Even if I opt for the creamy risotto, my wandering eye...err, stomach, is perpetually catching a glance at the silky carbonara two plates over.
A little bit of this and a little bit of that
is ideal for me!
That being said, tapas, sushi, appetizers, small plates and side dishes have always been friends of mine.
A sushi binge with the girls at the newest west 7th sushi joint, Blue Sushi Sake, was just the trick.
My chopsticks guiltily darted from plate to plate with flavor-draped delights:
charred shishito peppers
succulent pork gyoza with crispy leeks
yellowtail sashimi with ponzu and a spicy jalapeno kick
bluefin belly with yuzu and mustard microgreens
king crab maki blanketed in bright avocado
and a funky, vegetable maki with spiced aged tofu and napa cabbage
After a washdown of
hot sake for the soul,
my belly with its' wandering eye was fully rejuvenated.
With our recent exuberant welcome to autumn, I put my hefty flame Le Creuset Dutch oven to use for my favorite cooking technique for chilly weather: braising.
Short Ribs are inexpensive, yet luscious, when prepared low and slow. This recipe is a perfect chilly weather supper for two that can be virtually ignored during a lazy afternoon.
(kosher salt and fresh-cracked pepper to season)
2 T vegetable oil
2 c onion, diced
1 c celery, diced
1 c carrot, diced
1 T fresh ginger, minced
2 T lemongrass, minced
5 sprigs fresh thyme leaves
1 c fine red wine
1 c soy sauce
2 c fine unsalted beef stock
1 t kosher salt
2 T unsalted butter
Add onions, celery, carrots, ginger, lemongrass and thyme to hot pot to deglaze brown bits from the bottom. Saute approximately 10 minutes until vegetables are tender. Return short ribs to pot and nestle atop vegetables. Add red wine, soy, beef broth and salt.
Cover and simmer over low heat approximately 3.5 hours until falling apart tender. During braise, brush tops of short ribs with lemongrass soy glaze every 15 minutes (or whenever you think of it!).
To serve, transfer ribs and strained vegetables to serving dish to rest. Increase heat on remaining sauce in Dutch oven and reduce for 5 minutes. Right before serving, whisk in butter to slightly thicken sauce. Spoon sauce atop short ribs and serve with celery root puree.
1 large russet potato, diced into 1/4 inch cubes
1/2 c heavy cream
1/4 c creme fraiche
2 T unsalted butter
2 T scallions, sliced thin on the bias
kosher salt to taste
2 and 1/4 c AP flour
4 t ground ginger
2 t baking powder
1/2 t salt
1/4 c crystallized ginger, minced
1 c (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
2 c sugar
4 large eggs
1 large egg yolk
2 t vanilla bean paste or extract
1 c sour cream
Position rack in center of oven and preheat to 350 degrees. Brush softened butter inside bundt pan or mini bundt pan. Sprinkle raw sugar and coat completely by shaking pan. Tap pan to remove excess.
Add flour mixture in 3 additions alternately with sour cream and vanilla in 2 additions, beating on low speed until just blended after each addition. Spread batter in pan or mini bundt pans- filling about halfway up mini bundts.
Bake cake(s) until top(s) are light brown and toothpick comes out with a few small crumbs attached about 55 minutes for a large bundt or 35 minutes for mini bundts. Transfer to rack; cool in pan 15 minutes. Loosen cake around mold by gently tapping and invert onto rack to fully cool.
Serve with blood orange compote and garnish with crystallized ginger candies.
Blood Orange Compote
2 cups sugar
zest and fruit of 2 blood oranges
Combine ingredients in a small saucepan. Simmer over medium high heat until syrupy and reduced by half (fruit will break down). Cool in bowl atop an ice water bath then chill completely in cooler.