While I have contributed sides to family dinners before, on Saturday night I made a full dinner for my family for the first time. I’m not going to lie: I’m kinda proud of myself! I am still learning how to cook, but I do have some interest. As a student, I’m always looking out for the fastest, but still tasty, meals to make. That’s why it was nice just to block out an afternoon to cook, while my parents visited my sister and me in Toronto. I even did my best to “mise en place” everything before starting to cook and thought about the timing in advance. Then again, the print out of the recipes were covered in sauce by the end. I am not a neat cook!
I had some help with the menu, in that I made the August Food Network Cooking Club Challenge for the main course of tangy short ribs with coleslaw as a side; and for dessert, I made peach berry cobbler for the Food Network Anna Olson’s Bake Off. They both just seemed to go together for a summer meal.
This month’s CCC was more special as it was a tribute to Anthony Sedlak, who passed away in July. I was quite saddened to hear about this, especially since he was so young, not even 30. I didn’t watch his show, The Main, regularly, but I thought he was a warm-hearted and genuine Food Network chef. August’s CCC was one of his recipes. I find it meaningful that his legacy lives on in people cooking his recipes and making new memories.
After studying the recipes, I had my game plan down. I first prepared the coleslaw, so that it could chill and so that the cabbage could get to know the vinaigrette – OK, when did I start talking like a FNC host? I think one of the reasons I’ve never made coleslaw before is because it just seemed so time-consuming to chop up the cabbage. I had some help from my sister, but it wasn’t that bad 😉 It was a refreshing salad especially without any cream in the dressing. I hope to make this again in the future.
While the coleslaw hung around in the fridge, I prepped for the ribs. Here are the short ribs I had seared earlier with all the liquid before going into the oven for some braising.
All glazed up after reducing the liquid!
The final spread along with roasted potatoes – mix of red skinned and fingerlings. My mom also brought some bak choy over, yum.
While the ribs were braising, I started making the peach cobbler with peaches and blueberries from the St. Lawrence Market bought earlier in the morning. So much fruit! Tossed in cinnamon and sugar.
Fat dollops of batter.
All golden and crispy on top.
The cobbler turned out great. It was finished by the time I was finished with the glaze for the ribs, so I just kept it warm in a turned off oven while we ate dinner.
Usually I eat fruit crisps, so I particularly liked the soft, moist, and buttery biscuit on top instead. The fruit flavours came out even more since the biscuit itself was more plain.
It was a great family meal. Everyone helped set the table and clear up. I was also lucky to have a great sous chef mom who helped peel some peaches and reminded me to put the rice in the rice cooker! I enjoyed cooking for my family, even though I was a bit anxious during some key points. It was a pleasant way to spend the last weekend in August.