Beer-Braised Ribs

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Happy Friday! I’m so glad it’s the weekend and it looks like the weather will be perfect for barbecuing.  

And I’ve got an awesome recipe for a weekend gathering.

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My husband is the grill master in our family and after a lot of tinkering with different techniques and recipes, we finally came up with this fail-proof method for delicious, tender ribs.  The combination of braising the ribs in beer and then grilling them results in super moist and flavorful meat that your friends and family will rave about.  

Here’s what you’ll need:

For the Ribs & Braising Sauce:

2 racks of pork ribs (spare or baby back will work)

1 cup of beer 

1 tbsp apple cider vinegar

1 tbsp worcestershire sauce

1 tsp honey

1 tsp garlic power

 

For the Rub: 

8 tbsp packed brown sugar

1 tbsp kosher salt

2 tsp onion powder

2 tsp chili powder

2 tsp garlic powder

1 tsp ground black pepper

1 tsp cayenne

1 tsp paprika

1 tsp thyme

First, measure out the spices for the rub and mix them together in a small bowl.

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Next, prep the ribs.  I used 2 racks that weighed about 3 lbs total.  You can use pork spare ribs or baby backs with this method.  Beef ribs might also work, but I haven’t personally tested this recipe using beef ribs.  

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First, you’ll need to remove the thin membrane that covers the under side of the ribs.  This may seem daunting at first, but it’s really not. It can be done easily using a paring knife and there are lots of YouTube tutorials showing how to remove it quickly.  Once you’ve done this, place the ribs on a sheet pan and rub them down liberally with the spice mixture.  

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Be sure to coat the ribs entirely with a generous amount of the rub.  Any remaining rub can be saved in a sealed container or ziplock bag for future use.  

Cover the ribs with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least an hour.  The longer, the better here. 

Next, preheat your oven to 250 degrees.  

Now it’s time to mix up your braising sauce.  

The secret to this recipe is the beer.  We’ve tested a lot of different beers with this recipe and have found that a brown ale works best.  For this batch I used a local-ish beer from a brewery in Gadsden, AL.  Back Forty Beer Company’s Truck Stop Honey was an excellent compliment to the pork and is definitely a keeper for this recipe.  This brown ale is smooth and really great for drinking even if you’re not barbecuing!  I also used raw gallberry honey that I picked up from a local beekeeper at the farmer’s market.

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Mix 1 cup of the beer with apple cider vinegar, worcestershire sauce, honey and garlic powder.  

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Wrap each rack of ribs in foil, and add 1/2 of braising sauce to each packet.  

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Seal the packets up so that no braising liquid will run out during cooking and place on sheet pans.

 

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Place the ribs in preheated oven and allow to braise for about 2 1/2 hours.  

Just before ribs are ready to be pulled from the oven, prep your grill.

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Remove the foil packets from the oven, open them up and place onto the grill.

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Once a majority of the braising sauce has evaporated and the ribs begin to caramelize slightly on top, remove the foil and place the ribs directly onto the grill to finish.

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Grill ribs until they reach desired color and texture.  Finish by brushing on BBQ sauce if desired.

Remove and slice into portions.

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I served these ribs with a traditional southern potato salad.  It’s just five simple ingredients: potatoes, mustard, light mayo, onions and dill relish. 

Tip: My mom’s rule of thumb for judging how much to make is to use 2 potatoes per person and then add one more “for the pot.”  Adjust the remaining ingredients depending on how many potatoes you use and according to your own personal taste.  

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To make the potato salad, boil the potatoes, mash slightly, then mix in the remaining ingredients. Add a dash of salt and pepper then chill until ready to serve.Image  Image

 

Beer-braised ribs paired with this potato salad are ideal for a spring picnic or barbecue.  Invite some friends over and enjoy some drinks and games while the ribs are cooking.  Trust me, they are worth the wait!

As always, I’d love to hear from you!  You can email me at misformimosa@yahoo.com. You can also follow me on Pinterest or on Instagram @ m_is_for_mimosa. 

Whatever you do, I hope you have a safe and fun-filled weekend!

Cheers!

MANNA Food Pantries

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I hope you’ve all stayed safe and as dry as possible with all of the crazy weather that’s been going on this week.

First it was tornadoes hitting WAY too close to home and then it was massive storms and record flooding where I currently live… It’s been an interesting week to say the least.

With the weather so beautiful today it’s hard to believe how terrible it was Tuesday night and Wednesday morning.  I’m super thankful that we came through the Florida Panhandle’s flooding unscathed, but unfortunately, not everyone was so lucky…

The area around Pensacola and Gulf Breeze area took on a tremendous amount of water and considerable damage during Tuesday night’s storms.  Countless homes, businesses and major roadways were impacted and now the recovery phase is underway.

One of the area’s largest non-profit food banks, MANNA Food Pantries, had to cease operations due to extensive damages they sustained in the storms and flooding. MANNA plays a huge role in alleviating hunger in the Gulf Coast community.  They are a vital resource to families and individuals and in the wake of such devastating weather, they are needed now more than ever.  Thankfully, there has been an outpouring of support for MANNA from local businesses and organizations.

If you have the means, please consider supporting MANNA.  The following links detail some of the community efforts aimed at getting the non-profit back up and running and ways you can help out:

http://www.mannafoodpantries.org/

http://www.pnj.com/story/news/local/2014/05/01/manna-food-pantries/8584177/

http://www.pnj.com/story/news/local/2014/05/02/events-help-manna-recovery/8604629/

 

Kitchen Must Haves

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My name is Jodi and I’m a kitchen addict…

I don’t know about you guys, but I am straight up obsessed with all things related to the kitchen–cookbooks, dishes, glassware, linens, appliances, kitchen tools, utensils…….You name it—I probably want it.

Over the past few years, I have accumulated some pretty sweet stuff.  I’ve saved up to make the big purchases, asked for kitchen stuff for birthday and Christmas gifts, and even celebrated a promotion by buying myself a KitchenAid Mixer (…Seriously, best decision ever!) 

In case you’re wondering what my kitchen must haves are, I’ve pinned some of my very favorite pieces to my Pinterest page.  You can check them out here! 

I’ll also be starting a board for other kitchen favorites like glassware, dishes and entertaining pieces, so follow me at http://www.pinterest.com/misformimosa/ if you’d like to see more stuff I love!

Catching Up

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Hey! My apologies for the long hiatus! I hope you all had a nice couple of weekends.  The past week has been crazy busy with family, food and fun adventures.  Don’t worry, though–I’ve got some tasty recipes coming at ya this week.

Our Easter feast turned out as awesome as I had hoped it would and my family had a great time just hanging out together.

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Of course, there were mimosas! For a classic mimosa, I like to mix 1 part 100% orange juice (my favorite is Indian River Select) with 2 parts champagne or sparkling wine.  These were so refreshing and the perfect compliment to our Easter brunch.

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That’s my grandmother’s banana pudding that I mentioned in last week’s blog post! It was so, so delicious and I was very excited to have my little nephew as an extra special helper while making this family favorite.  Sweet, fresh bananas layered with silky yellow custard and crisp vanilla wafer cookies make this meringue-topped dish the perfect dessert for an Easter meal.

Southern Fried Chicken

And this is one of the only pictures I was able to snap of my Southern Fried Chicken.  I’ve been working on this particular recipe for years and it was a huge hit with my family as usual.

Speaking of fried foods…Frying chicken can be such a pain and I generally avoid frying anything since it’s obviously the least healthy way to cook food, but I am a sucker for some good southern fried chicken. It’s great with farm fresh vegetables and awesome with some fluffly homemade waffles and maple syrup…  I mean, really…who doesn’t love fried chicken?!

It took me a long time and a lot of testing to get my own recipe just right, but I think I’ve finally got it down.

The most recent find that helped me perfect my recipe is a breading basket.  Breading baskets are inexpensive and can save you SO much time when breading and frying.  Using this secret weapon results in perfectly coated chicken and way less mess in the kitchen.

To bread chicken using a breading basket, just add your breading of choice to the bottom of the container, snap the plastic sifter into place, then lay your buttermilk-soaked chicken on top of the sifter. Now, cover with the lid and give the basket a good shake.  When you remove the lid, you should have chicken that is evenly coated and clump free.

Once you’ve finished breading the chicken, all you have to do is drop the strips into hot oil for frying.

This method would also work perfectly for breading fish or any other food that you’d like to fry or bake.

Here’s my recipe for flaky, golden fried chicken:

For the Marinade:

1/4 Gallon Buttermilk

1 tsp Paprika

1/4 tsp Cayenne

1/4 tsp Black Pepper

1/4 tsp Dried Thyme

For the Chicken

2 lbs Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts

3 cups of All Purpose Flour

1 tsp Paprika

1 tsp Cayenne

1 tsp Black Pepper

1 tsp Dried Thyme

1/2 tsp Salt

1 (48 oz) Bottle of Canola Oil for frying

Begin by cutting the chicken breasts into strips.  Then, mix the spices into the buttermilk.  Place chicken strips into a gallon-size freezer bag and cover the chicken with the buttermilk mixture. Place the bag in the refrigerator and let the chicken soak overnight. If you don’t have all night, try to let the chicken soak for at least 2 hours.

When you’re ready to cook, heat the canola oil in a large cast iron skillet or enameled dutch oven over medium heat.

While the oil is heating, combine breading ingredients in a bowl or the bottom of a breading basket.  Put the sifter in the basket and place marinated chicken on top.  Cover with lid and shake until chicken is evenly coated with flour and spice mixture.  (If you’re breading in a bowl, make sure each strip is evenly coated with breading mixture and shake off excess flour before placing into the oil.)

Carefully move the chicken strips from the breading basket into the hot oil using tongs.

Fry chicken until it is cooked through and the breading is flaky and golden brown.

Remove chicken from oil and place in a dish lined with paper towels.

Serve immediately.

There you have it! Super easy, delicious, crowd-pleasing fried chicken.

I’ll be back this week with more posts and new recipes.

As always, I’d love to hear from you! Email me anytime at misformimosa@yahoo.com or find me on Instagram and Pinterest!

Until next time… Cheers!

Easter Brunch

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Hi, guys!

This Sunday is Easter, and aside from all of the religious meaning behind the upcoming holiday, Easter Sunday is perhaps the biggest Sunday Brunch day of the whole year.

When I was growing up, my family usually got together and had a huge potluck on Easter. For the last couple of years, my husband and I have enjoyed brunch out on Easter and as awesome as it is to have someone else take care of the meal, I’m super excited to have my family visiting for the holiday. This year I’ll be making a huge spread.

We’ll also be doing lots of other fun stuff this weekend, including dying and hunting eggs and hanging out at the beach. I can’t wait!

I’d be lying if I said that I wasn’t just a bit *too* excited about coloring eggs. Honestly, it is one of my favorite parts of Easter. What can I say? All those glasses of brightly colored water and copper wire dippers just bring out the big kid in me.

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I’m also excited that my brother and sister-in-law will be beginning one my favorite Easter traditions with my nephew this year.

When we were kids, my brother, sister and I would always get a new kite from the Easter Bunny in our baskets. My nephew will be two in July and I’m sure he’s going to be stoked to fly his first kite on the beach this weekend. Maybe “the Easter Bunny” will hook me up with a new kite, too. **Wink, wink** if you’re reading this, Easter Bunny.

Anyway, back to the Easter spread.

I’ll be cooking what I like to call a country dinner instead of the usual ham and sides for the main event this year. And although I’m not going the usual route, I will be making one recipe that’s always on tap for Easter–my grandmother’s famous banana pudding.

Her banana pudding was legendary and always the first dish to be emptied within minutes at family reunions. I was lucky to spend many afternoons alongside her in the kitchen helping out, learning how to make the custard from scratch and layering the rest of the pudding just right. I’ll admit–I’ve come pretty close to perfecting her recipe. I’m sure it has everything to do with the fact that I make it in the same exact “banana pudding bowl” that she did. 🙂

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I’ll probably also make another dessert… I’m not sure what just yet, but I’m pretty sure it’ll involve coconut. What’s an Easter treat without coconut?!

Last year, I made these champagne & coconut cupcakes that were all the rage on Pinterest at the time. They were so fluffy and a huge hit!

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On to the country dinner!

The rest of my Easter menu is also straight from my grandmother’s kitchen and even though each dish is straightforward southern fare, this meal is one of my family’s favorites. This menu epitomizes “home” to me and connects me to my roots, especially since I’ve lived away from my hometown for more than 10 years now.

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The highlight of the meal is my southern fried chicken. When frying enough for a large group, I like to use thick strips of chicken breast. This allows me to fry a large amount of chicken in a short amount of time. The key to this golden, flaky, moist fried chicken is that I soak the strips in a mixture of buttermilk, herbs and spices over night. Then I bread with seasoned flour just before frying.

To make this a true country dinner, I’ll also be making mac & cheese, white field corn, southern-style cut green beans, black-eyed peas and cornbread. Finally, it wouldn’t be a country dinner for my family without thick slices of fresh tomatoes, peeled cucumbers and onion wedges.

The hardest part of this meal is trying to save room for banana pudding. It’s a tough problem to have! But I’m so looking forward to it.

I hope to share pictures from my weekend later next week. In the meantime, I’d love to hear what your plans are for Easter weekend. What traditions does your family celebrate, if any?

Whatever your weekend brings, I hope you have a good one! (And a few mimosas!)

Cheers!

Steak & Goat Cheese Frittata

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Hi, everybody!  It’s finally my favorite day of the week…Sunday! And that means brunch…  

I’ve noticed a lot of restaurants embracing the “Sunday Funday” mentality lately, which is a movement I can definitely get down with.  Now that spring is in full bloom and the warm weather seems to be here to stay, my tiny beach town is buzzing on Sundays.  Really, what could be better than brunch and the beach on a gorgeous day?

This afternoon, I whipped up a quick frittata for brunch.  The best part about this recipe is that there were no special trips to the grocery store for ingredients.  I simply used some leftover steak that my husband grilled for dinner earlier this weekend and other fridge staples that I already had on hand.  

I hope you enjoy this play on steak and eggs…

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This frittata takes just 20 minutes to come together and is the perfect protein-filled breakfast to fuel a long day of playing and relaxing on the beach.  

And did I mention that this recipe has only FIVE ingredients? Eggs, spinach, onions, steak and herbed goat cheese.  That’s it!  

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Start by preheating your oven to 425.

Then, crack 6-8 large eggs into a measuring cup and whisk until well beaten. Season with salt and pepper and then set aside.

Next, rinse and drain about 2 cups of fresh baby spinach. Shake off excess water and give it a course chop.

Now, finely dice about 1/4 cup of sweet onion.  (Green onions would be great in this too, so if you have them, throw them in!)

Finally, cut your steak into small pieces.  I used about 3 oz of a filet that had been previously grilled to medium.  

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Now, heat about a teaspoon of extra virgin olive oil in an 8-inch oven safe pan or skillet over medium heat. 

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Saute onions until tender.

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Add spinach and saute until it’s bright green and slightly wilted.  

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Pour in your eggs.

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Using a rubber spatula, ensure that the onions and spinach are spread evenly throughout the eggs.  Allow to cook, stirring once or twice, until the eggs begin to set.  I like to scrape the spatula around the edges of the eggs to prevent them from sticking to the pan.

Image Once your eggs are mostly set, add the steak to the top of your frittata, but DO NOT stir. 

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Place the pan into the preheated oven and allow to bake until the top of the frittata is almost completely cooked.  

**Be sure to use a towel or oven mitt to remove the pan from the oven and while handling the pan from this point on**

Remove the pan from the oven and set the oven to low broil.  

While broiler heats, add about 2 ounces of crumbled goat cheese to the top of the frittata.  

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When broiler is ready, place pan back in the oven until the goat cheese is melty and the top of the frittata is golden and fluffy.  Remove promptly to avoid burning and allow to cool for about 5 minutes.

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Using a sharp knife, cut frittata into quarters and carefully remove from pan.  Top with halved cherry tomatoes and serve!

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This egg dish is simple and nutritious, yet delicious and visually appealing!  I served this frittata with Mimosas and some fresh biscuits with strawberry preserves.  Fresh fruit and spring greens would make excellent sides for the carb-conscious bruncher. 

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I hope your Sunday has been as relaxing and fun as mine.  Enjoy the rest of your weekend and stay tuned this week for new posts from M is for Mimosa!

Cheers!

 

 

Feta & Artichoke Stuffed Chicken

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Happy Thursday! I hope you’re all having a great week so far. I can’t believe the weekend is just around the corner already. This week has flown by!

Without further ado, I finally bring to you the first recipe from M is for Mimosa!

This recipe is one of my favorite go-to dishes. It’s simple, light and pretty much perfect for the beautiful spring weather we’ve had this week. Pair this chicken with some fresh grilled asparagus and cherry tomatoes and you have a healthy meal that’s easy enough for a quick weeknight meal.

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First, butterfly 4 boneless skinless chicken breasts.  Then, season on both sides with salt and pepper and set aside.  Next, gather the ingredients for the stuffing: 4 oz crumbled feta cheese, one can of artichoke hearts, a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil and about 2 tablespoons of capers if you like them.  You can easily leave the capers out if you have picky eaters.  

ImageDrain and chop your artichoke hearts into 1 inch pieces. 

ImageIn a mixing bowl, combine the feta, chopped artichoke hearts, capers, and olive oil.  I also like to add a little more freshly ground pepper and a pinch of salt at this point.  

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Now it’s time to stuff the chicken breasts!  Spoon 1/4 of the feta and artichoke mixture into a breast and then secure the edges with toothpicks so that the stuffing stays inside during grilling.  Repeat with the remaining stuffing.  

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Now time for the grill!  Prep either a charcoal or gas grill… Whichever you prefer will work for this recipe.  I used a charcoal grill this time.  Here’s a quick down and dirty method for prepping a charcoal grill: Build a pyramid-like pile of charcoal in the center of the lower grill grate.  Then soak briquettes with a liberal amount of grill lighter fluid.  Allow the lighter fluid to soak in for 5 to 10 minutes.  Using a grill lighter and working quickly, begin lighting the bottom, outside pieces of charcoal. The flames will build and begin burning the top of your “pyramid.” Allow fire to burn for a few minutes. Once the flames die down and the charcoal is mostly gray, spread the coals out into an even layer using a pair of grill tongs.  Place the top grate into the grill and cover with grill lid.  Allow the top grate to heat for a minute or two, then remove the lid and clean the grate with a grill brush.  Now your grill is ready for cooking!  
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Sorry for the detour… Back to the chicken! 😉
 
Once your grill is ready, place the chicken breasts on the grill and cover with the lid.
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Grill for approximately 8 minutes on each side. Be sure to keep a close eye on the chicken to avoid overcooking.  Your chicken should be golden on both sides and the internal temperature should register between 160-170 on a meat thermometer.  Once done, remove your chicken and allow to rest on a cutting board for about 5 minutes.  Now, carefully remove all of the toothpicks and slice each breast on the diagonal. And voila! Your chicken is ready to serve.

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To round out this meal, I simply tossed some asparagus and halved cherry tomatoes with a little olive oil, salt and pepper and grilled them up in a grill pan.  To save some time, you could easily roast the veggies on a baking sheet during the last few minutes of grilling the chicken.

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And there you have it! An easy refreshing meal that screams springtime!  I hope you enjoy my Feta & Artichoke Stuffed Chicken as much as I do.  

I’d love to hear from you!  Feel free to comment or email me anytime!  You can also follow me on Instagram or look me up on Pinterest.  

Have a great rest of the week!

 

Welcome!

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Hi, everyone! I’m excited to announce the launch of my very first blog, M is for Mimosa! Sundays are special to me–mostly because they mean brunch and, of course, Mimosas!

I am a self-proclaimed foodie with a passion for culture and travel. I have always been a southern girl at heart and the most important things in my life are family, food and having fun!   Each week, I’ll share some of my favorite recipes along with new things I’ve cooked up and a few interesting finds.

Stay tuned for new posts! I can’t wait to “meet” you!

Until then…Cheers!