Sunday, November 22, 2009

Rosie Makes Crockpot Pork Country Style Ribs And Corn Custard Stuffed Acorn Squash.

I had a day home by myself Thursday. It doesn't happen very often, but when it does, I love it. I work hard. I organize. I clean. I cook. First thing, Dixie and I took a walk around the block. We needed that. Then, I cleaned the kitchen counters. Everything's off. I hate clutter. Then I cleaned my desk off. That "To Be Filed" file? It was 3 inches thick. It's been filed. Middle Hawthorne's room. Hmmmm. That was rough. Hadn't been down there since the last time he was here, on fall break. I knew what to expect. That's why I hadn't been down there. I didn't want to face it. Finally, I buckled up, put on a stiff upper lip, and ventured into the depths of hell. OK. It wasn't that bad. But believe me, it was bad. I gathered up 4 loads of wash. And washed them. I put clean sheets on his bed. I vacuumed his carpet. But first, I had to clean out his vacuum cleaner. Apparently, he'd vacuumed one time before his girl friend visited. And he'd left the vacuum unsuckable. It's one of those canister things, so you can see all the crap that's been sucked up. It was freakin' nasty. And there was a sock stuck in the end. After I cleaned out the vacuum cleaner, I went to work, vacuuming, dusting, wiping, cleaning. And it's done. I feel like I've accomplished a lot today. More checks on my To-Do list. I'm kinda OC about my To-Do list. I actually put down things I've already done just to make it look like I've done more and to motivate me. Had a nice lunch of barbecued chicken thigh fillet with cooked mixed greens and potato. A perfect meal. Finished up around 12:30 and started on dinner. I have to give thanks to Kelly of Evil Shenanigans blogdom for the inspiration for my ribs. She'd just posted about her Slow-Cooker Braised Short Ribs with a Honey Garlic Glaze. I checked my deep freeze inventory and pulled out some Pork Country Style Ribs. Remember, I'm trying to clean my freezer out and Mr. Hawthorne ain't helping much. I'll be crock potting Country Style Ribs for dinner. First, I gathered my aromatics. Big onion. Carrots. Celery Lotsa garlic. Ginger piece. (Disguised with the garlic.) Fresh bay leaves. And a lemon, for zest. I nuked my little frozen piece of ginger for about 30 seconds, then squeezed the ginger joos out. I sliced the rest of the ginger.
I layered my crock pot with sliced carrots,
sliced celery, sliced onions, minced garlic, and bay leaves.
I salted and peppered my country style ribs. I poured about a TB of oil in my skillet, heated it, and put in half of the ribs. Don't want to crowd. Brown the ribs on each side. Thusly. I added the first ribs to the crock pot and browned the next set.
After browning the second batch,
I added in a bit of beef stock to the goodie bits in the skillet and scraped up.
I poured the goodie bits and the rest of the box of stock into the crock pot. I placed the ginger slices amongst the pork. Poured in the ginger joos.
And I grated the zest of one lemon into the pot.
 At 1 PM, I turned the crock pot on high and cooked for 2 hours.
 At 3 PM, I turned it to low and cooked for 2 1/2 more hours.
At 5:30, I pulled out the ribs, which, by the way, were falling apart ...
... and placed them in a single layer in my dish. Ingredients for the glaze:
 1/2 cup honey
1/4 cup coarse grain mustard
1 garlic clove
minced 2 green onions, sliced Mix honey, mustard, garlic, and one of the green onions.
Apply glaze to both sides of ribs and let sit for at least 30 minutes.
I heated a little olive oil in a skillet over medium high heat,
added the ribs, and cooked for about a minute or two
on each side until they were nicely crusted.
Transfer to serving platter.
I poured some of the braising liquid
from the crock pot into my skillet to stir up the goodie bits.
Scrape to release.
Pour sauce over ribs.
Sprinkle with the remaining sliced green onion.
On to my acorn squash.
I'd had this acorn squash for a few days, wondering what to do with it. Usually, I do a baked stuffed squash, but I wanted different this time. It's going to be baked stuffed squash, but with a twist - squash stuffed with a corn custard.
Slice the squash in half and slice a little piece off each bottom so they'll sit evenly.
Clean out the seeds and fibers.
Place squash in a baking dish and brush with melted butter.
Pour water 1/2 up baking dish, cover with foil,
 and place in a preheated 375 degree oven.
 Baking times will vary depending
on your particular oven and the size of your squash.
 I checked at 40 minutes and it wasn't even tender.
 I ended up cooking the squash for 60 minutes and it was just barely tender.
 Take squash out and add in corn custard filling.
My ingredients for the corn custard filling:
 1 egg
2 egg whites, whipped to a light foam
 1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup corn
 freshly ground salt and pepper
 freshly grated nutmeg
2 scallions
cheddar and Parmesan cheeses, grated
I whupped the egg, then whisked in the milk and cream.
Added in the corn.
I added the scallions.
I added 2 foamy egg whites to the mixture.
I poured the corn custard mixture into the squash about 3/4 way up.
 I had a little left over so I just poured that into a ramekin.
 The squash went into my 375 degree oven for 50 minutes.
I checked at 30 and it was still jiggly,
 so I baked another 20 minutes.
 Then I sprinkled the grated cheese on and baked for 10 more minutes.
(Total time for custard 60 minutes.) (Total time for squash 2 hours.)
The custard is set, squash is tender, and cheese is melted.
Here are the crock pot country style ribs
 with a mustard/honey glaze,
 with a sprinkling of green onions.
Here's my corn custard stuffed acorn squash with cheese.
The meat is falling apart, fork tender.
The squash is earthy sweet with a deliciously smooth, creamy custard inside. Buttery, corny, cheesy. I loved the texture of the custard. And I love the fall flavor of a winter squash. You know the feeling you get on a crisp fall afternoon when you catch the distinctive whiff of a fire burning somewhere? That's what winter squash is like to me. It's comfort.

Squash with corn custard.
The meat was tender and complexly flavored, with hints of lemon, ginger, mustard, and honey. The lightness and green bite of the scallions was a nice touch.
The stuffed squash was delightful. This was like a quiche with the squash serving as the pie crust.
Creamy, custardy goodness of the squash stuffing. Spot on with the slightly spicy country ribs. Down home good cookin'.

Acorn Squash Stuffed With Corn Custard

A comforting dish for a cool fall day. Sweet winter ...

See Acorn Squash Stuffed With Corn Custard on Key Ingredient.


Donna-FFW said...

Looks absolutely delicious Rosie! They are boneless?

Rosie Hawthorne said...

There were a few bones in there, Donna. Not many though.