Layla and Mohammed’s Moroccan Short Ribs of Beef with Prunes and Ras el Hanout

Short Ribs with Prunes-9970

The little piles of sesame seeds atop the prunes are the traditional way of garnishing the dish.

We’re baaaaaaacccckkkkk….  with a dish that’s great for a winter that refuses to die–Moroccan Short Ribs of Beef with Prunes and Ras el Hanout.  Before we stumbled through an invisible portal into the Gehenna of wiring, longtime Rialto employee Mohammed Karachi and his family spent a morning cooking with us.  Mohammed’s wife Layla walked us through their Moroccan family recipe for braised short ribs, using ras el hanout from Mohammed’s mother.  What a treat!  Layla’s ribs easily earned a place in my personal pantheon of great braised dishes.  The spicy and sweet components are kept separate until the dish is served.  Do you want a forkful of beef with Moroccan seasoning and a bit of prune at the same time?  Or first the spicy, then the sweet?  (My preference.)  It’s comforting either way.

Braised Artichokes, Mozzarella, Tomatoes and Mint

Braised Artichokes TGF - 1

So what’s up this week?  Braised Artichokes with Mozzarella, Tomatoes and Mint.  Spring has arrived, and with it truckloads of fat green globe artichokes.  No groaning (Oh, god, not artichokes, they’re such a pain…).   No, they’re not, and if we learned anything at all from recent  events it’s that the small gestures we take for granted are more precious than ever.  You only know what you’ve got when it’s gone, so start snapping those leaves off.  

Slow Pork with Chow Fun Noodles and Kimchi

Slow Pork with Chow Fun Noodles and Kimchi-1

I don’t know what I like most about Slow Pork with Chow Fun Noodles and Kimchi–the braised pork, the chow fun noodles, or the incredible leftovers.  This dish is an umami bomb–and most of it can be done in a slow cooker. Kimchi and milk for cappuccino live on the same shelf in our fridge; leftovers from Puglia rub shoulders with ingredients from North Africa or Malaysia. A little culinary polyamory is to be expected, even encouraged, especially when the result is something like this week’s recipe.

Artichoke junkies

For a month now I’ve been seeing artichokes in markets, both “baby” and full-size globes.   I love artichokes and last year I became obsessed creating the perfect grilled  long-stemmed artichoke, served with lemon and aioli. During a spring trip to Rome awhile back I was fascinated with artichoke vendors at open air markets sitting atop …