• erin

    Dumplings with my family
    A recent graduate of The Culinary Institute of America, I found myself with no money, no kitchen equipment, and an exceptionally huge appetite. Ideas, improvisations, and yummy meal solutions were discovered in the kitchen of my very first apartment.
  • what sounds good?

    I've been getting a lot of requests and suggestions for the apartment kitchen. I LOVE these suggestions, keep them coming!

    If you have anything you'd like me to consider (recipes to develop, shortcuts for recipes, great ingredients, or even blog formatting), shoot me an email and let me know!

    em570039@mycia.net

  • equipment spotlight

  • ingredient spotlight

  • this month’s packed lunch

  • hungry for more?

    Check out my food journeys at An Appetite for Adventure!
  • webmaster: chris hurte
  • author portrait: matt needham
  • © erin mcdowell and the apartment kitchen, 2009-10. all photography and content, unless otherwise indicated, is property of the author. unauthorized reproduction or use is prohibited. please ask before using.
  • Add to Technorati Favorites
  • Recipe Blogs - BlogCatalog Blog Directory
  • Twitter Updates

    Error: Twitter did not respond. Please wait a few minutes and refresh this page.

  • become my fan on facebook!

    Just click HERE

Stovetop Braised Shortribs

Chilly? Try a stovetop braise. Matt and I made this on a Sunday afternoon. Get it started, and then just let it simmer until it’s done the way you like it. We drank beer and watched movies while it bubbled away on the stove. You can see in the photograph that it was literally fall off the bone – I couldn’t keep it together from the pot to the bowl in time to take a photo! This is a basic recipe, so it has room for plenty of changes, or it’s just plain good on it’s own.

Corned Beef with Potatoes and Braised Brussels Sprouts

Tonight, Matt made dinner. Not to say that he isn’t usually involved…but tonight he did the whole thing from start to finish. It was amazing…simple but so full of flavor. It simmered all day while we lounged and relaxed. We ate in a pouring rain storm. Leftovers are in the fridge and we’re feeling warm and comforted on this chilly, rainy night.

Glazed Beef Spare Ribs with Sweet and Spicy Cucumbers

So after eating massive quantities of pork due to my impulse purchase of a 6# shoulder, we figured we’d keep it light for the next few days. That is, until we saw an incredible rack of beef spare ribs at the market on a wicked special. Naturally, we couldn’t resist. Yes, I was aware as I walked out of the store that I probably didn’t need to eat more meat for dinner. Did I care? No.

While Matt was at work, I rubbed the ribs down with some spices. Then before I put them in the oven, I glazed them with a glaze of vinegar, tomatoes, sriracha, and more spices. After they were rubbed and glazed, I put the ribs in the oven for about 2 hours at a low temperature. You could also grill them (yum) or leave them in the oven for up to four hours, which will leave the meat melt-in-your mouth and falling off of the bone.

Giant Burritos with All the Fixins!

There are two parts to this story.

1. I don’t generally love chain restaurants. Sure, I am the occasional patron, but you’d be hard-pressed to find me frequenting the fast food or family-style restaurants that crowd every town’s restaurant landscape. But as with everything, there is one (huge) exception. Chipotle. Oh, how I miss Chipotle. In my hometown, there was one very near my house, and another one on the edge of town – both working to satisfy my gigantic burrito needs. But there is no Chipotle in Hyde Park or it’s surrounding cities. It was a devastating blow to my college years.

2. Funny things happen when you’re jetlagged. Usually, I am dead tired upon returning from a trip of some magnitude and I lounge in bed and struggle to get through the first week as I readjust to reality and my new time zone. But I think I was so used to operating on very little sleep on my European trip, that normal sleeping hours in bed have confounded me. The first night we were home, Matt and I slept at about midnight and found ourselves wide awake at 5:30 a.m. The next day, it was 6:00, and so on. As we strolled the aisles of the grocery store (the only thing to do anywhere at 6:00 a.m. on a Sunday morning), we realized that by shopping for a meal this early, we could do something I hardly ever do on the apartment kitchen – slow cooking techniques. This defies one of the rules I try to abide by – it is not QUICK. But, it’s so incredibly easy that I believe it cancels it out.

It’s the perfect kind of thing to do on a Sunday. Dry rub some ribs, and stick them in the oven at a low temperature, and leave them alone. Then shred the meat, layer it with toppings, and you have one very happy reproduction.