Thursday, May 21, 2009

Braised short ribs accompaniments?

Looks like I'm entertaining some buddies from college and their significant others this Memorial Day weekend while Anna is up visiting her Momz in Maine. Since the vegetarian is out of the house, I'm making some MEAT. I've never made(or even eaten) short ribs before, but everything I've heard is incredibly positive and supposedly they're hard to screw up... which is a plus. I've already got the boneless short ribs in the fridge for this($$$) Cook's Illustrated recipe... but I've got to figure out what I'm going to serve with them.

I really feel like mashed potatoes... but polenta is a good option too. I saw one recipe including a parsnip puree and another picture where the smooth and creamy stuff was white bean based... but I don't think I want to get too crazy. I had been considering roasted potatoes but that isn't as appealing... while the easiest option, it just doesn't seem to complement the meal like a nice creamy puree.

I also had thought that having my friends bring a salad would be enough, but I think it's probably a good idea to do some greens... Swiss chard seems popular... as does spinach... but I could also do collards or kale... though I am limited to what my local Stop and Shop has on its shelves. Will I be able to handle making the greens and mashed potatoes at the same time... all while finishing off the sauce from the short ribs? I'll have to consider that... I don't want my head to be exploding as guests arrive.

Do I make bread? If so, do I just do a simple no-knead or try the ciabatta recipe from Bread Baker's Apprentice? Most likely I don't have time for the latter... but the basic no-knead would be pretty easy to do in the morning.

Sorry if I'm acting a little hyper about cooking for people, but for the most part Anna and I cook for ourselves... so it's kind of exciting people will be trying my food.

photo by flickr user Machine is Organic used under a Creative Commons license