Winter family dining requires dishes that are not only warm temperature-wise, but also warm all over. Filling that bill is the following recipe for pork ribs in green chile from Joe Rivera that took the People’s Choice Award at the Denver Chili Fest. The first recipe was shared at denvergreenchili.com, a neat website that lists all the places in the metro area where you can acquire roasted peppers in the fall.
The second recipe for Skier’s French Toast is from “License to Cook Colorado Style,” a new, index card-sized book of Colorado recipes, facts and artwork by Diane Edwards of Fort Collins and Glenna Brissey of Loveland. Information: penfieldbooks.com.
The third recipe for honey biscotti comes courtesy of the Longmont-based National Honey Board. Information: honey.com/recipes.
Pork Ribs in Green Chile
3 to 4 pounds pork baby back ribs
4 large Colorado Russet potatoes, peeled, cut in 1-inch cubes
1 teaspoon salt (or to taste)
1/2 to 3/4 pounds bacon, cut in small strips
12 to 15 fresh tomatillos, finely chopped
2 to 3 fresh jalapeños, seeded and chopped
1 medium onion, skinned, finely chopped
2 medium tomatoes, chopped
3 pounds green chiles, roasted, peeled, chopped
3 14.5-ounce cans chicken broth (sodium free)
5 to six large garlic cloves, skin removed, minced
1 bunch cilantro, de-stemmed, coarsely chopped
1 tablespoon cumin powder
1 teaspoon celery salt
2 tablespoons chili powder
freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Heat a large cast iron Dutch oven or other large sauce pan over medium heat. When oven is hot, fry bacon till just crisp. Remove bacon and set aside for later. Pour most of the bacon fat out leaving approximately 2 tablespoons in the pan to sauté the vegetables. Sauté onion, jalapeños and garlic in bacon fat until soft. Add 2 cans chicken broth, tomatillos, green chiles and tomatoes. Adjust heat to allow chile to simmer covered with lid for about two hours.
Heat a separate heavy skillet over medium/high heat. Remove the silver membrane from the ribs and trim excess fat. Cut the ribs into large pieces that will just fit into the skillet. Salt and pepper both sides of the ribs and place in hot skillet. Sear on both sides until brown, approximately 10 minutes per side.
Note: If you have a smoker, ribs can be slow-smoked until done and then added.
Add ribs and bacon to the pan followed by potatoes. Add additional chicken broth or water as needed to keep ribs and potatoes completely covered in liquid. Cover with lid and let simmer for about 60 minutes.
Then add remaining spices and cilantro. Adjust and simmer for about 45 minutes. Then check ribs and potatoes for tenderness and taste chile. Adjust spices and heat as desired and continue simmering if potatoes and ribs need more time. Cut ribs into individual pieces before serving. Makes about 8 servings.
SKIER’S FRENCH TOAST
2 tablespoons corn syrup (or maple syrup)
1/2 cup butter
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 loaf unsliced bread
1 1/2 cups milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon salt
Mix the corn syrup, butter and brown sugar in a small saucepan and simmer until syrupy. Pour mixture into a 9-by-13-inch baking dish. Trim crust from the bread and slice bread into 12 to 16 slices and place in syrup mixture in the baking dish. Beat the eggs, milk, vanilla and salt together and pour over the bread. Cover and store in the refrigerator overnight. The next morning, preheat the oven to 350 degrees and bake the french toast, uncovered, for about 45 minutes. Makes about six servings. Note: The syrup will harden when cold.
Honey Almond Biscotti
1/2 cup butter, softened
3/4 cup Colorado honey
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons anise seeds
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup dried cranberries
3/4 cup slivered almonds
Using electric mixer, beat butter until light; gradually add honey, eggs and vanilla, beating until smooth. In small bowl, combine flour, anise seeds, cinnamon, baking powder, salt and baking soda; gradually add to honey mixture, mixing well. Stir in cranberries and almonds. Shape dough into two 10-by-3-by-1-inch logs on greased baking sheet. Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for about 20 minutes or until light golden brown. Remove from oven to wire rack; cool 5 minutes. Reduce oven to 300 degrees. Transfer logs to cutting board. Cut each log into 1/2-inch slices; arrange on baking sheet. Bake for another 20 minutes or until light brown and crisp. Cool on wire racks.
Note: Dried blueberries, strawberries, cherries or dates can be substituted for the cranberries. Chopped pecans, hazelnuts or macadamias can be substituted for almonds.