Good thing that nowadays, you are only a search away from “I want to try some Thai tonight!” or “How am I supposed to eat an artichoke?”. But sometimes the Internet does more bad than good and gives too many recommendations. I mean, how are you supposed to decide between that perfect steak and the perfect cake? What about that oh so easy to make soup recipe you stumbled upon the other day? I mean, I know you want to eat them all, but you don’t want to waste all your life cooking – a.k.a. becoming a chef – and you promised yourself that you are going to lose a few pounds so you’re taking it easy on the food.
Good thing that you have me here as I typically have a bunch of people to feed at all times and don’t feel the time pressure to test everything the internet has to offer. For obvious reasons, I’m not going to transform felix into GoodFood and will contain myself at the best dish I’ve tested in the past month (worth all the trouble).
And because there’s a good chance that you have some money to spend on a nice cut of meat, I will be writing about something that is not a cake – my weak point. For me, this recipe has a nice story because this is the first time my friend (read it as that special someone) told me that normally they hate pork but they have no problem eating mine because it’s just so good – and there’s nothing sexual in that statement. My self esteem as a cook after that grew exponentially which I’m thankful for. But enough about my life, assuming that you are not here to read a diary. This time we’ll be trying Vindaloo ribs – recommended by Tastemade. This is the kind of food you don’t make unless you have a lot of time and you are pretty confident in your skills. The actual cooking is pretty simple, but there are a lot of ingredients and I suspect that just too much or too little of any one of them could ruin the whole dish. The main point about this particular recipe is the harmony of the spice combination. But give it a try next weekend when you are once again pretending to be studying. Keep in mind that you should know beforehand when you want to eat it as it requires a 24 hours preparation. I recommend 2 slabs of pork ribs. Marinade - 10 garlic cloves (in my opinion, the more, the merrier and yes, I remember what I said about the proportions of this recipe, but no one ever complained that there’s too much garlic in my food – ok, maybe once) - 2 serrano peppers – can be replaced by Jalapenos - ginger root Grind the garlic, ginger and serranos (or jalapenos) together. Rub into the ribs and wrap tightly with plastic wrap and let it rest in the fridge for 24 hours – or less, if you are in a hurry. Spice rub - 1 cinnamon stick - you can also use powder, silly student! - 5 – 7 cloves – can be replaced with nutmeg - 1 tbsp of coriander seeds - 1 tbsp of cumin seed – I just pretended that this part does not exist and didn’t add it - 4 dried chilies - 1 bay leaf – or 2 if you really want - 10 peppercorns When you decide that you really need to eat the ribs, toast all the spices in a pan until all the people from you flat come to ask what you are cooking. The key in this process – and the most complicated part of the recipe, if you don’t have a grinder – is to grind all the spices to a powder. Season the ribs and massage all the spices into the meat.
Roast them for 2 ½ - 3 hours, remembering to flip them every 30 minutes or so. Cucumber dip - ½ cup Greek yogurt - ½ cucumber - ½ tsp cumin – also skipped this cumin; can you see the pattern here? - Zest and juice from ½ lime - Salt and pepper Finely chop the cucumber and then mix together all the dip ingredients and let the dip (Netflix and) chill in the fridge for half an hour. Sauce - 3 tbsp of canola oil - ¼ cup onion, grated - ginger root, minced - salt - pepper - ½ tbsp. red chili flakes - 1⁄3 cup honey - 1⁄3 cup tamarind paste - 1⁄3 cup brown sugar - ½ orange juice In a saucepan, heat the oil. Add the onion and ginger, and fry a little. Season with salt and pepper. Add chili flakes, honey, tamarind, brown sugar and orange juice. Bring to boil and simmer until reduced by a third. Brush the sauce on the ribs. Serve while still hot with the cold dip. Enjoy!
See, being a chef is not at all that complicated. All you need is a lot of ingredients and a relatively simple way of cooking them. And a grinder!