Tuesday, December 30, 2014

a lot of cooking but little posting

Christmas season is a season for me doing things i am not used to doing...
baking particularly, but also some of the main proteins.
I have made some mistakes - like drying out a meat because i was cooking something else that needed a higher temperature than i needed to cook the meat at...gravy fixed that, but back to baking..

my favorite and easiest recipe is something i can not imagine doing without modern tools, like electric mixers, yet my mom learned this from family who did just that and i do not think i would want to arm wrestle them!

I have adopted the basic idea of this recipe to things like corn bread because the flour used is not what sticks this cake together!

Karidopida

Greek nut cake


Ingredients:
8 eggs, separated
1 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon allspice (though nutmeg can be used, it is not traditional)
1 teaspoon finely diced orange peel (zest)
1/8 teaspoon cream of tarter (to acidify the eggs, they whip better)
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 cup flour
2 cups chopped or ground hazelnuts (i like hazelnuts, but walnuts can be used)

after baking, the cake can be soaked with a syrup which needs the following:
1/2 cup sugar
1 whole orange (minus the zest used in the cake and without the rind, which is bitter)
1/4 cup honey
1 cup water
Greeks generally use 1/2 cup of fortified wine (sherry or port), but it is an option
this is reduced by 1/4 volume and then strained and cooled, but kept slightly warm

making the cake
whisk the egg whites with the cream of tarter until stiff and then set aside
Whisk the egg yokes until thick then add the sugar and spices and continue to mix
separately, mix the flour, salt and baking powder
If using an electric mixer, change to a paddle and mix in the flour
remove from the mixer and fold in the egg whites (you must fold it!)
Fold in the nuts
Pour into a 9 x 12 greased cake pan
cook at 350 F for 40 minutes
Remove from the oven and set aside for 10 minutes
the cake may be topped with the syrup or dust it with powdered sugar
serve cool


Wednesday, December 3, 2014

a hangin' offence

What i did today would earn me a quick trip to the nearest cottonwood tree in my home state of Texas.
Chili, you see, is something of national, excuse me, state pride (I forgot for a moment that Texas is no longer its own country) and must be made of beef and have a deep red color through out.  It is not low fat and does not have a lot of vegetables, (though one must remember that peppers are a kind of fruit, seeds on the inside) but onions are vegetables and all my Texas chili has onion (without complaint from the chili board).
Today though, i dared to make something I called green chili chicken chili and i now wait for the dreaded knock on my door, even though i am many states away...

Green Chicken Chili

1.   3 lbs of ground chicken
2.   5 green chilies, diced
3.   1 and 1/2 red onion, diced
4.   16 oz Recaito (from Goya)
5.   1 tablespoon chili powder (commercial)
6.   juice of 1 lime
7.   1 or 2 beers (minus a swig or 2)
8.   1 cup bell peppers, diced
9.   salt to taste

all my chili is begun by cooking the meat first, adding liquid and then all the peppers and onions and then the spices.
I cook for a minimum of 3 hours at a low simmer, adding more beer as needed

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

leftover turkey

What?  You say it is all gone?
I do not believe you America!
There has to be turkey to make great turkey sandwiches or horrible casseroles or even a good soup for cold days.
Freeze it? naw, use it in a good turkey salad and you will not have any left over!
this is my twist and it is good!

Turkey Salad

1.   3 cups turkey, cut into ~ 1/2 inch cubes
          white, dark or mixed meat, but all white is best
2.   1/2 cup mayonnaise
          or as little as 1/4 cup, but no less
3.   1/4 teaspoon dry Chipolte peppers, minced fine
4.   1/2 large red onion, minced fine
5.   1/2 cup fresh celery, diced fine
6.   1/2 teaspoon black pepper, coarse grind
7.   1/4 teaspoon curry powder
          (yes, i know this is not real, but just run with it)
8.   salt to taste

mix all the ingredients together except the turkey
heat the turkey (sauce pan or microwave)
        if you use a microwave - use glass -phthalates do leech in from plastic
mix the turkey into the other ingredients while it is still warm
cool in the refrigerator and serve cold.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Pumpkin stew with lamb

I love pumpkin as pie, but love savory pumpkin even more.
This was a test which came out very different, but very good
(I have thrown out other experiments that did not go so well)
Do NOT expect a traditional pumpkin flavor!

§       2 lamb chops, leave the fat
§       1 medium to small pumpkin
          (best to fit in a cast iron Dutch oven,
          but I have done this in a 9 x 9 glass baking tray)
§       1 medium union, sliced into strips
§       5 mint leaves
§       2 teaspoons black pepper
          (to add a bit of kick, but reduce to one if you do not want much kick)
§       1 to 3 cups of rose or white wine
        (depending on the size of the pumpkin)
§       2 teaspoons lemon
§       1/2 teaspoon salt

Remove the top of the pumpkin and hollow out the stringy stuff and seeds
(but save the seeds for roasted pumpkin seeds)
place the lamb chops on end inside the pumpkin with the mint, lemon
cover with the onions
cover the onions with wine
cook at 275 for 3 hours or until the pumpkin is soft

Saturday, October 18, 2014

I have always been afraid of baking bread

till yesterday at least,  when i decided to go for it.
I always thought that it required to much time and i have been an impatient man,
but everything came together and this is what i went with

No-Knead Bread
makes 1 loaf
·       3 cups all purpose flour
·       1 packet active dry yeast
·       1-1/4 teaspoon Kosher or sea salt
·       1-1/2 cups water
·       1 tablespoon olive oil

Add flour, yeast, and salt in a large bowl.
Add 1 1/2 cups of warm water (between 90-100 F and mix.
This should be a thick, gooey dough.
Cover with a damp towel and leave it in a warm spot in the house.
Let it sit for 3-4 hours until dough has doubled in size.
Turn the dough out on a lightly floured surface and sprinkle flour on it.
Knead two or three times to form it into a ball.
Coat with a teaspoon of olive oil to prevent sticking, and place back into the bowl and let it rest for 15 minutes covered.
Pre-heat oven to 450°F.
Place a Dutch with the lid on in the oven and allow to heat up for 15 minutes.
Uncover the dough just before placing it carefully into the heated pot.
You will hear a sizzle, this forms a crust on the bottom of the loaf. Cover the pot with a lid and bake undisturbed for 30 minutes. Remove lid and bake for another 15-20 minutes until it’s beautifully browned on top.
Remove pot from oven and carefully shake to loosen the loaf before tipping it out onto the counter, then cool on a wire rack.



Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Bolengese sauce to die for

This sauce takes time, but is not difficult

·       2 - 32 ounce cans of your favorite tomato sauce
·       1 - 32 ounce can of either crushed or petite diced tomatoes
          note each canned variety is different
-        Hunts adds sugar and a bit of sugar mixed is not always a bad thing
-        Red Pack, Cento and Tuttorosso is just a good, ripe tomato
-         San Marzano tomatoes are not worth the extra money
-         Muir Glen Organic tomatoes are worth the extra money         
·       1 tablespoon dry oregano
-        dry oregano is stronger than fresh
·       2 tablespoons fresh basil, chiffonade them
·       1 tablespoon black pepper, course
·       5 cloves fresh garlic, minced
·       2 cups wine, red or rose
-        but i prefer rose for a bit of sweetness
·       1 teaspoon crushed red pepper, dry
·       1/2 cup ricotta cheese
·       1 lb ground pork
·       1 tablespoon fresh parsley, minced
·       1/2 to 1 cup shredded cheese (come on shred your own favorite)

I always start by cooking the meat to slightly brown and removing excess fat
the last ground pork i bought had no fat (probably from pork loin) and used some olive oil
when brown and the fat remove, add the garlic, dry spices and 1 tablespoon basil
as soon as the garlic is just hot, add the wine
when the wine begins to boil add all the tomato sauce
rinse the cans with water to thin the sauce slightly
bring to a low simmer, cover and leave for 2 to 3 hours, stirring occasionally
stir in the ricotta cheese and continue to simmer another hour
mix the remainder of the basil and the parsley and set aside
prepare your favorite pasta in salted water.
After draining the pasta always add some of the sauce to the pasta to "wet" the pasta
serve with your favorite shredded cheese and the basil/parsley mixture on top

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Pesto a different way

Not exactly liking pesto in the texture, but enjoying the taste, I experimented!


PESTO PULLED APART
Fettuccine is my favorite pasta for this dish, but use your own favorite

·       1 lb fettuccini
·       2 & 1/2 cups basil leaves
          remember dry measure is different than wet measurement
·       5 garlic cloves, whole
·       1/2 cup roasted and salted sunflower seeds
          use the type of nuts you prefer, traditionally Pignoli nuts are used, but they are too           expensive for me and the sunflower seed mimics the taste the best
·       1/2 cup good olive oil (I like an extra virgin Spanish or Greek)
·       2 tablespoons cream or half and half
·       1/2 cup parmesan cheese
·       1 tablespoon dry basil/oregano/sun dried tomato mix
·       salt to taste plus salt for the pasta water
·       1/2 teaspoon crushed hot pepper

chiffonade 1 cup of fresh basil and mix with the olive oil
pan roast the sunflower seeds and set aside
Salt the water for the pasta
add to the water the dry basil/oregano/sun dried tomato mix and the garlic
while the water is coming to a boil chiffonade the remainder of the basil
cook the pasta to your desired tenderness
(I like la dente, but the rest in my house like it soft)
drain the pasta and return to the pot with the cooked garlic cloves
immediately add the olive oil and 1 cup fresh basil
mix well
mix the cream and parmesan cheese together and add to the pasta
serve, adding fresh basil and sun flower seeds to the top of each plate

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

what my last fail should have been

I did not use the grill and really went to flavors my dad would cook when he did a stew.
I had some veal on hand, but no more smoked sausage and it worked wonderfully.

Veal Stew
the sauce is the trick

·       1.5 to 2 lbs veal steak with bone and fat
·       1 teaspoon black pepper
·       1 teaspoon salt
·       1 cup carrots, cut in 2 inch chunks
·       5 medium size potatoes, cut into 1/2 inch chunks
·       1 medium onion, cut into eights (large pieces)
·       1/2 cup celery, diced
·       1/4 cup fennel bulb, diced
·       1 teaspoon tarragon
·       1 tablespoon parsley
·       2 cup wine, white is preferable, but rose works
·       olive oil to coat the bottom of the pan

heat the olive oil and add onion, cooking till just soft
add potatoes and cook to just a bit of color
add salt and pepper
add the vela and let it begin to brown
add wine, celery, carrots, fennel, parsley and tarragon and cover
turn the heat to medium low, stirring occasionally
continue for 2 hours replacing the liquid with more wine.

At the end the pot will be thick and luscious.
Cut the veal into bite size pieces, removing any bone and cartilage.
Serve in a bowl with a good bread.

Stuffed Peppers Greek Style

As the temperature cools down i love to serve my stuffed peppers and i do them the way my mom taught me, with rice, not bread crumbs.  There are options, for those who do not like garlic, it is not necessary, but i would add some feta cheese inside the pepper in its stead.



·       4 large green peppers
           make sure the bottoms are flat!
·       1 lb ground beef (or lamb)
          beef should have a minimum of 15% fat
·       2 large eggs
·       1 tablespoon oregano
·       1/2 teaspoon salt
·       3 cloves garlic, minced
·       1/2 onion, minced
·       6 basil leaves, chopped fine
·       1 cup half cooked rice, cooled
          make this using a 1 to one ratio of water to rice
·       olive oil
·       1/2 cup tomato sauce
·       1 small can tomato paste (or ketchup)

remove the stems and all seeds from the peppers
coat the outside of the peppers with olive oil
place upright in a 9 in x 9 in baking pan
(they should fit comfortably in the pan with out falling over)
mix the eggs, garlic, onion, oregano, salt, basil, tomato sauce and rice with the ground beef
stuff the peppers to just below the top of the opening with the meat mixture
cover the opening with tomato paste or ketchup
if using tomato paste - season it with additional oregano and salt and a bit of sugar
bake at 350 F for 1 hour
serve warm

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

failure, but only in my eye

one of the regions i enjoy using as a food inspiration is north central Europe, specifically Alsace, but occasionally, i try to tweak a well known dish and often it fails.
Such was the case yesterday, a normally beautiful dish of potatoes, onions, carrot and smoked sausage (kielbasa) that i tried to do as a grilled item.
there was no good reason for me tp try grilled, except that it is a challenge.  While I grilled each item separately, with the thought to combine them later, they dried because my fire was not hot enough (I could blame it on using a new, unfamiliar charcoal...).  There is a beautiful sauce that goes with this dish, but i became impatient and turned up the heat on my stove top and then was distracted.
moments latter, the house was filled with smoke and the sauce ruined.
The people i cook for enjoyed it anyway (there was no pizza delivery 911 call), but i could only think of what the dish should have been...sigh

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Squash flowers

I still have lots of squash flowers, big bold yellow and very edible.  The squash are net yet ready to pick, but i can still enjoy these flowers.  I have not heard of any non-edible squash flowers.

Squash Flowers Greek style stuffed

·       6 squash flowers - use the same day they are picked
          remember the ones on the end of a long stem are male and will not produce fruit,          the others produce squash.  use only the male flowers
          I have not found a good way to preserve the flowers so they remain pretty, but               wrapping them in a paper towel holds them for a day or 2 for reasonable use
·       3 oz feta cheese, crumbled
·       1/4 teaspoon dry oregano
·       1/4 teaspoon sun dried tomatoes, minced
·       1/4 teaspoon salt - only if the feta is not stored in brine
·       2 large eggs, well beaten
·       1/2 teaspoon black pepper
          i accidentally spilled more pepper and it did not hurt, so more is okay
·       2 tablespoon fresh basil, chiffonade style)
·       1 tablespoon fresh Italian parsley, minced
          this is for flavor, not looks, so Italian parsley is a must
·       1/2 cup flour
·       3 ounces seltzer water
·       oil for frying

mix all seasonings (except the black pepper) with the feta cheese with the 2 eggs in one container
mix the flour, black pepper and seltzer in a separate bowl
i do not have a deep fryer (which would be nice) so i use a cast iron pan
open the squash blossoms
add a teaspoon of feta filling and close the petals
dip each flower in the batter and fry till golden brown
serve warm, if you can get them uneaten to the table.

Friday, September 5, 2014

on the grill -something different-chicken livers

i actually enjoy chicken livers and most of the time fry them with a bit of corn meal coating.
On occasions i will make a pate' which is to die for, but yesterday i wanted something a bit different.
I wanted to grill the chicken livers, with grilled onions and hot peppers.
Okay i was given a special piece of grilling equipment - a pan with holes.
 there were several parts to the preparation
1) the fire:
I use one of several brands of hardwood charcoal, but have actually enjoyed the Royal Oaks brand best.  (This despite find a significant amount of rocks, yes rocks in 3 bags).  Other bags have been fine,
I use a fire starter chimney (like Alton Brown uses on his shows and get a good fire with in 15 minutes, but i also use several pieces of wood..maple or cherry are local and occasionally hickory (which is my favorite, but also hazelnut, which is also local)
charcoal burning, wood down, charcoal on top, wait for flame.
Pan preparation:  I oil the pan and the grill grates and let them get hot.
I use canola oil
liver preparation:
probably this is the most complicated, because the liver is high in iron, it can have a bitter, metallic taste.
Standard method is to soak in milk for at least 1 hour
While fat is important, the most important is the calcium, which will exchange for the iron, a bit.
drain and discard the milk.
because this is on a flame and the livers have no fat, after they are drained get a good high temperature oil (like canola) and mix it in.
Add salt, pepper and any other spice (I sometimes use tarragon)
No matter what the livers may dry and so you want some form of sauce and i used a plain yogurt with tarragon, lemon and a bit of salt.
I always cook my onions and peppers first, but a 2 tiered grill so whatever i do works.
pan on the grill and it should be hot.
Add the chicken livers and mostly close the lid.
you actually get 2 things this way - a smoky flavor and the temperature, which should be about 300 to 350 F
10 to 15 minutes later open the grill and let more air in.
You will get flame, which should give you just the slight char on the livers that is very tasty.
They need to be cooked completely ( over 165 F), but not made into charcoal, use your eyes.
There was a lot more of the livers, but it was eaten rapidly, but you might get the idea.

Friday, August 29, 2014

Pastitsio

 Traditional Greek dish that with out the addition of the ground meat can be vegetarian, but is best with ground lamb

·       1/5 pounds ground meat, lamb or beef, but use lamb
·       2 lbs ziti
          best is a long traditional noodle, but only available in Greek markets
·       5 cups milk
·       2 tablespoons dry oregano
·       1 lb shredded mozzarella
·       1/4 lb shredded parmesan
·       1/4 lb feta, crumbled
          again the best cheese is a Greek Kefalotyri cheese, but only in a Greek Market
·       1 cup white wine (optional, but good)
·       2 tablespoons butter
·       1 tablespoon flour
·       2 eggs, beaten
·       1 onion sliced
·       1/8 cup butter
·       1/4 teaspoon allspice, ground
·       1 tablespoon cinnamon, ground
·       1 teaspoon fresh parsley, chopped
·       1/2 teaspoon black pepper

Steps in order:
          cook the onions till just translucent and set aside
          brown the ground meat and add the onion and 1 tablespoon oregano
          salt this to taste
to make the b├ęchamel sauce:
take 1 tablespoon butter, melt it and add the flour to it, this is the roux, set it aside
beat the eggs and set aside
heat the milk on a low heat
start the pasta in salted water when the milk is hot
add the cheeses to the milk with 1 tablespoon oregano, black pepper, allspice, parsley and half the cinnamon
salt the sauce to taste
drain the pasta and mix it with the meat and onions
pour into two 9 x 12 pans
add to the milk: the eggs and the roux and mix well while keeping it on the heat
when it thickens, add evenly to the pasta meat mixture
sprinkle cinnamon over the top and bake at 350 F till just tan on the top.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Those strange, powerful herbs

Sage and rosemary, which in my estimation are misused by many, but i conquered rosemary by dicing it thin and putting just enough to enhance a dish and not overpower it.
I have a sage plant which bloomed wonderful purple/blue flowers last year, but i have hesitated using it for cooking.
Lauded by many, but the few times i tasted it from professional kitchens, i gagged.
The other problem is the plant, unlike rosemary does not smell good and so my hesitancy was reinforced by the plants aroma.
As usual, i experimented.  I had heard of smudge pots used by "spiritualist" to drive away negative spirits or cleanse a home of bad "vibes" and i wondered how bad it would smell if i burned a small container of dried leaves.
First, burning the leaves turned the unpleasant odor to a marvelous aroma.  No wonder people thought burning sage would do wonderful things, the transformation from ugly to beautiful was amazing.
On to cooking.
I used lentils as a base since i knew that lentils stand up to powerful Asian Indian spices.
Taking a few fresh leaves and using the chiffonade method to cut thin ribbons, i added just a half a teaspoon to a cup of lentils.  When the lentils were cooked, i tasted them to see.
there was a slight earthy odor that was a little sweet, but nothing overpowering.
Cooking the sage had transformed the awful odor (and dare i mention the bitter taste) to something very wonderful.
Sage is another of those strong spices i will add to my list of "to use in a sparing manner" when a dish calles for it.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

The Lobster roll

I while back i went to a food truck(it will remain unnamed) practicing its craft in Stamford and had my first "lobster roll".  As the quotations indicate, i was very disappointed; the roll was soft and mushy, the lobster tough and overcooked and everything was dry with little "sauce, which may or may not have only been mayonnaise.
Fast forward, lobster rolls are a New England thing, as lobsters are plentiful and often on sale in the local markets.  So i pick up a lobster to use, it was pre-steamed and i threw it into the fridge.
I did a quick search for recipes, but they had no extra flavor, so i go back to things i like to use in a crab salad...Tarragon!  The crunch in the salad would be the fennel and celery growing in my garden with some chives.  To cut the sweet overpowering taste of the mayonnaise, i cut it with yogurt.
The bun was grilled so it was a golden brown and slathered with melted butter and the lobster salad piled on.
Okay for those of you who like such things, are you hungry yet?

Lobster salad:
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup plain yogurt
1 tablespoon fennel bulb, diced
1 tablespoon celery stalk, diced
1 teaspoon minced tarragon (also in my garden)
1 1+ pound lobster, cold with all the meat removed and saving any juice
mix well and salt to taste
The hot dog roll is traditionally the one split on top and i grilled all sides, then basted the inside with melted butter
Add lobster salad and top with crisp pepper cured Virginia bacon bits

The lobster had been steamed and was tender and moist, the bun crisp, the remainder of the salad added exactly what one wants, moisture and flavor!

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

A garden salad

I have a good abundance of fennel this year.  It is not what i see in the stores,
the base fans out instead of being a "bulb",but the stems are very edible, very delicious raw.

I have cooked with fennel before and when it is fried, it adds a slight, very faint licorice flavor, but reminds me more of a sweet onion than anything.  A person of French descent told me it was good with eggs that way and i tried it and found it was to my liking.
I have had fennel which was tougher previously and did not do much except cook with it, but this fennel is mostly tender (including the root, which i will use in a soup when the weather cools down) and is delightful raw.
Another friend told me of the wonderful flavors of rice wine vinegar and found that to my liking.

So a salad using fennel sounded good during this warm weather.

1 cup fennel stalks, diced
1 Fuji apple ( you can use your favorite apple here), diced the same size as the fennel
1 teaspoon of fresh, green, hot pepper, diced fine
1 cup chiffonade of arugula (Thin ribbons)
1 tablespoon of rice wine vinegar
mix and keep cold until serving
Salt to taste on your own plate!

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Not American Potato Salad

That creamy, sickeningly sweet, mushy "American" potato salad is not something i like.  There are times i have eaten it, there are times that i have made it, but i have to be in a very unusual and i think bad mood to do so.  I like "German" potato salad, which is usually served warm, but i had some ideas pop into my head because of some white wine that could only be used for cooking and some thoughts on how to deal with potatoes on a warm day.  I was suppose to boil some garlic with the potatoes, but forgot and the potato salad did not need it.

My own not American and not German potato salad

6 Yukon gold potatoes (best taste and size and shape do not have to be consistent)
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 cup white wine (it might have been more, but it gets reduced)
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon fresh, hot, green pepper, diced
1 cup fennel, diced
1/4 onion, diced
1 teaspoon butter
1/4 cup celery, diced
1/4 cup Kalmata olives
2 or 3 strips of bacon (i have been using a Virginia pepper/smoke cured bacon, no salt for flavor)
salt added to taste in 1/4 teaspoons at the end of preparation
Optional: diced parsley

The potatoes are boiled until the smallest one is just soft and then removed from the heat
the white wine is reduced with the lemon juice and hot pepper to 1/4 of the original volume
fennel and onion is browned in the butter
bacon is crisped and the fat set aside for other uses, not in this recipe
Potatoes are removed from the water while still warm and diced into 1 inch chucked (the potatoes should not be completely soft)
Olive oil and the white wine reduction are added and mixed thoroughly
fennel and onions mixture is mixed in
celery and olives are mixed in
salt to taste
bacon is added just before serving to maintain crispness

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

A question i posed and then answered

I asked the question, why are there not more chemists as chefs?
Then i thought about Alton Brown and knew the answer.
A chemist in the traditional sense tinkers and plays with things until it comes out the way he wants it
ro it comes out better.
So does a chef.
Alton is a food chemist, he makes good money...
Think of all the food chemist working in all the companies developing flavors and ingredients and they make good money.
Now think of the everyday chef in a diner, he does not make good money, he makes a living, barely.
that was the simple answer.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

labeling

From my profession as a chemist, i learned to try to always label things or keep them in the original containers.
Since i create a great number of things, labeling is a must along with the date created.

Sometimes i forget....

This morning i am planning to make my Kourambedies for a benefit concert at ST Andrew's Episcopal church on Saturday.  I keep my walnuts in the fridge so they do not go rancid.  I also found an old, unlabeled container with what appeared to be orange zest, something else i use.

There were ice crystals and so i smelled it and i worried that freezer odors had permeated the zest...
It was not orange zest.
It was diced Habenero peppers...
my mouth still burns...


Monday, August 11, 2014

hits and misses

For ages i have cooked pork ribs a certain way and they have always turned well.
I have always used baby back ribs and i use a rub and as i have said before, some rum for an overnight :flavor enhancement, but I have tried a St Louis cut twice now and they cook different.
the first time was a bit tough, but good.
The second seemed a bit dry , but feel of the bone.
The fun part is that there is extra meat that is not rib meat per say, loaded with cartilage (or white bones as my Italian friends would call it) and i made an awesome pulled pork from that.
It is strange, but i also did not like the beef short ribs i slow cooked at the same time, yet i created an awesome au jus.  This was a chemist's feat for i found the juice with too much black pepper and so i filtered it using coffee filters.  I would have preferred a buchner funnel to filter under vacuum, but do not have the set up at this time and a slow gravametric filter was just fine.  The awesome part, the black pepper flavor was minimalized and the au jus was clear!  it was beautiful to see and taste.
The pulled pork saved the day and so there was no 911 calls to the pizza joint.