Wednesday, July 14, 2004

I have also, in our first meal with my in-laws as official in-laws, discovered the secret to saving my sanity when serving to people who interpret "Dinner as at 6 PM" to mean "We'll show up at 6:45 and then demand 20 minutes to nap" but who are also your relatives.

The crockpot. Y'all, I just put some short ribs in there, with Mark Bittman's other stuff that makes them come out like butter (not, I believe, the official recipe title, though it should be), and just turned the crockpot to "Keep Warm" when 6 rolled around. I waited to make rice until they arrived. And everyone was happy.

Y'all will be happy, too, if you try these ribs:

8 short ribs (about 3 lbs)
1/2 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup sugar or honey
3 star anise
6 scallions, trimmed
1 3 inch piece cinnamon
5 nickel size slices of ginger
1 tsp Sichuan peppercorns
cooked white rice
chopped scallions or fresh cilantro to garnish

Combine all ingredients except salt, rice and garnish in crock pot. Cook on high for 5 hours or more, low for 7 hours or more. Taste and add salt if necessary.

Serve over rice garnished with scallions or cilantro.

Serves four.