Category: Gluten-Free

Roasted Smashed Potatoes

I’ve been making these Roasted Smashed Potatoes for years. My kids were always so excited to see them on the table. Last night my husband saw the parboiled potatoes “smashed” on the roasting pan and said
“Ooh, are we having smashed potatoes for dinner?” He was excited, just like kids were when they lived at home, so cute!

I like to use baby red potatoes or creamers for this recipe. They cook quickly and look better than large potatoes cut into pieces and smashed. This recipe is easy to make and can be partially prepared a day or two in advance.

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Ingredients:
1 bag (28 ounces) baby red potatoes, scrubbed and rinsed
1 tablespoon Kosher salt
cold water
2 tablespoons olive oil
sea salt
freshly ground pepper

Garnish: 1 tablespoon minced fresh herbs, such as rosemary or thyme, optional

Set up:

Line a large baking tray (10″ x 15″) with foil.
Preheat the oven to 400ºF.

Place the potatoes and salt in a large covered pot. Add enough cold water to exceed the potatoes by a couple of inches, cover the pot and bring to a boil. Once the water boils, tilt the cover to let steam escape, lower the heat a little and continue cooking until tender, about five minutes. Drain.

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Pour the olive oil onto the lined baking tray, add the potatoes and roll them around to coat with the oil.

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Once the potatoes are cool, about ten minutes, use the heel of your hand to push down and “smash” the potatoes.

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Bake in the preheated oven until golden brown and crispy on the edges, about 1 hour. Or, if making in advance, cover and refrigerate. Allow an additional ten minutes cooking time for the cold potatoes.

Season the potatoes with sea salt, pepper and fresh herbs, if using.

 

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Roasted Smashed Potatoes

I like to use baby red potatoes or creamers for this recipe. They cook quickly and look better than large red potatoes cut into pieces and smashed. This recipe is easy to make and can be partially prepared a day or two in advance.

  • Author: Trish Lobenfeld
  • Prep Time: 10 mins
  • Cook Time: 1 hour 20 mins
  • Total Time: 1 hour 30 mins
  • Yield: 4 portions 1x
  • Category: Potatoes
  • Method: Roasting
Scale

Ingredients

  • 1 bag (28 ounces) baby red potatoes, scrubbed and rinsed
  • 1 tablespoon Kosher salt
  • cold water
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • sea salt
  • freshly ground pepper
  • Garnish
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh herbs, such as rosemary or thyme, optional

Instructions

  1. Line a large baking tray (13″ x 15″) with foil.
  2. Preheat the oven to 400ºF.
  3. Place the potatoes and salt in a large covered pot. Add enough cold water to exceed the potatoes by a couple of inches, cover the pot and bring to a boil. Once the water boils, tilt the cover to let steam escape, lower the heat a little and continue cooking until tender, about five minutes. Drain.
  4. Pour olive oil onto the lined baking tray, add the potatoes and roll them around to coat with the oil.
  5. Once the potatoes are cool, about ten minutes, use the heel of your hand to push down and “smash” the potatoes.
  6. Bake in the preheated oven until golden and crispy on the edges, about 1 hour. Or, if making in advance, cover and refrigerate. Allow for an additional ten minutes to make up for the cold potatoes.
  7. Season the potatoes with sea salt, pepper and fresh herbs, if using.

 

Slow-Cooked Brisket in Red wine

I learned to make brisket from my Mother-in-Law Ruth. We always had pot roast when I was a kid. I love this dish immediately; with it’s beefy flavor and tenderness. I’ve made many different versions over the years, and this slow-cooked brisket in red wine is simple and classic.

The slow cooker is my best friend over the colder months. A braise cooks low and slow and fills the house with a wonderful savory aroma. A large  7-quart slow cooker makes enough for leftovers for or the freezer.

This recipe is best made in advance. Cook and chill overnight, then defat the brisket by scraping the solid fat off the top. Slice the brisket and put into a roasting pan and cover with the sauce and vegetables.

To freeze, place the vegetables in a self-sealing freezer bag, wrap everything tightly, and pop into the freezer. Cook the meat from a frozen state. Thaw the vegetables and add for the last 30 minutes cooking time.

Slow Cooked Brisket in Red Wine

Line up all your ingredients and tools. Since first writing this post, I’ve stopped browning meat. I find it’s an unnecessary messy step.

Brown the Meat

Five-pounds front-cut brisket
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 1/2 teaspoons Kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

Place the brisket on a tray or plate and season both sides with salt and pepper.

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Heat the oil in a 7-quart Dutch oven or stovetop-proof slow cooker insert over high heat. Add the brisket, fat side down and sear for five minutes. Flip it over and sear another five minutes. Return to the tray. I am using two 2 1/2 pound cuts and repeated the process. Don’t hesitate to set the timer to remind you when to turn the meat.

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Mis en Place

If this is a term you aren’t familiar with, it means everything in its place. To cook efficiently, it’s best to have all the prep work done in advance. No missing items and no last minute scrambling to chop something in the middle of cooking, which creates a calmer work environment.

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2 cups small diced onion
1 cup small diced celery
1 cup small diced carrot
4 minced garlic cloves
1 tablespoon dried thyme
2 bay leaves
1 teaspoon Kosher salt
2 cups dry red wine, such as a cabernet sauvignon or merlot
1 1/2 cups stock or water
6 carrots, peeled and cut into two-inch pieces
5 all-purpose potatoes, peeled and cut into approximately three-inch pieces

Add the onions, celery, carrots and garlic to the pan with the meat juices, stir  and sweat for five minutes, stirring once halfway through. Stir in the herbs.

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Pour in the wine and stock and bring to a boil for 10 minutes. This reduces the wine a bit and intensifies the flavor.

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Stir in the carrots and potatoes.

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Lay the brisket on top of the vegetables.

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Don’t forget those meat juices – pour them in!

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Cover with water or stock until halfway up the meat. Do NOT cover the meat with liquid. Slow cooking is all about an exchange of flavors between the vegetables and the meat in the cooking liquid. Both exude juices throughout the cooking process. Too much water results in a thin, weak sauce. Have patience and let the slow cooking process work to make an intensely flavored and tender dish.

 Set at a simmer for eight hours.

The key to slow cooking is low and slow. Low temperature, a very gentle simmer, just a few bubbles here and there, and slow cooking time. This method keeps the meat moist.

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Cool the brisket and refrigerate overnight.

Remove the hardened fat by scraping a spoon across the top. This was a particularly lean brisket, very little to remove.

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Remove the potatoes and chunky carrots to a plastic bag and seal tightly.

Thinly slice the brisket on the bias.

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Pour a couple of ladlefuls of sauce in the bottom of the pan.

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Lay the sliced brisket on top.

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Cover the with the remaining sauce and vegetables. Separate the vegetables from the meat if you are freezing.

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Freezing Instructions

Place a sheet of plastic wrap directly on top of the brisket to prevent oxygen from getting to it.

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Cover with foil the same way. Then lay the plastic bag of vegetables on top.

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Cover tightly with foil and freeze.

Reheat

From the Refrigerator: Preheat the oven to  400ºF and roast for 40 minutes, or until the gravy is bubbling.

From the Freezer: Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F and cook for 1 hour. Stir in the vegetables and continue cooking for 20 minutes more, or until the gravy is bubbling.

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Slow Cooked Brisket in Red wine

Braised Beef

A delicious slow-cooked brisket is great anytime. Make ahead and freeze for a special occasion.

  • Author: Trish Lobenfeld
  • Prep Time: 45 minutes
  • Cook Time: 8 hours
  • Total Time: 8 hours 45 minutes
  • Yield: 10 servings 1x
  • Category: Meat
  • Method: Braise/Slow Cooking
Scale

Ingredients

1 five-pound front-cut brisket
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 1/2 teaspoons Kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
2 cups small diced onion
1 cup small diced celery
1 cup small diced carrot
4 minced garlic cloves
1 tablespoon dried thyme
2 bay leaves
1 teaspoon Kosher salt
2 cups dry red wine, such as a cabernet sauvignon or merlot
1 1/2 cups stock or water
6 carrots, peeled and cut into two-inch pieces
5 all-purpose potatoes, peeled and cut into approximately three-inch pieces

Instructions

Place the brisket on a tray or plate and season both sides with salt and pepper.

Note: Line up all your ingredients and tools. Since first writing this post, I’ve stopped browning meat. I find it’s an unnecessary messy step.

Heat the oil in a 7-quart Dutch oven or stovetop-proof slow cooker insert over high heat. Add the brisket, fat side down and sear for five minutes. Flip it over and sear another five minutes. Return to the tray. I am using two 2 1/2 pound cuts and repeated the process. Don’t hesitate to set the timer to remind you when to turn the meat.

Add the onions, celery, carrots and garlic to the pan with the meat juices, stir and sweat for five minutes, stirring once halfway through. Stir in the herbs.

Pour in the wine and stock and bring to a boil for 10 minutes. This reduces the wine a bit and intensifies the flavor.

Stir in the carrots and potatoes.

Lay the brisket on top of the vegetables.

Don’t forget those meat juices – pour them in!

Cover with water or stock until halfway up the meat. Do NOT cover the meat with liquid. Slow cooking is all about an exchange of flavors between the vegetables and the meat in the cooking liquid. Both exude juices throughout the cooking process. Too much water results in a thin, weak sauce. Have patience and let the slow cooking process work to make an intensely flavored and tender dish.

Set at a simmer for eight hours. The key to slow cooking is low and slow. Low temperature, a very gentle simmer, just a few bubbles here and there, and slow cooking time. This method keeps the meat moist.

Cool the brisket and refrigerate overnight.

Remove the hardened fat by scraping a spoon across the top. This was a particularly lean brisket, very little to remove.

Remove the potatoes and chunky carrots to a plastic bag and seal tightly.

Thinly slice the brisket on the bias.

Pour a couple of ladlefuls of sauce in the bottom of the pan.

Lay the sliced brisket on top.

Cover the with the remaining sauce and vegetables. Separate the vegetables from the meat if you are freezing.

Freezing Instructions

Place a sheet of plastic wrap directly on top of the brisket to prevent oxygen from getting to it.

Cover with foil the same way. Then lay the plastic bag of vegetables on top.

Cover tightly with foil and freeze.

Reheat

From the Refrigerator: Preheat the oven to  400ºF and roast for 40 minutes, or until the gravy is bubbling.

From the Freezer: Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F and cook for 1 hour. Stir in the vegetables and continue cooking for 20 minutes more, or until the gravy is bubbling.

Notes

Mis en Place

If this is a term you aren’t familiar with, it means everything in its place. To cook efficiently, it’s best to have all the prep work done in advance. No missing items and no last-minute scrambling to chop something in the middle of cooking, which creates a calmer work environment.

 

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Baked Potato

The potato is a versatile vegetable. Bake it, fry it, sauté it, grill it, or roast it. Add herbs and spices, cheese or just salt and pepper and a potato is delicious. Here’s a little primer on potatoes and my recipe for a Baked Potato.

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Types of Potatoes

Potatoes grow in a variety of shapes, sizes and colors and the flesh ranges from starchy to waxy. They can be cooked using both moist and dry heat, though some types are more suitable to one than the other. Select potatoes that are firm, smooth, with no or few eyes, good color, and no blemishes. Look for similarly sized and proportioned potatoes for even baking and round or oval shape for easier peeling.

High-Starch Potatoes

Russet or Idaho Potatoes: These potatoes have a thick, brown skin and white flesh. The high-starch cells absorb more water than medium- and low-starch potatoes and separate during cooking into a crumbly or mealy texture, perfect for baked or mashed potatoes and crispy French fries. Because of this mealy texture, Russets don’t hold up well in salads.

Medium-Starch Potatoes

Waxy Potato or All-Purpose White Potato: This is the potato you see in every grocery store year round. It has a slightly lower starch content than the Russet, is good baked whole, cut into slices in a casserole or gratin or cut into steak fries or smaller chunks and roasted.

Yukon Gold; These potatoes have a golden-hued flesh, creamy texture and a natural buttery flavor, also good for baking or mashing.

Low-Starch Potatoes

There are many varieties of low-starch potatoes. They absorb less water, stay firm and have a waxier texture. They can be steamed, boiled, roasted or grilled, and are ideal for recipes where the shape of the potato is essential, such as salads.

Varieties include: red potatoes, fingerling potatoes, which resemble a plump finger with a yellow flesh and butter flavor, long white potatoes with a thick, light tan skin and firm creamy texture; or blue and purple potatoes. The latter can have a flesh color that ranges from lavender to purple, however, the color leaches out into cooking water and the cooked potatoes are not as vibrant.

New Potatoes: Anything referred to as a new potato is freshly dug, sent directly to market, and has a thin skin and waxy texture.

Creamers: Small baby potatoes, either white or red skinned, harvested prematurely at about one-inch in diameter.

Storage

Store potatoes  in a dark, dry, cool place for up to two weeks to prevent sprouting and excessive moisture loss. Potatoes are members of the nightshade family (tomatoes, bell peppers and chili peppers), and exposure to light may cause green spots to appear on the potato, an indication of the alkaloid solanine, which has a bitter taste and can be toxic in large quantities. No need to toss the entire potato, just cut away any green portions before cooking.

Discoloration

Peeled potatoes oxidize, or turn brown, when exposed to the air; simply keep them submerged in cold water to keep them white.

Hard water, which has a high alkali content, may cause potatoes to turn pink or yellow; to counteract, add an acid, such as lemon juice or vinegar to neutralize. The recommended amount is about 1/2 teaspoon of the acid to a gallon of water.

Cooking

Always scrub potatoes with a vegetable brush to remove dirt. Cut away any eyes or a crevice the brush can’t reach. Potatoes can be cooked with the skin or peeled. There are many nutrients in the skin and they’re delicious. I always eat the skin on my baked potato. Mash red potatoes with skin on. Serve potato salad with skins on. Potatoes also hold their shape better when cooked with skins on; if you want skinless potato salad, peel them after cooking.

One of the simplest ways to cook a potato is to bake it or microwave it. After washing, dry thoroughly and pierce three times with a paring knife along the top to allow steam to escape during cooking. The potato makes it’s own chimney while cooking, which may lead to messy pieces of burst potato on your appliance walls, so don’t forget to pierce it!

Baked Potato Recipe

Potatoes can be baked in the oven or cooked in the microwave. The microwave version has a soft skin. For a crisper skin, baking in the oven is optimal. Rubbing a little olive oil, salt and freshly ground pepper over the potato before cooking is a way to infuse more flavor into the potato  and get a crispier skin. Or, just toss the cleaned, dried and pierced potato in the oven with nothing else.

There are many delicious toppings: melted butter, yogurt, sour cream, chives, shredded cheese or a combination of a few of these ingredients. Don’t hesitate to top your baked potato with beef or chicken taco mixture or beef stew. Let your imagination run wild!

Ingredients

1 medium Russet potato per person
1 teaspoon olive oil, optional
Kosher salt
freshly ground pepper

Set up:

Preheat the oven to 425ºF.

Wash, dry and pierce the potato three times along the top.

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Aluminum foil for oil rubbed potatoes.

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Method:Bake until a fork easily pierces the potato, approximately 60 minutes for a medium potato.

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Note: To microwave, follow the above procedure, and cook until a fork easily pierces the potato. The timing will depend on the power intensity of your microwave, anywhere from 3 to 5 minutes.

To serve: Slit the potato lengthwise and horizontally down the center. Push the ends with your hands to crack the potato open and create a hole to fill with the topping of your choice.

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Baked Potato Recipe

Potatoes can be baked in the oven or cooked in the microwave. The microwave version has a soft skin. For a crisper skin, baking in the oven is optimal. Rubbing on a little olive oil, salt and freshly ground pepper (lots of pepper for me) before cooking is a way to infuse more flavor into the potato during cooking and get a crispier skin. Or, just toss the cleaned, dried and pierced potato in the oven with nothing else.

  • Prep Time: 10 mins
  • Cook Time: 60 mins
  • Total Time: 1 hour 10 mins
Scale

Ingredients

  • 1 medium Russet potato per person
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil, optional
  • Kosher salt
  • freshly ground pepper

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 425ºF.
  2. Wash, dry and pierce the potato three times along the top.
  3. Aluminum foil for oil rubbed potatoes.
  4. Method:
  5. Bake until a fork easily pierces the potato, approximately 60 minutes for a medium potato.
  6. Note: To microwave, follow the above procedure, and cook until a fork easily pierces the potato. The timing will depend on the power intensity of your microwave.
  7. To serve: Slit the potato lengthwise and horizontally down the center. Push the ends with your hands to crack the potato open and create a hole to fill with the topping of your choice.







Cranberry Sauce

It isn’t thanksgiving without a cranberry dish, and the vibrant cranberry red is a welcome addition to the earthy colors of the Thanksgiving turkey and traditional sides. Cranberries are tart, so tart as to be inedible without some sweetener. This Cranberry Sauce recipe, however, goes lighter on the sugar to highlight the cranberry and complement the other naturally sweet sides, such as sweet potatoes, butternut squash and cornbread. For an interesting little twist, I’ve added a couple of Clementines.

Method

Rinse and pick through the cranberries for any bad ones.

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Bring the cranberries, water and sugar to a boil in a medium-size covered pot.

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Lower the heat to a gentle boil, leave the cover ajar, the cranberries pop and spatter.

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Cook until cranberries are thick, about 12 minutes.

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In the meantime, peel the Clementines, and remove all the pith and strings.

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Cut the cleaned Clementines in half and stir in.

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Serve at room temperature.

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Cranberry Sauce

cranberry sauce in a bowl

A traditional recipe with a little twist. Sweet clementines with fresh cranberries make a delicious condiment, especially at Thanksgiving!

  • Author: Trish Lobenfeld
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 12 minutes
  • Total Time: 27 minutes
  • Yield: about 4 cups 1x
  • Category: Condiment/Sauce
Scale

Ingredients

2 cups (1 package) fresh cranberries
1/4 cup cold water
1/4 cup granulated sugar
2 Clementines, peeled and cut in half

Instructions

Rinse and pick through the cranberries for any bad ones.
Bring the cranberries, water and sugar to a boil in a medium-size covered pot.
Lower the heat to a gentle boil, leave the cover ajar, the cranberries pop and spatter.
Cook until cranberries are thick, about 12 minutes.
Stir in the Clementine segment halves.
Serve at room temperature.

Keywords: cranberries, clementines, Thanksgiving side dish, dairy-free, gluten-free, vegan

 

Roasted Butternut Squash

 

Here’s a quick and easy how to: roasted butternut squash. Roasting the squash intensifies its sweet, buttery flavor. Use the squash as a mashed side dish with a little salt and pepper or as a soup base. See our Curried Butternut Squash Soup and Curried Butternut Squash Soup with Chicken, Spinach and Rice recipes.

This is a winter squash that is abundant from fall through spring. Although available all year, it’s best during the cooler seasons. Off-season the flesh is usually paler in color, somewhat dry and stringy and not as flavorful. Look for a squash that has the stem end still attached, is firm and weighty. The outer skin is tough and inedible, but provides a protective coat that allows the squash to be stored in cool, dry spots for months, and that storage times further sweetens the flesh.

The pear-shaped squash is solid through the neck and the bulbous portion contains a pocket of seeds, which are edible after cleaning and roasting, similar to pumpkin seeds. The flesh color is a vibrant golden yellow, rich in carotene, vitamins A and C and the squash is high in fiber.

Enjoy this delicious squash all season!

Roasted a Butternut Squash

Wash and dry a 2 1/2-pound butternut squash. Lay the squash on its side and slice off the top and bottom ends. Stand the squash up and with a sharp knife cut the squash in half vertically.

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Lie the squash down, cut side up.

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Use a soup spoon to scrape the seeds from the pocket.

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Brush the cut side with a little olive oil.

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Lie the squash flat side down on a lined sheet tray.

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Bake in preheated oven (400ºF) for about 45 minutes, or until fork tender. Remove and let cool for 20 minutes. The skin is easier to remove when it cools. If you want to serve immediately, scrape with a spoon to remove.

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Turn the squash over and cut along the outer edges of the cut side of the squash to loosen the skin, flip the squash over and pull the skin off.

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Any remaining white can be scraped off with the spoon.

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There is very little waste when you let the squash cool a bit.

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How To: Roast a Butternut Squash

Here’s a quick and easy how to: roasted butternut squash. Roasting the squash intensifies its sweet, buttery flavor. Use the squash as a mashed side dish with a little salt and pepper or as a soup base. See our Curried Butternut Squash Soup and Curried Butternut Squash Soup with Chicken, Spinach and Rice recipes.

  • Prep Time: 10 mins
  • Cook Time: 50 mins
  • Total Time: 1 hour
  • Yield: 3-4 cups squash 1x
  • Category: Side Dish
  • Method: Roasting
Scale

Ingredients

  • 1 two and one-half pound butternut squash
  • olive oil for brushing

Instructions

Preheat the oven to 400ºF.

Line 10” x 15” baking sheet with parchment or foil.

Wash and dry the butternut squash and slice off the top and bottom.

Stand the squash wide bottom down and with a sharp knife cut in half lengthwise.

Use a soupspoon to scoop out the seeds.

Brush cut side of the squash with a little olive oil and lie it cut side down on the baking sheet and bake for 40 minutes or until fork tender. Cool for 20 minutes.

Turn the squash over and cut along the outer edges of the cut side of the squash to loosen the skin, flip the squash over and pull the skin off. Any remaining white can be scraped off with the spoon.

Mash with a fork, season with salt and pepper and serve.

Notes

Freezes well – cool and freeze in airtight container.

Keywords: squash, butternut squash, roasted squash, side dish

 

Curried Butternut Squash Soup

The streets and yards are lined with all the colors of fall: gold, rust, brown and a few recalcitrant green leaves. As our appetite changes with the season, we need something to fill the kitchen with the tempting aromas that make us salivate in anticipation of the next meal, and nothing does that better than a bowl of soup. This recipe for Curried Butternut Squash Soup has few ingredients: curry, butternut squash, Granny Smith apples, onions, vegetable stock, olive oil and Kosher salt. It’s perfect for all dietary needs — it’s vegan, dairy free and gluten free.

Look for a squash with the stem end still attached and one that is firm and weighty. The outer skin is tough and inedible, but provides a protective coat that allows the squash to be stored in cool, dry spots for weeks, and as a side benefit, it becomes sweeter with storage time. The pear-shaped squash is solid through the neck and the bulbous portion contains a pocket of seeds, which are edible after cleaning and roasting, similar to pumpkin seeds. The flesh color is a vibrant golden yellow, rich in carotene, vitamins A and C and the squash is high in fiber.

For this recipe, the squash can either be peeled, seeded, cubed (the smaller the cubes, the faster the cooking time) and added directly to the soup mixture for cooking; or roasted and the flesh scooped out at the end of the cooking. Either method works well, there is no difference in taste, texture or appearance.

See these helpful posts for How To: Peel a Butternut Squash and How To: Roast a Butternut Squash.

Curried Butternut Squash Soup Recipe

Line Up Your Ingredients

Butternut squash, Granny Smith apple, onion, olive oil, curry, salt and vegetable stock. I’m showing hot curry here for those whose palettes are not as delicate (okay, wimpy) as mine. If you decide to use the hot curry, halve the amount to one teaspoon.

Also, for those really paying attention, I made a double batch, which is why the onion is HUGE and there are two apples. That’s a five-pound squash! I have tested the recipe for a single batch and it works great. I wanted to get a big batch made and frozen for the holiday season. It really comes in handy. Last year I served a small mug of the soup to everyone as they arrived for X-mas eve dinner.

Line up your ingredients for the soup:

Sweat Your Vegetables

Heat the olive oil in a large covered pot over medium-high heat. Lower the heat a little, toss in the onion, apple and salt and cover and sweat for five minutes, which releases water and softens the onion and apple.

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Release the Flavor of the Curry

Stir the curry powder into the hot vegetables and oil and stir for about 30 seconds, which releases the natural oils in the spice.

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Add the Stock and Simmer

Add the stock and squash (either raw or roasted) and bring to a boil. Lower the heat to a gentle boil and cook until the apple and squash are easily crushed when pushed against the side of the pan with a wooden spoon. This can take anywhere about 45 minutes depending on the size of the squash pieces.

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Puree the Soup

Puree the soup with a blender, in batches, or with an immersion blender. See out video on how to safely blend hot ingredients.

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Taste

It’s always a good idea to taste at this point and tweak to your liking. Enough salt? Too thick? Add some water. Too spicy, add a squeeze of lemon juice.

 

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 More Than You Need Now?

Freezes well for several months.

 

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Curried Butternut Squash & Granny Smith Soup

For this recipe, the squash can either be peeled, seeded, cubed (the smaller the cubes, the faster the cooking time) and added directly to the soup mixture for cooking; or roasted and the flesh scooped out at the end of the cooking. Either method works well, there is no difference in taste, texture or appearance. Check out the website to see How To: Peel a Butternut Squash and How To: Roast a Butternut Squash.

  • Prep Time: 30 mins
  • Cook Time: 60 mins
  • Total Time: 1 hour 30 mins
  • Yield: Six 2-cup portions 1x
Scale

Ingredients

  • 1 two and one-half pounds butternut squash
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 cups diced onion
  • 1 Granny Smith apple, peeled, cored and roughly chopped
  • 2 teaspoons Kosher salt
  • 2 teaspoonssweet curry powder*
  • 4 cups vegetable stock or water
  • *reduce by half if using hot curry

Instructions

  1. Set up:
  2. Preheat the oven to 400ºF.
  3. Line a 10” x 15” baking sheet with parchment or foil.
  4. Method:
  5. Heat the oil in a large covered pot over medium-high heat and stir in the onion, apple and salt; cover, lower the heat and sweat for five minutes.
  6. Add the curry and stir for 30 seconds to release the flavor.
  7. Stir in the stock (and raw squash, if using this method) and bring to a boil, lower the heat to a gentle boil and continue cooking until the squash easily crushes against the side of the pan, approximately 30-60 minutes, depending on the size of the squash cubes.
  8. Puree the soup (add the roasted squash at this point if using that method) in a blender, in batches, or with an immersion blender. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed.
  9. Soup freezes well.

Garlic Shrimp Bites with Pineapple Salsa

This recipe for Garlic Shrimp Bites with Pineapple Salsa is a light, easy-to-prepare appetizer. If you don’t have the ceramic spoons shown in the picture above, use taco or pita chips.

Most fishmongers clean and devein the shrimp for you. If possible, get them to remove the tail end, too. If not, just pinch until you hear a slight crack and gently wiggle it off. I prefer to use Wild USA shrimp.

Shelled and deveined shrimp.

If you don’t have a grill, heat a medium frypan over medium-high heat and sauté the marinated shrimp as directed below.

Cut the green onions on the diagonal and include the green tops, which add color and flavor.

Method

Combine the shrimp, oil, garlic, salt and pepper flakes in a non-reactive bowl and cover or a self-closing plastic bag, and chill for at least two hours.

Marinating shrimp.

Preheat the grill. Place the shrimp on the hot grill and cook for two minutes on one side, turn and cook another one or two minutes. The shrimp are ready when they are pink and firm.

Grilled shrimp.

Cut the shrimp into bite-size chunks and place one piece on each spoon or on each taco or pita chip and top with pineapple salsa. See our post on how to peel a pineapple.

Pineapple Salsa

Pineapple salsa.

1/2 fresh pineapple, minced
1/4 cup freshly squeezed lime juice
1/4 cup thinly sliced green onions (cut on diagonal green tips)
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
1 small jalapeno,
1 teaspoon Kosher salt

Chopped green onions.

Combine the pineapple, lime juice, green onions, cilantro, jalapeno, and salt. Let sit 30 minutes, stir once at 15 minutes. Can be made up to two days in advance.

Salsa ingredients.

 

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Grilled Garlic Shrimp

Most fishmongers clean and devein the shrimp for you. If possible, get them to remove the tail shell, too. If you don’t have a grill, heat a medium sauté pan over medium-high heat and sauté the marinated shrimp into the hot pan and cook as directed below.

  • Author: Trish Lobenfeld
  • Prep Time: 20
  • Cook Time: 6
  • Total Time: 26 minutes
  • Yield: 8 portions 1x
  • Category: Appetizer
  • Method: Grilling
Scale

Ingredients

Pineapple Salsa

1/2 cup minced fresh pineapple
1/4 cup freshly squeezed lime juice
1/4 cup thinly sliced green onions (cut on diagonal green tips)
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
1 small jalapeño
1 teaspoon Kosher salt

Grilled Shrimp

one pound medium or large shrimp, shelled and deveined
2 tablespoons olive oil
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon Kosher salt
1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes, more if you dare!

Instructions

Pineapple Salsa

Combine the pineapple, lime juice, green onions, cilantro, jalapeno, and salt. Let sit 30 minutes, stir once at 15 minutes.

Note: Salsa can be made up to two days in advance.

Combine the shrimp, oil, garlic, salt and pepper flakes in a non-reactive bowl and cover or a self-closing plastic bag, and chill for at least two hours.

Preheat the grill. Place the shrimp on the hot grill and cook for two minutes on one side, turn and cook another one or two minutes. The shrimp are ready when they are pink and firm.

Top each shrimp bite with a little salsa.

Keywords: salsa, pineapple salsa, shrimp with pineapple salsa, appetizer, condiment, dairy-free, gluten-free, bite-size shrimp

 

Butter Bourbon Acorn Squash

Bourbon Butter Acorn Squash in a bowl

I love winter squash and this Butter Bourbon Acorn Squash recipe is rich and sweet. Use this recipe two ways: serve each person a squash bowl or scoop out the squash, including the remaining butter-bourbon liquid, and mash.

Setup

Give the outer skin a quick scrub and dry thoroughly.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F, and line a baking sheet with parchment or foil.

Method

Combine the brown sugar, butter, bourbon, salt, and pepper in a small saucepan or microwavable bowl and melt.

Bourbon Butter Acorn Squash with seeds

Cut the squash in half lengthwise and remove the seeds with a soup spoon.

Bourbon Butter Acorn Squash halved

To steady the bowl, cut a small piece off the outside center rib or bottom of each squash. The shoulders of the squash on the top should balance the squash nicely.

Bourbon Butter Acorn Squash trimmed

Pierce each half with a fork or paring knife to create openings for the bourbon butter to soak into the squash, being careful not to pierce through the skin.

Pour 1/4 of the butter-bourbon liquid into each bowl and baste the inside and edges.

Bourbon Butter Acorn Squash with liquid

Place in the preheated oven and roast for 15 minutes, baste again and continue baking. Repeat 3 more times.

The squash is done when the the squash is easily pierced with a fork.

Bourbon Butter Acorn Squash roasted

The outside skin of the acorn squash toughens during cooking; slide a sharp knife between the skin and pulp along the sides. Serve and let each dinner use a fork to stir the squash and sauce together.

Alternatively, pour the remaining liquid into a serving bowl, scrape the pulp out of each bowl, scrape all the pulp out and stir to combine. Use this method if you want to use as mashed acorn squash.

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Butter Bourbon Acorn Squash

Bourbon Butter Acorn Squash in a bowl

Use this recipe two ways: serve each person an individual squash bowl or scoop out the squash, including the remaining butter-bourbon liquid, and mash.

  • Author: Trish Lobenfeld
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 1 hour
  • Total Time: 1 hour 20 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings 1x
  • Category: Side Dish
  • Method: Roasting
Scale

Ingredients

2 tablespoons brown sugar
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons bourbon
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
2 acorn squash

Instructions

Give the outer skin a quick scrub and dry thoroughly.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F, and line a baking sheet with parchment or foil.

Combine the brown sugar, butter, bourbon, salt, and pepper in a small saucepan or microwavable bowl and melt.

Cut the squash in half lengthwise and remove the seeds with a soup spoon.

To steady the bowl, cut a small piece off the outside center rib or bottom of each squash. The shoulders of the squash on the top should balance the squash nicely.

Pierce each half with a fork or paring knife to create openings for the bourbon butter to soak into the squash, being careful not to pierce through the skin.

Pour 1/4 of the butter-bourbon liquid into each bowl and baste the inside and edges.

Place in the preheated oven and roast for 15 minutes, baste again and continue baking. Repeat 3 more times.

The squash is done when the the squash is easily pierced with a fork.

The outside skin of the acorn squash toughens during cooking; slide a sharp knife between the skin and pulp along the sides. Serve and let each dinner use a fork to stir the squash and sauce together.

Alternatively, pour the remaining liquid into a serving bowl, scrape the pulp out of each bowl, scrape all the pulp out and stir to combine. Use this method if you want to use as mashed acorn squash.

Keywords: squash, mashed squash, bourbon-spiked squash, vegetarian side dish

Curried Lentil and Kale Stew

Lentils are an easy legume to work with – no soaking overnight or precooking. This quick and easy Curried Lentil and Kale Stew is a hearty meal packed with flavor.

Ingredients

DSCN1837

Wash, destem and coarsely chop the kale.

Roughly chopped kale.

Method

Heat the oil and butter in a large Dutch oven or saucepan with a cover over medium-high heat. Stir in the sliced onions and the salt. Stir to coat the onions, cover and sweat for 10 minutes, stirring a couple of times. if you notice the onions frying (turning brown and crisping), lower the flame a bit.

Onions after sweating 10 minutes.

Remove the cover and continue to cook the onions. The purpose of sweating is to release the water content from the onions. Removing the lid lets that water evaporate and then the natural sugars in the onion begin to caramelize.

Caramelized onions create a fond on the bottom of the pan.

Keep a cup of cold water nearby to add in small doses to dissolve the fond, which colors and flavors the onions as they soften.

Add a little water/stock to the pan and scrape to dissolve the fond.

The onions are done when they are soft and golden, about 30 minutes.

Caramelized onions.

Stir in the carrots, celery, peppers, garlic and curry powder.

Stir in the prepped vegetables and curry powder.

Once the aroma of the curry is fragrant, about 30 seconds, add the stock and lentils and bring to a boil. Lower to a moderate simmer and cook for 15 minutes.

Add the water/stock and lentils.

Stir in the kale in batches, adding more as it wilts and continue ontinue cooking for another 10 minutes.

With the kale.

Serve immediately or  cool and refrigerate. Soup freezes well.

2-cup Mason jars for the freezer.

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Curried Lentil and Kale Stew

Lentils are an easy legume to work with – no soaking overnight or precooking. This quick and easy Curried Lentil and Kale Soup is a hearty meal packed with flavor.

 

  • Author: Trish Lobenfeld
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 65 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour 35 minutes
  • Yield: 2 1/2 quarts 1x
  • Category: Stew
Scale

Ingredients

2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 pounds cooking onions, thinly sliced (4 cups)
1 tablespoon kosher salt
2 quarts vegetable stock or water
5 medium carrots, peeled and cut into quarter-inch coins (2 cups)
5 medium celery stalks, peeled and cut into quarter-inch slices (2 cups)
1 each red and yellow bell peppers, cored and cut into quarter-inch pieces (1 ½ cups)
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons curry powder (sweet or hot)
1 sixteen ounce package of lentils, rinsed and picked over for foreign objects
1 large bunch kale, washed, stems removed and roughly chopped (4 cups)

Instructions

Heat the oil and butter in a large Dutch oven or saucepan with a cover over medium-high heat.

Stir in the sliced onions and the salt. Stir to coat the onions, cover and sweat for 10 minutes, stirring a couple of times. if you notice the onions frying (turning brown and crisping), lower the flame a bit.

Remove the cover and continue to cook the onions. The purpose of sweating is to release the water content from the onions. Removing the lid lets that water evaporate and then the natural sugars in the onion begin to caramelize. Keep a cup of cold water nearby to add in small doses to dissolve the fond, which colors and flavors the onions as they soften. The onions are done when they are soft and golden, about 30 minutes.

Stir in the carrots, celery, peppers, garlic and curry powder. Once the aroma of the curry is fragrant, about 30 seconds, add the stock and lentils and bring to a boil.

Lower to a moderate simmer and cook for 15 minutes.

Stir in the kale in batches, adding more as it wilts and continue ontinue cooking for another 10 minutes.

Serve immediately or  cool and refrigerate.

 

 

Notes

Soup freezes well.

Sautéed Cod in Sage-Infused Oil

Alaskan cod (aka Pacific cod) is in season! It’s a mild white fish with a flaky texture. The fish can be prepared in many ways: fried, baked, pan roasted or sautéed. This recipe, which I’ll call Sautéed Cod in Sage-Infused Oil is from  Julia Della Croce.

In 2013, we were at the Roger Smith Food Conference in NYC. Heritage Radio Network had a booth set up and asked to interview us (I spoke about biscotti). I sat in the outer area listening to Julia talk about Italian food and the importance of preserving traditional recipes and as she summed up, she gave a delightfully simple recipe for a fish dish. My mouth watered and I was hooked (no pun intended 🙂 )!

I had to wait until my husband went out-of-town, though. He’s not a big fish fan and really hates the fish smell in the house. This week I had that opportunity and found wild Alaskan cod. Not a Mediterranean fish, but in the US a very special catch for about six weeks this time of year. I made her recipe with the cod and served it over oven-roasted asparagus.

Recipe

Here’s Julia’s recipe: heat some olive oil in a sauté pan over medium heat, add a few sage leaves and continue to cook to perfume the oil. Pat the fish dry and sprinkle both sides with kosher salt and freshly ground pepper. Remove the sage leaves, raise the heat a bit, lay the seasoned fish in the perfumed oil and cook 4 minutes on one side and 3 minutes on the other. The timing was perfect. The fish had a slightly herbaceous flavor, a crusty outside, was throughly cooked and very moist.

Thanks for a delicious dinner Julia!

 

Pot Roast

Before we get into the Pot Roast recipe, here are some tips on making a perfect braise.

A frequent mistake made in braise recipes is adding too much liquid at the start of cooking. This dilutes the sauce. It takes a little faith to put your meat and vegetables in the pot with only a cup of
braising liquid. It pays off in the end when you’re rewarded with a very flavorful sauce from an exchange of flavors between the vegetables, the braising liquid and the meat juices.

Pot roast is a large piece of meat, but don’t be tempted to add more liquid than I suggest. I have taken pictures to show you that the braising liquid increases early in the cooking process. Everything cooks thoroughly and the flavor is robust.

Pot roast is a very simple braise. Brown the seasoned meat and set aside. Sweat the onions, add large pieces of carrots and potatoes, some bay leaves and braising liquid.  Cook until tender.

Braised dishes are best if left to sit overnight. It intensifies the flavor and, since the meats used in braising are fatty, the fat sits on the surface and solidifies overnight, just scrape it off before reheating.

Slice the meat and place on a platter surrounded by the vegetables and cover with a little gravy.

Pot Roast Method

 

Season both sides of the pot roast with salt and pepper.

Heat the oil in a 7-quart Dutch oven or large saucepan with a cover over high heat. Add the seasoned pot roast to the hot oil and lower the heat slightly. Brown the top turn and brown the bottom.

Remove the meat and add the onions to the hot pot over medium heat. Cover and sweat for 3 minutes. Uncover, raise the heat a bit and sauté for several minutes until lightly browned.

Toss in the garlic and stir until fragrant, about 30 seconds.

Stir in the stock, potatoes, carrots, bay leaves, salt and pepper. Return the meat to pot, pushing a few vegetables aside to snuggle the roast in. This is where it takes a little faith. The amount of liquid is minimal.

Bring this to a boil, lower the heat to barely a simmer, cover and let cook for 2 1/2 to 3 hours or until fork tender. For a slow cooker set on low for 6 hours.

This picture shows the pot roast after 3 hours cooking (I used a slow cooker) – notice the increase in liquid at the halfway point.

Cool the roast, refrigerate overnight and then remove the fat. Reheat, slice and serve. The gravy thickens from the starch in the potato, no need to add flour.

Refrigerated overnight:

Fat removed before reheating:

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Pot Roast

  • Author: Trish Lobenfeld
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 7 hours
  • Total Time: 7 hours 30 minutes
  • Yield: 6 portions 1x
  • Category: Beef
  • Method: Braising
Scale

Ingredients

2  pounds chuck roast
1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 large onion, peeled and sliced lengthwise
4 garlic cloves, peeled and lightly smashed
1 cup stock or water
1 1/2 pounds red or white potatoes, cut into 6 lengthwise slices
4 large carrots, peeled into 4 inch chunks
2 bay leaves
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

Instructions

Season both sides of the pot roast with salt and pepper.

Heat the oil in a 7-quart Dutch oven or large saucepan with a cover over high heat.

Add the seasoned pot roast to the hot oil and lower the heat slightly. Brown the top turn and brown the bottom.

Remove the meat and add the onions to the hot pot over medium heat. Cover and sweat for 3 minutes.

Uncover, raise the heat a bit and sauté for several minutes until lightly browned.

Toss in the garlic and stir until fragrant, about 30 seconds.

Stir in the stock, potatoes, carrots, bay leaves, salt and pepper. Return the meat to pot, pushing a few vegetables aside to snuggle the roast in. This is where it takes a little faith. The amount of liquid is minimal.

Bring this to a boil, lower the heat to barely a simmer, cover and let cook for 2 1/2 to 3 hours or until fork tender. For a slow cooker set on low for 6 hours.

Cool the roast, refrigerate overnight and then remove the fat. Reheat, slice and serve. The gravy thickens from the starch in the potato, no need to add flour.

Sofrito Braised Country-Style Spare Ribs with Rice and Beans

 

I’ve been busy preparing for the onslaught of Eric’s friends for the Super Bowl. Dinner is Sofrito Braised Country-Style Spare Ribs Over Rice, Beans & Chorizo.

No one has a favorite team this year and I expect a rather low-key (no yelling or expletives) evening. They arrive around 4ish and expect noshes. I like to mix up the Super Bowl recipes and not always rely on salsa and chips and chili. Here’s a recipe for a quick and easy appetizer, Buffalo Wing Dip.

Check out some of these links for delicious dessert ideas!

Triple Chocolate Brownies

Apple Pie with Crumb Topping

Spare Ribs

Heat the oil in a 7-quart covered Dutch oven or heat-proof slow cooker insert over medium-high heat. Once the oil is hot (it quivers a bit), add the onion, cover and sweat for five minutes.

DSCN0566

Stir in the green pepper, tomatoes, salt and pepper flakes; bring to a boil, lower a bit and continue cooking until the liquid reduces about ten minutes.

DSCN0568

DSCN0574

Add the garlic, sherry wine vinegar, coriander, turmeric, jalapeño and bay leaves, stir and cook for 30 seconds, just until fragrant. Pour in the stock and stir to combine.

Note: this is more liquid than I would normally use, but I want 2 cups of the flavorful liquid to cook the rice.

DSCN0579

Set the spare ribs in the sofrito and bring to a boil.

Stovetop Method: lower heat to barely simmer and continue cooking until the pork is fork tender, about two and one-half hours.

Slow Cooker Method: Set the slow cooker on low and cook until the pork is fork tender; check at six hours and adjust accordingly.

DSCN0580

Cool and refrigerate overnight. Skim the fat before reheating.

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Rice

Heat the oil in a small sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add the chorizo and sauté until golden brown, about five minutes. Remove to a paper towel-lined plate.

DSCN0589

Put the strained sofrito sauce and rice in a medium-sized covered saucepan. Bring to a boil and lower the heat to simmer, cover and cook for the recommended time on the package.

Note: Follow instructions on package for cooking in Microwave.

DSCN0656

Stir in the beans, chorizo and cilantro; continue cooking until heated through.

To serve: Spoon the rice mixture in the middle of the plate, top with the spare ribs and ladle sauce over the top. Serve remaining sauce in a gravy boat.

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Braised Sofrito Country-Style Spareribs with Rice, Pink Beans and Chorizo

Make this a day or two in advance to let the flavors meld.

  • Author: Trish Lobenfeld
  • Prep Time: 45 minutes
  • Cook Time: 8 hour
  • Total Time: 8 hours 45 minutes
  • Yield: 6 servings 1x
  • Category: Main Dish
  • Method: Braise
Scale

Ingredients

  • Spare Ribs
  • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 cups diced onion
  • 1 cup diced pepper
  • 2 cans (15 ounces) fire-roasted tomatoes
  • 1 tablespoon Kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 10 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
  • 2 tablespoons sherry wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon ground coriander
  • 2 teaspoons turmeric
  • 1 jalapeño, seeded and minced
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 4 cups chicken stock (water or vegetable stock is fine)
  • 4 pounds boneless country-style pork spare ribs
  • Rice
  • ½ pound chorizo, skin removed and ¼-inch dice
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 cups strained sofrito sauce, return the vegetables to the pot
  • 1 cup long-grain white rice
  • 1 can (15 ounces) pink beans, rinsed and drained
  • ¼ cup roughly chopped cilantro

Instructions

  1. Spare Ribs
  2. Heat the oil in a 7-quart covered Dutch oven or heat-proof slow cooker insert over medium-high heat. Once the oil is hot (it quivers a bit), add the onion, cover and sweat for 5 minutes.
  3. Stir in the green pepper, tomatoes, salt and pepper flakes; bring to a boil, lower a bit and continue cooking until the liquid reduces about 10 minutes.
  4. Add the garlic, sherry wine vinegar, coriander, turmeric, jalapeño and bay leaves, stir and cook for 30 seconds, just until fragrant. Pour in the stock and stir to combine.
  5. Note: this is more liquid that I would normally use, but I want 2 cups of the flavorful liquid to cook the rice.
  6. Set the spare ribs in the sofrito and bring to a boil.
  7. Stovetop Method: lower heat to barely simmer and continue cooking until the pork is fork tender, about two and one-half hours.
  8. Slow Cooker Method: Set the slow cooker on low and cook until the pork is fork tender; check at six hours and adjust accordingly.
  9. Cool and refrigerate overnight. Skim the fat before reheating.
  10. Rice
  11. Heat the oil in a small sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add the chorizo and sauté until golden brown, about five minutes. Remove to a paper towel-lined plate.
  12. Put the strained sofrito sauce and rice in a medium-sized covered saucepan. Bring to a boil and lower the heat to simmer, cover and cook for the recommended time on the package.
  13. Note: Follow instructions on package for cooking in the Microwave.
  14. Stir in the beans, chorizo and cilantro; continue cooking until heated through.
  15. To serve: Spoon the rice mixture in the middle of the plate, top with the spare ribs and ladle sauce over the top. Serve remaining sauce in a gravy boat.

Notes

Make this for Super Bowl Sunday or any dinner.