An asian take to the braised short ribs

There’s still snow on the ground here in Montreal, so sadly it’s not BBQ weather just yet, which means that we’re still braising our meat!  So once again we’re taking out the Dutch oven.

This time, the short ribs are braised Asian-style.  It’s got a little spice and a little sweetness and that combination makes this one extremely popular amongst our friends who have sampled them.  And we know this because there’s never any leftovers as everyone has asked for seconds and the plates are wiped clean!

This is another great option for a dinner party, as with all braised meats, they are even better tasting prepared a day ahead.  It’s also an easy prep, only requires one pot, in this case, a Dutch oven. These can simply be served on a bed of rice and a bold red wine will go extraordinarily well.

asian braised short ribs

asian braised short ribs

Serves 4

  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 4 ½ lbs (2 kg) beef short ribs, cut Korean-style
  • ¼ cup canola oil
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 4 green onions, white and pale green parts, thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh ginger
  • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 lemongrass stalk, cut into 4 pieces, halved lengthwise and crushed with a meat pounder
  • 1 cup beef broth
  • ½ cup soy sauce
  • ½ cup hoisin sauce
  • ½ cup rice vinegar
  • ½ cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons chile garlic sauce (Siracha), if you like it very spicy feel free to add more Siracha
  • green onion, finely chopped for garnish
asian short ribs with green onion rice

asian short ribs with green onion rice

  1. Preheat oven to 350oF (180oC).
  2. On a plate, stir together flour, 1 teaspoon of salt and 1 teaspoon of pepper.  Dry the short ribs with a paper towel and coat them all with the seasoned flour, shaking off any excess.
  3. Heat the canola oil in the Dutch oven over medium-high heat.  Then cook the short ribs in the oil, turning occasionally, until browned for about 15 minutes.  Remove ribs from the Dutch oven and set aside.
  4. In the Dutch oven, add the garlic, green onions, ginger, red pepper flakes and lemongrass and sauté for about 1 minutes, until fragrant.
  5. Pour in beef broth to deglaze the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon.  Then stir in the soy sauce, hoisin sauce, rice vinegar, brown sugar, and chile-garlic sauce.  Bring to a boil.
  6. Cover Dutch oven and transfer to oven and cook until the ribs are tender, between 2 hours and 2 ½ hours.
  7. When ribs are ready, place Dutch oven on stove and remove ribs and place aside. Then remove bones and lemongrass from pan and discard.  Separate fat from sauce, using a fat separator and return sauce and ribs to Dutch oven.  If you happen to only serve them the next day you can skip the fat separator and just refrigerate them and before reheating the short ribs just remove the congealed fat from surface of the short ribs.
  8. When ready to serve, just simply place a few ribs over white rice and spoon sauce over ribs and rice.  You can also add on top some finely chopped green onions for garnish.

In the above photos we have served the asian short ribs with green onion rice, which goes particularly well with the ribs.  This is a super easy rice which can be prepared in the microwave oven, yep, the microwave oven!   The recipe for the green onion rice will be posted following this post.

Enjoy and let me know what you think!

Artichoke squares, the easy tapa to make ahead

mom's artichoke squares

mom’s artichoke squares

I just love the concept of appetizers!  The Spanish, with their tapas or the Greeks with the meze have it right when it comes to enjoying an entire meal savouring multiple small courses all night long.  Tapas are great because it prolongs the time you spend around the table or, in our case, often around the kitchen island. What’s not to love when you get to taste a multitude of different courses instead of just the traditional three-course meal.

However serving tapas to your guests can result in a lot of work and stress if not planned properly.  My husband and I have learned that the best way to serve tapas is to have on hand a combination of cold and hot tapas, which have been prepared in advance.  All that needs to be done when the party comes around, is just some minimal assembly or reheating before they are served.   This will ensure you can enjoy the party as much as your guests!

We’ve got a long list of favourite appetizers which I’m looking forward to posting on this blog, but as a start, I am sharing with you the easiest app you’ll ever make, my mom’s artichoke squares!    It’s a little like a frittata because of the eggs, but don’t be fooled the taste is sophisticated enough for an appetizer.

This is a super easy recipe that requires minimal bowls and pans. You can make this one ahead, bake it and freeze it until you are ready to reheat and serve.  Couldn’t be easier!  And I can’t tell you how tasty and addictive these squares are, I guarantee that your guests won’t leave any behind.

mom’s artichoke squares

mom's artichoke squares

mom’s artichoke squares

ingredients:

  • 1 medium yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 can (398 ml or 1 1/2 cup) artichoke hearts, chopped
  • 4 eggs, beaten
  • 2 cups strong cheddar cheese, grated
  • ¼ cup bread crumbs
  • 1 ½ tablespoon greek oregano or regular oregano
  • 2 dashes of tobasco
  • pinch of salt and pepper
  1. Preheat oven at 350oF.
  2. Transfer chopped onion into a large microwaveable bowl along with butter.  Cook onions and butter in microwave for about 3 minutes until onions are softened and remove from microwave.  As you know, handle bowl safely as it may be very hot.
  3. Before chopping each artichoke, ensure to drain each heart of water by squeezing the water out of them.
  4. Thoroughly combine remaining ingredients (garlic, artichokes, eggs, cheddar cheese, bread crumbs, oregano, tobacco, salt and pepper) in bowl with softened onions.
  5. Spread artichoke mixture evenly into a 9″ square pan.
  6. Bake at 350oF for 35 minutes.
  7. Cool slightly and cut into squares and serve warm.
mom's artichoke squares

mom’s artichoke squares

If freezing before serving, cool completely after baking and cut into squares.  Store squares in an airtight container with parchment paper separating layers of squares.   You can therefore serve the quantity that you wish when needed and store the rest for up to 2 weeks in the freezer.  Before serving reheat oven at 350oF and bake for 15-20 minutes.

Voila!

yes, you can eat snails! try escargots à la bourguignonne

escargots à la bourguignonne

escargots à la bourguignonne

I know, I know, what could be appetizing about this slimy-looking mollusk?  You’re probably telling yourself, I’ve never been interested in trying them, or I’ve tried them but they didn’t float my boat, so why should I go on reading this, as there’s no way I’m going to make this recipe!

Well, let me keep your interest for one more paragraph or two and try to convince you to give it a shot!

For those of you who tried them and didn’t like them it may have to do with the size of the snails.  In this case, bigger is not better, they are just too rubbery, and that is certainly not appetizing for anyone.  So yes, if you’ve had the big ones, I could completely understand your disdain for them.  But go small and I’m certain you’ll be converted.

For those of you who have not tried them and may be a little turned off by the idea of ingesting a slimy mollusk, well they will not be slimy, unlike raw oysters, you will be eating them cooked soaking in garlic butter which makes them even more palatable and tender.  The best part is that you’re sopping up all that melted garlic butter with crusty bread, which probably explains why I liked them the first time I tried them, as a 5 year old child living in the Loire region of France with my parents.  So if a 5-year-old kid approves, it can’t be that gross!

If you do decide to trust me on this and take the leap and make escargots à la bourguignonne, don’t even think about buying fresh snails, it’s not worth the trouble of cleaning them, purging them of their toxins, etc…  Just buy them canned however do look for the brand which contains the greatest number of snails in the cans, this obviously means that the snails will be smaller.  Avoid any can labeled “big snails” or “gros escargots”! There is also an exquisite kind from France, called “petit gris”, and if you’re lucky to find those you’ll be converted forever.

Lastly, the other reason I’m so enthusiastic about escargots à la bourguignonne is that they are easy breezy to prepare, they can be prepared in advance, frozen and cooked when required.  This makes for a great last minute appetizer.

escargots à la bourguignonne

escargots ready to bake

escargots ready to bake

For this recipe you will need porcelain escargots dishes as shown above.

ingredients :

  • 1 garlic clove, minced and mashed
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 ½ teaspoons shallot, finely minced
  • 1 tablespoon flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon dry white wine
  • 1 can of small snails
  • French baguette

Makes 6 ½ dozen

  1. Preheat oven to 450oF
  2. Take minced garlic and mash it with salt to create a paste.
  3. Combine softened butter, shallot, garlic paste, parsley and pepper and then beat in wine.
  4. Rinse snails.
  5. Place ½ teaspoon of garlic butter inside every depression of the escargot dish and place on top of the butter one snail and then top each snail with another ½ teaspoon of garlic butter.
  6. At this point you can cover each dish tightly with aluminum foil and freeze until you’re ready to bake them.
  7. When ready to bake just remove foil and bake in oven between 4 to 6 minutes, until the butter is melted and is bubbling.
  8. Serve with baguette and a great bottle of white wine, in this case I’m partial to a muscadet!
escargots à la bourguignonne and muscadet

escargots à la bourguignonne and muscadet