Chino Latino

     

From a February 13, 2008 New York Times comes Short Ribs with Coffee and Chilies.  One word – awesome.  Another word – easy.  It’s hard to believe that something this delicious requires so little work.  The biggest effort was in finding the dried pasilla and chipotle chilies at a Mexican grocery store.  Short ribs are browned in a dutch oven, then removed.  In the same pot, sautee onions, garlic and crushed chilis until soft.  Add a cup of coffee and red wine, then the ribs.  Braise for 3 hours, and those big bone yield tender, tasty meat while the onions melt away into a thickened sauce.  Heavenly and rich, spicy and sweet.

   

To cut the richness, as I don’t own a defibrilator at home, I paired it with a Cucumber Carrot Salad from a June 1994 Gourmet.  Also a random pull from the files, the cucumber salad which is based on green papaya salad, reminds me more of Korean pickles, seasoned with lime, garlic, and fish sauce.  With this recipe, I incorporate Cook’s Illustrated’s technique for cucumber salads which is to draw as much water out of the cucumbers so that it absorbs the dressing and retains some crunch.  This is achieved by salting the cucumber slices and letting it drain with a Ziploc bag of water on top of it over a colander for an hour.  I think it helps.

The short ribs and pickles complement each other perfectly in a sandwich on a brioche roll, another lush touch gilding the fattening lily.

A more reserved, but no less delicious, is paired in a taco.  Kogi truck, look out.

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