Friday, June 19, 2009

Irish Soda Bread

Five minutes of prep time and 35 in the oven is all it takes to get a delicious loaf of authentic Irish Soda Bread.
I first made this bread around Saint Patrick's Day and it turned out great. You don't have to be a bread baking master to turn out a nice loaf of Soda Bread. The buttermilk gives the bread a nice tang. We consumed almost the entire loaf straight from the oven warm with butter.


3 1/2 C AP flour
1 1/2 t baking soda
3/4 t salt
1 1/2 C buttermilk

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
Mix dry ingredients together in a large bowl. Slowly add buttermilk until the dough becomes moist and comes together. Knead for just about one minute. Form dough 6 inches by 2 inches and make cuts across the top. Brush with extra buttermilk and bake on a greased sheet for 30-35 minutes. The loaf should be brown and sound hollow when tapped on the bottom.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Beef and Broccoli

It's been a week since I posted and I haven't been able to decide which dish to be my next. Beef and broccoli is very simple to make and very good to eat. There are many variations of the recipe. The one I have come up with combines a bit of several. My bf's kids are some tough critics and they love this dish!

Marinate the meat for 30 minutes

Prepare the marinade in a small bowl:

Have your broccoli ready. If you are using fresh, you must steam it first. I used frozen.

Heat vegetable oil in a wok or large skillet. Add the meat and cook until browned. Add the garlic and ginger, cook until fragrant. Add the sauce and stir to coat all the meat. Add the broccoli. Lower the heat and cook 15-20 minutes until the meat is completely cook and the sauce has thickened. Add chicken stock as needed to loosen up the sauce. Serve on white rice. Yum!

1 1/2 T Rice wine
1 T Water
1 T cornstarch
1 t sugar
1 T soy sauce

2 1/2 T oyster sauce
2 1/2 T Soy sauce
1 T water

3/4 lb. beef strips
1 lb. broccoli
1 clove garlic
small piece grated ginger

Friday, June 5, 2009

BBQ Ribs and Zucchini Gratin

This is my second go at this post. I had the entire thing finished and I somehow erased it when I tried to edit the pictures! So, if my pictures are not aligned right, I am not so sure I will change them! Ha!Here I go...

I have been craving BBQ for a while. I think my next craving is hitting the Chinese spot, but that's another post in itself. There is one BBQ joint near my house, but I've never made it there. Living in Maui and having a love for GOOD food do NOT go hand in hand. Ordering a pizza alone costs you 40 bucks with tax and tip! And it is nothing like a slice of East coast pizza. Anyway, I went to the grocery store planning on slurging for a rack of ribs. Guess what?

So I can deal with 15 bucks, but then I am walking out of the grocery store, checking my receipt, a habit I got from my mom and I see it.... $2.99! They only charged me $2.99 for the ribs. What a steal! Quite literally! Whoa hoo!

I take the ribs home, I clean them and coat them with a spice rub of paprika, sugar, black pepper, and garlic salt.

I wrapped them in foil, poured about two shots worth of beer in the bottom and baked at 250 degrees for 2 1/2 hours, until the meat pulls away from the bone when you bend them.

While the ribs cook the BBQ sauce can be made. I never follow a recipe to the T, unless of course I am baking, where there really isn't a choice. I found a few different BBQ sauce recipes and decided to use The Neely's BBQ Sauce for the base. I was not happy with the result and added some extras. I let it cook a bit longer and BAM! Great sauce!
The sauce starts out bright red from the tomatoes and ketchup and darkens as it cooks.

The end result was thick and dark in color, very yummy!

I have to be honest, I have never used the grill all by myself! Yes, I know, terrible, but yesterday I decided I was going to do it. My bf was not home in time to help me out so I grabbed the ribs, my tongs, the sauce and my side kick.

(She is hoping to get in on some of this!)

The ribs go on the grill for about 5 minutes on each side WITHOUT the sauce on medium high heat. Lower the heat on the grill to medium and baste with the BBQ sauce. Don't let them cook more than a few minutes on each side or they will BURN!

The ribs were so tender that the meat came right off the bones
This is the sauce I came up with:

1 C tomatoes, pureed
1 C ketchup
1 C water
3/4 C apple cider vinegar
5 T brown sugar
3 T sugar
1 T lemon juice
2 T worcestershire sauce
1/2 T black pepper
1/2 T ground mustard
1/2 T onion powder
2 T soy sauce
dash hot sauce
dash cayenne
2 t molasses

Combine all ingredients in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer. Cook 1 hour and 15 minutes, uncovered. Stir frequently.

I served the ribs with baked potatoes and zucchini gratin:

Chop the vegetables

Saute the shallot and garlic a few minutes over medium heat

Add the zucchini, salt, pepper, and thyme. Cook until tender. Add flour and cook a few minutes so the gratin does not have a pastey taste. Add the cheeses and milk. Cook until thickened, only a few minutes more. Pour into a prepared baking dish. Sprinkle with extra cheese and panko, and dot the top with butter. Bake 25-30 minutes at 400 degrees.

The top will be golden.

2 T butter
1 shallot, minced
1 garlic clove, minced
3 medium zucchini
sprinkle of thyme
2 T flour
mozzarella cheese
parmesean or pecorino cheese
1 C milk, warm