Saturday, April 10, 2010

Penne with Braised Short Ribs

I should really rename this blog to "Boops Scoops About Pasta." I would love to say it's by coincidence that I end up making so much pasta...but it's not. I just love it. I have never attempted to make short ribs before so I was excited to test my skills. Braising the meat took some time but the actual preparation was fairly quick. If you have the time, you should definitely try this recipe. It is delicious! The flavors were very complimentary and the short ribs were so tender I didn't even have to separate them from the bone. 

Penne with Braised Short Ribs
Adapted from Giada De Laurentiis 

  • 4 pounds beef short ribs
  • kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped
  • 5 Roma tomatoes, cut into eighths
  • 1 cup red wine, such as Cabernet Sauvignon
  • 3 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 2 cups low-sodium beef broth
  • 1 pound penne pasta
  • 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley (I forgot to add this ingredient) 

Place an oven rack in the lower 1/3 of the oven. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Season the ribs with salt and pepper. In a large heavy-bottomed Dutch oven or ovenproof stock pot, heat the oil over medium-high heat. In batches, add the ribs and brown on all sides, about 8 to 10 minutes. Remove the ribs and set aside. Add the onion and garlic and cook, stirring frequently, for 2 minutes. Add the tomatoes, wine and mustard. Bring the mixture to a boil and scrape up the brown bits that cling to the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon. Return the ribs to the pan. Add the beef broth, cover the pan and place in the oven for 2 1/2 hours until the meat is fork-tender and falls easily from the bone.
Remove the ribs from the cooking liquid. Using a large spoon, remove any excess fat from the surface of the cooking liquid. Using a ladle, transfer the cooking liquid in the bowl of a food processor. Process until the mixture is smooth. Pour the sauce into a saucepan and keep warm over low heat. Remove the meat from the bones. Discard the bones. Using 2 forks, shred the meat into small pieces. Stir the shredded meat into the sauce. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the pasta and cook until tender but still firm to the bite, stirring occasionally, about 8 to 10 minutes. Drain the pasta and place in a large serving bowl. Using a slotted spoon, remove the meat from the sauce and add to the pasta. Pour 1 cup of the sauce over the pasta. Toss well and thin out the pasta with more sauce, if needed. Sprinkle the pasta with Parmesan cheese and chopped parsley before serving.

Raspberry Bars

A few weeks ago my friend made these for a party and I could not stop eating them because they were so delicious. After she referred to them as "sinfully easy" so I put them down as a must make. I made them for my office staff meeting a few days ago and they were a big hit. Once they see how simple the recipe is, they will laugh for ever asking if the jam was homemade...

-2 containers of refrigerated sugar cookie dough
-1 jar of seedless 
raspberry preserves
-1/2 cup chopped walnuts

Spread out 1.5 tubes of dough onto a greased cookie sheet. Cover with 
raspberry preserves. Drop rounded pieces of remaining cookie dough onto raspberry to create a crumb-like appearance. Top with chopped walnuts. Bake at 350 until golden brown(about 20 minutes).

Monday, April 5, 2010

Parmesean Cheese Balls

My good friend and co-worker raved about these cheese balls so I have been anxious to make them for quite some time. When I was invited to an Easter lunch I decided this was the perfect time to try them out. They were delicious and packed with flavor!  I have to admit I had a few before I took them over...I just couldn't resist. If you want something quick, easy and yummy to make for a must try this recipe.

Parmesan Cheese Balls

1 cup flour
1 cup grated Parmesancheese
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp dry mustard
1/2 cup butter melted

Mix flour, cheese, salt, pepper and mustard in a bowl. Stir in melted butter and combine so the mixture forms crumbs. Press into 1/2" balls and place on baking sheet. Refrigerate for 30 minutes. Bake at 350 until lightly browned, 15-20 minutes. Makes about 30 balls. Store in an airtight container.

Mini Crab Cakes with Horseradish Mayo

My friend invited us over for a lovely Easter lunch and I decided to bring over a few nibbles for everyone to enjoy. These mini crabcakes are so easy to make and the best thing about them is...they are baked not fried! At first, I was a little hesitant about their appearance but decided that they were so yummy they deserved a post a boops scoops. These are perfect for a weekend brunch or a cocktail party.

Mini Crab Cakes
Courtesy of Noble Pig

Makes 24

8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
1 cup Parmesan cheese, divided
1 large egg
1/4 cup sour cream
1 teaspoon orange zest
1/2 teaspoon lemon zest
4 teaspoons plus 4 Tablespoons chopped fresh chives, divided
1/4 teaspoon coarse kosher salt
Large pinch cayenne pepper
6 ounces fresh lump crabmeat, picked over, patted dry, coarsely shredded
1-1/2 cups panko (Japanese breadcrumbs)
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter , melted
Fresh chives cut into pieces

Horseradish Mayo:

1/2 cup mayo
1/2 cup horseradish
salt and pepper to taste
dash of hot sauce


Using an electric mixer, beat cream cheese in a medium bowl until smooth. Add 1/4 cup Parmesan and egg; beat to blend. Beat in sour cream, citrus zest, 4 teaspoons chopped chives, coarse salt and cayenne pepper. Fold in crabmeat. (This can be made one day ahead. Cover and chill.)

Spray mini muffin pan with nonstick spray. Toss 1-1/2 cups panko, 3/4 cup Parmesan and 4 Tablespoons chopped chives in a bowl. Drizzle melted butter over, tossing with a fork until evenly moistened. Press 1 rounded Tablespoon panko mixture into bottom of each muffin cup (makes a well with your thumb), forming crust. Spoon 1 generous Tablespoon crab mixture into each cup. Sprinkle more panko mixture over each.

Bake crab cakes in a 350 degree oven until golden on top and set, about 20 minutes. Cool in pan 5 minutes. Gently lift each crab cake out of the pan with a fork onto a serving platter. (Can be made 2 hours ahead. Arrange on baking sheet, let stand at room temperature. Rewarm in a 350 degree oven for 5-6 minutes.)