Monday, February 12, 2007
'Joe Froggers' and ribs
We tried some new recipes this weekend and had mixed success. The 'chinese sticky ribs' were a huge hit. We braised two racks of baby back ribs for three hours in liquid that included sherry, hoisin sauce, soy sauce, ginger, orange peel, cilantro, scallion, cayenne and garlic. Made a thick glaze by reducing the drippings with some jalapeno jelly. Then we basted the ribs with the glaze in the broiler to get it the rest of the way to delicious. Meat was falling off the bone and chock full of flavor. MMmmmmmmmmmm. And definitely sticky. It was a messy meal, and some of the best ribs I've ever had. I also made stir-fried broccoli in sauce with sesame seeds that was mighty tasty.
What didn't work was a batch of spice cookies called 'Joe Froggers'. I was initially intrigued by the chemistry of the cooking process (where you add baking soda to some molasses and it slowly doubles in volume - neat!), and the history of the recipe (it is an old New England tavern recipe originally made with seawater and rum, and sailors took these with them to consume at sea). Not only were they a giant pain in the ass to make (the stickiest batter I've ever worked with, the need to refrigerate the batter overnight, having to roll out the sticky dough and attempt to cut out cookies, and oh - I burned half of the first batch), neither one of us is crazy about the way they taste. The flavor is 'interesting', but that is like saying your blind date has a good personality. It is still disappointing. I'd say 'Joe Froggers' definitely seems like the kind of thing an old salt would like to eat. Me... I'm not an old salt.
UPDATE: Those 'Joe Froggers' are growing on us. They seemed to taste better the second day. We both ate a few last night, and as I packed some to take to work today I noticed that PDM had done the same. The molasses overtones are still stronger than I'd like, but the spice mix is unusual for a cookie and actually kind of good.