NOTE: One of these days I need to shoot new photos for this recipe. I am a big fan of Tyler Florence's recipes, and I was a fledgling food blogger/photographer. I cringe that I used flash, and have gotten much better with my photographer. However, this recipe is worth making. The sauce was awesome!
My husband and son love ribs. Me? I like them, but if given a choice, I'll take a juicy steak as my first choice. Today, I wanted to treat my boys to a special Sunday dinner. They're the two most important men in my life, and they deserve it.
I have watched Tyler Florence make this recipe-- and I am a fan of huge his "Ultimate Show". This recipe is perfect for a rainy day, because you don't need an outdoor grill.
As directed I slow roasted the ribs in my oven. My brother has converted me from gas grilling to buying a Weber, but the rain prevented me from going that route. Besides, I wanted to try an indoor variation.
The sauce was simple to make-- I was happy to find a jar of molasses in my fridge. Whew! I don't use molasses often, but I try to keep some on hand. The only ingredients I needed to buy were the ribs and peach preserves.
The sauce rocks! Seriously, this sauce is so good-- the sweetness of the peach preserves, the brown sugar and the molasses and paprika, garlic, onion, bacon, thyme. Wow!
The ribs were "good". I wish I could say that they were falling off the bone tender. They were good, for oven cooked. But the sauce is the star of this show!
I can hardly wait for our California warmer weather to come, and longer daylight. I will be firing up the Weber and making this sauce for our ribs.
Now, for the mashed potatoes. I know, mashed potatoes are a no brainer. Are they, really?
Over the decades (yeah, I'm that old) I've used a hand mixer, a food processor (don't ever do that, or you get homemade wallpaper paste). My winning recipe for mashed potatoes is a combination of Emeril Legasse's tip (that changed everything for me), Rachael Ray and Ann Burrell (one of my new and favorite Food Network Chefs).
- Emeril taught me to return my drained potatoes into the pot, on low heat, to let all of the water evaporate. Hello! No wonder my taters were runny!
- Rachael Ray got me into using cream cheese, instead of butter. This is the way I prefer to make my mashed potatoes. It's so good!
- Ann Burrell convinced me to buy a food mill. I bought one from OXO and I've never regretted it. My potato ricer was hand held and hard to work with. It sold that at a garage sale-- though, now, I read a tip that it works well to squeeze water out of spinach. Brilliant! She also gave me the tip of throwing a few cloves of garlic into the water, while cooking the spuds. Her recipe for mashed potatoes uses way too much butter for me. But that's just me...
Once the potatoes were cooked, drained and the water was evaporated, I let the food mill do all the hard work.
Then I added about 2-3 Tablespoons of cream cheese, and let it soften from the heat of the potatoes. Last, I added the heavy cream (about 1/2 cup total). I don't usually measure. I go by texture and taste. NOTE: I season my potatoes with salted water.
Using a spatula, I stirred all of the ingredients, and I had creamy yummy potatoes. No lumps, no bumbs. The cooked garlic just mashed right into the potatoes.
My only frustration in making tonight's dinner was racing against natural light. Photographing mashed potatoes isn't easy...especially when you are serving with glass bowls and it's twilight.
The photos don't do justice to how good these were.
I served a new blend of red butter lettuce and baby spinach with a simple vinaigrette. Since I've been taking meds for my headache, I passed on a cold beer.
Boy, that beer would have taken this whole dinner over the top. But my boys were happy, and that's what mattered most.