Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Barbequed Ribs

Wow, I can’t believe how long it has been since I have posted to my blog. I usually don’t participate in the “I’m the busiest” competition, because I think winning would be, well, sad. But, I have to say that I have been really busy. My daughter is in a youth production of Les Miserables, and we (read me) have to put in twenty-five hours. I signed up for the costume committee, so I have been sewing like crazy. I have sewn 5 vests, 6 cravats, and helped my daughter with two peasant blouses. By the time I’m finished I will have put in way more them twenty-five hours. Next time, I am volunteering for the snack bar!

Two weeks ago, I needed to attend the costume parade (it is not nearly as fun as it sounds), and Les had to work, so I found a play date for my son with my friend Sandy’s sons. On the day of the parade, Sandy called me, and said that as long as I was picking my son up at 6pm, would we be interested in having dinner over at their house. It almost didn’t seem fair that I impose on her like this, but “yes” came out before I could feel really guilty.

Why am I telling you all this? Well, Sandy served the best ribs I have every eaten. Les and I ate more ribs than we should have, and then I proceeded to think about the ribs all week. Lucky for me, the rib recipe is in the June 2009 issue of Food & Wine. I knew I needed to make these ribs myself. I asked my dad and Lynn to dinner on Saturday and I made these ribs. They were just as good the second time. I’m not sure I can add any tasting notes except “make these ribs now!”

Sandy used apple jalapeno jelly instead of just straight apple jelly, and I loved the sweet spicy flavor. I didn’t have apple jalapeno jelly, so I just dump a teaspoon or two of diced jalapeno in my glaze, and that added the perfect spiciness.

Apple-Glazed Barbecued Baby Back Ribs
Adapted from Food & Wine
½ cup dark brown sugar, seperated
4 teaspoons garlic salt
4 teaspoons pure ancho chile powder
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
½ teaspoon celery salt
¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
¼ teaspoon cinnamon
¼ teaspoon ground white pepper
½ cup apple cider
¼ cup apple jelly, melted
1 teaspoon minced jalapeno
¼ cup honey
2 racks baby back ribs (about 4 pounds)
1 cup prepared barbecue sauce

Preheat the oven to 250°F. In a bowl, mix ¼ cup of the brown sugar with the next 8 ingredients. Transfer one tablespoon of the mixture to a small bowl, and whisk in the cider, apple jelly, honey, jalapeno and the remaining ¼ cup of brown sugar. Pull the membrane off the underside of the ribs, or if you’re like me and have no patience, score the rib meat between each rib. Then on a rimmed baking sheet, rub the ribs with the spice mix, and bake meaty side up for 2 ½ hours. Pour the cider over the ribs, and turn to coat. Tightly cover with foil and bake for 1 hour.

Light a grill, and uncover the ribs and remove to another baking sheet or platter, and pour some of the cooking liquid into the barbeque sauce and stir. Brush ribs with the barbeque sauce mixture and grill over moderate heat for 15 minutes. Let rest for 10 minutes, then cut between the bone and serve.

Friday, July 3, 2009

Happy 4th of July

I found these red star dishes at Marshalls a couple of weeks ago, and I couldn’t resist buying them. I knew they would be perfect for 4th of July, but I needed something to serve in them. Candy? Maybe, but candy would melt if we had a hot day (at least my kind of candy). Nuts? Sure, but I wanted something more than just salted nuts. I wanted sweet and spicy nuts.

I found this recipe for Sweet and Spicy Nuts from the Redbook Magazine website. I liked the spice mixture in this recipe, but I adapted it to make it a little spicier. I had a hard time finding unsalted nuts, so I used salted nuts. I just didn’t add salt in the spice mixture. If you use unsalted nuts, add 2 teaspoons salt in the mixture below.

Sweet Spicy Nuts
6 cups of mixed nuts
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
1 egg white

Preheat the oven to 325°, and grease two rimmed baking sheets.

Mix the sugar, cinnamon, cumin, black pepper and cayenne pepper in a small bowl. Beat the egg white in a large bowl until foamy. Add the nuts to the egg, and mix until all of the nuts are coated. Add the spice mixture and mix until all of the nuts are coated in the spice mixture.

Spread the nuts out on the two baking sheets, and bake for 20-25 minutes stirring twice. The nuts will be lightly brown.


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