For Valentine's Day this year, I had planned to pair my fabulous Brown Sugar Short Ribs with Gorgonzola mashed potatoes. However, I forgot to buy blue cheese while shopping... whoops. Thankfully I had a piece of Delice de Bourgogne (brie) from Trader Joe's in my refrigerator. This cheese is the best thing that TJ produces, in my humble opinion. It made the creamiest, most delicious mashed potatoes ever.
Brie Mashed Potatoes
Yield: 4 Servings
1 1/2 lb Yukon Gold Potatoes
1/3 cup heavy cream, plus 1 tbsp
1 tbsp butter, unsalted
3 oz brie (remove the skin)
2 sprigs thyme
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
Bring a medium pot, 3/4 full of water, to a boil. Meanwhile, peel your potatoes and dice them into one inch cubes. Place them into the boiling water for 20 minutes, or until they're fork tender. Drain the potatoes and place them into a large mixing bowl, along with the heavy cream and butter.
Using a hand mixer on medium speed, mix the potatoes until they're smooth. Next, add the brie (without its skin!), the thyme leaves, as well as the salt and pepper. Give it one last mix with the hand mixer, making sure that the ingredients are combined. Enjoy!
Valentine's Day had pretty inconvenient timing for Alex and me this year. We chose to spread it out over a couple of days, he took me to dinner and showered me with flowers, chocolate, and Ketel One (laughable, I know) on Thursday. Then on Saturday when he got back from work (oh the life of an Athletics Director) I made him a fabulous dinner. I started the meal with figs wrapped with prosciutto, then for the main course I served these to die for short ribs over incredibly creamy brie mashed potatoes, and finished the meal with a lemon butter bundt cake.
Since short ribs are able to stand up to stronger flavors, I thought I'd create a beautiful brown sugar and thyme marinade and then braise them in red wine. Let me tell you... they were absolutely incredible. The meal as a whole was unbelievable, I'll post my recipes for the Brie Mashed Potatoes and Lemon Butter Bundt Cake later on this week!
Brown Sugar Short Ribs
Yield: 2 Servings
1 lb short ribs
2 tbsp brown sugar
3 tbsp olive oil, divided
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
6 sprigs thyme
2/3 cup red wine (Petite Sirah)
1 tbsp butter
In a large bowl, combine the brown sugar, 2 tbsp olive oil, cinnamon, salt, pepper, and the leaves from the thyme sprigs. Toss the short ribs into the marinade and make sure each piece is evenly coated, then place them into the refrigerator for an hour.
Place a large saute pan over medium-high heat. Add the remaining tablespoon of olive oil to the pan. Place the marinated short ribs onto the pan, bone side up. Allow them to caramelize for 2-3 minutes per side. Then turn the heat down to medium and pour the red wine onto the pan. Once the wine is simmering, add the butter. Turn the heat down to medium-low and cover the pan. Allow the short ribs to braise for 30 minutes.
To plate them, place the ribs onto a platter and spoon the red wine sauce over the top. Garnish them with additional sprigs of thyme. Enjoy!
Moving to a new city has been a labor of maintaining my lifestyle by developing new routines. Finding a coffee shop was one of those feats. Of course there was the less than original Starbucks around the corner, but I was looking for a cozy café. Bwé quickly became that place for me. I love spending my Sunday mornings there with a good book (or blog) and a hot latte. Beside the fact that their La Colombe coffee is amazing, they also stock incredible baked goods. I'm obsessed with their orange butter cookies, so I decided that I should make them myself. The ingredients don't differ much from sugar cookies, but the difference in taste is astounding. I can still hear the praises of my coworkers for these delicious little treats.
Orange Butter Cookies
Yield: 4 dozen cookies
3 1/4 cups flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp kosher salt
1 1/4 cups granulated sugar, plus 1 tbsp for sprinkling
1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1 orange, zest and juice (divided)
1 egg, plus 2 eggs yolks
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup confectioner's sugar
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
In a large bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, and kosher salt. Whisk them together until they're well mixed.
In a stand mixer, combine the granulated sugar and butter. Mix them on medium speed for 3-5 minutes or until they're light and fluffy. Next, add the orange zest, 1 tablespoon of orange juice, the eggs, and the vanilla. Beat them together for another minute, scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary.
Slowly add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients with the mixer on low speed, until they're just combined.
Place cookie dough onto the baking sheet in tablespoon sized balls. Gently press the dough down with your index and middle fingers. Sprinkle each with a little bit of granulated sugar. Bake the cookies for 15 minutes, or until they're light gold on the bottom. Continue to cook the cookies in batches of 12, or freeze the dough for up to a month.
Meanwhile, in a small bowl combine 1 tablespoon of orange juice with the confectioner's sugar. When the cookies are cooled, dip one end into the orange glaze and allow it to harden before serving.