Triple Play {CtBF}


I’m woefully behind on posts for Cook the Book Fridays, so in addition to this week’s Caramel Pork Ribs, I’ll catch you up on two other recipes I made from David Lebovitz’s My Paris Kitchen.

First the ribs…  After a seemingly early spring thaw, winter came back with a vengeance bringing super cold temperatures and another load of snow.  Ribs at our house are typically slow-cooked outside in a wood-fueled smoker, but not during the winter.  When I checked out at the grocery store with my rack of spareribs, the cashier commented that only a devoted “super-griller” would be willing to stand outside that day and cook ribs.  I was happy to respond that I’d be making ribs in the oven!

These ribs cook in a savory caramel sauce that starts by melting sugar, a step that used to terrify me, but I am slowly becoming more comfortable with.  The sauce is rounded out with some beer (I used stout) and bourbon along with other savory ingredients.

The ribs, cut into 3- or 4-rib portions, are coated in the sauce and then baked in the pot for a couple of hours, turning occasionally.  The pork became meltingly tender, practically falling of the bone.

My helper!

I opted to serve these “French-Style” with plain white rice, though when Howard read the open page of the cookbook, he wished I’d chosen the suggested Mashed Potatoes.  Even though mashed potatoes probably would have been tasty, I thought the rice was the perfect platform for spooning some the sticky sauce.

We both enjoyed the ribs.  It’s exciting have new winter option to cook when the smoker is buried under a pile of snow.

Two weeks ago, I made the Wheatberry Salad with Radicchio and Root Vegetables.  We had just returned from a week in Florida, and though I made this dish on time, I couldn’t get it together to write about it.

I love roasted root vegetables.  Fall and winter, a steady supply of them fill the refrigerator and a “make shift” root cellar.  I’m getting to the end of my stockpile, but I roasted a combination of watermelon radish, celery root, parsnips, and carrots, a colorful medley.  Radicchio is something I’ve only eaten in salad, so throwing chopped radicchio on top of the root vegetables in the oven for a few minutes to wilt was a new trick.

My salad was based on farro because I’m enamored with Trader Joe’s 10-Minute Farro.  The farro is parboiled so it really does cook in just 10 minutes, though I forgot to add a bay leaf when I cooked it for this recipe.

The farro and vegetables are tossed together with a dressing made tangy by the addition of pomegranate molasses.  You’ll notice that I didn’t add the pomegranate seeds.  Pomegranate seeds in this salad would have violated Howard’s rule prohibiting the mixing of fruit with savory.  Also, pomegranates just went out of season here, so I couldn’t find any anyway.

I served this salad as a side with roasted chicken thighs.  Another hit that will be repeated.

Finally, there’s the Merveilleux, on the schedule back in February.  This was a dessert that just didn’t want to get made. David Lebovitz challenges anyone who doesn’t like meringues because they’ve never tried a merveilleux.  I like meringues.  The problem is that I’m not a big fan of whipped cream.  I really dragged my feet on this one.  When I first set out to made these last month, I was out of confectioners’ sugar.  Earlier this week, I restocked and made the meringues.  When I got ready to make the whipped cream filling/coating, I found that the whipping cream was spoiled.  Off to the store again.

I whipped up the cream with a tinge of espresso powder, making it reminiscent of tiramisu.  To construct the merveilleux, I sandwiched the cream filling between two meringues, slathered the outsides with more cream, and rolled them in chocolate, before chilling them for a couple of hours.  This is one recipe where I wish the book had included a picture.  I still have no idea what merveilleux are supposed to look like.

Howard renamed these “Merv Griffins” because it’s easier to say.  Neither of us were fans, obviously because we don’t care for whipped cream.  I made a half batch of five, so hopefully I can find three friends to share the remainder with before they get soggy.

If you don’t have My Paris Kitchen in your cookbook collection yet, you should add it.  So many of these recipes are winners.  If you want to try any of these recipes yourself, you can find Pork Caramel Ribs on page 187, the Wheatberry Salad on page 240, and Merveilleux on page 281.

To see what my friends thought of these recipes, check out their posts from Cook the Book Fridays.

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!  Erin go bragh!


Posted on 17 March 2017, in Cook The Book Fridays, dessert, my paris kitchen, Salads and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 9 Comments.

  1. Go you with your catching up! I, too think it’s odd how many of David’s recipes don’t include photos of the finished dishes. If I’ve learned one thing (and I’ve learned many!) in the process of my own book, it’s that people need to have a visual of a dish they are unfamiliar with. But good for you for making them anyway!

  2. Way to go, Betsy! I didn’t make the meringues either, but have “ideas” about how to do them. What I really want to know is more about the farro! I’ve seen it, but really don’t know what to do with it… These all look terrific Betsy! Hope your weekend is fabulous!!

  3. Welcome back, Betsy. I really loved the salad. I used the Trader Joe’s Ten-Minute Farro also. I had never tried it before (because I don’t live near a TJ’s in Aspen) but grabbed it when I spotted it at the local TJ’s here in Paso Robles. Talk about easy. I will grab a few bags to take home with me, that’s for sure. I have never made the Merveilleux. First it was the moisture problem here and now it’s that I don’t want the calories. Just me and no taste testers so don’t want to tempt myself. I’ll try it in Aspen. Your ribs do look delicious and a bit more meaty that mine were. I don’t know what the problem was but they definitely didn’t work for me. First fail from David (and, it probably wasn’t the fault of the recipe) so I am not complaining too much. Stay warm and safe.

  4. Betsy, I too took a little break and did some catching up, but opted out of the merveilleux- you are brave! I made the ribs with mashed potato and it was yummy, but rice would have been a good choice to sop up the sauce! All looks great! I loved the wheat berry salad.

  5. We had the ribs with rice too, the sauce is great spooned over the rice. Both your salad and the merveilleux looks great!

  6. Great catchup Betsy, everything looks wonderful. I’m with you on seeing a recipe to know what I’m doing. I had to check out merveilleux on google to see what it was. After looking at all the gorgeous photos I was discouraged and thought I would never make mine that good.
    It was one messy recipe, but oh so good.

  7. Lovely that you have company in kitchen cooking with you! Your ribs and berry salad are delicious. That merveilleux was a dessert best store bought… from Paris!

  8. You are cooking up a storm with all these wonderful dishes. Collectively, they make you salivate so much worse. They are all so delicious. The ribs are my favorite. But can’t live without the farro. I have the same bag in my pantry.

  9. First, you and I are on the same wavelength here. I also wrote about these 3 recipes. Glad the ribs turned out well and I can see Howard’s point about mashed potatoes. :) For the salad, I did not know there was 10-minute farro! Daaaang! I made it with farro, too, but with the normal 25-minute stuff. As for the merveilleux, sigh. Those darn things and I agree about needing a photo and also some more information on how to frost them. I did a bit of searching online, but was already irritated and ready to be done with it. Any who, glad to see you back!

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