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Sweet Pork Ribs

pork ribs

These are the best pork ribs I’ve ever had from an oven and maybe — just maybe — the most delicious ribs you might ever have. 

Everything you might know about ribs tells you that whether or naught you start them in the oven, the finishing touch is always on the grill, right? Well, here’s something that may well set you back a little bit. These ribs, with just a little bit of filling, were cooked in the oven from start to finish, at just 275 degrees. Of course it takes something like 3-4 hours to cook them, but hey, that just a bit of time to relax on the deck with a great book, right?

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Potato Salad on the Side!

potato salad

I know just about everyone here in the U.S. is headed off for a lovely holiday this weekend. And even those of us who occasionally like to hang out at home still might be looking for a little prep-ahead, do it now, and relax over the next few days. This recipe is for one of the better potato salad mixes I’ve ever encountered and it’s fairly simple to make. 

Like any good potato salad, this one relies on good potatoes, but it also includes a whole mess of eggs and a host of other wonderful things, including just a little tarragon, which gives it a light, tangy kind of exuberance that you might not find elsewhere. For my taste, I generally like a good baking potato, which gives the finished product a nice crunch.

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Sichuan Shrimp

Sichuan shrimp

Leshan_Buddha_Statue_ViewOnce, many moons ago, I spent some time in Sichuan Province, and the place has stuck with me ever since. We arrived in Chongqing and, after a lovely lunch, headed west into Sichuan and from there it was heaven. We saw the lovely reclining Buddha in Dazu, many amazing sites in Chungdu and actually walked that stupendous trip from the top of the 233-feet Buddha in Leshan to its bottom. And it was somewhere in that incredible visit that I found Sichuan Shrimp, which I immediately fell in love with.

Now mind you, I have absolutely no idea how the original was made, and I’ve had to adapt a few odd items here and there, but in the end, this really does come close to my original idea of the shrimp. Starting with the shrimp itself. Because Sichuan is well inside China’s borders, there are no real shrimp nearby, so I figured they buy them from somewhere. They are very juicy and finding a good quality shrimp is important. I like the peel and eat for my Sichuan Shrimp, but use what’s good.

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Codfish Salad with Guacamole (Sous Vide)

codfish salad

Some day I’d love to see a book focused only on just simple salads. And this codfish salad could go right to the top of that list. As a general rule, in fact, I probably wouldn’t even post this dish here — but for the fact that it shows how even a very straightforward little sous vide can be a wonderful addition to a meal.

The guacamole is pretty simple, but feel free to add more — including a lot of spice if you like that. The salad, with or without a little light dressing is just about whatever you have available. 

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Leek and Potato Side Dish (Sous Vide)

leek and potato side dish

Sous vide processing is mainly — at least for me — a great way to produce some amazing feasts for the table. What many sous vide cookbooks don’t tell you is that it’s also an excellent way to make some very good side dishes. This leek and potato side dish is a perfect example. Where else can you get perfectly well done leeks and similarly well done potatoes, all ready to fit into a servings dish and all at the same time.

Putting the dish together is easy to do. Lay in the potatoes, lay the leeks on top and add either a few wisps of ham or a simple dressing on top. A few little chives and you’re all set. Getting there takes a bit more effort. The vacuum-style leeks require cooking (70 degrees C at about an hour and a half) as do the potatoes (90 degrees C at about 50 minutes or so). Leeks are then split and fried very quickly as are the potatoes, both of which need more of a little bit of shine than anything.

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Chinese Chicken Wings

chinese chicken wings

Chinese chicken wings is one of those things that just sort of hangs around in your head until you finally say “OK. It’s time to get those damn wings out of my head and on to a plate.”

Of course, when you find that making these wings is so simple, you begin to wonder why all the fuss. For crying out loud, these could have been done many times over and over during the last year. Why did it take so long?

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Roasted Lamb with Onions

roasted lamb

If you find yourself some day looking for a rather easy and sane quick dinner, this roasted lamb is a very simple but a really nice complement to some green veggies and a nice little wine. It doesn’t require a huge preparation, some lamb shoulder, a couple of onions, a little garlic, a little bit of tomato paste, some white wine and a little saffron. 

I’m guessing by now you might have noticed that little bit of saffron. First, yes, it really is essential. It does something to the meat and the veggies that makes it special. For one thing, it adds a little floral note to the preparation and it most definitely adds a wonderful fragrance to the sauce. Second, yes, I know it tends to be a bit pricey from the supermarket, but it is also available from decent sized Latino or world markets at a reasonable price. 

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