I was born and raised in Kansas and learned to cook alongside my mother. Now, along with my wonderful husband, I have taken the plunge into the city life in New York. These are my food adventures: in my own tiny kitchen, and in the many restaurants of the city.

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Maple Syrup Rib Rub

The husband and I have a big week ahead of us. Tomorrow is our sixth wedding anniversary, which we will celebrate with a blowout (hopefully incredible) dinner at Le Bernardin (I've been dreaming about this one for a while now). Then next week we head back to Kansas for a wedding, family, friends, football, food, BBQ. I cannot wait to meet my newest nephew, laugh with friends, and just bask in the warmth and kindness that is the Midwest.

In honor of Kansas and it's ever-tasty piles of sauce-covered meats, I'm bringing you a recipe for a rib rub. Maple syrup gives it a sweet caramelization while fennel pollen and mustard powder add a contrasting bit of brightness and earthiness.

Maple Syrup Rib Rub

1 rack spare ribs
1/3 c. maple syrup
1 t. mustard powder
1 1/2 t. fennel pollen
2 t. sea salt
1 1/2 t. fresh ground pepper

In a small bowl mix together the maple syrup, mustard powder, fennel pollen, salt and pepper. Rub all over the ribs and allow to marinate for at least 2 hours before cooking.

You can cook these ribs in your favorite manor, but for me without a grill or smoker, I cooked them low and slow in the oven--at about 300 degrees for about 2 hours until they were super tender (if you are able I would go even lower--250 or 275 if your oven will let you). This batch I actually cooked on a rack above my baked beans so the beans would catch the drippings and become infused with the porky flavor. If the outside of the ribs starts to get too dark before they are cooked through, cover them with aluminum foil to keep the syrup from burning. If you need some oven-roasting guidance from an expert, check out how Harold McGee does it in this recipe.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Chorizo and Manchego Croquettes

Last week I realized that it has been 10 years since I spend a semester in Ronda, Spain studying Spanish. It's hard to believe it's been so long. I posted about it on Facebook and many of the friends I made while there started reminiscing together about our favorite haunts, people, and memories of those days years ago. It was wonderful to rehash the moments with the people I shared them with.

I still consider that semester one of the most important parts of my life. Obviously I discuss it's influence in my culinary life often on this blog but its implications on my personality come through me almost daily in my wanderings. I love to continuously remind myself of Spain and the experiences and people I met there every time I pull out a recipe for a Spanish dish. Despite time continuing on those memories stay close at hand when these scents fill the air and the flavors hit my tongue.

Chorizo and Manchego Croquettes
makes about 13-15 croquettes
3 TB olive oil
1/3 c. chopped onion
4 TB flour
1 c. milk
1/2 t. salt
1/4 t. pepper
1/2 c. shredded manchego cheese
1/3 c. finely chopped Spanish chorizo
2 eggs
1 1/2 c. panko breadcrumbs
oil for frying

Heat the olive oil in a small saucepan over medium heat. Add the onions and cook until translucent. Add the flour and cook, stirring constantly, until the flour flavor has cooked out a bit, about 3-4 minutes. Pour the milk into the pan and whisk until the mixture has thickened quite a bit, about 4-5 minutes. Add the salt and pepper. Place the mixture into the fridge and allow to cool for at least an hour.

Once cool, stir in the manchego cheese and chorizo to the onion mixture. Form into tablespoon size balls and place on a platter. Once you have formed all of the mixture into balls, place in the freezer for a few minutes to allow them to cool down again while you get everything else prepared.

Heat at least 3 inches of oil in a saucepan over medium heat for frying. While this is heating up, beat the eggs with about 1 tablespoon of water in a small bowl. Place the breadcrumbs in another bowl.

Once the oil is just about ready dip the chorizo balls into the eggs and then roll in the breadcrumbs. Once they are all coated they are ready to be fried. If you are using a smaller saucepan for frying work in batches so as to not overcrowd the pan. The time to cook will vary depending on the temperature of your oil, but you will want to cook them until the breadcrumbs are toasty brown and the filling is cooked through. Once fried, remove to a paper towel lined platter. Serve immediately.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

The Latest Over at Pine Tar Press

With football season now is swing, it's the perfect opportunity to head on over and check out what I've been posting on "Batter Up and Fry: Tailgating Treats" for Pine Tar Press.

Panzanella Salad

Fried Zucchini Blossoms

Baked Clams

Chicago Dog Spread

Baked Beans

"Beaver Nuggets"

Tailgating Gear