Short Ribs With Thai Chili Sauce

by Anne Maxfield on April 20, 2017

I wanted to take my Insta-Pot through some of its paces and short ribs seemed like the way to go.

This time, I was looking for something different than my usual short ribs with bacon and Guinness.

I had my Thai Chili Sauce from booYah and some ribs, so went to work.

This feeds about 4:

Short Ribs With Thai Chili Sauce

  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 3 pounds small bone-in beef short ribs
  • 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
  • 3 small fresh hot red chiles, such as Thai bird, stemmed and halved lengthwise
  • 2 medium cloves garlic, quartered
  • 1 3” piece of fresh ginger, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1/2 Thai chili sauce
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Heat the oil in a 5- to 6-quart stovetop-safe slow cooker insert (or in a 12-inch skillet) over medium heat. Add half of the short ribs and brown really well about 2 minutes per side. Transfer to a bowl and repeat with the remaining short ribs.

Add the onion and cook, stirring often, until soft, about 3 minutes. Add the chiles, garlic, ginger, allspice, and nutmeg. Stir until fragrant, about 1 minute. Stir in the Thai chili sauce.

Fit the insert into the slow cooker, or if using a skillet put its contents into the slow cooker.

Stir in the broth and soy sauce. Nestle the short ribs into the sauce, pouring in any juice from the bowl.

Cover and cook until very tender, 5 to 6 hours on high or 9 hours on low.

Serve and enjoy!

My verdict: This recipe is for a regular slow-cooker. If you use an Insta-Pot, check the directions for searing and slow cooking.

These were really good! The Insta-pot made searing the short ribs easy and there was no grease-spattered stove to clean up. We had them with some jasmine rice and broccoli. While, I’m not sure they’ll replace the beer-braised ribs, it’s good to switch things up now and then.

I used the booYah Thai sauce and then remembered how easy it was to make your own. Either would be great. The chili sauce is also great tossed into some sautéed shrimp (with or without some asparagus).

What would you use it on?

 

 

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My Insta-Pot Experience

by Anne Maxfield on April 17, 2017

Accidental Locavore Insta-PotLike millions of Americans I bought an Insta-Pot.

My excuse?

It was half price on Amazon and my slow cooker had just sprung an irreparable leak.

Sayonara  crock-pot, hello Insta-Pot.

An Insta-Pot (if you haven’t heard of them) is reputed to be the replacement for most of the appliances you have and plenty that you probably don’t.

It’s a pressure cooker, rice cooker, slow cooker, yogurt maker, steamer and it sautés.

After an initial batch of basmati rice that was undercooked and stuck to the container, it was given a time-out for a couple of months.

But I wasn’t going to let an appliance get the best of me (especially since someone I know who is not a great/adventurous cook has been using it like crazy and getting great results).

So, I read the book.

It’s pretty basic, but since everyone online has been touting it, it’s easy to find answers there.

First up, some short ribs with Sean’s booYah! Bali Sweet Heat Glaze (I met Sean at the Restaurant Show and he gave me this to try).

I seared the ribs in the Insta-Pot and it did a great job! Nicely seared and as an added bonus, no fat spattered all over the stove.

Once seared, I added the booYah! sauce and about a cup of beef stock I had from another project that had some soy sauce in it.

Put the cover on and slow-cooked it for the afternoon. Came out great!

Next up, yogurt.

I’ve used the Insta-Pot twice now for yogurt and both times it’s come out perfectly. You just put the mixture in, hit the yogurt button and leave it. The big advantage for me, especially in the winter, is that my oven can be pretty cold, even with the light on so there can be some serious temperature fluctuations.

So far, perfect yogurt. Although it’s an expensive yogurt maker, I’d keep it around just for that!

Accidental Locavore Yogurt in Insta-PotI need to gather up my courage and give it a try with something it’s famous for—as a pressure cooker.

Supposedly the Insta-Pot makes amazing risotto (and could have done my short ribs in minutes rather than hours). So, maybe a risotto with some prosciutto, asparagus and peas (are you paying attention Janet?).

Do you have one? What’s your favorite thing to do with it?

 

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Cambodian Pineapple Salad

by Anne Maxfield on April 13, 2017

Accidental Locavore Pineapple Salad IngredientsWho knew I’d fall in love with a pineapple salad?

Last week I conned my bestie into taking a Cambodian cooking class with me at Brooklyn Kitchen.

The Accidental Locavore did it mostly because I had no clue what Cambodian cooking was all about.

Had never eaten it.

Or cooked it.

It’s like its neighbors Vietnam, Thai, Laos, and uses the five tastes that are essential to that part of the world – sweet, bitter, sour, salty and umami.

One of our favorite dishes was this pineapple salad. It makes a big bowl of salad, depending on the size of your pineapple.

Cambodian Pineapple Salad

Salad:

  • 1 medium pineapple, peeled, cored and cut into 1” chunks
  • 1 carrot, julienned
  • 1 cucumber, peeled and julienned
  • ¼ cup mint leaves, sliced thin
  • ½ bunch of cilantro, roughly chopped (include stems)
  • ¼ cup roasted peanuts, roughly chopped
  • 2 scallions, sliced thin

Dressing:

  • 2 tablespoons fish sauce
  • Zest and juice of 1 lime and 1 lemon
  • 1 ½ tablespoons sugar
  • 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 Thai or serrano chile, thinly sliced
  • 1/2” piece of ginger, peeled and grated
  • ¼ cup grapeseed oil
  • 1 teaspoon sambal sauce (or Sriracha)

Place all the salad ingredients in a large bowl.

To make the dressing, put all the ingredients in a small container with a (tight) lid. Shake to combine. Taste and adjust the lemon, fish sauce and chile to taste.

Pour over the salad, toss, serve and enjoy!

My verdict:

I guess it’s time to change (or open my mind) about sweet ingredients with savory ones. This pineapple salad is a perfect example. It’s not something I would normally make, but it was my favorite dish of the class! The dressing would be good on all kinds of things, like chicken, fish or shrimp.

As a matter of fact, everyone at my table thought the whole thing would make a wonderful ceviche!

You can add or remove almost any ingredient. I’d add basil, especially Thai Holy Basil if I came across some. The salad we had in class had red and green peppers, I’m not a huge fan, so left them out of my version. Mango could easily replace the pineapple–you get the idea. Have fun!

I made it and brought it to a Slow Food Hudson Valley meeting and everyone loved it, guess this is a keeper.

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New Commercial Kitchen: POK at the Underwear Factory

by Anne Maxfield on April 10, 2017

Accidental Locavore Commercial Kitchen at POKPOK is the commercial kitchen at the heart of a new multi-use development in the heart of downtown Poughkeepsie.

What was an abandoned underwear factory has been given a new life as a mixed-use building, housing artists’ studios, a loft space for the arts, residential apartments, the kitchen and a café.

It’s a spectacular renovation, thoughtfully done, bright and airy, contemporary without ignoring the building’s history.

Accidental Locavore Working at Commercial KitchenPOK, or Poughkeepsie Open Kitchen is on the ground floor and is called that because unlike most commercial kitchens, it’s an open kitchen.

You’ll be able to watch aspiring food entrepreneurs testing and perfecting their recipes. Who knows maybe you’ll even get to taste?

At the end of the kitchen, you’ll find North River Roasters tucked into the corner. They’re local, small-batch coffee roasters who have been offering a coffee CSA with weekly offerings of fresh roasted coffee. Now they’ll be running the café and roasting onsite so you can get a really fresh cup of coffee!

Accidental Locavore Roasters at Commercial KitchenSome snacks will be available along with tea and other coffeehouse options when they open on May 15th.

There are comfortable chairs so you can hang out and watch whoever might be working in the kitchen, or just hang out and slog through your email in a pleasant, non-Starbucks space.

For local food entrepreneurs looking for a commercial kitchen space, POK might be just what you need. There are flexible hours (and rates) and they’re happy to help you navigate the paperwork.

If you’d like an application, you can download it from the site, where you’ll also find their email if you have questions. They’ve been pretty busy, so be patient and be sure to follow up!

Future plans include using the space for events, lectures and workshops. Who knows, you may even see the Accidental Locavore giving a workshop there soon – or at least lounging and doing email within sight of the kitchen!Accidental Locavore Janet at Commercial Kitchen

 

 

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