Category Archives: Salads
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.
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!
I can’t believe that Thanksgiving (my favorite holiday of the year) has already come and gone. We had a lovely visit and feast with Howard’s sister and her family in New Jersey. Everything was delicious. I have some turkey stock stashed in the freezer that I made from the carcass, but otherwise, the leftovers are all gone.
After all the rich food and restaurant eating that goes with visiting, this week’s recipe for Cook the Book Fridays, the very French Grated Carrot Salad (or Carottes Râpées), is a perfect addition to a healthier diet for the week. Not only is it good for you, it is also super simple to put together.
Grated carrots are tossed with a lemony vinaigrette and some fresh chopped herbs. That’s it, that’s all. They’re great! In fact, this recipe is so easy, that I forgot to take any pictures!
I used carrots that I bought from Lexington Community Farm at the end of the season. These are carrots that I helped weed throughout their growing season, so they are particularly special to me.
I’ve made salads like this occasionally, and this time around, it leaves me wondering why this salad isn’t a regular visitor to my kitchen. I went back to compare this recipe from David Lebovitz’s My Paris Kitchen to the one I made from Dorie Greenspan’s Around the French Table. David’s recipe uses much less dressing, for a dried (though not dry), salad. I also loved the brightness of the fresh lemon juice. Dorie’s recipe uses a lot more Dijon mustard. I think when I revisit this recipe, I’ll add more mustard to David’s dressing for a bit more bite. Other than that, I hope to prepare this one again throughout the year.
To see what other bloggers in our group thought of their carrot salads, check out their links here. To make your own carrot salad, you can find the recipe on page 123 in David Lebovitz’s My Paris Kitchen or on-line here.
Quick note to the Doristas among you: I’m so excited about tonight when I’m going to one of Dorie’s local book signing events. I postponed getting my own copy of Dorie’s Cookies in anticipation of a signed copy. Just as exciting, Cher of The not so exciting adventures of a dabbler… will be joining me on this Dorie field trip.