Pick a Peck of Peppers: Short Ribs Two Ways

Pick a Peck of Peppers: Short Ribs Two Ways

Social-distance Summer just got hotter with pecks of peppers, two ways!  Add fresh air and “bubble friends” for this backyard feast!

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During this time of social-distancing, my “Bubble Friends” and I have taken turns hosting Potluck Sunday suppers. 

The host couple picks the theme and the rest of us bring the appys, sides, and dessert. We gather together on our porch, back deck, kitchen table; wherever we can dine and raise a glass in the open air with good friends…Well, you get the picture.

Recently it was my turn. 

We’ve been in this social-distance bubble for quite some time, so when it was time to plan my dinner theme, my thoughts raced away from grilled steaks and barbecue. 

I was looking for something that was unexpected on a summer’s night. 

I started thumbing through my Sunday Best Dishes cookbook and paged right through to the Slow and Sly Supper chapter. I saw the picture for my Chili Roasted Short Rib dish and a light bulb went off.

Let’s stuff a pepper or two or three…and my dish was born!  The recipe follows, but what made the evening really special and what makes every potluck supper really special…..The friends who share your bubble. 

Give this dish a try.

Invite your Bubble Friends and ask them to bring a dish. Open the windows and enjoy!

Short Rib Stuffed Poblano Peppers

Breakfast Skillet with Glazed Eggs


Serve these most delicious stuffed peppers with yellow rice and black beans for a hint of Mexico cuisine cooked in your very own kitchen.

10 to 12 beef short ribs, prepared as follows, shredded, tossed with sauce from pan

10 to 12 large poblano peppers (you can substitute with Anaheim peppers)

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 teaspoon kosher salt

½ teaspoon coarse black pepper

1 cup prepared enchilada sauce

4 ounces Queso blanco cheese, grated

4 ounces sharp cheddar cheese, grated

Serves:   6 to 8

Time:  All Day or Overnight Cuisine

Prepare the short ribs according to the Chili Roasted Beef Short Rib recipe written below. You can do this the night before or even several days in advance. Remove the meat from the bones and shred. Place the meat into a large bowl. Spoon the sauce that remains in the pan over the meat and toss to combine. You should have one big bowl of meaty, saucy rib meat.

Preheat the oven to 350°.  Slice one cut into the side of a pepper. Gently pull the pepper open and carefully remove the seeds and ribs. Place the peppers into a baking dish. Sprinkle with olive oil on the inside and out. Season with salt and pepper. Bake until the peppers just begin to soften, about 5 minutes.

Remove the baking dish from the oven. Carefully remove the peppers. Pour enchilada sauce into the bottom of the pan. Place some of the shredded Queso blanco cheese into the bottom of each pepper. Spoon the short rib meat into the pepper. Fill with as much meat as you can. Place the peppers back into the pan with the sauce and top with cheddar cheese. Place the dish back into the oven and bake until the cheese is melted, and the beef is warmed through.

Chili Roasted Beef Short Ribs (from Sunday Best Dishes)


Prepare these ribs in the morning and slow roast in the oven while you enjoy your Sunday afternoon. It’s melt in your mouth comfort with just a hint of heat.  

8 beef short ribs, about 3 to 4 pounds (choose ribs that are thick and meaty)

1 tablespoon chili powder

1 teaspoon kosher salt

½ teaspoon coarse black pepper

1 cup (or more) unbleached all-purpose flour for dredging

4 tablespoons olive oil

1 large red onion, diced, about 1 cup

2 large carrots, diced, about 1 cup

2 medium celery ribs, diced, about 1 cup

6 medium garlic cloves, peeled and thinly sliced, about ¼ cup

2 large jalapeno peppers, seeded and deveined, diced, about 2 tablespoons

1 750ml bottle red wine

1 quart homemade beef broth, or low sodium beef broth 

1 cup tomato paste

1 cup chili sauce

1 large chipotle pepper in adobo sauce, seeded and diced, about 2 tablespoons

2 cinnamon sticks

Chopped, fresh cilantro

Yield:   18 bite size cakes and about 6 large cakes

Time:  45 minute cuisine

glazed lemon cake with berry sauce

Preheat the oven to 250°. Season the ribs with chili powder, salt, and pepper. Heat the olive oil in a Dutch oven (or large roasting pan) over medium high heat. Dredge each rib in flour, shaking off the excess. Place each rib into the oil and brown on all sides. Remove the ribs to a platter. Add the onion, carrots, celery, garlic, and jalapeno to the pan. Cook until the veggies are soft. 

Pour in the wine and beef broth. Stir in the tomato paste and chili sauce. Bring the liquid to a boil. Return the ribs and any juices on the platter to the pan. Bury the cinnamon sticks in the sauce.

Cover the Dutch oven with the lid (or place aluminum foil over the pan). Place the pan into the oven and cook until the meat is tender and pulling away from the bone, about 6 to 7 hours.

Remove the pan from the oven. Remove the cover. Place the ribs onto a platter and spoon the sauce over top. Garnish with chopped fresh cilantro.


“Pretty Pickles” Great Pick for Next Picnic or Outdoor Affair

“Pretty Pickles” Great Pick for Next Picnic or Outdoor Affair

Imagine your favorite trendy food on this table :)!! Imagine your favorite trendy food on this table :)!!

You remember the edamame rage. It wasn’t so long ago… really! You, in your best (I am so healthful) voice, order up an edamame appetizer from the very approving waiter. Within minutes, the kitchen produces a steaming pot of pods, garnished with just a sprinkling of sea salt. You, (so hungrily) pull those pods between your clenched teeth and out bursts a tiny seed or two of a very trendy snack.

Meet the next craze in trendy appys, the shishito pepper. You’ll find them in the farmer’s market or in your local grocery store if you look really, really hard. They are made-in-the-USA, but they have an Asian ancestry. Here they are for you to ogle:

Fresh picked shishitos Fresh picked shishitos

A Japanese cousin to the Spanish padron pepper, shishitos are the size of a jalapeno with a crinkly skin and a sweet-crisp taste. Easy to prepare, you can cook them on a grill – OR my favorite preparation: roast them in a cast iron skillet with a squeeze of lemon juice, a bit of minced garlic, a drizzle of kosher salt and a bit of crushed red pepper flakes. Serve them hot on their own, or with a side of your favorite dipping sauce.

If you’re like me, you just might find that you got a tad carried away when purchasing your peppers for the week. Faced with a mound of peppers, and not enough friends to eat them, I took a page from Grammy’s cookbook, and decided to pickle these little devils. I used my favorite brine (from my Pretty Pickles recipe from my book Fresh Traditions), which adds a bit of turmeric and a couple slices of fresh ginger. Instead of squash, I pickled the shishitos and they are a hit!!

You can eat them out of the jar, or get a little creative with your high-end cocktail. Skewer a pickled shishito on the end of a toothpick, and dangle it over the rim of your best Bloody Mary. Now we’re really moving into the new age!!

Here’s my recipe for Pretty Pickles. Not only can you insert shishito peppers, feel free to pickle any of your favorite veggies. You really can’t go wrong!

When it comes to pickling, the possibilities are endless! When it comes to pickling, the possibilities are endless!

Pretty Pickles

This is a really fun way to preserve freshly harvested veggies.  The brine mixture allows crisp vegetables to last in your fridge for at least several days, and up to several weeks.  This showstopper dish works well alongside panini sandwiches, as salad toppers, or all by themselves on your picnic table.  Any veggie and veggie combo will work in this recipe. 

2 cups raspberry vinegar

1 cup granulated sugar

2 tablespoons coarse salt

4 medium garlic cloves, minced (about 2 teaspoons)

2 teaspoons pink peppercorns

2 bay leaves

1 teaspoon ground turmeric

1 (1-inch piece) ginger, grated (about 1 tablespoon)

2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

2 large yellow squash

2 large zucchini

1 medium red bell pepper

To make brining liquid, combine the vinegar with 2 cups of water in a large pot over medium-high heat. Stir in the sugar, salt, garlic, peppercorns, bay leaves, turmeric, and ginger and bring to a boil.  Cook until the sugar dissolves, about 2 minutes. Remove the pot from heat.  Stir in the parsley.  Cool the brine to room temperature.

Cut the squash, zucchini and pepper into very thin slices. (If you are using shishito peppers, blanch them, and then transfer to ice water. Drain and place whole peppers into the jars.) Layer the vegetables into glass jars, or plastic containers with lids. Pour the brining liquid, covering all the vegetables.  Seal the container.

Refrigerate for at least 4 hours or up to several days.  Drain the pickles from the brine, reserving extra liquid for re-packing left-over pickles.

Yield:  about 2 quarts

Preparation Time:  20 minutes plus chilling

Blanched Veggie Pickles

It’s totally A-OK to blanch veggies before placing them in the brine.  This process (placing the veggie in boiling water, then refreshing in ice water), brings out the color in green beans, and crisp-cooks broccoli and cauliflower.  Other nice pickling choices include English cucumbers (which are seedless), boiled beets, pearl onions, patty pan squash, and julienned carrots.

Spiced Pickles

You should always experiment with your favorite herbs, spices and flavors in the brine.  Substitute with distilled white wine or apple cider vinegar.  Cumin, mustard seeds, white and black peppercorns, whole coriander, cloves and fennel seeds, are just a few of the possible brine flavorings.