It’s hot out and I’m loving it! When the weather starts creeping higher and higher my smile starts to grow bigger and bigger. The past week has been filled with days that just keep going – I believe they are referred to as “the lazy days of summer”
I’m excited and the good kind of anxious and inspired and sweaty! So I wanted to share a meal with my friends and family that promoted the ideas of length, lazy, and fresh.
We ate Braised Short Ribs, mashed potatoes, celeriac and spinach, and arugula salad with shaved parmigiano; drank a perfectly chilled rose from a pig-labeled bottle; and discussed what type of spy each of us would like to be if giving the option…. My answer was a ‘Charlie’s Angels’ type of secret agent (I’ve always wanted to be a super genius bad-ass chick with Kung-Fu training, crazy awesome driving skills, and ever perfect hair)
I guess I should stick to what I know….
Mashed Celeriac, Potatoes, and Spinach:
a few tbsp’s milk
Using a hand blender, puree the spinach until the consistency is similar to baby food.
When the potatoes/celeriac are ready (a fork will go in easily and pull out easily) add drain them – reserving ½ a cup of liquid – and start smashing using either a hand mixer, a masher, or a clean glass bottle with a flat bottom.
Add a little milk to help loosen then veggies, switch between adding milk and the reserved boiling water until you get a nice smooth mix. Add the spinach to the potatoes/celeriac, salt and pepper to taste.
This side is luscious and healthy tasting without being overtly veggie-esque. The combination makes a satisfying and refreshing surprise.
Arugula with Shaved Parmigiana:
1 package of washed Baby Arugula
Long shavings of good Parmigiana cheese (use a veggie peeler and drag along the edge of the cheese to make big strips)
the juice of 1 Lemon
1/4 cup Olive oil
Toss all together. Done.
This salad is so, ridiculously simplistic, yet it is now one of my new staples.
And now for the meat!
10-12 short ribs
1 Large Onion – cut into thin slices
5 Garlic Cloves – roughly chopped
3 carrots – quartered lengthwise then cut into ¼ inch slices
2 containers (about 10 oz each) of Baby Portabella Mushrooms
1 container (about 10 oz) of White Button Mushrooms
1 container (about 10 oz each) of Shitaki Mushrooms
a handful of Fresh Thyme
a handful of Fresh Rosemary
2 cups of a dry Red Wine
2 Beef Bullion cubes
Two cups water (more or less)
1 tsp chili pepper paste
2 tbsp Butter
In a Dutchoven or large saucepot heat about four tbsp’s olive oil over high heat. Brown the short ribs on all side and transfer to a bowl.
Lower the heat to medium-high. Add the butter and another two tbsp’s of olive oil. Add the onions, garlic, carrots and chili paste. Generously salt and pepper. Cook until translucent. Add the mushroom and let them cook until dark brown and about half the size.
Wrap the herbs tightly in the cheesecloth and add it to the pot. Add the meat and all juices on top of the mushroom veggie mix. Pour in the wine and add enough water to just cover the meat. Bring the pot to a simmer and cover with the lid slightly open. Stir occasionally, making sure the bottom isn’t burning.
Cook the meat for about two hours, or until the liquid is almost entirely absorbed. Spoon the meat onto a platter, then pour the “gravy” and veggies into a gravy boat.
I guess my spying destiny is to lure people into my kitchen. I suppose this could be useful – I could always capture people by fattening them up so they can’t leave! Anybody with secret information want to come over for dinner next week?…