Saturday, October 30, 2010

Ribs with beer and barbecue sauce

We bought a slow cooker!!!

Wow, is all I can say.... I have been wanting a slow cooker for a while now and I am so glad we have one. I spent many times dreaming of coming home to a hearty fall of the bone meal. Well yesterday that dream came true. Yay!! And to top it off I didn't spend hours slaving over the stove. It all went into one pot which took about 15 minutes to prepare.

Our first slow cooked meal was a cowboy dinner, BBQ ribs with baked beans and mash. Bring it on. The ribs were awesome. They were tender and definitely fell of the bone. Both Ian and I went back for seconds and thirds!!!! I can't wait to cook in the slow cooker again.

Ribs with beer and barbecue sauce
3lbs 5oz pork ribs (I used a combination of  side and back ribs)
3/4 Cup Beer
3/4 Cup Barbecue sauce
2 Tbsp Sweet Chilli sauce
1 Tbsp Worcestershire Sauce
2 Tbsp Honey
2 Spring onions thinly sliced
2 Crushed Garlic cloves
1 Tbsp Cornstarch
1 Handful Cilantro

Firstly cut the ribs into individual ribs and trim any excess fat. In a large bowl combine the remaining ingredients with the exception of the cornstarch and cilantro. Season with salt and pepper. Add the ribs and thoroughly coat them in the sauce.

Transfer the ribs and marinade into the slow cooker and cook on high for 4-5 hours or until the ribs are tender. When cooked removed the ribs and keep warm. Mix the cornstarch with 1tbsp of water and stir into the remaining sauce in the slow cooker. Continue to cook for ten minutes until the sauce has thickened.

Serve the ribs piled onto plates and spoon oversome of the sauce. Garnish with the cilantro.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Caramel Nut Tart

Yes...I'm thinking Christmas already. Christmas is going to be a very busy time of the year for us. We are moving up to Quesnel,

In preparation for our move, we spent last week in Quesnel organising our new house and buying a new winter wardrobe for both Ian and I. Whilst we were up there some kind new friends invited us to spend Christmas eve with them to have our Christmas dinner. We jumped at the chance as we know our house will be in chaos, and what better way to see in our new life with friends. We do plan to have a Christmas dinner on Christmas day in our new home hence the menu planning. The starter and main course have been decided, it is just the dessert we are struggling with. Ian and I are not fans of the traditional Christmas pudding at all so I have been trying to find a recipe for a delicious Christmas dessert.

I found a potential Christmas dessert yesterday when I picked up the 'Taste' magazine at the liquor store. As I was flicking through the pages the Caramel Nut Tart jumped out at me. I went to the grocery store, picked up a few essentials and by the afternoon I had the tart baking in the oven. By the evening Ian  and I were gorging on slices of nut tart, brie and sliced apples. It was divine.
The original recipe calls for bourbon, we didn't have any bourbon so I added rum. Unfortunately the rum flavor never came out so I think next time when I  make this I will soak the nuts in the liquor for 20 minutes  to see if the flavor will develop. Although we enjoyed the tart last night, the piece I had today tasted much better as the caramel had set more and the nuts had slightly softened. Definitely a tart that improves overnight. The longer it stays in the chiller the better.

Caramel Nut Tart
(Adapted from 'Taste')
1 Pie shell
1/4 Cup Butter
3/4 Cups Packed Light Brown Sugar
1 Tbsp Honey
1/4 Cup Bourbon/Rum
1/3 Cup Whipping Cream
2 Cups Salted Mixed Nuts

Bake the pie shell blind until it crust just starts to turn golden around the edges, approx 10 minutes in a 350 degree oven. Allow the shell to fully cool before making the filling. To make the filling place the butter in a medium saucepan and melt over a medium heat, Add the sugar, honey, and liquor and bring to the boil stirring constantly for 2 minutes. Stir in the whipping cream and nuts. Bring back to the boil for one minute and removed from the heat. Pour the filling into the pie shell and bake tart for 20 minutes until the filling is bubbling. Cool on a wire rack until room temperature and then chill for at least 1 hour to allow the caramel to set properly. To serve cut into wedges.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Coronation chicken

Yesterday I was in the mood for Coronation chicken. Shredded chicken bathed in a mild curry flavored creamy sauce. This makes for a wonderful sandwich filling or baked potato filling. It is so quick and easy to make and is perfect when your needing to use up any left over roast chicken. Yesterday I used poached  chicken breasts which I shredded up rather than roast chicken but to be honest any cold chicken would be fine. 

Coronation Chicken
Shredded Chicken
For the Sauce :
2 Tbsp Mayonnaise
1 Tbsp Sour Cream
1 Tsp Curry Powder/Paste
1 Tsp Mango Chutney
1/4 Spoon Honey
Chopped Almonds (Optional)
Chopped Apricots (Optional)
Chopped Cilantro
Salt & Pepper

Mix all the sauce ingredients together, season with salt & pepper. Allow the sauce to chill for at least 20 minutes to allow flavors to develop. Then mix the shredded chicken into sauce until all the chicken is covered and voila an instant filling or salad side. I doubled up on the sauce and used 3 chicken breasts.