What I hope for the New Year ~ 2012?
|Early Morning Walk at Sunrise|
Quiet Moments of Reflection.
|Early Morning Walk at Sunrise|
...always continued discovery
But...what I see in the world
as I grow wiser
...not older...just wiser
...is the intolerance of mankind for one another.
I question why, we as a world of humans
insist on compartmentalizing ourselves.
Alienate others based on appearances, culture,
history, and religion.
Don't ask me who I pray to...
Don't ask me on what page directs my decisions
...or those of others.
Watch the behaviors of others.
Don't ask what book do they carry.
Don't judge how many times they profess a particular faith.
Are they kind? Are they just?
Or, is this behavior confined only to a select few.
This beautiful land that we live in called America
is a land that has welcomed...
and will welcome all those who need freedom.
Freedom of religion.
Freedom of speech.
Freedom from poverty.
Freedom from intolerance.
That is what we represent in this country.
That is what we should represent in this country.
Raising teenagers is a very defining stage.
For parents as well as teens.
Many tough 'life' questions are openly discussed.
Religion. Politics, Cultures, History.
Cooking and creating meals in the kitchen has encouraged
a multitude of cultural discoveries for our family.
Our quest continues.
But it is a good and important quest.
Conversations ensue about people, tolerances, differences, religions, marriages, morals...values
One thing for sure is that we all enjoy good food, shared family times, soft words, kind gestures.
The world of food blogging is often like
a mirror into the soul of humanity.
It reflects itself in shared holidays
Chinese New Year
...and so many others
Look around you. Look all around you.
We are not defined by a litany of ideological structures
that bind us to a rigid code.
We don't know the "whys", the "what ifs", and the "maybes".
What we do know is...
It's important to open a door for someone else.
It's kind to smile at someone who walks by.
It's not important to always be first and foremost.
It's not important to care for your own and not the rest.
We don't know why.
As I move into the year 2012
I will usher in a renewed personal quest for
Will all of you?
Regardless of who you are in this world?
Or, what faith you most subscribe?
Or, what skin color you possess?
Or, what ideology you most profess?
I hope so. I really do.
Because sometimes, all there is
Happy New Year
to all of you...
Braised Short Ribs with Orange-Tarragon Cream
2 tablespoons olive oil
3 1/2 lb (1.75kg) bone-in short ribs
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds, crushed
4 tablespoons (1 oz/30g) all-purpose flour
2 oz (60 g) thick-sliced pancetta (or bacon), cut into strips
1 large white or yellow onion, finely chopped
1 carrot, peeled and finely chopped
6 cloves garlic, smashed with the side of a heavy knife
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
2 1/2 cups (20 fl oz/625 ml) fruity red wine, such as Zinfandel
2 fresh thyme sprigs
2 bay leaves
2/3 cup (5 oz/155 g) canned crushed tomatoes (I roasted some)
1 3/4 cups (14 fl oz/430ml) reduced-sodium beef broth
1 teaspoon minced fresh tarragon
Grated zest of 1 orange
1/4 cup (2oz/60g) creme fraiche
Place a large Dutch oven or other heavy ovenproof pot over medium-high heat and add the oil. Season the ribs generously on all sides with salt and pepper. Dust with the fennel seeds and 2 tablespoons of the flour, shaking off the excess. When the oil is shimmering, add half of the ribs and sear until golden brown on all sides, about 10 minutes. Transfer to a platter and repeat with the remaining ribs.
Preheat oven to 300˚F (150˚C)
Pour off most of the fat from the pot, leaving a thin film. Reduce the heat to medium and add the pancetta, onion, carrot, and garlic. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables have begun to brown, about 6 minutes.
Sprinkle in the remaining 2 tablespoons flour, then stir and scrape the mixture constantly, until the flour is golden brown, about 2 minutes. If necessary, adjust the heat so the flour doesn't scorch.
Stir in the vinegar and 1/2 cup (4 fl oz/125ml) of the wine and deglaze the pot, stirring to scrape up browned bits from the bottom of the pot.
Add the remaining wine, bring to a brisk simmer, and cook until the wine has reduced by about half, 8-10 min.
Add the thyme, bay leaves, tomatoes, broth, 1/2 teaspoon salt and plenty of pepper.
Return the ribs to the pot, cover, and transfer to the oven. Cook until the meat is falling off the bones, turning the ribs about once an hour, about 3 1/2 hours. Transfer the ribs to a platter.
Strain the braising liquid and vegetables through a fine-mesh sieve placed over a large heatproof bowl, scraping the vegetables back and forth to extract as much liquid as possible. Discard the solids.
Let the liquid stand for 3-4 minutes, then skim off the fat from the top, if desired. Pour in the braising liquid to the pot, bring to a simmer over medium high heat, and cook until slightly reduced, about 5 minutes.
Return the meat to the pot and heat until warmed through, about 5 minutes.
Meanwhile, in a small bowl, stir together the tarragon, orange zest, and creme fraiche. Taste the braising liquid and adjust the seasonings. Serve at once, topped with the orange-tarragon cream.