Welcome to the Hye Thyme Cafe. Although not all of my recipes are Armenian, the name is a little nod to my Armenian grandmother who is no longer with us. The Hye refers to all things related to her homeland, and she represents all things food-related to me, so the two just seemed to go together. I can't even claim that my Armenian recipes are truly Armenian, since Greece, Turkey, Armenia, Lebanon, Syria, and even Egypt share so many foods that they've all sort of morphed into one over thousands of years.
Whether you like to cook, bake, have never done either, or just like to play with your food...come on in and join me! :)
Thursday, January 29, 2015
Sunday, January 25, 2015
I have had Poutine on the brain since having it back in August. We had gone to Dinosaur BBQ in Syracuse for a family outing, and two orders were placed for the table as an appetizer, along with Fried Green Tomatoes. I was thinking they were crazy for ordering two, knowing how much food would be coming still, but it's a good thing they did! Their Poutine came with brisket, and quickly vanished.
I had never seen cheese curds before moving to New York. The first time I saw them were at an indoor farmer's market. They are often referred to as squeak cheese, because when they're really fresh, they squeak when you bite into them. Since then, I have noticed them in many of the local grocery stores, in a variety of flavors.
Because I love Chianti-Braised Short Ribs so much, I was originally planning to make a batch of those to go with my Poutine, but when I saw the cider at the market, I quickly switched gears. Even if you're not into Poutine, you should definitely make the ribs. Sooooo good!
There is enough liquid here to accommodate additional ribs if you need them. I was making this just for me, so I bought six ribs, figuring I'd use two for the Poutine, then have the rest for during the week. Same goes for the potatoes if you're making your french fries from scratch - figure on two per person, then add one or two extra at the end for good measure. Don't worry though, if you don't want to make your own fries, frozen will be fine.
Boneless beef short ribs (2 per person)
Salt and Pepper
1 lg onion, sliced or chopped
2 cloves garlic (or 1t jarred minced garlic)
1/2 t crushed red pepper flakes
2 c beef broth
2 c apple cider
Russet potatoes (2 per person plus 1 or 2 extra)
Oil for frying potatoes
2 T flour
2 T butter
Gravy Master (optional)
Pat your ribs dry so you are searing them, rather than steaming them, and season well with salt and pepper.
Coat pan with olive oil and sear the ribs for 2-3 minutes on each side over med to med-high heat, then remove from the pan. Because you will be covering the pan anyhow, I staged my ribs right in the cover.
Pour in the beef broth and bring up to a boil, stirring frequently to prevent sticking. Let that bubble and reduce by about half, to concentrate that beef flavor.
Next add the cider, again letting it simmer and reduce for a few minutes, then turn the heat down to low and add the ribs back to the pan, along with any juices that have accumulated. Cover the pan and let cook for about 3 hours, flipping the ribs about half way through. You want to check on your temperature every once in a while - there should just be a few bubbles breaking the surface here and there - barely a simmer. You can see in the photo on the right that after 3 hours, they are falling-apart tender. Another option would be to sear the ribs, then add everything to your slow cooker and let that run all day on low until the ribs are tender.
In a separate pot, whisk together the 2T each butter and flour to cook into a roux, then either pour the pan juices from the ribs into the pot, or strain it into the pot for a nice glossy gravy. If you want, add a few drops of Gravy Master for extra richness and color. Let boil for a minute or two to thicken, then reduce the heat and keep warm while you make your fries.
If you are making your french fries from scratch, wash and peel your potatoes, then slice lengthwise into layers, then into fries.
I like to use a deep pot to prevent spatter, but a deep skillet is fine as well. Heat your oil until when you add a droplet of cold water from your fingertip, it immediately pops. Add the potatoes, stirring often with a spatula to prevent sticking together or to the pan, until they float and are golden and crispy around the edges. I like mine crispy. Transfer to a paper-towel lined plate to absorb any extra grease, and sprinkle with salt.
Break your ribs into pieces, then toss with the fries and cheese curds on a foil-lined tray. Pop under the broiler for a minute or two to let the cheese curds get melty and the ribs re-heat. Scoop into bowls with a spatula and drizzle with gravy.