Archive for ‘#4 Getting Comfy with your CSA Share’

July 5, 2011

Chocolate Braised Short Rib Crostini with Carmelized Onions & Gruyère

Chocolate Braised Short Rib Crostini with Caramelized Onions and Gruyère

My dear friend Ursula (who happens to be an amazing Chef and Pastry Chef) came up with this recipe for chocolate braised short ribs a few months back, it sounded so good that I immediately wanted to share it with you. Served with mashed potatoes or soft polenta, now that’s my idea of the perfect winter comfort food . But summer food it’s not. We had a few friends over this weekend, a perfect time to try this recipe out.  It needed to be summer friendly so I lightened it up a bit. Instead of mashed potatoes I went with a snappy baguette, caramelized onions with lime and roasted garlic, and some micro arugula. Wow, these were tasty – and every bit as comforting as the mashed potatoes! The recipe is split up into two days so there’s not a lot to do the day of. Besides, braised food is always better the next day.

This is the final recipe in my CSA series, and I sure have enjoyed it. Over the past 4 months I’ve invited you into my kitchen and shared recipes with you based on what I received in my weekly CSA (community supported agriculture) share. I hope that I’ve inspired you to support your local farmers and eat seasonally as much as possible.  So go ahead, sign up for your local CSA, or head out to the farmers market and pick up some favorite (and unfamiliar) fruits and veggies. Grab a bunch of fresh flowers, cook something new, and create a family favorite of your own.
**I just read about SiREN SeaSA – This is awesome.
“Siren SeaSA is an obsessively curated seafood subscription service that sources only the finest sustainably caught local seafood.  Our goal is to connect fishermen directly to consumers who will, through their enthusiasm, encourage the next generation of fishermen to use more sustainable fishing methods”. **

We’re heading to Northern California for the summer (3 months, yay!) to work and visit with family and friends. I’m so excited to introduce you to some of my favorite people, places and of course, the food! Check back next week. ~Kelly

Hapa Ramen in just a few days!





Recipe by Ursula Gallichotte

Spice rub

3 T Garam Masala
1 T ground toasted fennel seeds
1 tsp ground chipotle powder
3 T cocoa powder  (good quality)
1/4 cup flour
black pepper

Whisk to combine.

4-5  lbs English style beef short ribs.
Coat ribs generously with spice rub.
Sear ribs over high heat in small groups, on all sides in a bit of olive oil.
3 -4 minutes per side.  Don’t allow pan to burn, deglaze as needed.

Braising  Vegetables;
celery, 2 ribs
carrots, 2 each
onions, 2
fennel, 1 bulbs
garlic, 4 cloves

Medium dice vegetables, peel and smash garlic.
Total 4 cups for 4-5 lbs ribs, veg layer should almost cover bottom of pan using.
Toss vegetables lightly in olive oil and roast in oven at 375 degrees until lightly browned.


chocolate beer, 2 cups
chicken stock, 1 cups
water, 1 cups

Total  about 4 cups liquid per 4 lbs ribs.  Heat  liquids to boiling.  Boil  5 – 10 minutes to reduce.


bay leaf, 2
thyme sprigs, 4

Add seared ribs, meaty side down, to vegetables in roasting pan.  Add liquids and herbs.  Liquid should be enough to come ½ way up the side of the pan.
Cover tightly with foil and braise at 275 degrees 3-4 hours until the meat is very tender and falling off the bones.  Check hourly  to see that liquids continue to cover the bottom of the pan, stir lightly and turn ribs.
Cool to room temp.
Refrigerate over night.
Remove fat layer.
Remove meat and separate from the bones.  Discard bones,  remove the fat and tough layer that holds the meat onto the bones, discard.  Keep blocks of meat together as much as possible and reserve.

To make sauce;
Strain the mixture left in pan to separate liquid and vegetables.  Press vegetables through a bit to extract as much liquid as possible.
Puree vegetables in food processor.
Heat liquid, add chicken stock if not enough volume.  Add some of the pureed vegetables to thicken.
Reduce to desired flavor and consistency.
Remove from heat and whisk in 1/2 ounce grated unsweetened chocolate and 1 teaspoon unsalted butter.
Season with S & P

June 27, 2011

Watercress and Spinach Salad with Blood Oranges, Strawberries & Vanilla-Cardamom Vinaigrette

Watercress and Spinach Salad with Blood Oranges, Strawberries & Vanilla-Cardamom Vinaigrette

I was super excited to receive some gorgeous blood oranges in my CSA share along with baby spinach and watercress. Of course, I immediately thought of a bright summer salad. I wanted to “warm” it up a bit with a vinaigrette made with cardamom and vanilla beans which are highly aromatic and go extremely well with sweet fruits. You can add fresh ricotta (see recipe here) and candied bacon (see recipe here) to make this (already) tasty salad out of this world. ~Kelly

Countdown to Hapa Ramen 1 week + 1 day

June 20, 2011

Homemade Salt and Vinegar Chips

Click on recipe to enlarge

Homemade Salt and Vinegar Chips

Sea salt + vinegar + crispy potatoes…it just works. Maybe it’s me, but those  store bought salt and vinegar potato chips makes my teeth hurt. Kind of like when you eat too much salty popcorn while watching a movie.  I’ve been wanting to come up with a homemade version  of these potato chips for a while, same great flavor just a little milder. Soaking the potatoes alone didn’t give them the vinegar punch I was after, so I made a vinegar finishing salt. These wont make your lips pucker quite as much, and have a nice vinegar taste without being overwhelming. Simple and so good.   ~Kelly

Countdown to Hapa Ramen 2 weeks + 1 day

June 6, 2011

Homemade Buttermilk Ricotta & Ricotta Gnocchi with Fava Beans and Pancetta

Ricotta Gnocchi, the lighter cousin of the potato Gnocchi, perfect for Spring. The potato is replaced with Ricotta cheese, transforming them into dumplings as light as clouds (too much perhaps?) I made a sauce using a crisp white wine, lemon and sweet cream, a nice change from the traditional tomato sauce. The fresh Fava Beans and crispy Pancetta make this dish even more special, as if the homemade Ricotta wasn’t enough…

Fava Beans – also known as Favas, Windsor beans, English beans, horse beans and pigeon beans. They are a labor of love, and I do love them. First, you have to string and shuck the beans, then blanch them before removing the vibrant green bean from a second pod. Now, if that’s not spring, I don’t know what is. The way I look at it, if mother nature took all that effort to protect this bean, they must be extraordinary and deserve special handling and preparation – don’t you think? The beans have a buttery texture and a lovely nutty flavor. And, Favas are nutritious too, high in fiber and iron, and have a crazy amount of protein. The next time you see these goofy looking beans, fill up a bag, and gather some friends and family around the kitchen table to help shuck them over some glasses of wine. It will definitely become a time to remember.


** Slight delay** Countdown to Hapa Ramen 3 weeks + 1 day

May 30, 2011

Cantaloupe Carpaccio with Aniseed and Lime

Cantaloupe Carpaccio with Aniseed and Lime
This is a melon dish you can eat any time of day, not just for breakfast. It’s so good in fact, that I ended up eating two servings, mine and my husbands. As much as I try to talk him into eating melons of any variety and in all kinds of transformations, he politely turns it down, “it taste like perfume”.  Not even a bite folks.  It is a pretty floral dish with the super ripe melon and fennel fronds, but so beautiful especially if you are a melon lover like me, so light and refreshing yet clean and bold. The lime and toasted aniseed balances out the sweetness while bringing out the flavor of the cantaloupe. I added a few sprigs of fennel fronds that I had on hand, which really pulled it all together. The key to this dish is to slice the melon as thin as possible, but not too thin because it’ll fall apart. A vegetable peeler like this works perfect, you can find similar ones at any restaurant supply for around a dollar. I’ve had mine for 10+ years, including 4 restaurant stints and it’s still going strong (yes, it was used in the above photos too).
Don’t skip the salt and pepper, it really makes a difference. Just make sure it’s a nice finishing or a flake salt (see here for a quick description) but please, no table/iodized salt – I never use the stuff.


Countdown to Hapa Ramen 2 weeks + 2 days

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