Asian-like slow cooker short ribs

I don’t usually make the short ribs in our house because the Cowboy likes to make short ribs.  He uses a recipe from a Thomas Keller cookbook … Ad Hoc at Home, I think.

But this week, the Cowboy was busy.  We had a fridge full of thawed short ribs that needed to be cooked.  We had company.  And that company needed to eat.

Now … these short ribs might not be pretty …

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… but let me tell you something:  there were five adults and two small children at the table … and when all was said and done, there was not one bite of short ribs for leftovers, and seven very full, very happy bellies.

I call them “Asian-like” because there’s ginger in this recipe and ginger reminds me of Asia.  So does the rice wine vinegar.  And the hot chili garlic sauce that’s got Vietnamese origins.  And rice.

But they’re not Asian.

They’re just tasty.

And if you like short ribs, I’m pretty sure you’ll like ’em:

Asian-like slow cooker short ribs

INGREDIENTS:
  • 4 1/2 lbs short ribs
  • sea salt
  • pepper
  • 2 onions (peeled and cut in large strips)
  • 1/3 cup rice wine vinegar
  • 1/3 cup Bragg’s Aminos
  • 2 tablespoons raw local honey
  • 2 bottles good quality ginger ale (we used Reed’s Organic Ginger Ale)
  • 1 teaspoon Sriracha Hot Chili Sauce (or your favorite chili-garlic sauce – more if you like it spicy)
  • 4 cloves garlic (minced)
  • 1 inch of fresh ginger (peeled and diced)
  • 1 cup filtered water
DIRECTIONS:
Trim the excess fat from the short ribs, salt and pepper the beef, then sear in a very hot frying pan.
Add the beef and onion to the slow cooker.
In a medium bowl, combine the vinegar, soy sauce, honey, ginger ale, Sriracha, garlic, ginger and water. Whisk until well mixed.
Pour liquid over the beef and onion. Cook on LOW for 6 hours (or until the meat is tender).
And don’t be surprised when there’s nothing left for lunch tomorrow.
xo,
Jeanne
We’re linked up on The Nourishing Gourmet and This Chick Cooks!

tabbouleh or not tabbouleh … is that the question?

Jeanne here.

As the days begin to stretch (we still had daylight at nearly 6 pm last night … crazy!) I’ve been dreaming of the garden we’re going to plant this year.

Actually, I’ve been doing more than dreaming.  I’ve been plotting and planning and ordering seeds and getting ready to start the seeds for some of our long-season veggies (like onions … the teacher in my Master Gardener class suggested that onions needed to be started by the this weekend if I hope to get actual onions this year … AAAaack.  I better get on it!).

And all that plotting, planning, ordering, organizing has me salivating over some of our summer’s best harvest, which has me thinking about summer foods that I can make with stuff we grow in the garden.

Like Tabbouleh.

Like tomatoes (I had such good luck with heirloom cherry tomatoes last year … I’m salivating just thinking about it!).

These are Abby's tomatoes.  I borrowed this photo without asking because I look at this photo and begin dreaming of summer.
These are Abby’s tomatoes. I borrowed this photo without asking because I look at this photo and begin dreaming of summer.

And mint (Even if you don’t have a green thumb, mint is a wonderful plant to have in your garden … it’s so dang hardy.  I’ve accidentally tried to kill it and totally failed.  It’s prolific and everywhere now!).

And parsley (I didn’t grow parsley last year … but Abby did … and it was such a perfect addition to this salad).

And onions (I only ever got mini-scallions last year … planted too late, but those baby scallions were perfect in this tabbouleh.  Perfect!).

Is it tabbouleh if you use quinoa instead of bulgar wheat?  Hmmm.

Whether it’s tabbouleh or not … it’s a taste of summer and that makes me happy.

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INGREDIENTS:

  • ½ c. soaked quinoa
  • 1 c. water
  • 6 or 7 mint leaves (finely chopped)
  • ¾ c. Italian parsley (chopped)
  • 3 or 4 scallions (chopped)
  • 2 medium ripe red tomatoes (chopped)
  • juice from half a lemon
  • 2 tbls. olive oil
  • sea salt, to taste

The night before:

Soak 1/2 cup of quinoa in filtered water and 2 teaspoons of apple cider vinegar.

The day of:

Rinse the quinoa very well … till the water runs clear.  The soaking will break-down the mineral binding phytates and make the quinoa easier to digest.

In a saucepan, combine ½ c. quinoa with 1 c. of water (and a dash of salt).  Bring to boil.  Lower the heat to a simmer and let it cook until the water is evaporated (10-15 minutes).  Take off the heat, cover and let rest for 5 minutes.  Fluff the quinoa with a fork.  Just like rice … with a good bit more digestible protein!  (NOTE: Quinoa has about 13g of protein, brown rice has 7.5g, white rice 6.6g).

While you let it cool…

In a medium bowl, combine mint leaves, parsley, scallions and tomatoes.  Add the quinoa.  Add juice from half a lemon (a little more if you want a little more “tang”) and olive oil.  Sprinkle with a little salt, toss with a fork and pop it in the refrigerator for at least an hour… better if you let it rest overnight, but who has that kind of time, right?

It’s sort of a perfect salad for a hot and muggy day … a little protein, a little citrus, a little mint … some spicy scallions …

Served on some pita bread with hummus … but you do what you want.  It’s your salad.

What are you craving these days?

back to basics – braised (shredded) chicken

Ever since Abby posted her incredibly unabashed taquito recipe, I’ve been struggling to find time to make shredded chicken so I could either follow suit, or just make some tacos.

And ever since Abby posted the taquitos recipe I’ve been doing a totally unscientific poll about how people make their shredded chicken (and, in fact, I’ve NOT asked Abby how she shreds chicken … Abby, how do you prepare your shredded chicken?)

Some people use just chicken breasts.

Some use chicken on the bone.

Some use it already de-boned.

Some people bake their chicken.

Some fry it.

Some roast.

Some braise.

It’s apparently as personal a choice as what kind of toothpaste you use (we use Nature’s Gate Anise Natural Dentrifice … you?)

Basically, what I’m discovering is there is no really wrong way to shred your chicken.

But in case you don’t yet have a way that you’re committed to, I would suggest you give this braising a go, because the thing about braising (especially when it includes a little apple cider vinegar and garlic and onions and bone broth) is you end up with an incredibly succulent shredded poultry that falls off the bone and makes any recipe that calls for it taste even better …

Sure … it takes two and half hours to cook (it was 30 minutes in the oven when we decided we couldn’t wait last night and ended up ordering Chinese).

But today (regardless of the bloat from the bad food last night), we’re happy to have a vat of shredded chicken that we’ll be able to use in tacos for lunch … chicken salad for dinner … or maybe a pot-pie … or Abby’s taquitos! … the options are endless!

shredded chicken

Here’s how we do it …

INGREDIENTS:

  • about 6 lbs of skinless dark meat chicken (legs and thighs)
  • 1 cup poultry bone broth
  • 1 tablespoon sea salt
  • 1 tablespoon black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 3 cloves garlic (peeled and a rough chop)
  • 1 medium yellow onion (quartered)

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DIRECTIONS:

Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees.

If the chicken you have still has skin, peel the skin, trim the fat and separate the legs and thighs.

IMG_5604 Heat the broth in a large dutch oven on your stove top.  Whisk in the salt, pepper and apple cider vinegar.  Add the onion quarters and garlic. (The onion almost acts as a “stand” upon which you layer the chicken … keeps it out of direct contact with the liquid at first).

Turn off the heat and start stacking your chicken on top of the onion.

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IMG_5639 Once it’s all in, turn the heat back on and bring the liquid to a boil.  Once that happens (which only takes a moment), put the lid on your dish and pop it in the oven.

Let it slow cook for two and half hours.

(About halfway through the process, give the contents of the dutch oven a good toss, rotating the chicken from the bottom to the top and vice versa so it gets a nice even cook.)

Remove it from the oven, take off the lid and let the chicken cool enough that it’s not so hot you can’t touch it.

Use a large fork to remove the chicken from the bones (discarding the bones and the onion)

IMG_5653 And this is what’s left in the pot …

IMG_5652 At this point, drain the liquid and separate the chicken into meal portions (freeze what you don’t need immediately, or just make a plan for a lot of tasty chicken in the next few days).  As of this moment, I’m planning on tacos, taquitos, chicken salad and maybe a pot pie.

Whatever you decide … enjoy it!

How do you shred your chicken?