Friday, January 21, 2011

Winter cravings...award winning restaurant owner, Dan Barber's Short Ribs and Chocolate Chili?!

The winter season brings so many fantastic seasonal foods. We tend to crave heartier, more filling fare. We are no longer craving as many salads, rather root vegetables, soups, etc. I believe very firmly in eating with the seasons. You get the freshest, best quality produce and if your lucky its local too! More economical as well. Although I choose to not eat meat I do cook it often for my family and friends. I made these great recipes this week that I thought you might enjoy. The chili could easliy be made with soy instead of meat. What are your favorite winter recipes?

The first recipe is for Dan Barber’s Braised Short Ribs. Dan Barber, owner of Blue Hill at Stone Barns and New York Times writer has an amzing way about him. His creations are remarkable and this recipe was sure a crowd pleaser.

Dan Barber's Short Ribs
Serves 4 to 6

*5 pounds beef short ribs, bone on
*Kosher salt
*Freshly ground black pepper
*1 tablespoon vegetable oil
*1 large onion chopped
*1 carrot, peeled and chopped
*1 celery rib, chopped
*2 garlic cloves, skin left on
*2 tablespoons light brown sugar
*1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
*1 tablespoon tamarind concentrate (comes in a jar; slightly thicker than ketchup) or paste (comes in a block)
*2 fresh (or dry) bay leaves
*1/2 cup Madeira
*1 cup red wine (and an extra glass to enjoy while cooking)
*2 to 3 cups chicken broth

1. Heat the oven to 225 degrees. Season the short ribs with salt and pepper. Heat a large heavy Dutch oven over medium high heat. Add the oil, then the short ribs (add them in batches, if necessary) and brown on all sides. Transfer the ribs to a plate as they finish browning. Pour off all but 1 tablespoon fat.

2. Add the onion, carrot, celery, and garlic to the pot, reduce the heat to medium, and cook until the vegetables are soft and all the browned bits in the base of the pot have been loosened. Put the short ribs (and any juices that have collected on the plate) back in the pot.

3. Add the light brown sugar, Worcestershire sauce, tamarind paste, and bay leaves. Pour in the Madeira and red wine. Add enough chicken broth to just cover the ribs. Bring the liquid to a boil, then cover the pot and transfer to the oven.

4. Braise the shortribs until they are very tender when pierced with a fork, about 4 hours (longer if the short ribs are big). Using a slotted spoon, transfer the shortribs to a plate. Let the cooking liquid settle; spoon off as much fat as possible (ideally, you'd do this over the course of two days and would, at this point, put the liquid in the fridge overnight and peel off the layer of fat in the morning). Set the pot on the stove over medium high heat. Bring the cooking liquid to a boil and reduce to a syrupy consistency.

My second successful recipe this week was for a Chili. A great treat this time of year. Especially this one with chocolate and Parsnips. This one is great for you pregnant mamma's out there. It is high in fiber and folate.

Chocolate Parsnip Chili
Serves 6

*1 tablespoon vegetable oil
*1 medium onion, finely chopped
*1 pound organic extra lean ground beef (soy protein would be a great subsitute)
*2 medium parsnips, peeled and sliced thinly
*1 red bell pepper, chopped
*3 cloves garlic, sliced or minced
*2 teaspoons chili powder
*1 tablespoon died oregano
*1 teaspoon cumin powder
salt and pepper to taste
*1 6oz can of tomato paste
*1 1/2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
*1 15oz can of kidney beans, drained and rinsed
*1 15oz can of black beans, drained and rinsed

1. Heat vegetable oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add onion and protein and cook until browned throughout, about 5 minutes.

2. Add parsnip, red pepper and garlic and cook for 2 minutes. Stir in chili, oregano, cumin, salt and pepper. Cook 2 minutes more.

3. add tomatoes, tomato paste, cocoa powder, kidney beans and black beans. Bring to a boil. reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes or longer.

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