French Fridays with Dorie
There exists a tension in any food blogging household. (Mine can’t be all that unique.) First there is the chef’s earnest and primary desire to put out a great meal for friends and family. Then there is the secondary and often competing force associated with the blogger’s goal: getting a great photo. The bloggers reading this know exactly what I’m talking about when I say that the two goals are not always in sync! For us getting dinner on the table is not the usual end of the story — not by a long shot. We also have to construct an elaborate place setting or pretty-up a serving platter, stage it, set up a tripod or extra lighting and shoot it all in the name of getting that all important photo. More often than not my husband has to delay his nightly dinner approach while I struggle with the horrible lighting in our dining room or kitchen to get the “good shot”. “Baby, please is it ok to eat this now?”
This weeks French Friday with Dorie assignment, Short Ribs with Red Wine and Port, like many of Dorie’s main dish selections, screamed out for a houseful of my best friends to come over share it with. When it was time to eat I had to acquiesce and let everyone dig in despite my nagging desire to get a decent shot of this dish. If I had my way I would have dragged out my spotlights from the garage, set up the tripod and staged away. As it was I barely had a minute and managed to take only two pictures in low light without a tripod. The best shot of the two you see below. Its fuzzy and out of focus ’cause I was pushed out of the way by everyone advancing to the buffet table. (Eagle eye Doristas will spot last week’s Pancetta Green Beans in the frame as well. This dinner was made over a week ago but I didn’t have time to give the beans the post they clearly deserved — so they are sharing space here today with the ribs.) The shot at the top of this post is actually a leftover the next night. I’m thinking we will be seeing a lot more shots of leftovers on this blog! Even this rib, however, didn’t last long enough for me to get a better read on my lighting and settings. Hubby scooped it up and ate it as soon as he heard the camera click.
Short Ribs in Red Wine and Port
My thoughts on the actual recipe? Dorie’s recipe is nearly identical to several recipes I had in my ‘to do’ list including the one from my fave, The Balthazar Cookbook. Dorie’s innovation with the dish is the inclusion of the gremolata. The citrus-garlic gremolata is what takes this dish to to the next level so be sure not to skip it. (I even whipped up some for the leftovers, it was that important.) I stuck close to the recipe excepting for using veal stock as called for at Balthazar instead of the beef variety. On TV I once saw The Ina suggesting that one should tie the ribs to the bone with kitchen twine prior to braising in order to keep them attached. Its not necessary for reasons of taste but it makes for a better presentation — just in case one was inclined to make an attempt to get the best photo.