Sunday, November 29, 2009

Brian's Birthday!

The beginning of November was Brian's birthday-- so, again, this post is quite old. I'm catching up! Only a few more until we're at Thanksgiving, hah! Then maybe I'll get to Christmas ones before Christmas happens. We'll see.

I cannot begin to tell people how I appreciate Brian. He has been so, so very helpful to me. In many ways, my life fell apart pretty quickly. After Jeff and I broke up, I lost my job (show was cancelled), could not find nor afford a new apartment, and a lot of family issues started popping up. One right after another. Brian was definitely a stone-- he was my friend who helped me through the break up, then later when we were together, he helped me move, he helped me find a place to stay (I split my time between him and a few of my female friends who are wonderful, wonderful people and I adore them endlessly), and talked me through many of the other issues of the time. He's patient and understanding and doesn't get upset too often.

He's also helped me (by just happening to talk to the right people at the right time) with finding a job. I am now an agency signed fashion model. Woah! That's pretty crazy, right folks? I'm including in this post a rare photo of myself, at a recent fashion show.

Yes, that is me. Without the normal Foodival picture formatting.
Anyway, there's a lot of good things that have happened and some of them I can thank Brian for, and some of them I can thank Lady Luck for. For example, this blog was listed in PC Magazine's top 50 blogs of 2009, found here. I have many to thank for that, but I'm not sure if I'm allowed to? (You know who you are, and I appreciate you very, very much).

This is starting to sound like a Thanksgiving post. I AM GIVING THANKS. Well, it is after Thanksgiving, and so the mood perhaps is just striking me.

Also I have a few other opportunities up my sleeve. And this being-a-model-and-not-spending-75-hours-a-week-animating thing does give me more time to bake. But it also means I guess I'm supposed to watch it? Or something? Eh! Caution to the wind!

Anyway, on to the food.
So for Brian's birthday (oh yeah, that's where this posted started), I really wanted to show him how much I adore and appreciate him. And thus I made him BBQ Ribs! I mean, come on, that's how you show a guy you like him, right? Ribs? Yes? (No?) Well, it was my way. With it, I made smokey cheesy creamed corn, which I made mixing a recipe I found here with what I have had before at Grub (tasty place, that).

The ribs I made in the Alton Brown method-- the kind he made on both Good Eats and when I went and filmed with them in Florida for Dear Food Network. Except I couldn't find baby back ribs at my local market (what!?) so I used spare ribs (eh-heh-heh). And I also made my own glaze, because I wanted to do things my own way. I'm stubborn that way. But you'll see inspiration. You should check out Alton's recipe, because who doesn't love Alton Brown? It can be found here.

My glaze came out a little thin-- but Brian liked it. It was, however, very flavourful. I really liked it. My dinner came out much better than my cake-- which was delicious, but I did an attempt at meringue frosting that failed terribly. That's why I'm not showing a picture of it. However, I will probably attempt something similar again because the cake was so darn tasty, maybe make it into cupcakes, and post it. We still haven't finished the cake-- it was too much for one guy and one girl. Nobody else seemed to want it's scariness. Hah!

But the dinner. Now that was envy inspiring.

Brian's BBQ Ribs
Based loosely in method and style off of Alton Brown's Baby Back Ribs

1 rack spare pork ribs.
kosher salt
black pepper

Rub: note* This will make enough rub for many a rib rubbing. Also good on any pork product.
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/8 cup chili powder
1/8 cup paprika
1/8 cup garlic powder
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 tablespoon thyme
1/2 teaspoon cayennee
1 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon dried mustard

BBQ Sauce:

1/2 tablespoon tomato paste
1/3 cup ketchup
1/2 cup honey
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 tablespoon worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1/2 tsp celery salt
1/4 cup instant espresso or very strong coffee
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
1 cup hard apple cider
1 teaspooon onion powder

Place the ribs on a sheet of wide, heavy-duty aluminum foil. Season them liberally with salt and sprinkle approximately 3 tablespoons of the rub on. Turn the rubs, meat side down, and tightly seal each pouch. Refigerate overnight.

The next day, heat the oven to 250 degrees.

Open one end of the pouch and pour in 1 cup of hard apple cider. Reseal the pouch and place on a sheet pan in the oven for 2 hours. Remove the ribs from the oven, carefully open one end of the pouch and pour the braising liquid into a heatproof measuring cup. Reseal the pouch and place it and the liquid in the fridge (for up to 8 hours).

The fat in the braising liquid will have solidified on the top and can be removed at this time. Transfer the liquid to a small saucepan and add the honey, brown sugar, ketchup,apple cider vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, tomato paste, espresso, cayenne pepper, celery salt, and onion powder. Whisk to combine. Set over medium high heat and reduce to a glaze.

Heat large, cast iron pan over medium-high heat. Brush with olive oil, and place the ribs flesh side down, and cover. Decrease the heat to medium, and leave alone for 4 minutes. Flip and cook for another 4-5 minutes. Repeat if not charred enough. Remove the ribs from the pan and cut the ribs (I had to break mine with my hands, it was gruesome). Add the ribs and half the glaze to a large, large serving bowl, and toss throughly. Serve the remaining glaze on the size.

Roasted Potato Stacks
Recipe from Seasaltwithfood

2 white potatoes, scrubbed
1 tablespoon Cup Olive Oil
1 teaspoon Chopped Rosemary
1 1/2 teaspoons Lemon Juice, or to taste
Sea Salt
Freshly Ground Black Pepper

Oven at 425 Degrees Farenheit.

Lightly oil two muffin cups in a muffin pan

Slice the pootatoes very thinly with a mandoline or a sharp knife.
In a large bowl, toss the potatoes with olive oil, rosemary, lemon juice, and season with salt and pepper.
Stack the potatoes in a muffin pan and bake for about 25-30 minutes or until the potatoes turn crispy on the outside and the flesh is soft.
Transfer the muffin pan to racks to cool for 2 to 3 minutes before carefully removing the potatoes. Serve warm.

Smokey Cheesy Cream Corn
Recipe inspired from Food Channel

2 strips bacon, 1/2-inch diced and drippings
1/4 cup onions, chopped
1/2 package frozen corn
1/2 cup cheddar cheese, grated
1/4 cup half and half or cream
Salt and pepper
1/8 powdered ginger
a dash of cayenne
1/4 tsp chili powder
1/8 tsp chipotle powder
1 clove of garlic, minced
a sprinkle of cajun, if desired

Cook the bacon until crisp. Remove from pan and cool, then crumble.
In the drippers saute the onions until soft, but not brown. Add the garlic and allow to cook for 1 minute. Add the corn and cheese. Cook stirring about 10 minutes. Add the cream and seasonings. Heat until bubbly, then serve topped with bacon.

1 comment:

phoenix said...

Hee! You're totally allowed to, and it's just one way to show how appreciated YOU are. :D

Also, congratulations on everything there, that's amazing! A real life fashion model! With as many talents as you have it's not surprising you're a freaking superhero. :D (PS - I met someone else who was an animator on that show you used to work on - she's a webcomic artist and plays World of Warcraft - ring any bells?)

Enough gushing though, on to the food: Ah, I knew that rib recipe was a little familiar! And it turned out well, it looks like! I wonder, how much of that rub did you have left over? It would work so well for so many different meats, not just ribs too - I mean, I could dip chicken in that stuff and it would be good.

PS - 10 bucks says Brian was appreciative of your appreciative gesture, so I'd say that's a "yes," eh? I mean, who couldn't love someone who could cook like this?!

Between the ribs and the potato stacks and the cream corn (and that's a fabulous recipe for turning something as meh as cream corn into something that actually looks like it has flavor, wow) that must have been a hell of a meal!