Thursday, December 9, 2010

BBQ Sauce, Cabbage Hash, and Cheesesteak

We had some pork ribs from our meat share that we wanted to try. When we looked in the fridge to see what we had to add to them, we saw apples and cranberries from our CSA hanging around. Great flavors to go with pork, so we got started!

We mostly made this up, and it worked out great.

Started with a little fruit juice and a little water with a couple handfuls of cranberries and a pinch of dried chipotle peppers, some cinnamon, and some allspice. When the cranberries had split, we added diced apple. Once that was soft we blended it with half a small can of tomato paste to make a thick sauce.

To that, we added a splash of white vinegar and some liquid smoke. It actually resembled (and tasted like) a real barbecue sauce, with an awesome cranberry flavor and a little sweetness from the apple!

We coated both sides of the pork ribs and put them in the oven under foil for 3 hours on low heat, once in a while taking them out to flip them over and add more sauce. For the last 15 minutes we took off the foil.

They just melted off the bone, and our cranberry BBQ sauce was the perfect complement. Would do again! I think I need to find some jelly jars soon so I can make a big batch of that BBQ sauce and can it in small amounts. We had the rest of it on chicken with cheese later.

We also had an awful lot of green cabbage hanging around. We got one in our veggie basket, and still had half a cabbage from the previous share. We sliced up all the cabbage and used half to make a tasty, simple hash: fry some bacon until rendered, drain most of the grease, add garlic and onions and cook until caramelized, then add cabbage and saute until tender. Spice to taste - we used salt, pepper, cocoa chili blend, and chipotle. It came out great, but our second attempt came out even better.

Cabbage hash #2: fry bacon until mostly cooked, add Italian sausage pieces and cook until mostly done. Drain most of the grease. Add onion, garlic, and cranberries; let onions start to caramelize and let cranberries split. Add cabbage and cook until nearly done; add diced apple. The only spice we needed to add was black pepper.

Cheesesteak is another dish we threw together recently that came out better than expected. We've tried this one twice too, and it's extremely simple. Pan-fry seasoned thin slices of steak until done, then cut the slices into strips. Caramelize onion slices with some chopped garlic. Put steak back into pan with onion. Add cheeses! We had pepperjack, cream cheese, and sharp cheddar lying around, and put in some of each. Add pepper to taste.

Yeah, that's it. I think it depends on two things: the quality of the steak, and the kinds of cheese you use. The two times we've tried it have been pretty good though, and it's something we'll make again.

Let's see, what else have we made recently? We made another batch of butternut chips, which - again - didn't stick around long. Oh! and pumpkin ice cream! The texture is a little odd, but it tastes really good, despite halving the sugar called for in the recipe.

So in non-recipe food news, we picked up our meat share this past weekend, along with a basket of veggies. Our meat share was all beef this time, but there's 26 pounds of it in a variety of cuts for us to play with, and we're supposed to get pork again next month. For veggies we got tomatoes, both hothouse and cherry, so we made tomato soup again (and added cream cheese to it this time); we got a few red potatoes, a cabbage, a pumpkin, two acorn squash, half a dozen apples, a jug of local maple syrup, a giant garlic bulb, a big butternut squash, cranberries, a dozen eggs, and two meats to round it out. Unfortunately with all our cooking all we have left for veggies is the acorn squash. We might have to actually pull out some of our frozen veggies next week!