The Penalty Box

Five minutes for attempted world domination

Adventures in Foodland - Ribs, polenta and fried kale

September 07, 2013 at 09:45 PM | categories: Culinary Capers | View Comments

It's been a rather busy summer, hence the lack of posts. It went by really quickly as a result, and probably one of the more fun summers I've had in a while. Things like hitting the Night Market, multiple times. I joined a dragon boat team and raced in Harrison. I went to Penticton and got a bunch of wine.

Because of this busyness, I didn't really get to cook something substantial for a while. It's not like I didn't cook at all, but for the most part it was all fairly simple. I don't really consider tossing cheese and cream into a tomato sauce to make a rose sauce all that substantial. I've tried my hand at a few different types of Chinese steamed, baked and fried buns, the results of which were promising. I'll document those efforts at a later date. This weekend was the first free one in a while, so I decided to put together a plate of food that was a meal.

Today's efforts resulted in a rack of ribs on top of parmesan polenta with a fried kale and beet hot salad. A mediocre effort at plating ended with this photo:

Ribs, polenta and fried kale with roasted beets

The ribs were done with a dry rub. The mix of the dry rub I should really write down one of these days because it seems to differ each time I do it. This time I had a bit left over from last time, so I just used the rest of it. Ribs got dry rub on both sides before sitting in the fridge for 6 hours to meld. They got oven baked for 3 hours at 250F. Before tossing in the oven, I drizzled a bit of olive oil on top. After they were done, I let them rest for about 10 minutes before carving.

The polenta was Alton Brown's recipe. It's served me well before and turns into very good polenta cakes with leftovers. I did that a few posts back.

The hot salad consisted of the following ingredients:

  • One bunch of kale
  • 3 medium sized beets, or 2 large ones
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 4 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1/4 cup chicken stock
  • 4 strips thick cut bacon (I got all fancy and used guanciale)
  • salt, pepper, olive oil

Directions: Note - This recipe works with beets, and the juice stains. Try not to wear white, eh?

  1. Heat oven to 425F
  2. Wash beets and cut off the stems. Toss with olive oil, salt and pepper. Wrap with aluminum foil individually.
  3. Toss the beets in the oven for about an hour. The beets are done when you can easily push a fork into them. Your oven may be faster/slower.
  4. Once the beets are done, unwrap from foil and allow to cool until you can handle them. Rub the skip with paper towel so that the skin comes off. Chop the beets into smaller pieces and set aside.
  5. Cut bacon into small pieces, render out the bacon fat in a pan.
  6. While bacon is rendering, chop the stems off the kale and cut the leafy bits into one inch pieces.
  7. Transfer bacon to a paper towel lined plate to soak up extra grease, leave the bacon fat in the pan.
  8. Stir fry the kale until it starts to wilt. Toss in the garlic, a pinch of salt and a few grinds of pepper.
  9. Once the kale has wilted, toss in the beets and bacon to heat them back up. Add stock and vinegar and let the liquid reduce.

Because the beets are sweet, the vinegar provides a bit of acidity for a sweet and sour element that's pretty cool. I actually thought it was the most interesting thing on the plate. Hope you have fun with it if you try it out.

May the food be with you.

blog comments powered by Disqus