Sunday, November 15, 2009

Beef Mushroom Gravy

Developed November 15, 2009. 
1/2 lb brown meadow mushrooms (Agaricus bisporus, marketed as "baby bellas" or cremini)
2 c low-salt beef stock
2 T vegetable oil
1/2 t granulated garlic
2 T dry minced onion
1 T tapioca or corn starch, dispersed in cold stock or water
Heat the oil in a heavy 10-inch skillet until it shimmers. Separate the stems from the mushroom caps, chop the stems, and slice the caps. Sauté the chopped stems for a few minutes and add the sliced caps. Sauté until well browned, add the dry onion, granulated garlic, and the beef stock. Cover and simmer 10 minutes. Stir the starch mixture and mix into the gravy. When it thickens, take off heat. Taste for salt before serving. Makes about 3 cups.

Turnip Greens

First recorded July 4, 2000 and updated often. A Signature Dish and Family Favorite, and a Superfood to boot, jammed with hard-to-get vitamins and minerals. The family loves and eats it readily, seeking seconds, even thirds, and will snack on between meals.
1 lb frozen turnip greens + turnips, or 1 lb fresh greens (turnip, kale, and/or mustard, trimmed, washed thoroughly, drained, and cut across into 2 inch pieces
Pot liquor
1 c of water
3 T low-fat margarine
1 oz country ham, coarsely chopped
2 T dried minced onion
1/4 t crushed red pepper
1/2 t salt
1 T apple cider vinegar
1 t sugar
1/4 t ground black pepper
1/2 t mustard powder
Microwave Method:
Combine pot liquor ingredients in a covered 1-1/2 qt glass bowl. Microwave for 4 min on high, stirring once. Add the frozen greens and stir. Microwave 2 minutes on high. Stir and microwave another 2 minutes. Stir and microwave for 30 minutes on 20% power, stirring half way through.
Stove Top Method:
Combine pot liquor ingredients in a large saucepan. Bring to a gentle boil and simmer 5 minutes. Add the greens, return to a gentle boil, turning a few times, for 5 minutes. Cover, reduce heat to a simmer for 30-35 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add water as needed. Serves 4 to 6.

Oven-Braised Spare Ribs Smothered in Onions

Created and first cooked December 15, 2005, and many times since. A Family Favorite.
5 to 6 lb slab pork ribs, trimmed of fat and membranes, and cut into 2 rib portions (see Note)
2 large yellow onions, thinly sliced through poles
1/4 c ketchup
1/4 c apple cider vinegar
1/2 c water
garlic powder
paprika (smoked, if available)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (177 C). Arrange ribs, meaty side up, in a roasting pan with a cover. Combine liquids and pour over meat; dust on seasonings to taste. Top with sliced onions. Cover. Roast 30 minutes, turn over rib portions, reduce heat to 325 ºF and roast another 60 minutes covered, turning once after 30 minutes. Remove cover, turn meat, and brown for 30 to 40 minutes, basting occasionally. Meat should be very tender, almost falling off the bone. Serve with steamed rice topped with the onions and pan gravy. Fried apples and braised red cabbage make nice sides. Feeds 6 heartily.
Note: Choose small slabs (5 to 6 lbs). They come from younger animals, and are generally more tender and less fatty.