I’ve always loved pears, although I should confess that as a kid I loved them from a can, thoroughly soaked in a sugary syrup. You see, as a kid I could never get the timing right on when a pear was ripe. I’d get a few (or mom would bring some home) and then set to eating them right away only to end up disappointed.
Later on, I tried waiting for the pears to ripen. I would wait … and wait … and wait. I thought a ripe pear should be soft — that only seemed reasonable to me. So by the time I thought the pears were soft enough to be ripe, they were in reality well past their prime.
I wasn’t that bright, evidently. It didn’t really occur to me to ask anyone, check the web, or to otherwise find out how to tell if a pear was ripe. I just assumed that the pears I was buying were not great pears. I blamed the pears. [click to continue…]
Most of the things I write about are sweets or veggies. But when the weather turns, comfort foods tempt even the best of us. Heck, I’m going to be wearing a sweater for the next 4-6 months, so why not indulge a little?
This recipe is one of my favorite indulgences. Slowly-braised boneless beef shortribs in a smoky chipotle tomato sauce (called “tinga”) in Mexico. It’s somewhat spicy, not hot spicy, but more accurately described as smoky and warm — with the flavors of cumin and garlic. I’d compare it to a good chili base amped up slightly in flavor.
If you’ve never worked with chiles before, I really encourage you to give it a go. It’s a very easy way to add a ton of flavor to your dishes. The preparation is simple — remove the seeds from the dried chiles and toast them for a minute or two (here with cumin seeds) in a dry sauté pan before continuing with the other, wetter, ingredients. After everything is cooked, the whole shebang gets blended and comes together into a wonderfully flavorful sauce.
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