Thursday, December 17, 2009

Super Easy Beef Shortribs

NolaMom seems to be cookin' again! I am having the best time cooking new recipes. This is only my second one in a week but I forsee a future in cooking mania over here. Tonight I am doing a prototype of my Christmas Eve and New Year's Eve supper. The plan was to cook lamb shanks for Christmas Eve at the suggestion of Papa. I am not a huge fan of lamb shanks for some reason but I agreed to do it until I realized that it wasn't going to be super easy to find lamb shanks at the last minute. So I thought, why not perfect one dish and KEEP ON COOKIN'! So I am.

I am using Tyler Florence's Ultimate Short Rib recipe. As usual when I am cooking I am kind of skeptical until I taste the final product. The only reason I am a bit worried is that it was so freaking easy. It literally took me 20 minutes to do all the work and now here I sit blogging away while UH OH!

Sorry. I had the heat on too high. Like I was saying, here I sit while the ribs braise for the next 3 hours.

The rest of Tyler's menu included parsnip puree. Root vegetables are ok but I decided to substitute Giada's polenta instead. Hey, they're all family over there on the Food Network, right?

Now there are many beef short rib recipes around I am sure. My inspiration was a recipe I found in Bon Appetit, my new favorite magazine now that Gourmet is on the outs. But I didn't realize that it needed to chill over night and frankly I don't have the time to deal with a 2 day menu. If Tyler's Ultimate is just not the ultimate I may try the other one out for New Year's Eve.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Barefoot Contessa's chicken breasts with goat cheese

I've watched countless hours of Barefoot Contessa, a few while J was sneering at her from behind his laptop. He thinks her show is contrived. I love her. She makes cooking look effortless as opposed to Rachel Ray who makes me twice as anxious as I already am. Anyway, I have seen her roast the same chicken breasts stuffed with goat cheese a lot and I finally got around to trying it.

Uncle RaRa turned me on to the juiciest roast chicken breasts with the crispiest skin that I have ever had. Which is this:

You season the bone-in, skin on breasts as you wish and cook them at 500 degrees for a shorter period of time. All ovens differ and all breasts are different sizes so the time ranges from 20-30 minutes.

So I was skeptical when Ina's recipe called for cooking them at 325 degrees. I was sure that the skin would be limp. Oh, but the BC pulled through as always. The breasts were so juicy and the skin so crispy. Now, because I didn't put full faith into her (my mistake) I did turn up the heat to about 425 for 15 minutes because I wanted brown, crispy skin. The result was that the goat cheese oozed out of the skin. So follow the cooking temperature exactly. Don't try to go all renegade on her. I also didn't use herbed goat cheese because I'm not a fan. I just salt and peppered my little fellas and sprinkled some thyme on top. See below for the final picture. It wasn't as neat as Ina's but I know it was just as delicious.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Cafe Adelaide and Frosty the Snowman

Once again I have been remiss in posting and I hate it. I hate it because I feel like I am letting so many memories of the boys growing up slip away. Usually if I don't post I at least write down my thoughts in a notebook that they can read when they grow up but I haven't even been doing that. The pressure of Christmas has really gotten to me this year. For the first year W has his heart set on presents and he is in love with the lights and sounds of the holidays. He told me the other day that we forgot to put the lights on the outside of our house. No pressure.

and then there is the school application process. Kill me now.

So that is what I am focusing on right now while Pman is talking like a person in between all the whining and while they both are learning Frosty the Snowman without missing a beat. We listen to it continuously the second we get in the car until the second we get out. I'm not kidding. I only knew the words to the chorus until now.

Meanwhile Pman is a hellion at school. Getting put in timeout, almost twice so far. I think the teacher was shocked because she knows W. Well, Master P is no W. He's the Master of Terror.

W has totally come out of his shell. Talks to total strangers and talks to us nonstop. He is really into dribbling basketballs, we call him our Dribbling Fool and he begs to stay at school all day. My sweet baby is all grown up!

Anyway, the latest news is that Uncle RaRa got mentioned in the Lagniappe by Brett Anderson for his idiosyncratic taste and improving the wine list at Cafe Adelaide. Hooray to RaRa! and we got shafted out of going to eat there last night by the rainstorm. So if you get there before us give RaRa a high five because you will probably see him before we do since he's always working. and on a final note....