Sunday, September 18, 2011

Thank You For Being A Friend!

My family is very fortunate, we are surrounded by a really wonderful group of friends. The best way I know how to demonstrate my appreciation is to make a great meal for them. Last night I decided to make short ribs for the very first time! Ina's or Anthony Bourdain's? Ina won this time. My victims were Bob, Ani, Mike, Mayra, Hilda, Ernest, Katina, and my family. The verdict "hearty and delicious".

The menu was Scott's Short Ribs from Barefoot Contessa Family Style , Crema de Malanga (a creamed root vegetable that resembles taro), and Cafe con Leche Custard from Southern Living (Sept 2008).

Crema de malanga is as common as mashed potatoes in many Latin cultures and served in many Cuban restaurants in Miami.  Definitely a comfort food for many of us!

Scott's Short Ribs


  • 6 beef short ribs, trimmed of fat
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup good olive oil
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped onion (2 onions)
  • 4 cups large-diced celery (6 large stalks)
  • 2 carrots, peeled and large-diced
  • 1 small fennel, fronds, stems, and core removed, large-diced
  • 1 leek, cleaned and large-diced, white part only
  • garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 (750-ml) bottle burgundy or other dry red wine
  • Fresh rosemary sprigs
  • Fresh thyme sprigs
  • 6 cups beef stock
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar


Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Place the short ribs on a sheet pan, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and roast for 15 minutes. Remove from the oven. Reduce the oven temperature to 300 degrees F.
Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a large Dutch oven and add the onion, celerycarrotsfennel, and leek and cook over medium-low heat for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the garlic and cook for another 2 minutes. Pour the wine over the vegetables, bring to a boil, and cook over high heat until the liquid is reduced by half, about 10 minutes. Add 1 tablespoon salt and 1 teaspoon pepper. Tie therosemary and thyme together with kitchen twine and add to the pot.
Place the roasted ribs on top of the vegetables in the Dutch oven and add the beef stock and brown sugar. Bring to a simmer over high heat. Cover the Dutch oven and bake for 2 hours or until the meat is very tender.
Carefully remove the short ribs from the pot and set aside. Discard the herbs and skim the excess fat. Cook the vegetables and sauce over medium heat for 20 minutes, until reduced. Put the ribs back into the pot and heat through. Serve with the vegetables and sauce

Crema de Malanga

4-6 large malangas (peeled and cut in 2" chunks)
2-3 cups 2% milk
1 stick of butter (cut in 8 equal parts)
chicken bouillon (optional)

Boil the malanga in lightly salted water until chunks are tender.  Drain 2/3 of the water, add the butter and mash the chunks as you add enough milk to get a creamy consistency (I use an immersion blender, or make in batches in a blender) between a thick bisque and mashed potatoes.  Add salt to taste. 

Café Con Leche Custard Cups


  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 2 1/2 cups 2% reduced-fat milk
  • (14-oz.) can fat-free sweetened condensed milk
  • egg yolks
  • 2 tablespoons instant coffee granules
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup thawed reduced-fat whipped topping
  • Garnishes: chopped and whole chocolate-covered espresso beans, 100-calorie shortbread cookies


  • 1. Combine flour and salt in a 2-qt. heavy nonaluminum saucepan. Whisk in reduced-fat milk and next 3 ingredients, whisking until smooth. Cook over medium heat, whisking constantly, 10 to 12 minutes or until thickened. Remove from heat; stir in vanilla.
  • 2. Fill a large bowl with ice; place pan in ice, and whisk custard occasionally until completely cool (about 30 minutes).
  • 3. Spoon 1/2 cup custard into each of 8 (5-oz.) cups or glasses. Top each with 1 to 2 Tbsp. whipped topping, filling completely. Scrape top with a knife to level whipped topping. Garnish, if desired.
  • Note: To make ahead, pour cooled custard into a gallon-size zip-top plastic bag, gently pressing out excess air (to prevent a film from forming). Seal bag, and chill up to 24 hours. To serve, snip off 1 corner of bag, and pipe custard into serving cups.


Maria said... Best Blogger Tips

Hi, thanks for posting a wonderful custard recipe. I loved it and shared it with my readers on my blog: Stop by and check it out! There are tons of Mexican recipes that I think you'd enjoy-feel free to get inspired and share with your readers as well. Hope you have a great day! Maria