Saturday, October 31, 2009

Caribbean Beef Ribs Topped with Peach Pineapple Salsa with a Touch of Honey

Happy Halloween!!!

I woke up craving for some ribs. Once again, I had to come up with something a bit different than the usual BBQ sauce. I must say that I was surprised by the outcome of my creativity. The combination of the Jamaican Spiced Seasoning, the sweetness of the honey and the Peach-Pineapple salsa made the taste quite divine!

I paired the ribs with coconut rice and black eye peas with roasted whole garlic.  This was a nice dinner treat for the family on Halloween night.

3 small slabs of beef ribs (4-5 ribs each slab)
Dry Jerk Seasoning (see pic below or use any carribean dry spice)
1 1/2 cups Peach and Pineapple Salsa (mild)
6 tbs of honey
Meat tenderizer
2 whole limes

Drizzle the ribs with meat tenderizer and let it sit for 15 mins. Then rub jerk seasoning all over the ribs. Cut the limes in halves and squeeze all over the ribs. Put the meat in the large bowl and cover with Saran wrap for 30 minutes to marinate.

Turn the broiler to 475 degrees. Arrange the ribs on a flat baking pan and cover with foil, let broil for 30 mins. Try the meat for tenderness and then remove the foil. Continue to broil until top of the ribs are crispy brown then turnover and broil to brown the other side (about 3 minutes each side)
Take out the ribs and set aside on a platter. Mix the honey and the salsa and pour all over the ribs. Serve with rice or pasta and your favorite vegetables.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Soul Pasta - Collard Greens, Hotlinks and Shell Pasta

My daughter and I got home a bit late tonight not due to the closure of the Bay Bridge but because we had to stop by a couple of fabric store to buy a few more materials for my son's halloween costume. I walked in the kitchen and checked out the fridge for some left overs. Nothing was good enough for my eyes nor to feed my husband and 2 grown kids. It's almost 8pm so I needed to cook something very easy. I decided to be creative with whatever items I have so I can feed the rest of the family.

Here is what came out of the items I found in my fridge, freezer and cabinet!

Ingredients: (Serves 4)
- 1 lb bag of medium Shell Pasta

- 1 lb store brand frozen chopped Collard Greens
- 4 pieces of Hot Links sausage sliced
- 4 cloves of garlic chopped
- 1/2 yellow onion chopped
- 6 tbs of olive oil or vegetable oil
- salt and pepper to taste

Cook the pasta as directed on the bag or box. While the pasta is cooking, heat the frying pan. Add the oil, after about 1 minute, add the garlic and brown. Add the onions and caramelized (about 3 minutes), add the sliced hot links, stir and cook for about 5 minutes (covered). Stir again and add the collard greens. Salt and pepper to taste. Keep stirring until the ice melts from the greens. Add 1 cup of water and let boil to cook for 10 minutes making sure the juice doesn't evaporate completely. Don't let it dry out.

Put pasta on a plate and top it with the greens and a little bit of the broth. Enjoy! 

Cherry tomatoes, mozzarella balls, grapes & basil w/ blueberry vinegrette

Even your kids can easily make this quite refreshing tangy and sweet salad!! The recipe is the title itself! It's that simple!

- Cherry tomatoes
- Mozzarella balls cut in half
- Green or Red grapes cut in half
- Chopped Fresh Basil
- Blueberry vinegrette dressing

Toss all dry ingredients in a large bowl and drizzle with dressing

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Beets, Figs, Goat Cheese and Arugula Salad

This is an elegant tasty salad you will definitely enjoy! It features red and golden beets, figs, goat cheese and arugula, drizzled with a light dressing of olive oil and lemon juice.

Ingredients: (Serves 2)

- 1 big red beet

- 1  big golden beet

- 2 ripe figs

- 1/4 cup crumbled goat or blue cheese

- 1/2 cup arugula, rinsed and dried

- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

- 1/2 lemon

- salt and pepper to taste


Preheat oven to 400°F. Cut the beet tops from the beets and bottom. Wash and thoroughly dry the beets. Place beets in a roasting pan or on a flat baking pan. Drizzle with a bit of extra virgin olive oil and sprinkle with salt. Roast for 30-45 minutes. Test for doneness after about 30 minutes of cooking by piercing the beet with a knife. If the knife easily enters the beet then its done. Remove the beets from oven and let cool for 20 minutes or if you can handle to remove the skins off the beets by hand. Slice the beets and arrange 3 slices on a salad plate. Put several pieces of arugula greens on top of beets, top with the figs and add goat cheese. Whisk the olive oil, lemon and salt and pepper. Drizzle the dressing on the salad.

MJ's Tasty Heirloom Tomatoes

I know that the season for the Heirloom Tomato is over but I thought of sharing this very tasty salad that I have created and served at several parties this summer. I never thought I would love tomatoes more than ever! If you love tomatoes, try making this salad and substitute with firm beefsteak tomatoes or regular red tomatoes if you can't find heirloom.

Ingredients: Serves 2

- 2 big heirloom tomato or beefsteak tomato
- 1/2 cup of chopped fresh basil
- 1 ripe but firm diced (for crunchiness) peach or nectarine
- 1/2 cup Blue Cheese and Gorgonzola Cheese combined
- Paul Newman's Own Olive Oil & Vinegar Dressing
- salt and pepper

Slice the tomatoes and arrange on a plate and drizzle with salt and pepper. Spread the chopped fresh basil on the tomatoes, then layer with chopped peaches or nectarines and the combined cheeses. Drizzle the salad with Paul Newman's dressing or any vinegrette dressing you prefer.

2nd Option: Substitute with Blueberries if peaches not available

Monday, October 26, 2009

Bowtie Pasta w/ Sundried Tomatoes, Pine Nuts, Pepper Flakes & Garlic

This is a very simple to make no meat pasta dish and it is quite tasty when paired with Reisling or Pinot Gris to cool down the spice of the pepper flakes.

Ingredients (serves 6-8)

- 2 16 oz boxes of Farfalle (aka - bow tie pasta) any brand (you can also use fresh made pasta if you prefer)
- 4 tablespoons of chopped sun dried tomatoes (any brand) in juice
- 1/4 cup of raw pine nuts
- 2 pinches of pepper flakes
- 6 cloves of garlic thinly sliced
- 2 tsp of dry Italian Seasoning
- 6 tablespoons Olive oil
- salt and pepper to taste

Boil pasta as directed on the box. Heat pan, add pine nuts and make sure not to burn them by turning down heat and stir. As soon as they look a bit roasted, put aside. In the same heated pan, (medium heat) add olive oil and brown the sliced garlic. Add the sundried tomatoes, pepper flakes, Italian seasoning, stir and cook for about 3 - 5 minutes until the tomatoes released their juices and oil. Remove from heat and toss in a bowl with the pasta. Add the roasted pine nuts, salt and pepper to taste. Serve this delicious pasta with a small bowl of salad and a bread roll or a slice of toasted garlic bread or SERVE AS IS!