Let's Dish With Linda Lou

Taste The Love

Braised Boneless Beef Short Ribs In A Red Wine Reduction Over White Cheddar Polenta

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This has to be one of the coldest days we’ve had in Orlando in a really long time, so I needed to bring out the big guns for dinner tonight. Steve’s been working on roofs all day and I know he’d want a comforting dish to warm him up. I went to our local Farmers’ Market and decided on short ribs. They offer boneless short ribs which I’ve never seen available anywhere else.

The name of my dish, Braised Short Ribs In A Red Wine Reduction Over White Cheddar Polenta sounds super fancy but really it’s not.

I should tell you that our local Farmers’ Market is called Freshfields Farm. I posted a link at the bottom of this post.

I definitely needed good white cheddar for my grits, and Freshfields Farm also offers a variety of cheeses, so this worked out perfectly.

I’m asked a lot what the difference is between grits and polenta. I’ve always known polenta to be used in Italian cuisine and grits always being a staple in southern cuisine and this is true but the real difference is in the corn.

While polenta is made from ground yellow corn, grits are made from white corn (also known as hominy). The most notable difference between the two is in the texture: polenta is much coarser, whereas grits are finer.

Next, I was onto the produce-side of Freshfields Farm to check out the root vegetables available for my dish tonight. I found a beautiful butternut squash and some leaf top carrots. Those are going to be perfect for my Braised Boneless Short Ribs.

Roasted Red Peppers

Piquillo Peppers (2)

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Flat Leaf Italian Parsley

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Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cooking Time For Short Ribs: 2 1/2 to 2 3/4 hours
Cooking Time For Grits: 1 hour
Total Time: 3 hours 15 minutes
Yields: 4 to 6 servings
Equipment, 6-quart Dutch oven with a lid, 6-quart saucepot, 10-cup food processor, 2 rimmed baking sheet pans, 9 x 11 baking dish

Ingredients
3 pounds of boneless short ribs
1/4 cup of olive oil
2 tablespoons of Kosher salt
1 1/2 teaspoons of freshly ground black pepper

2 tablespoons of olive oil
1 12-ounce jar of roasted Piquillo peppers, puréed
1 onion, diced, 2-inch dice
2 cups of carrots, 2-inch dice
4 cups of butternut squash, peeled and seeded, 2-inch dice
5 cloves of garlic, minced
1 tablespoon of tomato paste
1 teaspoon of red pepper flakes
1 tablespoon of fresh rosemary, finely chopped
1 1/2 tablespoons of Kosher salt
1 1/2 teaspoons of freshly ground black pepper
2 cups of Cabernet Sauvignon
3 1/2 cup of beef stock, unsalted
1 14.5-ounce can of beef consommé
*slurry
2 tablespoons of Italian flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped, extra for garnish

Ingredients For Polenta:
1 cup of instant polenta
3 cups of water
1 cup of heavy cream
1 teaspoon of Kosher salt
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
2 cups of white cheddar, freshly grated (reserve 1/2 a cup for the topping)

Directions:
Preheat
oven to 450-degrees F.
To start this dish, the vegetables need to be prepped. They all must be approximately the same size so they cook evenly. Butternut squash, carrots, onions, and minced garlic, and purèed Piquillo peppers. Set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, add the short ribs, 1/4 cup olive oil, 2 tablespoons of Kosher salt, 1 1/2 teaspoons of freshly ground black pepper. Mix to combine. Arrange the marinated short ribs, in one layer, spread out, onto two baking sheets. Roast for 20 minutes. Halfway through the roasting process, flip the short ribs to get a good caramelization on both sides.

Note: Oven temperatures may vary slightly. The roasting time for the short ribs is approximate.

In a preheated Dutch oven over medium-high heat, add the olive oil, onions, and carrots. Season with 1 tablespoon of Kosher salt and 1 teaspoon of freshly ground black pepper, stirring occasionally, cook for 2 to 3 minutes. Next, add the diced butternut squash minced garlic, and tomato paste.

Continue cooking adding the remaining 1/2 tablespoon of Kosher salt and 1/2 teaspoon of freshly ground black pepper, stirring occasionally for another 2 to 3 minutes.

Note: It’s important to season each layer as you go.

Once the vegetables start to soften, add the purèed Piquillo peppers, stir to combine. Add the red pepper flakes, 1 tablespoon of finely chopped rosemary, and Italian flat-leaf parsley, stir to combine.

For the liquids, first, add the Cabernet Sauvignon to *deglaze the pot. Using a wooden spoon, scrape all the bits off the bottom of the pot. After the wine reduces, by half, approx. 2 to 3 minutes, add the beef consommé and beef stock.

Adjust oven temperature to 325-degrees F.
Remove the short ribs from the oven, add the ribs with their juices to the pot, gently stir to combine. Bring everything back up to a boil, cover, turn the heat off, and transfer the pot to the oven. Cook for 2 1/2 to 2 3/4 hours or until the meat is fork-tender.

Adjust oven temperature to 350-degrees F.
Remove the pot from the oven, carefully transfer the short ribs to a dish. Turn heat to medium-high add the premade *slurry to the pot, stir to combine. Bring the sauce back up to a boil, stirring occasionally, cook until the sauce thickens. Turn the heat down to the lowest temperature (warm), carefully add the short ribs back into the pot. Cover to keep hot.

Tip: Spray the dull side of the foil with non-stick cooking spray before covering the grits. The will prevent the cheese on top from sticking to the foil.

Directions For the White Cheddar Polenta:
In a large saucepot, add heavy cream and water. Bring up to a boil. Add 1 teaspoon of Kosher salt. Using a whisk, slowly whisk in the cornmeal. As soon as the liquid is completely absorbed, 2 to 3 minutes. Remove the pot from the heat and add the butter. Switch to a wooden spoon, stir until butter is incorporated. Next, add the grated white cheddar, stir to combine.

In a 9 x 11 buttered baking dish, add the prepared polenta. spread out evenly into the buttered casserole dish. sprinkle with the reserved white cheddar evenly over the top. Cover the casserole dish tightly with foil. Bake for 15 minutes. Remove the foil and bake for another 5 to 7 minutes or until polenta is hot and bubbly.

To Serve: Spoon the White Cheddar Polenta in the bottom of a serving bowl. Ladle a good helping of my Braised Boneless Beef Short Ribs In A Red Wine Reduction on top. Garnish with Italian flat-leaf parsley. Serve hot.

*deglaze: To dilute meat sediments (in a pan) to make a gravy or sauce, typically using wine.

*slurry:  For each cup of liquid, you want to thicken, start with 1 tablespoon of cornstarch in a small bowl. Add an equal amount of cold liquid (water) and stir until smooth paste forms. Whisk the slurry into the hot simmering liquid you want to thicken.

Freshfields Farm

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Chicken Tortilla Soup

2014-12-30 11.47.28

Whenever it turns out to be a gloomy day, I get this huge craving for a hot bowl of soup. My Chicken Tortilla Soup with all its wonderful toppings fits the bill perfectly.

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Tuscan Soup (6)

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Cilantro

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Diced Fire Roasted Tomatoes

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Chicken Broth

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Limes

Red Onion

Diced Red Onion (2)

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Prep Time: 40 minutes (this includes the garnish and toppings for the soup)
Cook Time: 48 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 28 minutes
Yields: 4 to 6 servings
Equipment: 2 rimmed baking sheet pans, 6-quart Dutch oven with a lid, mesh sieve, 2-cup measuring cup, measuring spoons

Ingredients For Roasted Chicken:
2 bone-in, skin-on, chicken breasts
4 tablespoons of olive oil, divided
1 tablespoon of Kosher salt
1 teaspoon of fresh ground black pepper

Ingredients For Tortilla Strips:
1 package of corn tortillas
some non- stick cooking spray
2 tablespoons of Kosher salt

Ingredients For the Soup:
2 tablespoons of vegetable oil
2 quarts of chicken broth, unsalted
2 cups of water (reserve 1/2 cup for cornmeal)
1 red bell pepper, seeded, large dice
1 green bell pepper, seeded, large dice (substitute green bell pepper)
1 onion, large dice
1 Fresno chili, seeded and minced (substitute jalapeno pepper)
3 cloves of garlic, minced
1 cup of green onions, sliced, (the white and light green parts)
1 (11-ounce) can of Ro*Tel (tomatoes with green chilies)
1 (15-ounce) can of fire-roasted tomatoes with juice
1 (15-ounce) can of black beans, low sodium, drained and rinsed
1 (11-ounce) can of white shoepeg corn, drained and rinsed
2 tablespoons of tomato paste
3 tablespoons of cornmeal
1 tablespoon of chili powder
1 tablespoon of ground cumin
2 tablespoons of dried oregano
1 1/2 tablespoons of Kosher salt
1 teaspoon of fresh ground black pepper
1 bay leaf

Toppings:
1/2 cup of cilantro, roughly chopped
1 cup of green onions tops, thinly sliced
1 lime, cut into wedges
1 (8-ounce) package of shredded Colby Jack cheese
1/4 cup of red onion, finely diced

Directions:
Preheat oven to 375-degrees F.
Start by spraying both sides of the corn tortillas with non-stick cooking spray. Stack the tortillas on top of each other slicing them into strips. Divide the strips in half giving you two equal portions. Arrange the tortilla strips into a single layer on each baking sheet pan. Sprinkle with Kosher salt. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes. Allow the tortilla strips to cool for 15 minutes before placing them into a large resealable bag.

Adjust oven temperature to 350-degreed F.
On a rimmed baking sheet pan place two chicken breasts. Rub the top of each breast with olive oil. Sprinkle each one with Kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes. Allow the chicken to cool for 30 minutes before removing the skin and chicken from the bone. Use your hand to shred the chicken. Transfer to a large platter. Set aside.

In the meantime, while the chicken is in the oven, prep all the vegetables, open all the cans, drain the corn and black beans for the soup.

In a preheated Dutch oven, over medium-high heat, add vegetable oil. To the oil, add dried oregano, ground cumin, chili powder, and tomato paste, stir to combine. Stirring frequently, cook for 1 minute to allow the spices and tomato paste to bloom. Next, add the onions, diced peppers, Fresno chili, garlic, bay leaf, Kosher salt, and freshly ground black pepper, stir to combine.

Stirring occasionally, cook for 5 to 7 minutes giving everything a chance to marry and soften. Next, add the fire-roasted tomatoes with juice, Ro*Tel, black beans, and corn, and cooked shredded chicken, stir to combine. Add chicken broth and water, again stir to combine. Bring the soup up to a boil, reduce the heat to medium-low, simmer for 35 to 40 minutes.

During the last 15 minutes of cooking, in a measuring cup, add 3 tablespoons of cornmeal to 1/2 a cup of water, mix well. Pour this mixture into the simmering hot soup, stir to combine.

Turn the heat off, remove the bay leaf.

To serve, ladle the Chicken Tortilla Soup into a porcelain serving bowl. Add all or any combination of the green onions tops, chopped cilantro, finely diced red onion, cheese, and crispy tortilla strips. Serve with a lime wedge.

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Taco Bake With Black Beans And Hominy

2014-12-03 18.00.22

My Taco Bake With Black Beans And Hominy is a great way to switch up having traditional tacos to a casserole with all the flavors you love.

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Olive Oil

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Onions

Stuffing (2)

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Cilantro

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Shoepeg Corn

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Guacamole-13

Cilantro

Red Onion

Diced Red Onion (2)

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Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 12 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 42 minutes
Yields: 6 servings
Equipment: 1 (9 x 9) baking dish, 10-cup food processor, 12-inch sauté pan, 3 large mixing bowls, 1 medium-size mixing bowl.

Ingredients:
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 pounds of ground pork (substitute ground meat of your choice)
1 sweet onion, diced
1/2 red onion, diced
2 cloves of  garlic, minced
1 cup of Cantina-style salsa
1 (15.5-ounce) can of hominy, drained and rinsed
1 (15.5-ounce) can of black beans, low sodium, drained and rinsed
1/3 cup of frozen corn, thawed
8 small flour tortillas
2 limes, juiced
2 bunches of cilantro (each bunch equals approx. 3/4 cup of packed cilantro leaves)
1 pint of red grape tomatoes, halved
1 pint of yellow grape tomatoes, halved
1 Fresno chili, seeded and minced
2 avocados, pitted and diced
1 package (8-ounces) of shredded cheese, Mexican blend
1 package (8-ounces) of Colby jack shredded cheese
3 tablespoons of Kosher salt
1 teaspoon of freshly ground black pepper
4 tablespoons of taco seasoning
2 tablespoons of tomato paste
1 cup of beef stock, unsalted

Ingredients For Cantina-style Salsa:
2 (15-ounce) cans of fire-roasted tomatoes, drained (substitute diced tomatoes)
1/2 onion, quartered
1/2 a jalapeno, seeded and roughly chopped
2 tablespoons of cilantro leaves
1 garlic clove, roughly chopped
1 lime, juiced
1 teaspoon of granulated sugar
1 tablespoon of Kosher salt

Ingredients For Taco Seasoning:
6 tablespoons of chili powder
1 teaspoon of garlic powder
1 teaspoon of onion powder
1 teaspoon of cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon of dried oregano
4 teaspoons of smoked paprika
8 teaspoons of ground cumin
4 teaspoons of Kosher salt
2 teaspoons of freshly ground black pepper

Note: Recipe yields approx. 3/4 cup of taco seasoning
Note: 2 tablespoons of taco seasoning per pound of ground meat.

Directions For Taco Seasoning:
Add all the ingredients for the taco seasoning into a medium-size mixing bowl. Mix to combine.
Tip: Store taco seasoning, in an airtight container, in a dry cool place.

Directions:
In a large sauté pan over medium-high heat add olive oil with ground pork. Add the diced onion. Using a wooden spoon, break up the meat. Cook for 10 to 12 minutes or until the meat is no longer pink. Continue stirring, add minced garlic, 4 tablespoons of the taco seasoning, tomato paste, and 1 tablespoon of Kosher salt. Add beef stock, reduce the heat to medium, simmer for another 15 minutes.

Turn the heat off, add  2 tablespoons of fresh chopped cilantro. Set aside.

In the meantime to a food processor add the fire-roasted tomatoes. Add onion, 1/2 cup of cilantro leaves, 1/2 the minced Fresno chili,  garlic, the juice of one lime, sugar, and 1 tablespoon of Kosher salt. Pulse the ingredients together until you get the consistency of a Cantina-style salsa. Transfer to a medium-size mixing bowl. Set aside.

Directions For the Avocado Pico de Gallo:
In another large mixing bowl add the red and yellow grape tomatoes, diced red onion, 1/2 the minced Fresno chili, 2 tablespoons of roughly chopped cilantro, diced avocado, the juice of one lime, and 2 tablespoons of Kosher salt and 1 teaspoon of fresh ground black pepper. Gently mix to combine. Place plastic wrap directly over the salsa. This prevents the avocado from turning brown. Transfer to refrigerator to chill.

In a large mixing bowl add both kinds of cheese, mix to combine.
In another large mixing bowl add the black beans, corn, 2 tablespoons of finely chopped cilantro, hominy, 1 teaspoon of Kosher salt, and 1 teaspoon of fresh ground black pepper, mix to combine.

Preheat oven to 375-degrees F.
In a casserole dish, start by ladling 1/2 cup of salsa in the bottom. Arrange 4 tortillas on top of the salsa. Add half of the meat mixture spreading it out evenly over the tortillas. Add half the cheese mixture. Next spoon the hominy, black bean, and corn mixture evenly over the cheese. Using a spoon, add dollops of salsa over the top of the hominy mixture. Arrange another 4 tortillas for the next layer. Add the remaining meat mixture, again spreading it out evenly over the tortillas. Add a few more dollops of salsa. Finish with spreading the remaining shredded cheese evenly over the top.

Spray the dull side of a large piece of foil with non-stick cooking spray (this will prevent the cheese from sticking to the foil when it’s removed). Cover tightly, bale for 45 minutes. Remove the foil and bake for another 10 minutes or until the cheese is golden brown. Let rest for around 20 minutes before slicing. Garnish with 2 tablespoons of finely chopped cilantro.

To serve, place a slice of the taco bake onto a serving plate, top with the Avocado Pico de Gallo. There you have it, my Taco Bake With Black Beans And Hominy.

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