Our youngest niece headed off to college this weekend; the same niece who was a three-year-old when The Professor and I got married. I know – total whiplash . . . and before you ask, yes, I’m feeling rather old thank-you-very-much.
My Instagram, Twitter and Facebook feed is filled with ‘first day of school’ photos, ‘last trip to the pool’ photos and the wailing and nashing of teeth about the return of school – from both children and their parents . . . as well as a few aunties and uncles. And I will admit to being a little teary-eyed myself when The Professor headed back to campus this week; it meant the end of waking up slowly with the sun and instead, waking up abruptly to the incessant blare of an alarm clock at 5:30am. It means packing lunches, an earlier bedtime and a new calendar filled with production work, faculty meetings and classroom lectures with the reprieve of a few holiday breaks in between.
One of the many highlights of our summer, was a long dinner one evening at Bluebeard in Indianapolis with good friends, Irvin and AJ; Indiana was one stop on a 7-week roadtrip the two were taking and we couldn’t have asked for a more perfect evening or place. The weather was warm but we sat outside under some shade; our server, (named Elvis – pinky swear) took very good care of us and allowed us to visit for as long as we wanted the table – and the food was some of the best I’ve had in Indianapolis. We hugged, we talked, we laughed, we sipped cocktails and wine, we gossiped (just keepin’ it real), we enjoyed dinner and dessert and four hours later, we realized it was nearly 10:30pm – exactly how summer dinner with friends should be!
I’m currently hooked on kimchi and the short-rib kimchi wraps at Bluebeard’s were so memorable, I came home, found a recipe and have now made them twice. Grilled, buttery, short-ribs, sticky rice and salty, spicy kimchi rolled into a lovely lettuce wrap – what’s not to love???
SHORT RIB WRAPS WITH KIMCHI CHIMICHURRI
Ever so slightly adapted from The Kimchi Cookbook
NOTE: You’ll need to marinate the short ribs for 24-hours so plan accordingly
FOR THE CHIMICHURRI MARINADE:
- ¾ cup white napa cabbage kimchi
- ½ cup chopped yellow onion
- 1/3 cup chopped cilantro
- ½ cup kimchi juice
- 2 Tablespoons minced garlic
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1-1/2 pounds of boneless short ribs
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 2 teaspoons fresh ground black pepper
FOR THE SSAMJANG:
- 1 Tablespoon toasted sesame oil
- 2 Tablespoons yellow mild miso paste
- 2 teaspoons Korean chili pepper flakes
- Whole pieces of green or red lettuce leaves – washed, separated and dried (I used Bibb lettuce as it naturally forms a ‘bowl’ and is easy to wrap)
- 2 cups any red napa cabbage kimchi, chopped for serving
- In a blender, add ¾ cup kimchi, yellow onion, cilantro, kimchi juice, 2 Tablespoons garlic and 1 teaspoon kosher salt; blend well
- Seasons the short ribs on both sides with the remaining salt and the pepper
- Pour half of the sauce into a gallon-size resealable bag, place the short ribs inside, press air out, seal and massage sauce into the ribs, making sure all areas of the ribs are covered in sauce; refrigerate for 24-hours
- In a small bowl, blend the remaining chimichurri sauce with the sesame oil, miso and chili pepper flakes and refrigerate until ready to serve
THE NEXT DAY:
- About 30 minutes before serving, remove ribs from refrigerator and discard marinade; pat the ribs dry to remove as much of the marinade as possible and allow to come to room temperature
- Heat outdoor grill (we have a Big Green Egg but any grill will work); when it’s ready, place ribs on hot grill and sear. Cook 4-5 minutes on each side depending on how well done you want the ribs; you’re looking for a nice crust to form on each side as this adds flavor
- Let the ribs rest for 8-10 minutes before carving; slice the meat thinly against the grain
- Arrange a few pieces of lettuce on the plate and layer with a bit of rice, a few slices of short-rib, drizzle with chimichurri sauce and top with chopped kimchi