Thursday, July 23, 2015





Another Episode of.....
What I Have Been Up To In My Kitchen!

Hello, Friends!  Welcome to another episode of What I Have Been Up To In My Kitchen!  I have a couple of recent recipes to briefly share with you, including my "Everything But the Kitchen Sink" BBQ Sauce, an ALL NEW recipe!  In addition to pork ribs, and the interesting story behind why I oven roasted them, I am going to share with you my seared Rib Eye steak with oven roasted potatoes and broccoli.  There is more, but that description is coming later. 

One week this summer, between an extreme heatwave and regular hot summer temperatures, we had a week of humid, cloudy, monsson-like weather with mild temperatures.  It happened to be that week that I had purchased a beautiful slab of pork ribs and wanted to use my grill, finally.  As it turned out, and I have had this problem previously, between the scattered showers and the humidity, the charcoal would not light. Oven Time!  In order to accommodate the huge slab of pork ribs, I divided it into thirds and placed two on one baking pan lined with foil with a rack over that, and the larger of the three on another.  I wanted to let the meat rest and come to room temperature before slow and low roasting them at 250-degrees for one-and-a-half hours, covered with a little water in the bottom of the baking pan, about a third of a cup, to keep things moist.  I liberally applied my bbq spice rub and set the slabs on their racks.  

My spice rub:
2 large rounded tablespoons of smoked paprika
1 tablespoon sea salt
2 teaspoons ground black pepper
1 tablespoon pasilla powder
1 large rounded tablespoon ground cumin
1 large rounded tablespoon garlic powder or granulated garlic
1 large rounded tablespoon onion powder
1 tablespoon thyme
1 tablespoon oregano 
2 level tablespoons brown sugar
1 teaspoon ground cloves

I gently toasted the spices in a small skillet over low heat until the spices began blooming and releasing their fragrant aromas. I then ground them together in my spice grinder, as the oregano and thyme were dried leaves.  It is also an incredibly fast and easy way to quickly and thoroughly combine all of spices evenly. 

 
 I covered the ribs with foil and placed both pans in the oven to roast for 1.5 hours, low and slow!  I uncovered after that and allowed them to roast another thirty minutes before cranking up the heat and applying the sauce.  Speaking of the sauce, let's get to my "Everything But the Kitchen Sink" BBQ Sauce!

EBTKS BBQ Sauce Ingredients
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons Worcestershire Sauce
1/4 cup Hoisin sauce
2 tablespoon Plum Sauce or berry jam
2 tablespoons low sodium Soy Sauce, or, Shoyu
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
2 tablespoons Mirin, Rice Wine Vinegar
1 teaspoon liquid smoke
3 cups ketchup
1 tablespoon smoked paprika
1 tablespoon onion powder or granulated onion
1 tablespoon garlic powder or granulated garlic
1 teaspoon cumin powder
1 teaspoon ground cloves
1teaspoon ground thyme
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 rounded tablespoon of brown sugar or 1 tablespoon of molasses
1 tablespoon pasilla powder or cayenne
 
 
 
Bring the mixture to a boil and simmer over low heat in a medium sauce pan for one hour.  It should have reduced by half.  Remove from the heat and allow to cool.  The sauce will thicken. The flavors will fill your kitchen and place with incredible aromas!  Scrape the sides and bottom of the sauce pan every fifteen or so minutes and redistribute the sugary mass that will develop.  As the sugars release, they will form a film.  That is flavor intensified!  Be sure to redistribute them!
 
Remember, I uncovered the ribs after 1.5 hours of slow roasting, and by now the water should be evaporated and replaced by the rendered fat of the ribs.  Roast, same temperature, for another thirty minutes.  Afterward, crank the heat to 400-degrees.  Using a brush, slather on the BBQ sauce generously (this makes a big batch) and roast for seven or so minutes.  The sauce will begin to caramelize and form a crust.  Using tongs, turn the ribs, slather on sauce, roast for about eight minutes.  Flip, and repeat at least one or two more rounds.  
 
 
 
Remove the ribs and place them on a thick cutting board or chopping block.  Let the slabs rest for about five or ten minutes. Using a sharp chef's knife or cleaver, chop or slice and separate the ribs.  Add extra sauce if you wish, but the multiple caramelization of sauce will be thick and sticky.  
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 Serve with your favorite sides and Enjoy!

Now, onto the Extreme Comfort Food dish I felt compelled to make myself last night....

Cast Iron Skillet Seared Seasoned Rib Eye Steak with Blue Cheese, Garlic and Herb Compound Butter, Garlic Oven Roasted Broccoli and Garlic and Rosemary Oven Roasted Smushed Baby New Potatoes. 

 
 It is well-known about me that when I am a bit blue, I become a wild and creative machine in my kitchen, creating comfort food for the bruised soul.  Yesterday was one of those days, and yes, I made Extreme Comfort Food for the soul.  I purchased a large, thick, 1.4 pound ribeye steak, a bag of multi-colored baby potatoes, and a bag of fresh-frozen broccoli (Remember my talking about budget pantry meals?  The broccoli was a leftover from that series).  This is a perfect meal for those with the blues, Hellooooo!!!! it is not mandatory to be blue in order to make this!  It could be just for the fun of it!

I brought to complete room temperature 3/4 of a stick of butter.  In a bowl, I mushed the butter with a fork and mixed it together thoroughly with half a small container of blue cheese, about a quarter of a cup, two cloves garlic and two tablespoons of flat-leaf Italian parsley, finely chopped.  I did not roll it in waxed paper to make it a pretty roll, I just left it in the bowl and refrigerated it.  It was just me, after all!

Next,  I washed my vegetables.  I set the heat to 400-degrees to preheat the oven.  I pulled out my large cast iron skillet and two small skillets.  In the small skillets, I added two tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil, each skillet.  I tossed the potatoes with finely chopped garlic and fresh washed rosemary sprigs in one, and tossed the broccoli in evoo and a teaspoon of finely chopped garlic in the other.  I placed the potatoes in the oven first, once preheated, as it would take the longest.  By-the-way, I had ten baby potatoes in the skillet.

 Meanwhile, on a plate, I drizzled extra virgin olive over the steak to moisten it and simply seasoned it with salt, pepper, a little fresh rosemary leaves,  a half teaspoon of smoked paprika, both sides of the steak.  I love the crust these three create on meats.  That is just me.  Salt and pepper are actually just fine.  



 While the potatoes roasted, I brought my large cast iron skillet to high heat and added the steak to it.  I did not add evoo since I had the steak slightly marinating in it on the plate.  I seared the steak for about five minutes and turned it, and yes, it released from the skillet easily, so the sugars had developed and formed a crust along with the salt, pepper and paprika. I seared the steak about two minutes before reducing the heat to medium.  I removed the potatoes from the oven and added the cast iron skillet to it to finish the steak. 

I had placed the potatoes skillet on the still hot burner the cast iron skillet had been on, and using a coffee cup, smushed the baby potatoes.  I also removed the rosemary sprigs.  

After seven minutes, I removed the cast iron skillet (I wanted my steak fairly rare) and placed both the potatoes and the broccoli into the oven for another fifteen minutes.  Afterward, I'd removed the two skillets (both oven safe skillets) and enjoyed the aromas of the garlic and rosemary. 

I placed the mostly crispy broccoli onto the plate, layered the steak over it, and added smushed potatoes beside the steak.  I placed a dollop of the blue cheese butter atop the steak, which began to melt immediately.  The blue cheese aroma with the herb and garlic was amazing!  Perfect Extreme Comfort Food dish for the blues!!!  

I garnished the plate with a bit of chopped Flat Leaf Italian Parsley and the potatoes with a little bit of grated parmesan cheese.  

As I said, you do not need to have to blues to enjoy a great meal with blue cheese!

Thank You for your time, gentle readers, and now go cook something for someone you love!