Friday, December 31, 2010

Wine Braised Short Ribs served over Minted Pea Puree

Wine Braised Short Ribs:
8 Bone-in short ribs.
1/2 cup flour along with 1Tsp salt and 1 Tsp pepper in lg Ziploc bag.
olive oil.
1 large Spanish onion, cut into 1/2 inch pieces.
3 ribs celery, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
3 carrots peeled and cut into 1/2 inch pieces
3 cloves garlic.
1 cup tomato paste.
3-4 cups hearty red wine.
2 cup roughly sliced Shitake mushrooms.
beef broth to cover.
1 lg bunch thyme tied with kitchen string.
2 bay leaves.

Dredge the short rips in the flour and salt and pepper mixture in the Ziploc. knock off any extra flour. Coat lg heavy pot, preferably a dutch oven, with olive oil and bring to high heat. Add short ribs to pan in batches and brown well. Pre heat oven to 325.
While short ribs are browning puree all the vegetables in a food processor until it forms a coarse paste. Remove the short ribs from pan and drain off fat. Coat the same pan with fresh oil and add the pureed vegetables. Season the vegetables generously with salt and brown until they are very dark and a crust is formed on the bottom of the pan. Scrape the crust and let it reform. Scrap the crust again and add the tomato paste. Brown the paste for another 5 mins. Add the wine and scrape the bottom of the pan removing all the fond that was formed. Lower the heat and add the mushrooms . Reduce by half. Return the short ribs to the pan and just cover with the beef broth Add the thyme bundle and bay leaves. Cover pan and and place in over for 3 hours or more. Check periodically add more stock if needed.

For the Pea Puree:
1 bag lg frozen peas.
1/3 c chopped mint leaves.
3 Tbs half and half.
1 pat butter.
salt and pepper to taste.
2 tbs grated Parmesan (optional)
serve with a drizzle of olive oil.
Blanch peas in boiling water for 2 minutes.
Puree peas and mint in food processor. Add half and half, butter pulse a few more times. Add salt and pepper to taste.

It is hard to believe that 2010 is coming to a close. This has been an extremely difficult year for me and The Screen Porch has been my diversion. Meeting so many different people and developing a lot of new skills has kept me busy and productive as well as helping me to remain present. I am looking forward to many new and creative ideas to share with you in 2011.

I wanted to end the year with an amazing comfort dish that is a family favorite that seems to pop up right about now year after year. It is rustic, earthy and full of flavor...It warms the soul.
Here's to a creative and affirming year that we can all be proud of.
Once considered peasant food this short rib recipe epitomises slow food. Allowing you to take your time with an inexpensive cut of meat and turn it into something remarkable. Cooked "low and slow" and left relatively unattended this meal has another wonderful benefit of filling the house with it's seductive aromas.

The trick to these short ribs is to spend the time while you are cooking the vegetable puree to really allow that crust and fond to develop on the bottom of the pan. This adds a depth of flavor that you can not get by any other means.

I rely on the fresh mint and sweet pea puree to cut the richness of the meat. I always serve with creamy mashed potatoes to accompany that succulent wine infused sauce. Serve with a hearty glass of red wine and a peppery arugula salad.


Friday, December 17, 2010

The Screen Porch goes Down Under

TheScreenPorch is featured on
(click on the picture to view the recipe larger)
One of my favorite and I think most innovative blogger has just produced an incredibly creative Christmas blog. Set up magazine style. It is full of great food, artisans, great photos, fabulous people and recipes. I am thrilled that Katie chose to include one of my recipes. How excited am I to see her beautiful photo of one of my dishes!!!
Congrats to Katie for her amazingly creative BONANZA of a post. I have been a fan of Katie since she started her blog and she is an inspiration to me. It is a great Christmas gift to see my recipe in print so to speak. Visit her site it is a feast for the eyes. Truly gorgeous and unique.

Happy Holidays to all and I will be back in full force after the festivities are over.

Bon Noel!!

Monday, December 6, 2010

Marinated Cracked Dungeness Crab

Marinated Cracked Dungeness Crab:
3 crab cracked and cleaned rinsed well.
3/4 cup good extra virgin olive oil.
1/2 lg red onion thinly sliced.
6 cloves garlic chopped.
2 Tbs fresh parsley chopped.
1 Tbs fresh oregano chopped.
2 Tbs white balsamic vinegar.
2 lg lemons halved and juiced.
Pinch of crushed red pepper.
In a lg saute pan add olive oil, onions, garlic and warm on very low heat. Warm through for 5 minutes making sure not to brown at all . Add the chopped herbs , vinegar and lemon juice warm through. Place the crab in a large bowl and pour the heated mixture over the crab. Add the lemon halves and cover to refrigerate for at least an hour turning to cover occasionally.
November 15th is the opening day for Dungeness Crab and every year my family eagerly awaits the start of the season. The first of the crabs are always a little sweeter and larger in size. This is when we love to get them right off the docks and serve them simply with drawn butter.
The first crabs mark the holiday season, as surely as the first snowfall in Vermont. It is the quintessential San Fransisco meal, served with a warm loaf of sourdough bread and a bottle of great Chardonnay with family and friends or for a romantic meal for two. I would have to say cracked crab is a Thanksgiving tradition for many.
As the crab season moves forward you can find previously frozen crab in the markets and this is the way I like to serve it. Typically it is not as sweet as fresh off the boat but it is just as yummy in a unique way all it's on.