Tuesday’s Table: Country Style Beef Short Ribs with Horseradish Cream

As winter has most of us firmly in its icy grip, I thought I’d share with you my favorite stew recipe courtesy of Weight Watchers.  Now, don’t be alarmed, just because it’s low fat doesn’t mean it’s low taste.  I’ve been making this dish for several years and it’s always a crowd pleaser, especially after a long day out in the cold!  Ladies and gentlemen, set your crockpots to stun!

Ingredients:

Yields 2 cups stew and 2 tablespoons horseradish cream per serving.

6 Tbsp fat-free sour cream
2 Tbsp store-bought horseradish
1 Tbsp Dijon mustard
3/4 tsp table salt
1 1/4 pound(s) uncooked trimmed beef shortrib(s), boneless, trimmed of all visible fat and cut into 11⁄2-inch chunks
1/2 tsp black pepper, freshly ground
2 medium uncooked onion(s), sliced
1 pound(s) uncooked whole white potato(es), whole, scrubbed
18 medium uncooked baby carrots, about 1 1⁄2 cups
2 clove(s) (medium) garlic clove(s), chopped
1 leaf/leaves bay leaf
1 cup(s) canned, beef broth, low sodium
2 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
3 Tbsp all-purpose flour
3 Tbsp water, cold
1 Tbsp fresh parsley, flat-leaf, chopped

To prepare the horseradish cream, combine the sour cream, horseradish, mustard, and 1⁄4 teaspoon of the salt in a small bowl. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use, at least 4 hours or up to overnight.
Sprinkle the ribs with the remaining 1⁄2 teaspoon salt and the pepper. Spray a large nonstick skillet with nonstick spray and set over medium-high heat. Add the ribs and cook, turning once, until browned, about 8 minutes.
Transfer the ribs to a slow cooker. Add the onions, potatoes, carrots, garlic, and bay leaf. Pour the broth and Worcestershire sauce over the meat and vegetables. Cover and cook until the meat and vegetables are fork-tender, 4–5 hours on high or 8–10 hours on low.
About 20 minutes before the cooking time is up, combine the flour and water in a small bowl until smooth; stir in about 1⁄4 cup of the hot liquid from the slow cooker until blended. Stir the flour mixture into the slow cooker. Cover and cook on high, until the mixture simmers and thickens, about 15 minutes. Discard the bay leaf. Stir in the parsley just before serving. Serve with the horseradish cream.

Stay warm kiddies, chow for now!

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Monday Musings

As most of you come up with new phrases for “freezing my butt off” while I’m sitting here in toasty Florida (actually it’s been a bit chilly here lately though my chilly is your Spring) this week’s musings are a taste of the tropics 🙂  Enjoy and stay warm kiddies!

Having Hope For Humanity (Strong language)

I know I am not the only person who watches the news on a daily basis, sees grown adults dissolve into foaming rabid beasts in forums and comment threads about things as trivial as kittens and puppies playing and wonders about the state of our society today.  I know historically people have always done this so I’m hoping mankind and society is not as horrific as it often seems to be.

Then I come across stories that are so heartwarming, that make me stand up and cheer and want to give people a high five that I realized humans may not be in as dire straights as a race as it often seems.  Lately these stories have come out of the Hospitality industry, an industry where the customer is always right and proprietors are supposed to bend over backwards to please their guests so that they will return again and again and bring friends and family.  So what happens when a guest behaves in such an abhorrent manner that it goes against everything you know is right? Two employees and establishment owners faced this question when they came across insultingly ignorant customers within just the past three weeks!

In Columbus, Ohio, employees of Mikey’s Late Night Slice pizza truck heard a commotion towards the back of the line of customers waiting to be served.  It turns out a gay couple was standing in line holding hands and minding their own business when the twatwaffle (and I’m sorry but what other adjective is strong enough?) standing behind them started cursing at them and screaming homophobic slurs.  Upon hearing this one employee informed the douche “If he couldn’t treat the people like human beings that were in the line and stop spewing that hatred at them, that I wasn’t going to serve him” and made him get out of line!

In Houston, Texas a waiter at Laurenzo’s Prime Rib refused service to a family who insisted on being moved because they were sitting next to another family with a boy who had Down Syndrome.  Reportedly, the “man” at the table had remarked “Special needs children need to be special somewhere else.”  Well, the family’s request to be moved was honored, they were moved right out of the restaurant!

Now I know some people may think, well wouldn’t it be bad for business to throw customers out because they don’t share the same beliefs as you?  Apparently not since both establishments have reported a boost in business from people who want to meet the employees who took a stand against ignorance.  Even Chick-Fil-A, whose homophobic stance brought in record numbers from other bigots, saw a boost in sales by standing for their own misguided beliefs.

The fact of the matter is the battle for society and its norms rages from everywhere and can come at any time and from any place and that includes the hospitality industry.  No, the customer is not always right and establishments do have the right not to serve you (within the law) if you behave like an asshat and are insulting to the proprietor and their customers.  Proprietors do not have to keep quiet and tolerate ignorance, bigotry or sexist remarks for fear of losing business.  Not only are you responsible for maintaining a favorable work environment for your employees, which does not include forcing them to have to deal with disparaging remarks, but in taking a stand it shows customers and potential customers exactly what kind of establishment you are running.  I’m sure some of Mikey and Laurenzo’s customers decided not to come back after hearing about these incidents but many more people flocked to these establishments because they took a stand.  In the end you need to think, how much does the almighty dollar mean to you?  How much is your soul worth?

Change is afoot!

Good morrow fair people.. ok I’ll stop 😉

I hope everyone has had a safe and happy holiday season. 2014 looks to be the year of change for Comfy Confections. As you can see above we are now The Comfy Cafe. The reason for this change is that by May of this year we hope to be able to serve our delicious international comfort food to the masses as a fully licensed food entity operating out of a commercial kitchen and on our way to our transformation from booth to food truck!

In the meantime, while we will still be making and selling our delicious desserts at Ybor City Saturday Market, we will also be adding more savory items to the menu. Our pretzels will be making a return along with their cousins, the pretzel bite and pretzel roll, to enjoy with some yummy dips. We will also be experimenting with donut making and best of all, we  are pleased to announce the coming of freshly made pasta! Spaghetti, Fettuccine, Lasagna will soon be available in Semolina, wheat and gluten free in 1lb packages with more shapes coming soon.

Watch this space for more details. We’ll see you January 18th!