I have been out of the habit of posting my recipes and meals, but I had to share this one with you. Several of my recent attempts at fancy pants home cookin’ have ended up with some critical error that I didn’t want to confess. But tonight…
Yesterday, on a quick trip through Kroger, I came across some pork country style ribs that were on special. I don’t think I’ve ever bought country ribs before, and I usually steer away from pork anyway…but it was a deal too good to pass up.
Today, I looked for a recipe that wouldn’t take all day to cook, seeing as how I didn’t get started until mid-afternoon. I found this recipe by Emeril, my first foodie love. It’s been a long time since we cooked together, Em, but today was magic.
One problem quickly arose: I didn’t have a few of the ingredients. My 2YO wasn’t feeling well, so I wasn’t able to stop back by the grocery store as planned. What to do?
Instead of ditching the whole thing, I decided to move forward. One of the things I’ve learned is to not be chained to a recipe, but rather to the method (sometimes), flavor profile, and general idea of what you want to make. So.
The recipe calls for a typical cajun “trinity,” or combination of onions, celery and green peppers. I didn’t have the peppers, and I’m allergic to onions. I also didn’t have any chicken broth left (made risotto last night), and also no parsley.
I just left out the peppers, used dried onions (which, for some reason, don’t bother me so much), made “ghetto broth” from bouillon (I know!), and used the yummy leaves from the celery in place of parsley. In case you didn’t know, they have a wonderful flavor, especially in soups and stews. Don’t throw ’em out!
I also snipped in about half of one of those fabulous smoked cayenne peppers from Sparkling River Farms, and at the end, I used just a teaspoon or so of Ferneau Seasonings rather than Emeril Essence. Nom.
One more note: My simmer must have been a little low, because it took about 45 minutes longer than anticipated for the beans to cook. But it was worth it — by then the meat was falling apart, the sauce was thick and yummy, and the house smelled like awesomeness.
In case you hadn’t figured it out already, this was one of the best meals I’ve made in a while! The meat was moist, tender and flavorful. The sauce was thick and savory, with just enough heat to be interesting. The beans were creamy and yummy. (Some of the reviews of this recipe on Food Network said they could do without the beans…methinks they didn’t cook it long enough. Or they just don’t know what’s good.) As recommended in the recipe, I served it over white rice, which was a perfect complement. The sauce mixed into the rice and made an absolute killer side to the pork.
Are you hungry yet?
I don’t think I’ll retype the recipe, because mine is pretty much similar to Emeril’s. Just check his link up above. But remember not to be tied down to a recipe or list of ingredients! Unless it’s something like forgetting the chocolate for brownies, you’re pretty much OK. Just think Fancy Pants!