Cabernet Braised Short Ribs with Parmesan Polenta

Cabernet Braised Short Ribs with Parmesan Polenta


Oh jeebus folks. WOW to infinity. I just ate this so my belly is really happy right now and I kinda have no words. Savory, beefy, herbalicious, melt-in-your-mouth polenta and cheesy – could this be any better AND it’s a Cooking Light recipe. Nom, nom, nom.

As you might know. I love doing low and slow things on Sundays, and since ACL is going on right in our backyard and we are hunkered down here in the casa, why not? Sure, there are a lot of ingredients, but once you get past all of the chopping it’s pretty easy. I did add two things. One, once the rib sauce started to boil down, I added a tablespoon of tomato paste plus a dash of nutmeg and half and half to the polenta to give it a bit more oomph.  We loved the fall-off-the-bone ribs, over the creamy polenta with the wicked sauce and that special touch of parsley gremolata that gave it a fresh zing. Plus, there are delicious leftovers the next day. I’ll be you that sauce is even better tomorrow!



Ribs braising in the sauce. YUM!

I couldn’t find the recipe online, so here you go:


  • 16 (3-ounce) bone-in beef short ribs, trimmed
  • 5/8 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons, olive oil, divided
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 3/4 cup chopped shallots
  • 1/2 cup chopped carrot
  • 1/2 cup chopped celery
  • 6 garlic cloves, sliced
  • 1 rosemary sprig
  • 2 1/2 cups cabernet sauvignon or other dry red wine
  • 1 1/4 cups lower-sodium beef broth
  • 1 teaspoon all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons water
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar


  • 1/3 cup chopped fresh Italian parsley
  • 1/2 teaspoon grated lemon rind
  • 1 garlic clove, minced


  • 3 cups fat-free milk
  • 1 cup water
  • 5/8 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 cup quick-cooking polenta
  • 1/4 cup grated fresh Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese

1. Sprinkle ribs with salt and pepper. Heat a large Dutch oven over medium high heat. Add 1 teaspoon olive oil to pan. Add 8 ribs, and sauté for 6 minutes, turning to brown on all sides. Remove ribs. Repeat procedure with remaining 1 teaspoon oil and the next 5 ingredients (through rosemary) to pan; sauté 3 minutes, stirring constantly. Add wine to pan, and bring to a boil, scraping pan to loosen browned bits. Cook for 13 minutes or until reduced to 2 cups.

2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

3. Add broth to pan, and bring to a boil. Return ribs to pan. Cover and bake at 350 degrees for 1 1/2 hours, turning ribs after 45 minutes. Remove ribs from pan and strain liquid through a fine-mesh sieve over a bowl. Discard the solid. Skim fat; discard.  Return cooking liquid to pan. Combine flour and 2 teaspoons water in a small bowl, stirring well. Add to pan, and bring to a boil. Cook for 11 minutes or until reduced to about 1 cup. Stir in vinegar.

4. To prepare gremolata, combine 1/3 cup parsley, 1/2 teaspoon lemon rind and minced garlic.

5. To prepare polenta, bring 3 cups milk, 1 cup water, 5/8 teaspoon salt and 1/8 teaspoon black pepper to a boil over medium heat. Slowly stir in 1 cup polenta. Cook 5 minutes or until thick, stirring frequently. Stir in cheese. Place 1/2 cup polenta in each of 8 shallow bowls, and top each serving with 2 ribs, 2 tablespoons sauce and about 2 teaspoons gremolata.


Fried Egg Panzanella

Stop the press, I’m giving you one of my own recipes! Wheeee! I tend to make this little beauty once or twice a week because it’s simple, healthy, and pretty good if I do say some myself. It all started when I had leftover tomatoes and spinach and was hankering for eggs. Voila, Fried Egg Panzanella! I would love for you to give this a try and let me know what you think.


  • 3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 2 tablespoons garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup panko breadcrumbs
  • 1 cup tomatoes, chopped
  • 2 cups fresh spinach
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar, divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon of Kosher salt, divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon of crushed red pepper, divided

Heat skillet over medium heat and add olive oil. Once the oil starts to shimmer, add garlic and breadcrumbs. Mix together until combined (careful not to burn the garlic). Add the chopped tomatoes and cook until softened, about four minutes. Add spinach and combine with tomato/breadcrumb mixture until wilted. Create two little pockets and add the remaining tablespoon of olive oil to each pocket evenly. Crack the eggs in the pockets, like so…

Cover skillet and cook eggs for about five minutes or until whites are set. I like my yolks super runny but cook however you like it. Scoop out tomato and spinach mixture into a bowl and top with fried egg. Repeat with remaining mixture and egg. Top with each with 1/2 teaspoon of balsamic vinegar and salt and red pepper.



Awesome Grilled Cheese

I do like grilled cheese with bacon. I do like grilled cheese with tomato. I do like grilled cheese with tomato and bacon. Grilled cheese with sun-dried tomato and olive tapenade? You betcha.

Sorry, I was reading to two very cute kiddos today and I’m channeling my inner Seuss. I got back late from the kitchen last night and after a brief wedding catch-up with David, it was time to start cooking. I’m using the term “cooking” loosely since this took two seconds to make. As David took our dog Cricket on a walk, I had these d.o.n.e. done. This felt so super indulgent but actually, the tapenade and the tomato filled the sandwich so much you got just enough cheese to feel satisfied. Plus, what a fun and different twist on a grilled cheese! If you are mouthbreathing like a champ and want something slightly decadent but actually a little good for you – tomatoes, olives, whole wheat bread – keep this recipe on hand.

Grilled Gruyere and Olive Tapenade Sandwiches (Photo by John Autry)

Grubwithus ACL After Party!

So, I was just contacted by Grubwithus for an ACL after party this Saturday at Malverde. Although I am not going to ACL this year, I can still attend a party! In case you don’t know what Grubwithus is, here you go:

Grubwithus is a new company that offers affordable prix fixe dinners at quality restaurants with a twist. These dinners usually have between 6-10 people who have never met.  People can reserve a spot at dinner with friends, but it is definitely a interesting experience when everyone at the table is a stranger. Grubwithus’ unique Groupon-meets-Living Social concept has recently gained national recognition in The New York Times, Huffington Post and Tech Crunch. Grubwithus has already launched in NYC, Chicago, DC, San Francisco and LA  with plans to launch in Seattle and Boston before years end. Having Grubwithus in Austin is an exciting chance to eat quality food on the cheap and make some new friends along the way. The full list of upcoming meals can be found at

Cool way to make new friends and network huh? Here is the invite for the after party for those who are interested. I will see you there!

If you are going to ACL, who are you excited to see?


Do you feel like chicken tonight?

Well, you will with this Sautéed Chicken with Olives, Capers and Roasted Lemons from the gentle Italian lamb and talented Chef Lidia Bastianich.  This hails from the same great line-up of female chef recipes I tried last week and was so lovely in every way. The lemons were muted a bit due to roasting them in olive oil and were contrasted by the briny olives and capers. I also loved the crispy breadcrumbs and arugula (it calls for spinach but I wanted a bit of spiciness to this) that made it feel like a substantial but not too filling meal. The one thing that really gave a “zing” to the chicken was the simple light dusting with flour before sautéing. A simple but effective step that made the chicken slightly crispy while still retaining its moisture.  I felt the simplicity and bright, clean flavors of the dish is what really made this a winner for us. Serve this to your loved ones or at a dinner party, trust me, their will be licked plates.


Sauteed Chicken with Olives, Capers and Roasted Lemons (Photo by Tina Rupp)

Girl Power!

You might be saying to yourself, “self, doth my eyes deceive me or is this really a new Cooking Inside the Lines post?” Yes it is, and I also made you sound like a Shakespearean actor, ha! I know, I know. I’ve been really bad about posting but I have managed to try some fantastic recipes recently, even in the midst of planning a wedding and running my own pie business. I still can’t believe I get to marry the man of my dreams next month. I am just dripping with happiness that I get to be Mrs. Emily Kealey!  Sorry, I digress.

Food and Wine magazine has this excellent little slideshow featuring recipes from top female chefs, and I have the pleasure of telling you that the three I tried were all rock stars. Go ladies, do your thang! I liked these so much, that I’m trying three more from this round-up this week to see how they turn out. Scout’s honor, I will keep you posted. In the meantime, give these three beauties a try. Here they are with my thoughts:

Spicy Chicken Cacciatore – Deep , rich, spicy flavors. A beautiful dish from Chef Barbara Lynch. We loved this “deconstructed” version of a chicken cacciatore, and I love me some chicken cacciatore so I’ve tried many at home. See, you don’t have to pick from the litter, just make this one!

Spicy Chicken Cacciatore (Photo by Marcus Nilsson)

Seared Scallops with Basil, Anchovy and Sweet Corn Pudding – When I saw the pairing of these two dishes I thought, “hmm not sure if they fit together, but they both sound so delicious, let’s just see.” Well, they don’t pair really. I would like to serve the Sweet Corn Pudding with some kind of ham smothered in some kind of gravy. The scallops were just delicious with the basil and anchovies, and I think I would have liked it better if they were nestled on top of a turnip or parsnip puree. They are just so elegant that the pudding kind of threw us off. Either way, both were delicious, and quick to boot.

Seared Scallops with Basil, Anchovy and Sweet Corn Pudding (Photo by Anna Williams)

Hanger Steak with Herb-Nut Salsa – Hands down our favorite of the group. They had us at herb-nut salsa and Chef Naomi Pomeroy is one of my favorites. This was quick, delicious, crunchy, savory, herbalicious and packed a super flavor punch. if I’m in a pinch and want something I know is going to be the bomb, this is it.

Hangar Steak with Herb-Nut Salsa (Photo by Petrina Tinslay)