Sunday, December 27, 2009

Tamarind Ribs and Roasted Curried Cauliflower

After some many days of cookies and cocktail finger food, along with big family dinners of traditional Christmas type meals, I had a hankering for some Southeast Asian flavors. Tamarind makes a good sweet and sour type glaze when combined with honey, ginger, garlic, and shallots. Include some coconut milk and you've got a tasty marinade/glaze. The ribs really should have been grilled, but it was raining and I'm not much for grilling while holding an umbrella. Especially in such a cold rain. So I settled for baking the ribs, which had the benefit of also warming the house a little.

Tamarind with Coconut Baby Back Ribs

1 two-inch chunk of tamarind paste, charred over a gas flame
5 cloves of garlic, minced
4 shallots, minced
1 two-inch piece of garlic, finely grated
3/4 cup water
1 cup of coconut milk
2 to 3 TBS fish sauce
3 TBS honey
2 to 3 TBS gula jawa, or dark brown sugar
4 kaffir lime leaves, finely julienned

Dissolve the tamarind in the water. Strain through a sieve. Mix the water with all the other ingredients in a saucepan. Bring to a simmer over low heat, stirring to dissolve sugar and honey. Simmer for 10 minute or so. Cool.

Cover rack of baby back ribs with the cooled marinade. Marinate for at least two hours.

Preheat oven to 350º. Place marinated rack of ribs in a baking pan. Cover with foil. Bake for 80 minutes. Remove pan from oven and increase heat to 425º. Remove foil cover from the ribs. Brush ribs with any remaining marinade/glaze and return them to the oven, cooking for another 10 minutes or so. (Again, ideally these ribs should be finished on a grill, which would produce a more caramelized glaze.)

Roasting cauliflower is my favorite way of preparing this vegetable. For tonight's meal I simply combined a teaspoon each of ground cumin and salt with about 5 teaspoons of curry powder and a third of a cup of vegetable oil. I then tossed the florets of cauliflower with the oil mixture and baked in a 425º oven for about 35 minutes, turning the florets over once.

I'm submitting this recipe to Weekend Wokking, a world-wide food blogging event created by Wandering Chopsticks to celebrate the multiple ways we can cook one ingredient. The host this month is Palachinka. If you would like to participate or to see the secret ingredient, check who's hosting next month.

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  1. I've never thought of using coconut milk in a marinade for grilling before. Hmm.

    Thanks for submitting to Weekend Wokking! I think tamarind was hard for people.

  2. WC,
    I think the nearness of the holidays probably made it difficult for people to participate this month. Tamarind is frequently used in Indonesian recipes, so I am surprised that people found it hard.


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