Monthly Archives: March 2010

Sweet Tea Ribs with Lemony Potato Salad

I subscribe to quite a few cooking magazines – I tend to clip recipes from them all the time, but once in a while I see a recipe where the photograph of the recipe is so mouthwatering, that I feel compelled to make it as soon as I can gather together the ingredients.

Such was the case with these sweet tea glazed ribs – my photograph doesn’t do the recipe justice at all, because the glaze on these is amazing. The tea truly does come through in the recipe, as does the citrus, and the lemon in the potato salad ties everything together. Unless a better recipe comes along, I can’t forsee myself making ribs (at least indoors) any other way. And it was super-easy to make. There’s a bunch of lag time to make the potato salad while the ribs are cooking, so you don’t feel rushed. Needless to say, the leftovers didn’t last the night.

Sweet Tea Glazed Ribs and Lemony Potato Salad

Sweet Tea Ribs with Lemony Potato Salad
recipe courtesy Food Network Magazine

Black tea (6 bags of any kind)
1/4 cup plus 2 tbsp. packed light brown sugar
Kosher salt & freshly ground black pepper
1 orange
2 racks baby back ribs (about 2 lbs)
2 lbs russet potatoes, peeled and cut into 3/4 inch chunks
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
1 lemon

Empty 3 tea bags into a bowl and combine the loose tea with 1/4 cup brown sugar, 2 teaspoons salt and 1/4 teaspoons pepper. Grate in the orange zest. Pat the ribs dry and trim the membrane from the underside. Rub the tea mixture over the ribs; place in a roasting pan, meat-side up, and bring to room temperature, about 20 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 275°F Steep the remaining 3 tea bags in 2 cups boiling water, about 5 minutes. Discard the bags and stir in the remaining 2 tablespoons brown sugar and the juice of half the orange. Pour the mixture around the ribs in the pan. Cover with foil and roast until tender, about 1 hour 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, put the potatoes in a pot of salted water; bring to a simmer and cook until tender, about 5 minutes. Drain and cool slightly. Mix the mayonnaise and parsley in a large bowl. Grate in the zest of half the lemon, and the juice of the lemon half. Fold in the potatoes and add 1 1/2 teaspoons salt, and pepper to taste; refrigerate until ready to serve.

Remove the ribs from the oven and increase the temperature to 450°F Pour the cooking liquid into a saucepan and bring to a simmer over medium-high heat. Baste the ribs with some of the liquid, then return to the oven and cook uncovered, basting a few times, until the ribs are dark and glazed, 20 to 30 minutes.

When the remaining liquid in the saucepan is syrupy, add the lemon juice to taste. Brush the ribs with the glaze. Cut the racks into pieces and serve with the potato salad.

First Look: Yagööt

I’ve been hearing about the Pinkberry (aka “Crackberry”) craze on the West coast for years – a frozen yogurt that is more tangy than sweet, topped with super fresh fruit toppings. I was never sure if it would be something that I would like, but it is definitely something that I’ve been wanting to try. Little did I know that we got a similar chain, Red Mango, on campus a while back. Because me and the OSU campus, we just don’t mix unless it’s during a school break.

Not that Easton Town Center is more my style. I try to avoid that like the plague too, but since I had to go to the Container Store anyway, I figured I may as well give the new yogurt place there, named Yagööt, a try. Yagööt, unlike Red Mango, isn’t a chain. It’s a family owned company with a couple of stores in the Cincinnati area, and a single location in the Columbus area. The vibe, from the outside, is pure Easton, where there’s very little to differentiate one building from the next. We almost didn’t see it from the street, but the ultra modern chairs outside drew my eye.

Yagoot Exterior

Inside, it’s very minimalist, with bright colors and uncomfortable furniture (and not much of it, either – it must be standing room only in there on busy nights). We were greeted by a very friendly employee offering us samples and a bright descriptive menu board.

Yagoot Menu

For both of us, it was love at first taste. It’s hard to describe it – super creamy, sweet but not too sweet, with a bit of a tang to it. It kind of reminded me of buttermilk but without the sourness that accompanies it.

There are tons of topping choices – lots of fresh fruit, granola, cereal, etc. so it’s not difficult to pick one, two or three toppings for your treat.

Yagoot Toppings

I went with a medium, topped with strawberries, bananas, and Cap’n Crunch. It was a heavenly combination, that I couldn’t get enough of. I usually never finish a cup of ice cream/frozen yogurt because it gets too cloying with the sweetness. That wasn’t the case with Yagööt. I also sampled the mochi, an off the menu topping, which adds great texture without adding a bunch of sugar.

Medium Yagoot with Strawberries, Bananas, and Cap'n Crunch

P. got a small topped with blueberries and Alligator Crunch (a crunchy, brown sugar based topping), which he was quite pleased with.

Small Yagoot with Blueberries and Rainforest Crunch

For the most part, this type of frozen yogurt is pretty healthy – 120 calories for a small, very low fat, less sugar than similar frozen treats, live active cultures for digestive health, with lots of fresh fruit toppings that won’t hike up the calorie or fat count. It can very easily be incorporated as an occasional treat for those who are trying to eat healthy.

It’s a good thing that Easton is across town from me and that I hate going there so much – Yagööt is addictive enough that I would be there daily otherwise. I can imagine that when the weather gets warmer, the line will be out the door. From what I understand, this type of frozen yogurt is very polarizing – you either love it or you hate it, but don’t you owe it to yourself to find out? 🙂

If you’d like to go: Yagööt, 3998 Gramercy St (Easton Town Center), Easton, 614.532.6565

Review: Matt the Miller’s Tavern

Our last few meals out haven’t been planned – we’ve pretty much found ourselves in a suburb running errands when hunger hit, and put ourselves at the mercy of Yelp or Urbanspoon to guide us to nearby sustenance. Fortunately for us, we’ve yet to be let down by a choice we were given.

Such is the case with Matt the Miller’s Tavern. It occupies the space on Perimeter Drive that previously housed The Burgundy Room Dublin. We were hoping another great restaurant would grab that space, and we’re glad to see that it made the transition fairly painlessly. Although we went mid-afternoon on a weekday, when it was fairly empty, I hear the place really gets packed on weekends.

The menu is fairly extensive – literally, there are choices there for everyone. We honestly had a difficult time narrowing our choices down to what we ultimately got. We’re hoping to go back again soon to try out more of the menu.

Rather than ordering an appetizer from the Starter portion of the menu, we decided to split one of their flatbreads – in our case we splurged and went with the Ahi Tuna flatbread ($14.95 – other flatbread choices are significantly cheaper), and did not regret it for a second. A crispy dough was topped with a creamy miso mousse, avocado slices, Asian slaw, perfectly seared sliced ahi tuna, toasted sesame seeds, wasabi aioli and a soy reduction. The combination of flavors was out of this world. Even the portions that didn’t have tuna on them had an enticing umami about them that left me wanting more – I could have eaten this for days. Needless to say, I can see myself ordering this as an entree all to myself on our next visit – it was THAT good.

Ahi Tuna Flatbread from Matt the Miller's Tavern (Dublin, OH)

P. decided to get himself a bowl of their soup of the day, a black bean and beef chili ($4.95), which had a nice complex spice profile with a pleasant smoky undercurrent to it.

Bowl of Black Bean and Beef Chili from Matt the Miller's Tavern (Dublin, OH)

I chose to get a side portion of Matt’s Salad ($3.00), a combination of super fresh salad greens tossed with white cheddar shreds, caramelized walnuts, dried apricots, and a mustard maple vinaigrette. On first thought, I thought the dried apricots were a bit out of place, but by the time I finished the salad, I appreciated the slight sweetness they brought to the party. Great salad, I absolutely loved the vinaigrette, which was creamy and vinegary without being too much of either.

Side Order of Matt's Salad from Matt the Miller's Tavern (Dublin, OH)

I was a bit less enamored with my entree choice, the Turkey and Avocado Sandwich ($9.25), in which all white meat turkey breast, smoked bacon, Swiss cheese, herb mayo, avocado, lettuce and tomato fill a buttery grilled brioche. It wasn’t that the sandwich was badly prepared – the preparation was just fine. We just happened to find it a bit bland compared to their other offerings. The best part of the entree was the sweet potato fries on the side – while by themselves they are nothing special (think McCain’s), with the addition of salt and dipped into a side of garlic aioli (bypass the normal ketchup and ask for this instead) they were downright addictive.

Turkey and Avocado Sandwich from Matt the Miller's Tavern (Dublin, OH)

P. absolutely loved his burger, The Miller ($12.50), a 3/4 lb. behemoth topped with lettuce, tomato, onion rings, bacon, Swiss, cheddar, garlic aioli, and creamy slaw in between a homemade rosemary potato bun that definitely held up to the burger. The combination of flavors was tantalizing, but what stuck us the most that it was actually cooked correctly – we asked for medium rare and got just that, which is one of the first times that has happened – kudos!

The Miller Burger from Matt the Miller's Tavern (Dublin, OH)

For his side, he switched out the normal fries for an order of their scalloped potatoes, which were aptly prepared – nice browned edges, tender but not mushy potatoes, good balance of cream to cheese.

Scalloped Potatoes from Matt the Miller's Tavern (Dublin, OH)

Service was quite excellent – our server was attentive and thoughtful, thinking to tuck away a couple extra containers of garlic aioli into our take-home bag knowing how much we loved it. The whole cost of the meal was quite reasonable. Knowing they have a great patio, we can see ourselves returning often on nice days, even though Dublin is a bit out of our way. Great selection of beers on tap, and good happy hour deals. If you find yourself and Dublin, this is an excellent choice. We were quite pleased with all aspects of our experience and do not hesitate to give it a full recommendation.

If you’d like to go: Matt the Miller’s Tavern, 6725 Avery-Muirfield Drive (entrance to the parking lot is on Perimeter behind the Huntington Bank), Dublin, OH 43017, 614-799-9102.

Event: Cupcake Camp Columbus III

Still on hiatus (although it may end up being an abbreviated one – I managed to finish my biochemistry coursework a bit ahead of schedule, so will probably only need a few days off to regroup before finding time to catch up on blogging), but just wanted to take a moment to post these pictures from Cupcake Camp Columbus III, held at the North Market this past weekend. Lots of talented bakers with lots of tasty offerings.

Cupcake Camp Columbus III Ticket

This post is picture intensive, so view the rest of the pics under the cut….

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Just going dark for a couple of weeks – I just really need to regroup and renew and rethink a few things, and need to take some time away from blogging do that. I’ll be back sometime soon, I hope. If you need to get in touch with me in the meantime, you can do so through email: columbusfoodie AT gmail DOT com

Spring Fever

The past couple of days, the temperatures have been downright springlike, with highs in the sixties. There’s this weird juxtaposition of seeing melting mounds of snow in my yard while sitting on the deck in my shorts.

Still, that rise in temperature was all the incentive I needed to whip the covers off my outdoor kitchen to do a bit of grilling out. It’s sort of a ritual for me – the simple act of that first cookout is the beginning of the end of winter for me. As the snow melts, I can feel my depression melting away with it – the warmth of the sun renews my spirit, and gets me excited about waking up in the morning and all of the things I have to do in the days to come. Starting with airing out the house – winter has a way of making the air a bit stuffy, and the act of airing out the house and doing a bit of spring cleaning begins to bring me out of my winter funk.

And one of the things I have been doing this week is planning out my garden for this year. I’m so looking forward to it, and to the farmers markets, and to it being warm enough for long enough for me to be able to fire up my pizza oven.  I can’t wait!

What spring rituals do you have? What are you looking foward to doing in this beautiful weather?

February 2010 Roundup

Yay, finally caught up! It feels so good to get things accomplished since giving up all those Facebook games. Hopefully now I have the time to cook some of these recipes that inspired me last month.

In savory recipes, Simple Farro & Bean Stew from 101 Cookbooks, Grouper with Spinach and Crushed Tomatoes from A Food Coma, Tandoori Chicken Thighs from A Mingling of Tastes, Roti de Porc Au Lait (Roast Pork with Milk) from Almost Bourdain, Chanterelle Pork Belly Pasta from Anne’s Food, Baked Macaroni and Cheese with Cauliflower from Bartholomew Buffet, Pizza Casserole from Blog Chef, Sauerbraten Klopse from Branny Boils Over, Seafood Paella Risotto from Cajun Chef Ryan, Pulled Chicken Suiza Sandwiches from Cassie Craves, Stewed Chicken with Orzo from Chef Chuck’s Cucina, Spinach Salad with Bacon, Caramelized Onions, Mushrooms and Blue Cheese in a Baon Pan Sauce Dressing from Closet Cooking, Madeira Chicken with Mushrooms from Confessions of a Tart, Crock Pot Granny Smith Pulled Pork from The Crepes of Wrath, Tuscan Blueberry Port Chicken Breast from Cucina Panzano, Twisty Twirly Pretzel Bagel Buns from Delectable Victuals, Tuna Salad from Delicious Accidents, Pork Cheeks, Butter Beans and Chorizo from Dinner Diary, Grilled Scallop Ceviche from everybody likes sandwiches, Bourbon Chicken from Fake Ginger, Pickapeppa Chicken from Food & Fire, Creamy Homestyle Tuna Melts from Full Bellies, Happy Kids, Buffalo Chicken Sandwich with Celery-Roquefort Slaw from Gild the (Voodoo)Lily, Panko-Crusted Chicken with Mustard-Maple Pan Sauce from The Global Kitchen, Moroccan Spiced Chicken Over Israeli Couscous, Chunky Blue Cheese Dressing and Bratwurst Burgers on a Pretzel Bun from Joelen’s Culinary Adventures, Six Cheese Stuffed Garlic Bread Bites from Kaitlin in the Kitchen, Garlic Chicken Pasta with Spinach from Kara’s Kitchen Creations, Kimchi Fried Rice from Life’s Ambrosia, Chicken Croquettes with Gravy from Mary Ellen’s Cooking Creations, Japanese Teriyaki Chicken with Ramen from More Than Words, Roasted Garlic Chicken Chili from My Food and Life Encounters, Caramelized Garlic Pork Belly from PeteFormation Foodie Adventure, Spicy Corn Chowder Revisited from Pots and Plots, Spicy and Creamy Chicken and Peanut Butter African Stew from QlinArt, Paneer Tikka Masala from Relishing Recipes, Asian Dumpling Soup with Shiitakes and Edamame from Savory Spicy Sweet, Spinach Feta Pocket Pies from shutterbean, Pasta with Slow Roasted Duck from Simply Recipes, Creamy Tomato Basil and Italian Sausage Soup from Simply Satisfying, Chicken Ras El Hanout from Sweet & Saucy, and Everything But the Kitchen Sink Soup from thayirsaadham.

In sweet recipes, Vanilla Bean Jasmine Rice Pudding from 17 and Baking, Lemon Melting Moments from A Food Lover’s Journey, Strawberry Lemonade Bars from A Pookie Pantry, Golden Apple Squash Creme Caramels from Allotment 2 Kitchen, Fresh Blueberry Waffles from Baking Bites, Golden Carrot Cake Loaf from Cake on the Brain, Strawberry and Cheese Danish from Cooking, Dunkin Style, Blood Oranges with Mascarpone, Honey and Pistachios from Dishing Up Delights, Carrot Cake Pancakes from Meet Me in the Kitchen, Raspberry Truffle Cake from Megan’s Cookin’, Caramelized Apple Crepes from Not Derby Pie, Honey Wheat Waffles from Prudence Pennywise, and Linzer Muffins from Treat a Week.

Pan-Seared Sesame-Crusted Tuna

P. had picked up the most beautiful sushi-grade ahi tuna for like $12/lb. at Huffman’s Market in Upper Arlington, and I put out a call for suggestions on Twitter yesterday asking my Tweeple what I should do with it. I got a few people saying “sushi”, but my last attempt at making it had results that were so laughable that I got scared away from trying again for a while. However, I did want to vibe on those types of flavors, and after a search, I found a recipe online for a seared tuna topped salad with all kinds of wonderful toppings.

I wanted something really light, not a ton of carbs, and this fit the bill. Even though I’m not a huge fan of some of the individual components (wasabi mayo, masago, etc), put together the combination was out of this world! Easily the best thing I’ve eaten so far this month, and something I could see myself eating once a week. And so, so easy to make. I had never seared tuna before, and it was easier than I ever dreamed.

Pan-Seared Sesame-Crusted Tuna

Pan-Seared Sesame-Crusted Tuna
recipe from Use Real Butter food blog

4 tuna steaks (~6 oz. per person), ahi tuna or maguro (sashimi)
1/4 c. black sesame seeds
1/4 c. white sesame seeds
1 tsp. salt
freshly ground black pepper
2 tbsp. unflavored oil (vegetable or canola)
2 ripe avocados, sliced thin
salad greens
wasabi mayonnaise
anago sauce
masago or tobiko (smelt fish roe)

Wasabi Mayonnaise:
2 tbsp. wasabi powder
2 tbsp. water
1/2 c. mayonnaise

Anago Sauce:
6 tbsp. soy sauce
4 tbsp. mirin
2 tbsp. brown sugar
dash of rice wine vinegar

Wasabi mayonnaise: Mix the wasabi powder with the water until it forms a uniform paste. Mix with the mayonnaise. It tastes better if you let it sit in the refrigerator for an hour or so before serving.

Anago sauce: Combine ingredients in a small saucepan and bring to boil. Let boil for a minute or so and reduce to simmer until slightly thickened. Let cool (it will thicken some more, so don’t boil it down too much).

Combine the sesame seeds, salt, and pepper in a bowl. Completely coat the tuna steaks in the mixture, pressing seeds and seasonings into the flesh. Heat the oil in a large, shallow frying pan over high heat. When the oil is hot (chuck a sesame seed in and it should sizzle – just take care if the dam thing jumps and hits you!) set one or two steaks into the pan. Take care not to crowd the steaks. More than two at a time will make it hard to sear the sides without overcooking the other pieces. Sear for less than a minute on the flat sides (unless you want it more cooked) and while gently holding the steaks with tongs, sear for about 20 seconds (or more if you prefer) on the short sides. Remove to a cutting board and slice the steaks into 1/2 inch thick pieces at an angle – or leave whole if you prefer. Set avocado slices on a bed of salad greens and then fan the tuna on top. Drizzle with wasabi mayonnaise and anago sauce over the fish or serve on the side. Top with a sprinkle of masago. Serves 4.

January 2010 Roundup

I’ve got to tell you, I’ve been so inspired by other bloggers lately. They’ve come up with such incredible recipes, it amazes me. A lot of people in our life think we are excellent cooks, the truth of the matter is that we’re just really good at following recipes. There have been a few duds, but for the most part, most of my “recipes” that my friends and family have come to know and love have made their way into our recipes files through simple trial and error. So I hope you find some inspiration in these recipes, I know I sure as hell did.

In sweet recipes, Peaches and Cream Oatmeal from $5 Dinners, Cinnamon Roll Muffins from A Feast for the Eyes, Strawberry Banana Oatmeal Brulee from Annie’s Eats, Cara Cara Orange Curd from Apartment Therapy: The Kitchn, Chocolate Amaretto Trifle from Bakers’ Banter, Meyer Lemon Bundt Cake from Baking Bites, Kit Kat Squares from The Changeable Table, Salted Brown Butter Rice Krispie Treats from Laws of the Kitchen, No-Bake Chewy Granola Bars from Stylish Cuisine, and Lightened Tiramisu from Sweet Peas and Pumpkins.

In savory recipes, Pretzel Dogs from A Dash of Sass, Shredded Pork Taquitos from A Feast for the Eyes, Eggs Florentine Casserole from A Pookie Pantry, Southern-Style Peas with Shiners from A Southern Grace, Keftedes (Mom’s Little Meatballs) from A Year in the Kitchen, Glazed Meatloaf from Adventures in Home Cooking, Dijon Pork Tenderloin from Adventures in the Pioneer Valley, Roasted Pork Belly with Garlic and Char Siu Sauce from Almost Bourdain, Rock Shrimp Cobb Salad from Always Order Dessert, Scallops with Cauliflower Puree & Crumbly Bacon from Anne’s Food, Uova da Raviolo (Ravioli with an Egg Inside) from Apples and Butter, Healthy Chicken Tortilla Soup from Back to the Cutting Board, Golden Lentil Stew from BitterSweet, Egg Drop Ramen Soup and Chicken Monte Cristo from Bread + Butter, Quiche Lorraine Scones from Brown Eyed Baker, Chicken Tequila Burgers from Cara’s Cravings, Black Aged Garlic Risotto with Chanterelle and Oyster Mushrooms from Chez Us, Butternut Squash Carbonara and Caramelized Pear and Gorgonzola Omelette with Bacon and Pecans from Closet Cooking, Salisbury Stroganoff from Cooking for My Peace of Mind, Sun-Dried Tomato Cottage Cheese Muffins from eat me, delicious, Spicy Italian Sausage Quiche from Equal Opportunity Kitchen, Risotto alla Gorgonzola from The Experimental Gourmand, Frikadelle from Freestyle Cookery, Linguine with Tartufata (Truffle Sauce) from Gourmet Traveller 88, Chicken, Sausage and Leek Pasta Bake from Jam and Clotted Cream, Rogue River Blue with Pear and Walnut from Jason Truesdell: Pursuing My Passions, Baked Chicken Kiev from Joelen’s Culinary Adventures, Fonduta Crab Mac ‘n Cheese from Judy’s Kitchen, Southwestern Omelet with Easy Guacamole and Salsa from Kalyn’s Kitchen, Fennel and Blood Orange Salad from Kitchenography, Cauliflower Stilton Soup and Greek Nachos from Macheesmo, Bistro Chicken from Never Enough Thyme, Barbacoa Beef Recipe (Chipotle Copycat) from Nibbles of Tidbits, Individual Baked Omelets from One Perfect Bite, Veal Scallopini with Garlic Cream Sauce from Pham Fatale, Homemade Chicken and Noodles from The Pioneer Woman Cooks, Jane’s Wild Mushroom Risotto from Restaurant Girl, Cheesy Reuben Appetizer from The Sporadic Cook, Beetroot Tortelloni with Wild Mushroom Medley from The Sugar Bar, Roasted Chicken and Brie Panini with Hot Raspberry Jam from Supermarket Serenade, Italian Chopped Salad from Sweet and Saucy, and Mulligatawney Soup from What Do I Want To Cook Today?.

Fresh Blueberry Waffles

Ever get a craving for something that’s so persistent, you obsess over it for months? For the last six months, I would have given my right arm for a blueberry waffle. I know, it would have been easy enough to pop in an Eggo, but they’re just not the same. And the blueberry waffles at Bob Evans are awful. I don’t want all that sugary syrupy crap on my waffles – I just wanted a nice, buttermilk-laden home made waffle. Easy enough order, but I didn’t have a traditional waffle maker (and Belgian waffles aren’t quite what I wanted). So finally, I gave in and bought a cheap wafflemaker from And it works beautifully.

Fresh Blueberry Waffles

The trick to making good waffles in a waffle maker is to make sure that there’s plenty of fat in the batter. It makes them naturally nonstick and a breeze to pop in and out. Topped with a touch of butter and just a drizzle of blueberry syrup and a couple of blueberries, it was a little piece of heaven. And they freeze wonderfully. We’ve now got a packet of ready-made waffles to pop in the toaster when the mood hits.

Fresh Blueberry Waffles
recipe from Baking Bites food blog

1 3/4 c. all purpose flour
1/4 c. cornstarch
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
3 tbsp. sugar
1 1/2 c. buttermilk
2 large eggs
2 tsp. vanilla extract
6 tbsp. butter, melted and cooled
1 c. fresh blueberries, plus more for topping

In a large bowl, whisk together flour, cornstarch, baking powder, baking soda, salt and sugar. In a medium bowl, whisk together buttermilk, eggs, vanilla and melted butter until smooth. Pour into dry ingredients and whisk until well combined. Stir in blueberries. Allow batter to rest for 5-10 minutes.

Preheat your waffle iron and lightly grease with cooking spray.

Cook dollops of waffle batter according to the directions of your iron. Serve immediately. Serves 6-8 (the number of waffles will depend on the size of your waffle iron).