Monday, April 23, 2007

Can’t Beat Braised Baby Back Ribs

"If you could have anything to eat right now, at this exact moment, what would it be?" If you want to work-up a true Foodie this is the question to ask.

Some will give an immediate answer, some will ponder for a moment. Some will give a different answer every time they are asked, some will always give the same answer. I would say 9 out of 10 times I will answer "Baby Back Ribs."

One of my favorite Baby Back Rib recipes is from Alton Brown's Good Eats program on the Food Network. This is a braising recipe, not BBQ. Braising usually involves the "low-and-slow" cooking technique which inevitably leads to meat following off the bone. And that is the way I like it.

Braised Baby Back Ribs
The basics: a meaty slab of baby back ribs and dry rub ingredients.


Braised Baby Back Ribs
Dry rub applied, allow to marinate overnight if possible.

Braised Baby Back Ribs
Wrap that rascal in tin foil and add braising liquid.

Braised Baby Back Ribs
A few hours later, we have reached the promise land.

Braised Baby Back Ribs
The braising liquid makes an incredible sauce. BBQ sauce? We don't need no stinking BBQ sauce!

Braised Baby Back Ribs
Let me at it!.

Braised Baby Back Ribs
Tender as a mother's love, falling off the bone, moist, perfectly seasoned. I'd like to write more but I'm drooling on the keyboard. Bon appetit!

Friday, April 20, 2007

How to be a Foodie and not get fat

Being passionate about food and restaurants is both a blessing and a curse. You get to spend alot of time in great places, with great people, eating great food.

On the other hand alot of the food you eat is not exactly “lite”. I get asked alot about how I stay healthy and keep a normal weight for my age and height. Fortunately, the way to do it is not rocket science. The hard part is having the discipline to stick with the plan. Here are a few tips I live by to stay healthy and energetic.


1. Exercise. 30 minutes a day of reasonable aerobic exercise is half the battle.

2. When eating at a restaurant, eat half the dinner and take the rest home for lunch the next day. This technique can really challenge the discipline of a foodie. Having to deny yourself that half plate of the delicious food in front of you is a real test. But after you do it a few times, it gets easier. I promise.

3. Eat whole, not processed, food. I’m not a scientist so I don’t have any proof of this, but from my experience processed food in any quantity makes you fat and lethargic. Instead of eating 1 pop tart, eat 2, even 3, bananas.

4. Don’t drink soft drinks. They are basically a container of chemicals and sugar that goes directly to your waistline.

5. Drink water. Lots of water. Again, I can’t give any scientific explanations, but drinking lots of water somehow helps to cleanse your system and help digestion.

6. Get the most bang for your nutritional buck. Why eat a bowl of iceberg lettuce that has very little nutritional value, when you can eat a bowl of fresh spinach that is bursting with vitamins and fiber? If taste is an issue, just throw on some non-fat, all-natural salad dressing. Don’t know what foods have the most nutritional density? Glad you asked. Check out The World’s Healthiest Foods website. This site includes incredibly detailed nutritional information about all the food you should be eating. Highly recommended.

7. If you’ve got a sweet tooth, keep it as simple as possible. Obviously fruit is the first choice. And you can always dress it up–some fresh sliced peaches with a drizzle of whole milk and a sprinkle of sugar is refreshing and satisfying. When you crave chocolate–and every foodie craves chocolate–just stick with the good ol’ Hershey’s chocolate bar. And as much as it hurts, keep the chocolate ice cream to once a month.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

This is where I learned everything I know about food…

A good part of my mis-spent youth was spent working at Quatorze Bis in NYC. How did I end up there?

Well, after 5 years in college and a $100K in tuition, what is a young, highly-educated and ambitious young man to do? Move to NY and work as a waiter/bartender/maitre d’ of course. I liked to call it “graduate school for life”. My family was NOT AMUSED.

Quatorze Bis NYC

Anyway, as a maitre d’ I could eat whatever I wanted off the menu and drink whatever was behind the bar every night I worked. Cassoulet? Check. Steak-frites? Check. Choucroute garnie? Check. And my mouth still waters when I think of the chicory salad with bacon and a hot vinaigrette...