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Braised Short Ribs in Pomegranate and Tempranillo

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Perhaps you are the kind of person, like myself, that loves and cherishes the wonder that is a cut of perfectly braised beef. If you have inhaled the Parisian air in October and experienced the fragrance of succulent Beef Bourbignon from the plate resting on your table then you know it can surely be counted as one of the great culinary blessings in life. If you have not yet had a truly fine plate of braised beef or if , in fact, you simply must prepare it for yourself then this recipe shall more than satisfy. Short ribs provide a fantastic cut to which this treatment can justly be applied, having a sufficient richness and flavor.

Find some excellent day, perhaps New Year’s Day, a day with a few spare hours for the kitchen and a fine chill in the air and you have the only justification required to prepare this most auspicious dish. The quality this Braised Short Ribs in Pomegranate and Tempranillo offers is of great exception and nothing short of the concentrated essence of a fine wine married to the heavenly juice of seared, seasoned, and slow cooked beef. It is so aromatic, tender, juicy, and rich that the slightly acid pomegranate proves the perfect fruit of contrast. So both the juice and seeds are introduced to further elevate a wondrous braised cut into the most exquisite beef you can imagine serving. Plate a couple ribs with their fantastic gravy and garnish with pomegranate seeds and some cauliflower parsnip puree and you will have served a plate worthy of great New Year’s exaltations and you will likely be served in return, by anyone fortunate enough to share the meal, an ample portion of gratitude and thankfulness.

To all of you who love, follow, and support us and Yes, More Please! ; our friends, family, and sponsors: Happy New Year!
And Thank You. We look forward to an amazing and exciting 2016.

Mariana & Ian

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Braised Short Ribs in Pomegranate and Tempranillo

Serves 4 renegade reinders on New Years eve.

8 short ribs french cut style cut in halves.
2 tablespoons grape seed oil or any neutral oil to start the searing
A few dashes of all pour pose flour
Salt & fresh cracked black pepper to season.

2 cups Tempranillo, I used 2012 Tineta Ribera del Duero, Spain.This wine has cherry, blueberry, spices, and a hint of licorice and chocolate, very aromatic and good level of acidity to cook with. Great price also from $15-13.00 dlls a bottle.
2-1/2 cups Pomegranate Juice
1 to 2 cups beef stock
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
3-4 Rosemary fresh sprigs
2 dry bay leaves
4 garlic cloves
1/2 up to 1 teaspoon salt and fresh black pepper to taste

Garnish with:
1 fresh pomegranate, worth of kernels.
Rosemary sprigs

Preparation Method:

1. Pat dry the short ribs. Season all sides with kosher salt and fresh black pepper. Then sprinkle some all purpose flour until all sides are lightly covered. re season lightly with salt an pepper.

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2. Tap excess flour and heat up a heavy bottom roasting pan or cast iron enamel pot. Drizzle a little grape seed oil and sear every rib all sides. Do not crowd the pan. Depending on pan size and rib size sear 3 or 4 at the time, all sides until each sides develops a crust and its one tone above golden brown.

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3. Set them aside as you go until you have seared every short rib. Save a couple of tablespoons of the fat on the pan, discard the rest of the oil and any of the heavenly burn bits on the bottom of the pan. U can use a paper towel and carefully wipe off the pan.
4. With the pan wiped off, add 2-3 tablespoons of the reserved fat into the pan and arrange the seared short ribs, bone side down into the pan on a single layer.
5. Place pot into stove on a medium high heat. Add wine, pomegranate juice, beef stock. Make sure the sum of liquids just cover the ribs, if needed ad more pomegranate juice, or wine. Add herbs, garlic cloves and re-season with salt and black pepper. Bring to a boil cover with a lid and transfer into the lower third of the oven at 300F to 325F temperature (depending on your oven, electric like our Mildret 325F V.S. Gas or Convection 300F) For about 1 hour and 45 minutes, Lid on. After that time, remove the lid and cook with lid off for another 15-20 minutes, depending on tenderness of the ribs. Test with a fork, it should be easily inserted. If that is not the case, give them 15-20 more minutes.
You also can braise your ribs on the stove top, just be really careful to set the temperature to a very slow simmer. Cook with Lid on for about 1-2 hours and lid off for 20-30 minutes.

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6. While short ribs are brazing… Make your Cauliflower-Parsnip Mashed or Mashed Potatoes. Here is a quick recipe…
1 small medium califlower, two parsnips, 3-4  tablespoons butter, one drizzle extra virgin olive oil, a dash of cream or milk, salt and pepper to taste. Cut your cauliflower into mini florets, peel and cube the parsnips, steam florets and cubes on the same pot until soft and tender. Remove from steamer, place them in a pot, add butter, salt pepper, extra virgin olive oil and a dash of milk, almond milk or soy milk what ever you prefer. With an inmersion blender whip until creamy and fluffy. A food processor will work well to.
Set aside and keep on a warm place until ready to serve.

Cauliflower-and-Parsnip-Mashed

Back to the ribs:

7. Remove pot from oven and place ribs on a baking tray,cover with aluminum foil to keep them warm and juicy. Turn off the oven and place your serving tray into the oven to warm up until serving. This is a great little step that will help you keep them warm for longer when they are ready to serve.
8. Remove most of the fat on the left over juices. Strain juices trough a fine colander. Smash those garlics through the sieve and pick up the mashed bits from the outer part of the colander, they will help to intensify the flavor and thicken up the sauce. Add about 1/2 cup of the rest of the pomegranate juice, and check for seasoning. Add salt and pepper if needed. Place sauce back into pot, bring to a boil and reduce until desired consistency. I like my pomegranate sauce like a lose gravy, not to loose, not to thick just with enough body to hang into the ribs.Pomegranate-Tempranillo-Braised-Short-Ribs_Degrease-and-strain-the-juices-to-create-the-pomegranate-saucePomegranate-Tempranillo-Braised-Short-Ribs_straining-the-saucePomegranate-Tempranillo-Braised-Short-Ribs_making-the-sauce

9. Place some blips of your mashed of choice and place the ribs on platter, drizzle some of the pomegranate sauce and sprinkle some pomegranate kernels. Place the rest of the pomegranate sauce and kernels for extra garnish when serving. Serve immediately.

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Happy New Year!

Its New years eve and everybody needs some great music to finish this fun and crazy year…

Akira Miyagawa shows us with his genius musical creativity, that everything can be done!!!

Music Pairing: Akira Miyagawa’s Beethoven’s Symphony No.5 and Mambo No.5 Combination

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Chocolate Avocado Coconut Mousse

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Chocolate, who can’t resist chocolate specially at this time of the year?…Dreaming of luscious chocolate desserts, this Chocolate Avocado Coconut Mousse recipe it’s the ticket for a simple crowd pleaser dessert. You would not believe how free of everything this mousse is. It should be called “Chocolate Freedom”. The truth is, If you want to make a dessert suited for all guests, taste good for all palates, and diverse diets you are at the right place.

For me, Chocolate Mousse is the perfect ending dessert for a dinner party. You can prepare it ahead, its no fuss, looks gorgeous, and suits all crowds. This recipe, especially suits guests with diverse diets: dairy-free, gluten-free,  sugar-free, nut-free, grain-free, egg-free, all free diet situations. I feel people with food sensitivities are often neglected, or end up with fruit as a dessert, why not go the extra mile? On the other hand for the cooks at home its always a little stressful to think or trying to cook or bake with un-familiar ingredients, well I got you covered, this recipe is also easy on the Cook. Simple ingredients, a few simple steps and your guests will appreciate you going the extra mile. Its is always nice to make the effort to make a happy ending dessert for everyone especially during the holiday season.

Read the recipe very carefully, and please, do not make faces; yes I can see you from here frowning about avocado and chocolate. I was one of those people as well. Now I’m converted. To be honest, once you try this combination I know you’ll be converted too. Let’s talk a little about it.

Avocado is a natural source of creaminess and good oils in combination with the coconut cream and the chocolate gives this dessert all the lusciousness by mimicking the texture that cream, butter, and eggs give to a more traditional mousse recipe.

Avocados only mission in this recipe is to give a light body and creamy texture to the mousse. It imparts no discernible flavor. Next ingredient: the coconut cream, which adds that velvety silky soft texture that is characteristic of any mousse. And of course the main ingredient: Chocolate. Almost all the success on this recipe will depend on the chocolate quality you choose. That is what shines: Dark, rich, chocolate. Be splendid and generous when buying your chocolate, choose at least a good 70% cacao bittersweet chocolate. I have some suggestions for you at the end of the recipe.

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In other recipes you could place almost all recipe ingredients into a food processor and be done but I went ahead and added just a few steps that make this recipe dreamy.  Like, sieving the avocado to make it creamier and remove any fibrous treads. Also by folding some whipped coconut cream at the end, which for me makes a huge difference, giving this mousse a cloudy silky texture.

And last but not least, another great “free” quality about his mousse, is that I used Svetia. Svetia it’s a Natural sweetener made with the Stevia plant. An all natural sweetener. A little of this powerful Svetia Sweetener goes a long way, I like my mousse lightly sweetened and using this calorie free sweetener completes the dreamy dessert, for those guest with sugar sensitivity.

If you are ready to try something new this season, and make your special guests happy! Give this Chocolate Avocado Mousse a chance and surprise all your guests, by revealing the ingredient at the end of the dinner. I bet you they would not even believe that an avocado was incorporated. And on the other side of the table your vegan, dairy free, gluten-free and sugar-free guests will be really happy and gratefully ask for the recipe.
Enjoy
Happy Holidays!

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Chocolate Avocado Coconut Mousse

Serves 4- 8 servings depending on scoop size.

10 oz fresh ripe Avocado Hass flesh*
1 can coconut cream unsweetened,** I used Chaokoh Thailand brand
2 teaspoons Walnut oil or coconut oil
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 pinch kosher salt
2 Svetia sweetener envelopes or 2 tablespoon of any other alternative sugar option like coconut sugar, date sugar, or maple syrup.

8 oz of at least 70% Cacao Bittersweet chocolate bar, roughly chopped, melted and slightly cooled. I used Green and Blacks Organic Dark Chocolate.***

1 can coconut cream to make whipped coconut cream

3-4 Sugar free-gluten free Candy Canes to crush and garnish.
You can use fresh berries to garnish, cacao nibs, toasted coconut or toasted nuts in case of no nut allergies.

Important Notes:

*Since avocados differ in size and amount of flesh depending on avocado types, please weigh the avocado flesh, and make sure you buy avocado Hass which are the most creamy and less fibrous.

**When buying coconut cream, I prefer any brand from Thailand, whole foods or Traders Joe’s, because they have the best richness and creaminess. check and read the labels.

***Other vegan bars:Theo 82%, Madecasse 80%, Scharffen Berger 82%
I found an article on line about Green and Blacks Organic Dark Chocolate label in which I read that it does not have any milk powder or solids on the formula, but it is made adjacent to a facility that makes milk chocolate. So by regulation, they had to specify that on the label.

Preparation Method:

1. Cut avocados in half, remove pits, and place flesh on a scale, you need 10oz of avocado flesh. Then on a bowl and holding a fine sieve, mashed the fresh avocado fresh through the sieve until smooth.
2. With a hand blender or on a food processor add the sieved avocado, and purée until smooth and frothy. You should have a silky and lump free avocado purée.
3. To this avocado pure add 1 can of unsweetened cream of coconut, salt, cinnamon, walnut oil and vanilla. Whip until smooth, frothy, and pale green using a hand mixer. Set aside.

Chocolate-Avodado-Coconut-Mousse_sieve,puree,-sweeten-and-puree 4. Melt all the chocolate on a double boiler until warm and smooth. Set aside to cool down.
5. Once chocolate has cooled down a little, add melted chocolate to the avocado coconut mixture. Mix well until smooth and room temp. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 45 minutes to an hour, or until firm to the touch. It should feel like cold frosting on a cake.
6. Meantime, place the second can of coconut cream on the freezer for at least 30-45 minutes. Make sure the can is standing up. After 45 minutes, Open the can carefully and by now the coconut solids have separated. The coconut fat will rise to the top, leaving the coconut water on the bottom. With a spoon collect all coconut fat and place on a small bowl. Save the coconut water for another preparation, or discard.
7. If coconut solids are to frozen wait until they are soft and cold enough to whip them. When ready to whip Add some Stevia or any other sweetener of your preference and using a hand mixer whip until soft picks form. Reserve some of this Whipped Coconut Cream to garnish.
8. Remove Chocolate mixture from the refrigerator. Whip mixture with hand mixer until smooth and fluffy. Using a spatula, gently fold in the coconut whipped cream into chocolate mixture using up and down folding movements until all the whipped coconut cream is incorporated, and the mousse looks light and fluffy.

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9. Chill some glasses, and using an ice cream scooper, scoop one or two servings on each glass or ramekins. Keep mousse refrigerated until time to serve.
When time to serve, add a dollop of whipped cream and garnish with crushed sugar-free candy canes. Enjoy!

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This post was sponsored by SVETIA.US
The opinions are completely my own based on my experience.*

Thank you SVETIA! for providing the product and sponsorship.

Music Pairing: Love Actually- Christmas its all Around Us.

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