Mostly about food, this blog is just a place for me to throw things that are of interest to me. I appreciate you taking the time to stop by an look around. This represents just some of the stops on the various pathways that this amateur home cook finds himself.

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Monday, April 13, 2009

Rib Tips in 3 Chile Sauce

Okay, so you've been trimming all those spare ribs to a nice St. Louis cut, and instead of tossing the trimmings on the smoker with the ribs, you've been socking them away for a rainy day. Well, the rainy day has arrived, and here's a tasty way to put them to good use.

6 ancho chiles
2 chiles de arbol
2 guajillo chiles
10 garlic cloves, minced
2 t kosher salt
2 T coarse ground black pepper
1 t ground cumin
1 t dried Mexican oregano
1/2 C oil
3 lbs cleaned rib tips
2 bay leaves
2 C water
1/2 C frech minced cilantro (or 3 rounded T dried cilantro)
2 T paprika

This recipe uses de arbol, guajillo and ancho chiles. They should be available at any large supermarket or laatin ethnic food store in their dried form. They will keep almost forever. Clockwise from top: anchos, guajillos, de arbols.
Boil the chiles in water in a small sauce pan until softened. Remove, drain and let them cool.* Peel off the skins and discard the seeds, reserving the meat of the chiles.
Add the chile meat and the garlic cloves to a blender, and process until smooth. Add the salt, pepper, cumin and oregano and blend to mix it all together. Here's what goes in with the chili mixture.
Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Thaw your previously saved rib tips and make sure they are trimmed of excess fat and silver skin.
A little fat left behind is no big deal. Cut them into bite sized pieces (about 1" across). Add the pork to the oil and stir occasionally until browned. Add in the water slowly and cook until tender and the liquid has reduced a bit. This will all take about 20-30 minutes.
Stir in your chile puree mix and add in the two bay leaves. Add the paprika. Drop the heat down low and let this simmer to thoroughly consolidate all the flavors, another 20-30 minutes or so. The paprika really makes the color pop.
This can be served as a main dish with sides, or as the basis for a chile dish with other ingredients. Black beans, pintos or onions would make nice add-ins. You can even create some tasty tacos with a couple of slices of avocado!

To really mix up cultures... here it is served over farfalle pasta with Asadero chees strips, and topped with a dollop of sour cream to balance out the heat.

*(You should save the chile cooking liquid and reduce it over a simmer until the sauce concentrates. This is good stuff to keep and use whenever you need to add a little zip to another dish sometime.)

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