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Slow Roasted Tomatoes

French Fridays with Dorie is one of my favorite cook-alongs.

Sadly, I lent my Around My French Table to a friend and have missed quite a few in the past couple of months.

But the book is back! And so am I!

Slow roasted tomatoes. What can I say? Slow roasted (3 HOURS!) grape or cherry tomatoes, with garlic, extra virgin olive oil and herbs!  The simplest of ingredients, the simplest of preparation, and you are left with smokey, sweet, rich, deep flavored, ruby tomatoes.

Yowzer!

Dorie suggested rosemary, but I have an abundance of oregano, so I used that instead. Thyme would be good too! It’s all up to you!

We had these over ribeyes last night and the rest were used up on pasta for my hubby’s dinner tonight.

I wish I could give you the recipe – buy the book, it’s SO worth it!

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Cola & Jam Spareribs

One of my favorite styles of cooking is hands down BBQ. And, conversely, the thing I jones for the most during the winter is BBQ.

Leave it to Dorie Greenspan to come up with the perfect solution for my winter BBQ blues in Around My French Table ~ Cola and Jam Spareribs.

The timing was perfect – an upcoming French Fridays with Dorie recipe coupled with a gloomy, chilly Sunday and the ribs were on sale! Trifecta!

I love that Dorie’s recipes shoot different scents wafting throughout the house. There is a marriage of different aromas and flavors that always come together perfectly both for your nose and mouth. The anticipation of what’s to come is mind boggling.

So quick to put together with simple, yet intriguing, ingredients.

I have to admit. I cheated a bit. I bought my ribs already cut. Anything to make my time in the kitchen simpler and more enjoyable.

I let the ribs sit in the marinade for a little over 2 hours in the fridge. Then brought them to room temperature before I put them in the oven.

I confess, I am a baster.  I baste constantly cooking my turkey on Thanksgiving, and I basted these ribs far more than the recipe suggested. Especially after  adding the Coca-Cola for the last 30 minutes of cooking time.

The end result was sticky and sweet from the orange juice and Coke with a depth of flavor from the Chinese 5 spice and ginger. Falling off the bone tender and moist.

This recipe will have MANY repeat performances in our house.

Garlicky Crumb Coated Broccoli

 I am really starting to love French Fridays with Dorie. There are some great cooks there, fun people with a common interest. Lots of support and kind comments back and forth. I also love to see everyone’s different perspective and photos on each dish. The recipes are all the same but the similarities end there.

This week’s recipe was Garlicky Crumb Coated Broccoli. Does that sound amazing or what? Well, I’ll tell ya, it is. It’s simple and fast with a new twist on a favorite vegetable in my house. How many times can you steam, stir fry or roast the same vegetable without people nodding out at your table?

It’s as simple as steaming broccoli.

Sauteing garlic in butter (what can be bad about that?), toasting the crumbs IN the butter and garlic, and adding flavor boosting lemon zest and parsley.

Add the broccoli. Toss to coat. Voila! You are done.

Make sure you spoon over whatever crumbs didn’t stick to the broccoli on the top. You really don’t want to mis out on a single lemony, garlicky, buttery crumb! 

Beggar’s Linguine

I am always a day late and a dollar short with the cook alongs. Might be my problem with being a conformist. Might just be too many plates spinning in the air at the same time.

That being said, I have had a love hate relationship with this particular recipe since purchasing Around My French Table. I have flagged it to make, taken it away, put it back. There was something that was intriguing and something I wasn’t sure appealed to me. Truthfully, I was glad to see this as one of the chosen recipes for Fridays with Dorie so I would be pushed a little to make this. I didn’t think this would fly with the testosterone triplets so I made this for just myself – and they don’t know what they missed!

Here was where the intrigue began. The main part of this recipes is chopped dried fruit and nuts. The recipe calls for figs, raisins, almonds and pistachios. Totally love almonds, pistachios and figs. Not so much for the raisins. I can deal with golden raisins so that’s what I used. I also added some dried cherries and dried apricots. I adjusted the amounts of each to end up with the same end result.

My other draw for this recipe was brown butter. I love brown butter in and/or on everything. Those 2 little words in a recipe title is an instant draw. The dried fruit plumping in brown butter is amazing. Te scents wafting up from the pan were mouth-watering.

I was worried about the addition of parmigiano. And while I was pushing the bits of dried fruit around I realized one of my favorite snacks is fruit and parmigiano, so how bad could this possibly be. The orange zest on the top totally put this over the top. The bright freshness of the orange playing with the brown butter soaked dried fruit and nuts. I was so pleasantly surprised at how sweet and savory this was at the same time.

While you MUST own Around My French Table, you can find this particular recipe on Dorie’s website.

Short Ribs in Red Wine & Port

I love Dorie Greenspan. She is delightful in books. She is delightful in person. I have been trying to jump into French Fridays with Dorie – the cookalong for Dorie’s book Around My French Table – for the longest time, but I am scatterbrained.  At least I know it. I have all the best intentions and then Friday passes me by and then I feel guilty.

Truth be told, I am not a good Friday cook. I am not really a during the week cook. Not in the sense that I don’t cook during the week, but during the week is on the fly cooking – old habits, old standbys.

I was determined, however, to do this recipe of Short Ribs in Red Wine & Port. It just sounded divine and just the type of dish I like to make on a Sunday when I have all the time in the world to futz in the kitchen.

I gathered all my ingredients and realized that while I had cheese cloth SOMEONE had stolen my kitchen string. There is string all over this house, different thicknesses, different materials, why oh why did my kitchen string look so attractive – because it was in front of the thief.

Necessity being the mother of invention, I cut a strip of the cheesecloth and used it as a tie.

For me, the prep is always the worst part. Chopping, chopping, CHOPPING. Once you get past all the chopping, the dish really cooks itself.

Well, after you saute the vegetables and broil the short ribs.

Broiling the short ribs is terrific. It gets them started, a little browned, but in a different way than browning them in a pan. I like it much better this way.

And this is where the aroma therapy begins. While the veggies begin to cook, you first get the wonderful aromas from the mirepoix and garlic. Suddenly there is a new companion on the journey – ginger! Ginger just fits right in with the scents in the kitchen, but also gives it a little something new.

Adding the tomato paste and letting it sautee with the vegetables ranks right up there for with toasting the or frying the spices before you add in the main ingredients. It gives the tomato paste a chance to coat the vegetables, to be totally incorporated into the dish before all the liquids join in.

Once you add the ribs and red wine and port to the pot and stick it in the oven for its 3 hour nap, new smells start to take over. First, you are hit by the red wine mingling with the ginger and vegetables. There is something very comforting about the smell. And just when you are ready to take a little nap, the port starts to open up and there is another totally new smell around the house.

In the meantime, there were people walking through the kitchen oohing and aahing and questioning over and over when this wonderfully smelling dish would be ready.

Once the pot came out of the oven, we became giddy with anticipation. The ribs go back under the broiler with some of the strained sauce to glaze. Ingenious!

While the ribs are glossing, I made a gremolata using a honeybell orange instead of lemon.

What a lovely touch to finish the dish. The gremolata gave a fresh brightness to the deep flavors of the beef and gave a brightness to the mahogany colored ribs.

I served this with roasted carrots, mashed potatoes and my grandmother’s biscuit recipe. It was the quietest people have been around my table in a long time!

Thanks, Dorie. Hope to be back next week!

 If you don’t own the book – AND YOU SHOULD – this recipe is on the Bon Appetit website.