Archive for the ‘Recipes’ Category

Braised Spare Ribs

Beer Braised Spare Ribs

I heard about the opportunity to create a recipe for New Belgium Brewing through FoodBuzz.So I figured I’d sign up and see if I was one of the lucky ones that would be chosen. I got the email and then it was time to think what I would make. First check out their website. The only beer they make that I was familiar with was Fat Tire. I check out their site and was blown away with the variety of beers they have to offer. So many styles of beer I just wanted to do a marathon tasting of all of them, but, alas that was not possible. The next best thing was to see if I’d be able to find a location that carried all their beers, well no such luck. At least not around me. So I went to the local BevMo and worked with their selection. I picked out 3 for my recipe.

New Belgium Beers

New Belgian Brewing Beers used in recipe and for pairing

Their Enlightened Black Ale 1554, the Ranger IPA and their Organic wheat beer Mothership Wit. I knew the IPA would have a bit of a bitter flavor and that the 1554 would be more coffee/chocolate like. After reading the description on the bottle I knew it would work well for the flavors that I was thinking of, since it was a bit on the sweet side and not too bitter. The Wheat beer I thought would be a good pairing for my recipe because of it’s citrus and sour flavors  that would balance with the deep rich spice, cocoa and sweet flavor of the ribs.  I decided on beer braised spare ribs and with a beer reduction sauce. I got some wonderful meaty spare ribs and then began my process.


1 Rack of Spare ribs about 3 pounds

24 oz Ranger IPA

24 oz 1554

2 generous Tblsp Cocoa Powder

1 Tblsp ground Cinnamon

1 C brown Sugar – 3/4 for liquid and 1/4 to adjust sauce if needed

1 tsp ground Cumin

1tsp chili flakes or 1/2 tsp for less spice

Salt & Pepper to taste

1 medium onion diced

8 large cloves of garlic roughly chopped

1 6oz can of tomato paste

Begin by combining all the dry ingredients in a

Ingredients for marinade in Bowl

Ingredients for marinade in Bowl

large bowl and mix well so there are no large chunks of brown sugar, then add chopped onion and garlic salt & pepper at least 1 Tblsp each. Add in beer and mix ingredients well. Lightly trim some fat from the ribs and place in large baking pan bone side up. You may need to cut the rack into 2 or 3 sections to fit in your baking pan. Pour in marinade and make sure the ribs are mostly covered. Cover pan with aluminum foil or plastic wrap and place in refrigerator for at least 4 hours overnight would be better.

After marinating is finished remove from refrigerator

Ribs cut in sections placed meat side down in roasting pan

Ribs cut in sections placed meat side down in roasting pan

and remove cover. Turn ribs meat side up and season with salt & pepper then cover with aluminum foil and put on middle rack in 275º oven for about 4 hours. Check the ribs after 3.5 hrs to see how they are cooking. The meat should be tender when they are done. Times may vary depending on your oven.

Once they are finished remove racks and let stand. If you will be serving them immediately then cover with aluminum foil till you are ready. Pour the braising liquid from the baking pan into a sauce pan through a sieve. If you want to use

Ribs with marinade in the pan before and after braising

Ribs with marinade in the pan before and after braising

cheesecloth in the sieve or strainer that would be even better. The finer the stainer the better.  Add the can of tomato paste and whisk it into the braising liquid. Put burner on high and bring to a boil let the sauce boil till it is reduced by half to 2/3. When it gets close to half reduction taste the sauce and adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper to taste and if needed some more brown sugar.

Stages of reducing Braising liquid into sauce

Stages of reducing Braising liquid into sauce from left to right strained braising liquid, boiling to reduce by half to 1/3, finished sauce

Finished ribs before cutting

Finished ribs before cutting - Brushed with sauce and Broiled for final caramelization

When the sauce is finished place ribs under the broiler or on a hot grill to warm and add color to the meat. Then brush with sauce and place back under the broiler or on the grill till carmelized. It’s all about personal preference at that point.

When done slice ribs along the bone to separate into individual ribs and serve with sauce.

I paired the ribs with the Mothership Wit beer and it went perfectly with them. Also you can serve with asian slaw and

Plate full of ribs

Plate Full of ribs with corn and potatoes paired with New Belgian Mothership Wit

mashed potatoes or mac and cheese or roasted/grilled vegetables.

All I can say is these ribs are amazingly good. The sauce is rich with many flavor layers sweet, a bit spicy, and chocolate caramel from the beer and a slight tang. One word describes it best… Amazing!!


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So I made it to round two of the Project Food Blog competition for the next food blog star. There are 400 of us left and after this round we’ll be down to 200. You can cast your vote for me right above the blog post for the readers’ choice in this week’s challenge.
Challenge #2 was Classics, I had to pick a classic dish from another country/culture that I wasn’t familiar with so, loving Indian food I picked Chicken Biyarni. It was a fun dish to make. Project Food Blog - Entry I’m pumped for this competition and look forward to advancing all the way through, one vote at a time, with your help.

You can also  see how each of the bloggers interpreted the challenge and then you can cast your vote for your favorites!

For this week’s challenge, 200 contestants out of 400 will advance, so I need your help to vote for me to advance to the next challenge.

Thank you for your support!


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What an experience. It is rare now a days that I come across an ingredient that I am not familiar with.  I have always been curious about Kohlrabi but never got around to working with it until now.  So I do a bit of research on the web to see what it is like and the comments are it’s like a turnip, no kinda like broccoli, no more like a turnip with broccoli over tones and the descriptions go on and on and on. So now that I am not too much further along than I was before I decide to go get some and start to play with it.  I pick up a few proteins to go with it since I’m not quite sure what to expect.  I get home, peel the stuff and taste it  and it is has a sweet flavor with the texture of a turnip and the finish of broccoli.

Time to experiment with it, slice it thin, fry it puree it etc… and see what works well with it and then I settled on creating this recipe which I think uses the vegetable in a variety of ways along with the flavor of rosemary.  And the flavor combination well that was something wonderful. I like kohlrabi and look forward to using it more often.

Pan Seared Opah with Kohlrabi 3 ways – orange braised greens, rosemary roasted and heirloom tomato triangles with a rosemary aiolirico-1732-13

Recipe yield 2 mid sized entree portions

Roasted Rosemary Kohlrabi sticks

2 kohlrabi bulbs

2 tsp rosemary

1/4 cup olive oil

salt & pepper


Kohlrabi sticks coated with olive oil, rosemary salt & Pepper

Heat oven to 350º and place empty sheet pan in oven. Peel two kohlrabi bulb and cut off both ends. Putting the kohlrabi buld flat on your cutting board cut one edge off to make it flat on one side. Put that side on the cutting board and slice into 3/8″ thick slices. You can slice them to your desired thickness. Cut each slice into 3/8″ wide sticks. Put into bowl with olive oil, rosemary, salt and pepper and mix well so all the sticks are well coated. Once oven is heated wait 10 minutes then put sticks on hot sheet pan and put back  in the oven. set the timer for 30 minutes.  Check the sticks after 20 minutes and turn sticks over to allow to brown on the other side. Check again after 30 mins and if the other sides are not brown then leave in the over until they are or you are happy with them.  Taste them when you pull them out and if needed add more salt to taste.

Orange Braised Kohlrabi Greens

1.5 cups of Kohlrabi greens

1 tsp garlic

2 tsp rosemary

1.5 c water

1/4 cup orange juice from concentrate

Olive oil

Salt and pepper

Wash kohlrabi greens and separate leaves from stems discarding the stems. Chop into small pieces. Finely chop rosemary and garlic. Heat pan and add a bit of olive oil to coat. Once the pan is hot add kohlrabi greens salt and pepper and saute for about a minute. Next add all other ingredients and mix.

Beginning Braise            End braise just a bit of moisture

Beginning Braise End braise just a bit of moisture

Let the greens simmer on medium heat until liquid has pretty much evaporated. Adjust seasoning to taste.

Heirloom Tomato Kohlrabi triangles

1/2 medium sized heirloom Tomato

1/4 kohlrabi bulb

1/4 tsp finely chopped rosemary


Fleur de cel or flakey salt

truffle oil or really good olive oil


Mandoline ready to slice Slices Ready to assemble

Peel kohlrabi and slice off ends. Using a mandolin slice kohlrabi into 1/16″ thick slices. Finely chop rosemary. Slice heirloom tomato into 1/4″ slices. Place one slice of kohlrabi down on cutting board and sprinkle a bit of rosemary, fleur de cel and pepper on one side. Center tomato slice over the kohlrabi and top with a second slice of kohlrabi. Carefully cut into 4 equal triangles. Finish on plate with truffle oil or really good olive oil and a bit of fleur de cel

Rosemary Aioli

Ingredients ready to mix and add oil

Ingredients ready to mix and add oil

Zest one lemon and then juice. Place egg yolk, rosemary, garlic, lemon juice, honey and dijon mustard in food processor and turn on to allow all ingredients to mix together.

Next slowly add oil a bit at a time until it is all in.  Mix for another 30 seconds and taste the aioli.  Adjust seasoning to taste.

Pan seared rosemary Opah

Trim bloodline from Opah. Cut filet into 4 ounce pieces for appetizer or first course and 6 to 8 ounce pieces for entree portion.  Make sure that the cuts are square so it will stand up on all 6 sides in the pan. In a bowl mix olive oil, rosemary, salt and pepper to taste. Place Opah in bowl and coat completely.

Coated Opah Ready to sear

Coated Opah Ready to sear

Heat pan and coat lightly with oil. Make sure it is very hot but not smoking. Place opah filet in pan and sear. You can see it cooking by looking at the ends of the fish. Once it begins to cook about 1/4 inch on a 1 to 1.5″ thick piece then turn it to the next side until all 6 sides have been seared.


Searing evenly on all sides

Be sure not to leave the Opah searing too long or it will dry out.  Once it is done it can be anywhere from medium rare (similar to seared Ahi) to Medium.  Both are very nice.


Place kohlrabi tomato triangles on plate on opposite side stack the kohlrabi sticks, put aioli on plate and braised greens next to it and top with the opah. Put a bit of aioli on top of opah and garnish with lemon zest.

The flavor combination is wonderful. The delicate flavor of he Opah works beautifully with the rosemary aioli. The greens have an nice balance of slight bitterness which is offset by the citrus and complimented by the garlic and rosemary. When combining all the flavors on the plate you get a wonderful symphony of flavors that work beautifully together on the palate.  I hope you enjoy this recipe.

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