hour. Don't skip this step! If you do, they will be lacking in a lot of amazing flavor.

Make your glaze. Combine the peach preserves, hoisin sauce (available at any major market), vinegar, jalepeno and remaining 1 tspn ginger into a small sauce pan. Before I proceed I have a confession to make. I cheated. I used chile/garlic paste instead of a jalepeno. I'm sorry, it's just so much easier. Everytime I use hot peppers my hands smell of them for days. It's not cute. This is what the jar looks like and it works very well.

Back to the glaze. Cook mixture over medium heat, stirring often. Once it bubbles, remove from heat and set aside. It should look similar to this:

Throw the ribs on a charcoal grill for 25-30 minutes before using the glaze. In the last 10 or so minutes, baste the ribs generously with the glaze, until it bubbles. Sunset was very particular in how long they're supposed to be grilled for but we found our grill was much different. An easy way to tell if they're cooked well is to see how well they pull off the bone. If the meat comes off with some ease, then you're pretty much ready.

During the last 10 minutes that the ribs are on the grill, get your corn ready. You will need:

1/4 cup each hoisin sauce and honey
2 tbsp soy sauce
2 tbsp lime juice
8 ears corn, husked and cut in half (once again, adjust accordingly)
2 tsp sesame seeds
1 serrano chile, minced (I cheated again!)
2 green onions, sliced.

Combine hoisin sauce, honey, soy sauce, lime juicy and chile paste, if that's what you use. If you use the serrano, wait til the end to use it.

Put the corn on the grill with the ribs, baste with the glaze and turn often.

When your ribs and corn are done, remove from heat. Use chopped peaches, remainder of rib glaze and green onions to coat ribs. Sprinkle toasted sesame seeds and green onions on corn.

I served this with "sticky rice" (sushi rice with a little rice vinegar). Which compliments it perfectly. We all need a little starch in our diet! This is a must try, people. Even if you don't have a grill, this will work fine in the oven. Trust me,  you won't be sorry. Have napkins on stand-by.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Surf N Turf...Sorta.

The same day I made the pretty popsicles I decided to make this grilled veggie salad I had been eyeing. The picture was so inviting it made me want to lick the page (is that weird?). I tend to get so excited about side dishes that I forget about what the "main" dish should be. So here I am, chopping summer squash and I remember that I hadn't gotten very far in my dinner plans, because I only thought one dish through. So I yell to Ryan "CHICKEN OR SHRIMP!?" (tid-bit: I actually call it scrimp. My friend Randy started it and it stuck. One time I even asked the butcher for a pound of scrimp. Oops). Anyway, he said he'd like both. So I decided it was maybe kind of like surf n turf. I know the "turf" is usually steak but chickens hang out on turf too right? Right.

So Sundays menu was:
Lemon pepper shrimp and chicken
Orzo pasta
Grilled veggie salad.

Lets go over the salad:

You'll need:

1 small fennel bulb
1 orange bell pepper
1 red onion (I used half of one)
1 zucchini
1 yellow summer squash (I used 2 small ones)
1/4 cup me you don't need that much
3 tbs red wine vinegar...I used balsamic instead
1 1/2 cups grape tomatoes
1/2 cup crumbled feta
3 tbs loosely packed thinly sliced fresh basil

Slice all vegetables so they are grillable. Typically length-wise. Cut the stalks off the fennel bulb and save a handful of the fronds from the stalks and set aside. Cut the fennel bulb lengthwise and try to trim away most 
of the core.


Prepare a gas grill OR your grill pan. Grill in batches. Only flip once, be sure not to over cook. Fennel should take about 12 minutes. 10 minutes for the pepper and 6 minutes for the onion and squash.

Grill marks are my fav. I think it makes everything look prettier. Once the vegetables are cool enough to be handled, cut them all into cubes. Throw all veggies into a bowl. Combine remainder of olive oil and either balsamic or red wine vinegar. Toss in feta cheese, tomatoes, basil and fennel fronds.

So, it is a goal in life to get my version of things to look like the, what do you think?

This would be delicious with grilled pork or steak as well. Or even tofu!

Monday, June 7, 2010

We All Scream For....Popsicles?!

So, those of you who live in Phoenix or Los Angeles should be fully aware that it's an oven outside. Hot breeze? You never get used to it. Our apartment is on the 2nd floor and half the time I swear its cooler outside than it is inside. Specifically on Saturday afternoon when the techno master living in the complex behind us was playing Alice DJ and the like starting at 8am. Yes, 8am. It's really hard to keep windows and doors open when "do you think you're better off aloooooneeee" is screaching through our backyard and into our house. (I called the cops on him at 5pm because he WOULDN'T give it up). Anywho, the only things I want to eat during these months are fruit and salad. Pasta just doesn't sound good when you're sweating in places you never thought were possible.

On Sunday I made triple-berry popsicles. They are super easy, and even more delicious. The hardest part is, being patient enough for them to freeze. I did things a little differently than the recipe, I don't have a blender (I know, or a mixer) so I boiled the fruit down instead.

SO you will need:

One container raspberries
One container blueberries
One container strawberries
*you can really use any combo berries you'd like. Even pitted cherries!
1 cup simple syrup
Juice from one lemon

Combine 2/3 cup sugar and 2/3 cup water into a sauce pan. Or do what I do, and put however much you feel like into there. I really need to work on my measurements. Bring mixture to a boil, and take off heat once sugar has dissolved. Set aside.

Combine all fruit into a bowl. If you decide to use strawberries be sure to cut off the tops. Obviously. If you're using a blender go ahead and put the mixture into a blender and puree for about 30 seconds then add lemon juice and simple syrup. If you're doing what I did, pour all fruit contents into the same sauce pan you made the simple syrup. (Keep the syrup in the bottom and fold into the berries).

Juice lemon into pan. Let simmer for about 10 minutes until the berries are much softer and the mixture is not as thick. Stir mixture a couple of times to break down the fruit a little more. Remove from heat.
I had to use dixie cups for my molds instead of a super cool tupperware popsicle one. I was HEARTBROKEN when I went to the store and they didn't have any. Oh well, I made do.

These puppies need to freeze for about 3 hours BEFORE you put the popsicle sticks in them. After that, they should freeze for about 3 more then they're ready to eat!

Isn't it pretty? It was so good, that I managed to get the juice all over my white shirt. Way to go, Cobley.