Celebrating just a little Mardi Gras spirit in the freezing cold? We spiced it up with Donald Link’s Spicy Sticky Bay Back Ribs and a simple Creole Asparagus recipe. While the chef suggested broiling the ribs, Michael volunteered to grill despite the cold and donned his Nanook weather gear to do so.
Since forever the size of baby back ribs have increased in size to what resembles large spare ribs and I finally found some that used to be the size back in the 80’s and this spicy version from chef Link for two of us was perfect and actually might serve three as the picture shows what was left.
Another very good perky dressed grilled asparagus side dish, a basic dressing made with mustard, vinegar, fresh tarragon, vinegar and oil again adapted to accommodate a bit of Dijon old world style and “moutarde aux fines herbs” (right from the Paris store shelf ) instead of the creole mustard that I didn’t have…love it! Thanks Stephenie!
Asparagus with Creole Mustard
- 2 tablespoons Creole mustard
- 1/4 cup Champagne vinegar
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
- 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 green onions, white only, finely chopped
- 1 1/2 tablespoons finely minced fresh tarragon
- 1 pound asparagus, trimmed
In a small bowl, combine the Creole mustard, vinegar, salt and pepper. Whisk until well blended. Add the olive oil slowly, whisking constantly, until completely incorporated. Stir in the chopped green onions and tarragon. Let stand at room temperature while the asparagus is cooking.
Steam or grill the asparagus just until the spears can be easily pierced with a fork.
Arrange the warm asparagus on a serving plate and drizzle a small amount of the vinaigrette over the spears.
Luckily I picked up the pots of tarragon while shopping last week hoping to get a head start on my high-rise herb garden for the patio…enter freezing butt cold weather so they live in the laundry room at the moment. At least I have fresh tarragon for the dressing.
The last-minute bread pudding was a big hit and a keeper recipe however cutting the recipe in half was still way too much for the two of us and I am going to freeze what is left for another night. The recipe would be just as good with bourbon and I will add a cup or so of raisins the next time (soaked in either rum or bourbon). Besh’s Brendan’s Bread Pudding had a healthy dose of dark rum/black rum. I’m sure his son lives it, oh and that rich caramel colored rum laden sauce is sooo good, way to go Brendan good choice.
Brendan’s Bread Pudding
|Prep Time:||60 minutes|
|Cook Time:||60 minutes|
|Total Time:||2 hours|
For the bread pudding
- 4 cups whole milk
- 2 cups heavy cream
- 1 1/2 cups sugar
- 1 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Grated zest of one orange
- 11 eggs, beaten
- 4 cups stale French bread, small diced
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
- 8 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1/2 cup light corn syrup
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 cup dark rum
- 1 cup heavy cream
- Pinch of salt
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup sliced almonds
- 1 egg white
- 1/2 cup sugar
1. For the bread pudding, preheat oven to 350°. Whisk together the milk, cream, sugar, cinnamon, vanilla, orange zest, and eggs into a large bowl. Stir in the bread cubes and soak them for 30 minutes. Butter a 9-by-13-inch baking dish and pour mixture into it. Bake until golden, about 45 minutes.
2. For the sauce,melt the butter in a medium sauce-pan over moderate heat, until it turns a light brown color, with a rich, hazelnut aroma, about 5 minutes. Add the corn syrup, sugar, rum, cream, salt and vanilla. Reduce the sauce until it thickens enough to coat the back of a spoon, about 15 minutes. Remove from the heat.
3. For the candied almonds, mix the almonds, egg white, and sugar together in a bowl. Spread the almonds on a cookie sheet and bake in a 350° oven until golden brown, 15-18 minutes.. Stir nuts every 4-5 minutes to ensure that they bake evenly.
4. To serve, scoop a large spoonful of warm bread pudding onto each of 10 plates. Pour the buttered rum sauce over the pudding and scatter candied almonds over the top.
Wonderful Fat Tuesday dinner…