main course recipe

Spare Ribs Vindaloo

by Anne Maxfield on January 26, 2017

How could you resist a mash-up like spare ribs vindaloo, recently in Food & Wine?

And then, spare ribs were on sale.

Kismet.

This made a lot of ribs and the Accidental Locavore only bought a single rack. It may look like a lot of ingredients, but you probably have most of them.

Spare Ribs Vindaloo

  • A 2-pound rack St. Louis–cut pork ribs, halved
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 dried New Mexico chiles, stemmed and broken into large pieces
  • 2 tablespoons cumin seed
  • 3 whole cloves
  • One 1-inch cinnamon stick
  • 2 tablespoons ancho chile powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne
  • 1/3 cup red wine vinegar (mixed use)
  • 3 tablespoons canola oil
  • 1 large red onion, finely chopped
  • 3 tablespoons finely chopped garlic
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped peeled fresh ginger
  • 1 quart chicken stock or low-sodium broth
  • 1/4 cup silver tequila
  • 3 tablespoons finely grated jaggery (or brown sugar)

Season the spare ribs with salt and pepper and let stand for 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a spice grinder, grind the dried chiles with the cumin seeds, cloves and cinnamon stick until finely ground.

Transfer the mixture to a small bowl and stir in the chile powder, turmeric, cayenne, 2 tablespoons of the vinegar and 1/2 tablespoon of pepper until a paste forms.

In a large enameled cast-iron casserole, heat the oil. Add the red onion and cook over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until softened, 8 minutes.

Add the garlic, ginger and the spice mixture and cook over moderate heat, stirring frequently, until deep red in color, 8 to 10 minutes.

Stir in the stock, tequila, jaggery, the remaining vinegar, add the ribs and bring to a simmer.

Cover and cook over moderately low heat until the ribs are very tender, about 1 hour.

Transfer the ribs to a work surface and let cool slightly; cut into individual ribs.

Simmer the sauce until thickened and reduced by half, about 10 minutes; season with salt.

Return the ribs to the sauce and stir to coat. Serve with steamed basmati rice and enjoy!

My verdict: I think we were a little underwhelmed by these the first time around. However, like a lot of slow cooked food, they were much better the second night and Frank gave his “you can make these any time” seal of approval.

We both thought they could be hotter and the next time, I’ll add some minced serrano, or jalapeno.

There was a lot of sauce because I didn’t halve the sauce recipe (too lazy to do math) just the ribs, but it just meant more sauce for the rice.

I didn’t have any jaggery (do you?) so just used some brown sugar. If I get some, I’ll let you know if I think it makes a difference. However, this seems to be one of those stealth trendy foods for 2017, so you might want to be one of the cool kids and find some.

 

 

 

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Slow Roasted Duck Recipe

by Anne Maxfield on December 15, 2016

Accidental Locavore Slow Roasted DuckThis slow roasted duck is the Accidental Locavore’s favorite way to roast a duck.

If you’ve got an afternoon, and need an excuse to binge watch ______, this is your meal.

The fact that it couldn’t be easier, or more delicious, are just bennies.

A V-shaped roasting rack helps, but you can do it with a regular rack and roasting pan. Clean-up is much easier if you lightly oil the rack.

Slow Roasted Duck:

  • 1 whole duck
  • Salt & pepper
  • Garlic cloves, peeled (optional)
  • A lemon or orange cut into chunks (optional)
  • Fresh herbs, such as rosemary or thyme (optional) or a spice rub of your choice

Preheat your oven to 250°

.

Accidental Locavore Duck for RoastingRinse and dry the duck.

Salt and pepper it, inside and out, and if you’re using them toss some peeled garlic cloves, orange or lemon chunks and herbs inside.

Prick the duck all over with a fork, and put it on the rack in the roasting pan.

Roast for an hour.

Remove it, turn it over, and prick it with the fork.

Do this total of 4 times (4 hours).

After the last time, turn the oven up to 400°, and put the duck back in for 15-30 minutes, depending on how crispy you like the skin.

Serve and enjoy!

My verdict: I can’t tell you how many times I’ve made this duck. It’s great and foolproof!

You can rub the duck with any spice mix, or just simply salt and pepper.

I happen to like barbecue sauce with duck, the plum hoisin sauce is also great with it, and often take some of my cousin Ellen’s amazing clementine marmalade, warm it with some citron vodka, and a tablespoon of maple syrup to thin it down with, making a my version of duck à l’orange.

Don’t forget to save the fat (run it through a fine strainer or coffee filter) to sautée some spinach or roast potatoes with.

Speaking of potatoes, some par-boiled chunks of potatoes tossed in the bottom of the roasting pan for the last 15-30 minutes, are always incredible!

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Lamb and Green Beans

by Anne Maxfield on July 28, 2016

Accidental Locavore Trimmed Green BeansIf the idea of a lamb and green bean stew seems a little much for the extreme weather, you might want to think twice.

At my CSA, green beans are ripe for the picking.

And it cooks pretty fast.

Ditto cleanup.

So give it a try!

Accidental Locavore Lamb and Green BeansLamb and green beans recipe:

Serves 4:

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • ¾ pound boneless lamb, cut into ¾” cubes
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 14-ounce can diced tomatoes, or 1 cup fresh, seeded and chopped
  • ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • ½ teaspoon ground allspice
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • ½ pound green beans, trimmed and cut into 2” lengths

Heat the olive oil in a large sauté pan on high heat. Add the lamb and brown on all sides.

Reduce the heat to medium-high, add the onions and cook until they’re golden brown. Add the spices, cover and simmer for 30 minutes.

Add the beans to the pan, and simmer until they’re crisp-tender about another 10-15 minutes. Serve with rice pilaf or couscous and enjoy!

Accidental Locavore Prepping Lamb and Green BeansMy verdict: Growing up, this was a family favorite that my mother made fairly often. The Accidental Locavore isn’t sure where/how she always had a sweet spot for Middle Eastern food, especially Armenian, where this supposedly hails from.

I hadn’t even thought about lamb and beans in years but when I was picking green beans at the farm, suddenly I just needed to make it. It was really good, especially with fresh-picked beans and local lamb and comes together in under an hour. I always add more allspice, because it’s a flavor I love.

Going against tradition (and not really feeling like messing with pilaf), I served it with some couscous, which is always the quicker/lazier/healthier(?) way to add something to soak up all the delicious sauce!

Frank loved it too and we ate it all up so sadly no leftovers…

If you want the original cookbook, Word of Mouth, which it comes from, it’s still available on amazon.com or possibly there are still copies under my mother’s bed.

 

 

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Classic Meatballs

by Anne Maxfield on December 3, 2015

Accidental Locavore Spaghetti and MeatballsEvery now and then you need a meatball fix. While the Accidental Locavore loves them in almost every size and configuration, every now and then you just want classic spaghetti and meatballs. I figured that this recipe on the Food52 site from Rao’s had to be pretty much the standard. It makes about 24 meatballs.

  • 1 pound lean ground beef
  • 1/2 pound ground veal
  • 1/2 pound ground pork
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup freshly grated Pecorino Romano cheese
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons chopped Italian parsley
  • 1/2 small clove garlic, peeled and minced
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 cups fresh bread crumbs
  • 2 cups lukewarm water
  • Olive oil, for cooking, about 1 cup

Combine beef, veal, and pork in a large bowl. Add the eggs, cheese, parsley, garlic, salt and pepper. Using your hands, blend ingredients together. Blend bread crumbs into meat mixture. Slowly add water, 1 cup at a time, until the mixture is quite moist. Shape into 2 ½” balls.

Accidental Locavore Frying MeatballsHeat about 1/4” oil in a large sauté pan. When oil is very hot but not smoking, fry meatballs in batches. When the bottom half of the meatball is very brown and slightly crisp, turn and cook top half. Remove from heat and drain on paper towels.

After browning them, if you want to cook them in sauce, use your favorite sauce and add the meatballs into the simmering sauce and cook for 15 minutes. Serve alone or with pasta and enjoy!

Accidental Locavore Finished MeatballsMy verdict: About as good as they get! It seems weird to be adding water when you’re making them, but it does get absorbed and the meatballs were great! Don’t tell anyone, but I probably didn’t have any parsley when I made them and no one complained. The amount of olive oil you’ll need will depend on the size of your pan and be sure not to crowd the meatballs or they’ll never brown. Better off to do them in batches. What’s your go-to meatball recipe?

 

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