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and it slowly doubles in volume - neat!), and the history of the recipe (it is an old New England tavern recipe originally made with seawater and rum, and sailors took these with them to consume at sea).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.

13 comments:

Kathleen said...

My big cooking adventure yesterday was basmati rice (so easy, who knew?) and heating up the package of Navratan Korma in the microwave. I'm so adventurous in the kitchen!

fermicat said...

Sounds delicious, kat!

LL said...

After looking at the bottle of empty rum, I can see why they're growing on you!

fermicat said...

There's just enough left in there for one or two rum and cokes, or to make some butter-rum sauce to serve atop vanilla ice cream. I think option #2 sounds best!

trinamick said...

I'm a fan of experimenting in the kitchen, but our local stores don't carry half the items you need for any non-American cooking. Very aggravating.

fermicat said...

That is one of the advantages of living in a big city -- almost all of the grocery stores have entire aisles devoted to weird (from my perspective) food items. Pretty convenient! And if by chance the grocery store doesn't have it, the Dekalb Farmer's Market will. They're amazing.

wa11z said...

Those ribs sound amazing. Joe Froggers sound...interesting.

dr sardonicus said...

Those old cooks didn't have supermarkets or international groceries. They just had to make do with the ingredients they had in their native regions, which is what makes a lot of those old-time recipes interesting. As travel became easier, people became exposed to foods from other regions, and a lot of those idiosyncratic old-time recipes were shelved.

It's no accident that the South has been most successful at preserving its regional tastes in food, as Southerners have put up the most resistance to being integrated into the national culture.

A good recipe for ribs will make up for a lot of other things in the kitchen.

Beth said...

I love new recipes. I just tried one for these pork chops that's too die for, but is so simple. My husband said it was the best pork he had even eaten and this was AFTER he told me not to change my pork chop recipe because it "can't get any better." So, new is good to me!

I'm curious, when you write "we," who exactly is that?

fermicat said...

"We" is PDM and me. PDM is my husband. Those aren't his real initials. "PDM" is his nickname from the pub. I could tell you what the letters stand for, but where is the fun in that? ;-)

We ate more Joe Froggers today. I think we kind of like them now.

Kathleen said...

Are they kind of like a really hard gingersnap?

fermicat said...

Similar, but different spice taste and that odd molasses flavor permeating it all.

LL said...

Dammit... now I've got a hankering to try me some froggers.