Sunday, March 13, 2011

Ad Hoc - In Evergreen

It's a Thomas Keller kind of week. I'm hosting Charm City Cookbooking this week and decided to go a bit on the adventurous side and choose the French Laundry. I don't actually own any Keller books but in order to make up my mind I decided to borrow F/L from my friend Chris. He burdened me with Ad Hoc at Home as well so I was set for a Keller bonanza.

Choosing recipes from Keller's books is not easy. You have to consider time, availability of ingredients, and the level of patience for the recipe. My sweetie, paging through Ad Hoc, decided he was in the mood for spare ribs. He looooves him some ribs and we've decided that we prefer the spare ribs to baby backs as you get more meat from them. We needed to actually pair it with something and so in order to avoid my mundane habit of always wanting potatoes, I chose a celery root dish with melted onions and off we went.

We got a beautiful 5 lb rack of spare ribs and he got up early on Saturday and cut the ribs into sets of two. He mixed up the brown sugar rub to rub all over the ribs. The spice mixture used cayenne, chili powder, garlic powder and a few other things along with a cup of light brown sugar. He smeared this all over the ribs, noting that he'd never used so much rub in his life. There was a lot of rub. They marinated for 6 hours and then he grilled them with a bit of pear and hickory smoke for 2 hours.

The celery root dish was sooo good and sooo buttery. First you had to make the onions which he calls melted. Basically you saute them with a bouquet garni and lots of butter for about 30 minutes.

We had to make a paper cone so that they would steam but some steam woul d come out. I see this in both the Keller books that I'm working with this week. Look at the cute paper cone.

Celery root is bizarre looking stuff, but Keller has very specific instructions on how to cut it up. you cut off the ends and basically carve it down the sides. One of these years I'll get a mandoline, (I like Elizabeth's cheap one better than Chris' expensive one) but I needed to cut my celery root by hand for this exercise.

I had to sauté these in lots of butter with some fresh thyme, it took me about the same amount of time to cut and sauté these as it did to make the melted onions, which my sweetie took care of. The dinner was quite delightfully tasty.


  1. That dinner did look delightfully tasty! And a $50 mandoline is cheap??? haha

  2. That looks good, I need to use that book more.

  3. Compared to the one Chris has, yes!