Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Spiced Butter Pork Ribs. Oh yes I did!

Oh yes I did, rub pork in spiced butter. AND WHAT, Paula?! I made these months ago and Chef Marcus Samuelsson made me do it! It was glorious and I would do it again, the same time next year! I only regret that I never got around to using the remaining spiced butter, before it started growing mold. For shame! I'll do better next time. Mark my words!

So I've had this Marcus Samuelsson cookbook since grad school, but up until recently never really sat down with it and read its recipes. As I am coming to terms with my very real obsession with food, I'm starting to look at all my food literature differently. I'm realizing that a cookbook, is like a good novel. One that you should read over and over again. I've also realized that my food literature collection was really lacking, hence my request for Mastering the Art of French cooking for Christmas. I figured if a whiny writer with a passing interest in food could master Julia's recipes and parley her story into a half amusing/half annoying movie, the very least I could do was verse myself in the classics. I mean I eventually want to get paid to talk about and/or cook food, because that sounds a f**k of a lot better than going back and forth with grantees about their freakin' TPS final reports. And while collecting recipes from a bazillion different food blogs is fun, it just doesn't satisfy the soul in the way that reading a book of recipes does.

I'm sure you can relate.

Anyway, during one of my cookbook reading blitzes, I found this gem of a recipe for spiced butter. I mean flavored butter is pretty much the only thing better than butter itself, so I had to try it. I was also pretty amped because I totally had all the ingredients I needed. [In case you were wondering, I have a $hit ton of spices in my pantry. A whiiiile back, I took myself to my local halal grocer with a list and $20, and came back with 525103 different spices. And they didn't even have everything I was looking for. Don't sleep on your local ethnic grocer, you'll find all the spices you need and then some for half what you would pay for them at the regular grocery store. Booyah!] My only concern was that I was proposing to use this butter in conjunction with pork. But as you can see from the title of this post, I quickly got over it.

I'm not going to bother trying to rationalize this decision in anyway. To slather meat in butter is an indulgent sort of thing to do, to slather pork in butter is probably sacrilege. I'm fairly sure my friend David the Cardiologist [also father of one of my favorite babies] would have plenty to say about this, considering his contemptuous regard for my unrequited love of olive oil. And I'm certain that if Paula Deen knew of me and my little blog, she would have words for me, considering the hailstorm of criticism coming her way these days. But today I don't care about any of that. Sometimes, food is just too damn good to be bothered with details like cholesterol. #Kanyeshrug

Spiced Butter Pork Ribs
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2-3 Pounds pork ribs
Sea Salt
Freshly Ground Black Pepper
2-3 Tbsp olive oil
Spiced Butter

Preheat oven to 350 F.

Rinse ribs thoroughly in cold water, pat try with paper towel. Season liberally with salt and pepper. Set aside. Prepare spiced butter (recipe below), set aside. In a heavy skillet, heat olive oil on high heat until just hot, but not smoking [should start to pale in color, and start to look a little wavy in pan, but not give off wisps of smoke]. Add ribs to oil, just a few at a time, sear ribs about 2-3 minutes on each side. Set ribs in a glass baking dish. Pour spiced butter mixture with onions and added spices. Place in oven on middle rack, bake about 15-25 minutes, until ribs are just cooked through.

Spiced Butter (adapted from Marcus Samuelsson, The Soul of a New Cuisine)
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1 Stick unsalted butter
1/2 Onion, roughly chopped
1 Garlic clove, minced
1 1 inch piece of ginger, peeled and finely chopped
1/2 Tsp fenugreek seeds
1/2 Tsp ground cardamom
1/4 Tsp ground turmeric
1/2 Tsp cumin
3 basil leaves

In a medium saucepan over low heat, melt the butter, stirring occasionally. As foam rises to the top, use a slotted spoon to skim and discard it. Continue cooking on low until no more foam appears. Add the onion, garlic, ginger, fenugreek seeds, cardamom, turmeric and cumin and continue cooking the butter for 15 minutes at a low simmer stirring occasionally.

Remove the butter from the heat and let stand until the spices settle. Strain through a fine-mesh sieve (optional) I kept the spices and onions in butter.

This butter can be stored, covered and chilled, for up to 3 weeks. It can also be frozen for up to 2 months.

Plate up and ¡comer! [eat]


  1. I really LOVE the spices in this. wow!

  2. O M to the Gee, I would devour this meal!  I bet it smelled so good!

    I read cookbooks like novels, too.  I love to bookmark my favorite recipes, consider changing some ingredients, and just stare at the photos. 

    I think we should do a cooking date, preferably during warmer weather and it should involve grilled pizza.  FYI, we start grilling in early April!  

  3. Now that's what you call dinner!! The shot where you're pouring the butter says it all for me....mmmm good!

  4. It's definitely one of the most satisfying meals I've made. And I really like kitchen action shots, I must invest in a tripod soon!

  5. The smell was amazing, I almost cried when I had to throw out the remaining butter that had mold on it. I'm so there for a cooking date, the sooner the better!

  6. The spices are the star of the show, I'm going to start making an effort to using them in more of my cooking!

  7. Gawd, I love how you cook lady. And my husband will too. I am so recreating this.



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