Monday, December 9, 2013

Thai Red Curry Spareribs

I was searching my files for some recipes the other day and ran across this one.  It is from circa 2009.  I do not know the original source.  I do know it was published fairly widely.  I like Thai food, so I thought what the heck?  Let's try it.  It works surprisingly well for how simple it is to put together.
I will post my notes and thoughts after the recipe.  Here is a photo of the dish.
Here is the recipe:

Thai Red Curry Spareribs
Yield: approximately four servings 

3 tablespoons red curry paste
2 tablespoons tamarind paste
3 tablespoons canola or vegetable oil
2 tablespoons fish sauce
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
2 to 4 dried red chilies, chopped
Pinch salt
15-ounce can coconut milk
1 rack baby back pork ribs (about 2 to 3 pounds), membrane removed
1 cup long-grain white rice
Pinch saffron threads
1 ½ cups water
½ cup chopped fresh cilantro

In a blender, combine the curry paste, tamarind paste, oil, fish sauce, sugar, chilies, salt and coconut milk. Puree until smooth, then set aside.
Cut the ribs into 3- to 4-rib portions, then arrange them in a large non-reactive bowl. Pour the curry paste mixture over the ribs, then use your hands to rub it in and ensure all surfaces are coated.
Cover the bowl and refrigerate for 1 hour.
Heat the oven to 350 F.
Transfer the ribs to a roasting pan, spreading over them any marinade that has collected in the bowl. Bake for 50 minutes to 1 hours, or until the meat begins to pull away from the bone.
After 30 minutes of baking, in a medium saucepan combine the rice, saffron and water. Bring to a boil, then cover and reduce heat to simmer for 20 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and let stand, covered, for 10 minutes.
Serve the ribs with saffron rice. Garnish everything with cilantro.
Total time: 2 hours 15 minutes (15 minutes active). Serves 2 to 3.

 1.  the recipe makes it sound like the marinade is fairly dry.  It is not.  It is a very thick liquid.  There is a lot of it for the amount of meat.  Don't worry follow the recipe.
2.  If you look at the photo you will notice that the rib on the left looks dry.  I  scraped some of the marinade/basting liquid off of some of the ribs and broiled them for color.  My suggestion is follow the recipe as far as leaving the marinade/basting liquid on them.  The ribs will taste better and be moist.
3.  I do suggest finishing the ribs under the broiler for a little color and caramelizing of the sauce ingredients.
4.  The ribs were not spicy to me.  The heat in the marinade comes from the dried chiles and the curry paste.  Taste the marinade when you first mix it.  It will be slightly spicy.  If you want it hotter add more red curry paste.  Keep in mind that when it is on food it not taste as spicy.
5.  I had a rack of St. Louis style pork ribs in my freezer so that is what I used instead of the baby back ribs.  My rack of ribs was about 3.5 lbs.  I cut the rack into two rib sections.
6.  As you can see I had steamed sticky rice and steamed broccoli with the ribs.  
7.  Most of the ingredients are available at most grocery stores.  The one item that may be difficult is the tamarind paste.  You can make your own from fresh tamarind if you can not find the paste.
8.  You can marinate the ribs in a zip lock bag to reduce the dirty dish load.
9.  If your roasting pan is non reactive (stainless steel) you can marinate and cook the ribs in the same pan.  Even Pyrex should work, but, think about getting it to room temperature before putting it into the hot oven to avoid shocking the glass (just for safety).
10.  Don't overcrowd the roasting pan.  Leave some space between the rib sections.
11.  This recipe has earned a place in the rotation in our home.

I hope you enjoy.
Until next time:
Bon Appetit Ya'll
Chef Leslie Bartosh

Monday, December 2, 2013

Pickled Red Onions

Over the last two or three months I have developed a real fondness for pickled red onions.  So much so they have become a staple in my kitchen.  We have made one in International Cuisine for some years now.  But, when I saw a new recipe I just had to try it. 
This recipe is an adaption of a version by Rick Bayless, published in Gourmet Magazine in July 2006.  It is much easier and faster than the one we have done in class.
Pickled red onions are common fair in Yucatan.  They are commonly paired with grilled meats.  I like them with most items.  They do go exceptionally well with grilled meats, and poultry (think fajitas, steak, grilled pork loin, etc); but they also go well with Turkey and Dressing and in sandwiches as well.
I hope your like this recipe.  It is simple and good.

Pickled Red Onions
2 Red Onions, sliced
1 cup Cider Vinegar
1 Tbsp. Kosher Salt
2 Tbsp. Sugar

Add the sliced onions to a sauce pan of boiling water, enough to cover them, and cook for 1 minute.  Drain.

Return the onions to the sauce pan and add the cup of the cider vinegar, kosher salt and sugar.
Add enough cold water to just cover the onions.  Bring to a boil over high heat and simmer for 1 minute.

Transfer the onions and brine to a non-reactive container (plastic bowl, glass bowl, glass jar, stainless steel bowl and allow to cool for 10 – 15 minutes, at room temperature.  Place the container with onions in the refrigerator and chill. 

The onions will turn bright pink and will get crisp as they cool.  They will keep for weeks covered in your refrigerator.
So there you go.  Pickled red onions in four easy steps.  I hope you enjoy.

Until next time:
Bon Appetit Ya'll
Chef Leslie Bartosh