Beef Short RibsAt last we come to the piece de resistance of our three-recipe meal, Tom Colicchio’s braised short ribs from Think Like a ChefOf all the dishes I attempted during the June Cookbook Challenge, this is perhaps the one of which I am most proud.  I really feel like this was a high-quality dish that I executed properly from beginning to end.

As Elizabeth has noted from time to time, I’ve got something of a man-crush on Tom Colicchio.  And although it predates our picking up a copy of his cookbook, every recipe we’ve tried from this book has only served to reinforce that feeling.  This was no exception.

We picked up a small package of beef short ribs some months ago at one of the local farmers’ markets, and they had been tucked away in the freezer until we started attacking our stockpile in earnest for the Challenge.  As soon as I saw them, I knew I wanted to braise them using this recipe.  Although the recipe’s quantities are based on using four short ribs, I figured we’d have just as much luck with the two we had.

Step by step instructions and more photos after the jump. (more…)


AP Photo by Charles Dharapak, from

Presidential date night! The Obamas dined at Citronelle in Georgetown last Saturday.  Then Tuesday, Obama and Biden stopped by Rays Hell Burger for lunch.   Chompasaurus has a video of the big event.  Yesterday, DC365 and a crowd of super-psyched onlookers saw the First Lady and her staff pay a visit to Good Stuff Eatery, tasting a sampling of burgers including the “Prez Obama” (bacon, blue cheese, horseradish mayo and onion marmelade).  If this is their new plan for stimulating the local economy, we’re all for it! 
We already gave you an update on DC’s TV chefs. Now check in on four former Top Chef contestants based in New York: Leah, Harold, Hung and Nikki. 
Check out this dream job in California wine country.    
Metrocurean reports that Freshii, a salad chain from Canada, is on its way to DC
DC was completely shut out of the James Beard Awards this year.  Tim Carman over at Young & Hungry points out that the judging panel of the Beard Awards are made up of food writers and editors, past winners and restaurant owners, which builds a population slanting very favorably to New York residents and perhaps creates a self-fulfilling prophecy of New York dominating the awards since, hey, these are the restaurants the judges know best. The inherent risk here, other than irritating all non-New York observers, is that the Beard Awards could quickly smug themselves into national irrelevance.
Side note: We were pleased to see Douglas Kean of Cyrus in Healdsburg, CA win for best regional chef. We scored a table on Valentine’s Day weekend and the tasting menu took our breath away. 
The WSJ reports that some healthier food options like chicken or yogurt may not be as healthy as consumers believe they are.   
Mmmm… homemade rhubarb poptarts, courtesy of Arugula Files

Cookbook author and actor Dom DeLuise died this week at age 75. 

McDuff Wine, a Philly blogger, shares his photo journal of foraging for wild ramp.  
Get a peek at Tom Colicchio’s apartment in this Q&A.  
The Albemarle Fizz, a bright, citrusy drink from Brightest Young Things, looks like the world’s most perfect Sunday afternoon cocktail.  
Oprah gave a plug to KFC’s free grilled chicken promotion, overwhelming both stores and the website with the resulting stampede of soccer moms. 
Who doesn’t love breakfast al fresco? PQ Living has the scoop on an outdoor café for bagelry Brueggers on E St NW. 
Sales are strong for weak beers.  
Quote of the week: “Never lower yourself to your customers’ tastes.” – Mark Furstenburg, founder of Marvelous Market and Breadline.  Okay it’s a little out of context but for realsies, that was advice he shared with another baker. Check out Y&H for the full story.
NPR shares some trout recipes.

Pork producers lobby to relabel Swine Flu. The H1N1 virus does sound scarier. I also like it’s-just-the-flu-people-why-is-everyone-freaking-out-lets-get-a-grip-already virus (IJTFPWIEFOLGAGA virus, for short).  Rest assured, the swine flu does not impact the safety of consuming pork

Not convinced? Check out this recipe for seafood sausage with red pepper mayonnaise.

DealingInSubterfuge gives us an ode to bacon jelly beans.

Alex of Brightest Young Things was on hand at Rock N Roll Hotel’s chicken wing eating and judging contest
Prepare for summer with a kaffir lime cordial by the Traveler’s Lunchbox. 
Ladies and gentlemen: DC’s most exclusive dinner. Take that, Minibar.
IHOP may be coming to Columbia Heights. suggests Zaytinya chef Mike Isabella will be on the next season of Top Chef.  
Get a taste of authentic foods at the Embassy open houses this weekend. 

Getting on Subway’s $5 bandwagon, TGI Fridays will offer full sized meals for $5 in May.  The chain hasn’t had prices this low on the menu since it opened in 1965. 
Modern Domestic wonders what Julia Child would tweet?  WWJCT?
Looking for a twist on the original mint julep? Take your drink further South with the Creole Julep, made with Cruzan Single Barrel Estate Rum, Captain Morgan 100, Clement Creole Shrubb, peach bitters and fresh mint.   
Prosecco is rising in popularity, despite Paris Hilton’s best efforts
Thinking ahead to brunch with mom for Mother’s Day? Washingtonian has a cheat sheet
Ed Hardy, the tattoo-themed clothing brand, has launched a line of wine.

Want to take advantage of the farmers market bounty? Foodie Tots shares a great looking recipe for ramp crepes while Pithy and Cleaver share a recipe for asparagus soup
If you’re feeling especially ambitious this weekend, Desert Candy has the scoop on homemade hamburger buns  
Chef Jose Andres cooks up a  simple, cheap meal of chickpea and spinach stew in DC Central Kitchen.   
Travel and Leisure’s 50 Best New Restaurants including DC’s Founding Famers.  Jose Andres’ Bazaar in LA gets a shout out, too.    
What would Ruth Reichl eat?

High end concept restaurants in Manhattan are forging ahead, economy be damned
Heading to LA soon? Here are some notable restaurants
Ogle a scanned sandwich and get make-at-home sandwich tips from Tom Colicchio here.  
A new study hypothesizes that a menu featuring healthy options like salads often encourages diners to ultimately order the least healthy item on the menu. 


*Hat tip to Gawker for the Aporkalypse nickname.

asparagus-ramps-and-shallotsLast time we worked on a “Favorite Five” with Counter Intelligence’s Melissa McCart, I ended up chasing yuzu all over the metro area before finding the juice at Hana Market.  This time, thankfully, our mission involved a list of ingredients that would make even the most ardent locavore smile.  The biggest challenge would be showing off the wonderful spring flavors to their best advantages.

When Melissa emailed us the list of ingredients that chef Barry Koslow of Tallula selected, we knew we wanted to participate again.  Koslow’s five were a veritable all-star list of the early spring farmer’s market:

1. Ramps
2. Asparagus
3. Spring Lamb
4. Morels
5. Fava Beans

salad-and-entreeSince we’d been eagerly awaiting most of these ingredients ourselves, it would be super-easy to work them into a dinner for the challenge.

As it turns out, three of the ingredients on the list – ramps, morels and asparagus – figure prominently in “Think Like a Chef,” Tom Colicchio’s cookbook that has yet to steer me wrong.  They are a “trilogy” whose flavors and seasonality naturally complement one another.  Colicchio provides several recipes that make use of this interplay, and I’ve been eager for the opportunity to try one of his more ambitious recipes as the second in my series of Restaurant Quality Dishes that I’m attempting as my Foodie Resolution for the year.

My efforts at asparagus soup with morel custard, fava bean and pecorino salad with prosciutto, and broiled lamb loin chops after the jump. (more…)