Flanken Beef Ribs



I like beef ribs.  It must be a Texas thing.  My Mom prepared the beef short rib cut, the large, Neanderthal slab cut and my favorite, the flanken beef rib cut.


The flanken is meaty, cut horizontally across the rib bones.  The thinner cut ribs are good for grilling, while the thicker cut can be braised or oven roasted.  These ribs were just thin enough to grill, so I marinated them overnight in an improvised Asian marinade.


It’s still asparagus season and I stir fried some with wax and green beans.




Grilled Beef Flanken Ribs

3 large garlic cloves, thinly sliced

5 scallions, sliced

3-4 thin slices of fresh ginger

1/4  cup Chinese cooking wine

2 tbsp rice vinegar

1/3 cup tamari soy sauce

2 tbsp fish sauce

2 tbsp honey

1 tbsp peanut oil

1 tbsp sesame oil

5 slabs beef flanken cut ribs

Mix the first 10 ingredients together in a bowl, then set aside.  Place the ribs in a large zip lock bag and pour the marinade over all to coat.  Place in the refrigerator over night.

Preheat the grill to 450 -500 F.

Remove the ribs from the marinade and pour the marinade into a bowl for basting.  Grill the ribs on the hot racks, turning and basting until done to taste.

Asparagus and Bean Stir Fry

2 tbsp soy sauce

1 tbsp sugar

1 tbsp water

2 tbsp sesame oil

2 large garlic cloves, thinly sliced

1 small onion, thinly sliced

1 bunch asparagus, tough end discarded and cut into thirds

1/4 lb wax and green beans

Dissolve the sugar in the soy sauce and water and set aside.   Saute the garlic and onion in the sesame oil until the onion is wilted.  Add the asparagus and continue to saute for 1 minute.  Add the beans and continue to saute all for an additional 3 minutes.  Add the soy sauce mixture, stir to coat, cover and steam for a minute or two.




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I’m Still Here and I Cooked


No matter what my issues are, there is always one thing that will send me resentfully shuffling to the stove; severely neglected refrigerated vegetables.  It is shameful the way I will meticulously paw over fruit and vegetables ( I learned that from the French) to get the most attractive ones, then allow them to reach an unappealing state, two steps away from from the garbage bin, before I cave in.  Of course this doesn’t always happen, but it happens enough.


Anyway.  Vegetables are good things and it doesn’t take too much processing or “recipe-ing” to quickly make a delicious, satisfying something😀  Ratatouille?  Yes, that’s it, stewed vegetables. I assembled the refrigerated yellow squash, zucchini and tomatoes on the cutting board, added garlic, onion, bay leaves and fresh oregano from the herb garden that my husband planted for me before he went back to Haiti.  The herbs are doing very well and I am pleased!


I briefly craved a crusty baguette, slathered with fat rich, Échiré French butter but I’m in Pennsylvania now and got over it.  I found these “sandwich thins” at one of the supermarkets that still have bread with gluten.  A heart throb plate for vegetarians😉  But for the rest of us, I added butter browned, smoked pork chops from The Alpine Meat and Wurst House (German butcher).

Stewed Vegetables

2 tbsp olive oil

2-3 large garlic cloves, slivered

1 onion, coarsely chopped

3 small yellow squash, cut into chunks

2 small zucchini, cut into chunks

2 tomatoes, cut into chunks

2 bay leaves

1 tbsp fresh oregano leaves, chopped

1 tsp salt

1/2 tsp black pepper

Saute the garlic and onion in the olive oil until the onion is translucent.  Add the two squashes and continue to saute until they are crisp tender.  Stir in the tomatoes, bay leaves, oregano, salt and pepper, cover and steam for 3-5 minutes.








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Beef and Vegetable Stew


I had some “Black Angus” beef in the freezer and decided to do a simple beef stew.  A Honesdale cattle rancher friend of my husband told him that the designation of cattle as Black Angus can be quite broad and is sometimes erroneously given to normal cattle that happen to be black.  Whatever.


I cut the vegetables large so that I could just throw everything into the tajine and roast them together with the meat,  preventing the vegetables from cooking into indiscernible pieces ;)


I rarely make beef stew, having worn out the dish as a not so young bride.  I’m glad I did today, it’s good.

Beef and Vegetable Stew

2 lbs stew beef, cut into cubes and seasoned with salt and pepper

3 tbsp olive oil

2 small onions, quartered

4 cloves garlic, slivered

4 carrots, cut large on the diagonal

4 celery branches, cut large on the diagonal

1 tbsp brown sugar

3 tbsp flour

5  sprigs fresh thyme

1 tbsp red wine vinegar

1 tbsp mustard

1/4 tsp ground cloves

Salt and pepper

1 can beef broth

In a skillet, brown the beef in the 2 tbsp of the olive oil, then place in the bottom of a tajine or baking pan with cover.  Add the remaining olive oil to the skillet  with the onions, garlic, carrots and celery, saute until the celery is crisp tender, then add to the tajine.  Sprinkle the brown sugar and flour over the meat and vegetables in the tajine and stir until blended.  Stir in the thyme, vinegar, mustard, cloves, salt and pepper, blending well. Finally,  stir in the broth, cover the tajine and roast in an oven at 350F for 1 hour, stir, then continue to roast for another hour.



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Australian Lamb with Herbs and Pasta



Our American children spent most of their childhood and adolescence traveling and living in foreign countries.   Their tastes have always been sophisticated because, other than the occasional “boite” of Spaghetti-Os, they ate what we ate and were taught to behave in upscale restaurants.   Other than the obvious advantage of having “culinarily” adventurous children, I know that if my hoped for, future daughter-in-law doesn’t like food, nor the cooking of it, I can rest assured that my son will think of me at least once a day at meal times😀


Occasionally, the local supermarkets have imported Australian lamb.  These French cut lamb racks are pretty good, although not the same flavor as New Zealand, we had no complaints.


It must have been amazing when man discovered the joy of cooked meat!  Of course Ethiopians, who absolutely adore raw beef, serve it on all special occasions, cutting it directly from the hanging cow carcass onto serving plates, didn’t get the memo:)


Before my husband went back to Haiti, he considerately planted herbs outside the kitchen door.  The basil is from the garden, tomatoes and pepper U.S.A. organic, the garlic and shallots from God knows where.


Okay vegetarians!  This bowl’s for you and is delicious!  Omnivores, add bacon😀


It’s been nice, these past months, having our son come home for lunch everyday. Unfortunately/fortunately, he has been recruited by a company about 3 hours from Honesdale and will be leaving in a few weeks😦    I’ll miss him, but he’ll miss me more, again, around mealtimes😀


Australian Lamb with Herbs

2 racks good quality lamb, fat side scored

1 large rosemary sprig, leaves removed and finely chopped

5 thyme sprigs, leaves removed and finely chopped

1 large handful of parsley leaves, finely chopped

3-4 garlic cloves, finely chopped

1 tsp salt

1/2 tsp black pepper

3 tbsp olive oil

Mix the herbs, garlic, salt, pepper and olive oil together, then rub all over the lamb.  Roast the lamb on a rack at 425 F for 35 minutes.

Angel Hair Pasta

3 tbsp olive oil

3 shallots, thinly sliced vertically

1 red bell pepper, coarsely diced

3 garlic cloves, slivered

2 medium tomatoes, seeded and diced

1/4 cup red wine

1 package cooked angel hair pasta

1/4 cup basil, cut into strips (chiffonade)

1/4 cup grated romano cheese

Salt and pepper

Heat the olive oil in a skillet and saute the shallots, garlic and red bell pepper until the pepper is crisp tender.  Add the tomatoes and cook for 5 minutes stirring. Pour in the wine and boil for 2 minutes.

Toss the sauce with the pasta, basil, romano, salt and pepper.








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Southern Comfort


I grew up eating enormous meals from the Southern region of the United States, consistently overcooked; grayish green beans with ham hocks and “Irish” potatoes, “hard” fried cat fish, roast beef cooked to pieces in the oven with carrots, onions and celery, flour coated steak fried then “smothered” or simmered in a rich onion gravy.  Everything was delicious, if not so healthy  ;)


I thought the no class T bones I found in the freezer would be perfect for smothered steaks and the mushrooms in the refrigerator bin were threatening suicide, so I included them in the gravy that is usually made solely with onions.


Smothered Steak with Onions and Mushrooms

1 tbsp olive oil

1 onion, sliced

1/2 lb mushrooms, sliced

2 steaks, seasoned with salt, pepper and dust with flour

3 tbsp olive oil

3 tbsp flour

3 cups water

Salt and pepper

Heat the 1 tbsp of olive oil in a skillet, then add the onion and mushrooms.  Saute until the onions are wilted and the mushrooms begin to release their liquid.  Remove from the skillet and set aside.

Wipe out the skillet with a paper towel, then add 2 tbsp of the oil, heat, add the steaks and brown on both sides.  Remove and set aside.

Add the remaining tablespoon of oil to the skillet,  stir in the flour and cook until dark brown.  Stirring, slowly pour in the water, constantly stirring until the liquid comes to a boil.  Add the steaks, mushrooms and onions, cover and simmer for 45 minutes.

Serve with mashed potatoes.







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No Child Left Hungry


Today my son texted me from work to ask if I was cooking lunch.  He sounded hungry and I immediately had these irrational pictures in my mind of Biafra.  So even though I had a session at the doctor’s this morning and I don’t usually cook when I do, I wracked my brain for something quick and easy to make for lunch.  No, he’s not starving to death, is an adult, and has never been truly hungry but if my child, your child, any child is hungry, it makes me crazy.

It was particularly difficult for me in Africa and Bangladesh where so many children are hungry.  I carried bags of rice, fruit and vegetables in the car and used to jump out at corners where homeless children were standing to distribute what I could.  I also snatched children off the streets in front of my house in  Senegal, the absolute worse country for child abuse and starvation, brought them into the garden and fed them.  The children were one of the reasons that I left Senegal early, retired to France, leaving my husband to finish out his career.  I couldn’t stand to look anymore.

Here in the affluent U.S., we have an educational program entitled “No Child Left Behind”, which I thought endeavored to ensure that every American child received a basic education but the program, in reality, just lowers the bar and pushes half educated children through high school, ill-prepared to succeed in the job market and life.  But they’re not hungry.  That is, unless they have strange, crazy parents who are untouched by hunger that is not their own.  But that’s another rant.


Yes, this is a food blog but I felt like saying it.

Quick and Easy Lamb Chili

2 tbsp olive oil

1 onion, chopped

2 garlic cloves, chopped

1 1/2 ground lamb

1 tbsp Penseys hot chili powder

2 tsp cumin powder

2 tsp coriander powder

2 cans Rotel diced tomatoes and chillies

2 cans cannellini beans, drained

2 cups tomato sauce

Salt and pepper to taste

Grated cheese


Barely wilt the onion and garlic in the olive oil, then add the ground lamb and brown until all the pick is gone.  Add the chili powder, cumin, coriander and stir for about 1 minute. Stir in the tomatoes, beans, tomato sauce, salt and pepper, bring to a boil, then simmer for about 30 minutes.  Serve with the grated cheese and saltines.

Posted in American, Cooking, Food and Wine, Main dishes, Recipes | Tagged , , , , , , | 18 Comments

Pork Stir Fry with Soba Noodles


I saw some not so baby bok choy, shiitake mushrooms and broccoli rabe at the dreaded Weiss Supermarket, and because they looked acceptably fresh, I bought them.  God knows their provenance; I decided not to freak myself out by looking for “product of” tags.


What was I doing at Weiss?  My husband forced me in the car, at gun point because it’s his constitutional right to bear arms, and took me to all his favorite stores; Weiss, Walmart and Home Depot.  I chugged a glass of Black “Thunderbird” Box wine before getting in the car.


Still, I made a nice stir fry with leftover pork rib meat and served it with soba noodles.


This is an Irish Terrier.  Her name is Jessie.  Jessie snatched two bundles of good quality soba noodles off the kitchen island, took them to her bed, reduced them to tiny pieces, laid down on the floor and arranged her face into cute innocence with a touch of guilt, all in under 2 minute’s time while I was looking in the refrigerator.  The kindest thing I could think to say to her after this incident was, “You sure are fast”, but that’s not what I said.

Pork Stir Fry with Soba Noodles

2 tbsp Tamari soy sauce

2 tbsp rice vinegar

2 tsp lime juice

1 tsp honey

1 – 2 tsp garlic chilli sauce

1 tsp sesame oil

2 tbsp peanut oil

3 large cloves garlic, thinly sliced

4 scallions, diagonally sliced

4 slices fresh ginger

2 baby bok choy, quartered vertically

1/2 lb broccoli rabe, halved horizontally

1 cup shiitake mushrooms, stems removed and sliced

1 1/2 – 2 cups leftover cooked pork, sliced

1 can chicken or beef broth

2 bundles of cooked soba noodles

Mix the soy sauce, rice vinegar, lime juice, honey, chilli sauce and sesame oil together and set aside.

Heat the peanut oil in a wok, add the garlic, ginger, scallions, bok choy, broccoli rabe and shiitake mushrooms, then stir fry until the broccoli rabe is crisp tender.  Add the pork, broth and soy sauce mixture, bring to a boil, cover, then simmer for about 5 minutes.  Serve with the noodles.









Posted in Asian, Cooking, Food and Wine, Main dishes, Recipes | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 22 Comments