Sunday, October 24, 2010

Who Loves Ya Baby Back?

Do you love me?  Because I love you, readers.  And, I love these baby back ribs from the one and only Alton Brown. 

I am dedicating this post to my co-worker Brenda F. who told me that "going on a vacation to Hawaii is no excuse to not blog".  Well, Brenda, I do believe you're correct. 

As I looked back in my archive of food photos I realized I am backlogged through June and to be honest, some of the photos I'm not sure a) what they are and b) what recipe they're from.  Kind of a problem.  Let's also keep in mind that I'm so back-logged that the season has officially changed.  And let's face it, nobody is going to want to cook that delicious berry salad with poppy citrus dressing as the weather turns cooler.  No, it's officially comfort food season, now.  So, I'll do my best to niggle in some of those older recipes where I can but otherwise maybe some of those will make an appearance when it gets warm again...unless someone is just dying to see them all now?  If so, speak now or forever hold your peace.

This is one of those recipes that I think should still apply because 1) it's football season.  And football season = tailgating = copious amounts of MEAT.  2) It's also a recipe that you can cook indoors.  Hey, the long oven cooktime could help add heat to your home at the same time...double duty!  If you're like me, you've problem turned off your A/C by now and also not yet switched on your heat (unless you live in a colder climate).  This means that your house is probably getting just cold enough that you wouldn't mind a little latent heat helping to take off a bit of that chill.

I made 3 slabs of Alton's ribs for my tailgating themed dinner party back in September.  This was my first attempt at ribs and so I was quite nervous given they'd be the main course.  I watched the video episode for this recipe online and that certainly helped.  I'm pleased to announce that they were a hit!  All 3 slabs were devoured even though these little babies are so meaty you only need a few to fill you up. 

Fair warning: if you're expecting your typical BBQ ribs you ought to try a different recipe.  This sauce is different...and in a good way!  Oh and the dry rub?  That stuff is good on all meats and one batch will cover about 4 slabs of ribs (or whatever other meat your heart desires).

Now, because I love you, here's the recipe to some finger lickin' good ribs.

One Year Ago: Chili and Chicken Pot Pie

Who Loves Ya Baby Back?
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Prep Time: 1 hr 10 min
Cook Time: 3 hr 25 min
Yields: 2 slabs of ribs


2 whole slabs pork baby back ribs

Dry Rub*:
  • 8 tablespoons light brown sugar, tightly packed
  • 3 tablespoons kosher salt**
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon jalapeno seasoning (omitted - couldn't find)
  • 1/2 teaspoon Old Bay Seasoning
  • 1/2 teaspoon rubbed thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
Braising Liquid:

  • 1 cup white wine
  • 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
*Rub makes multiple batches (for me, covered 3 slabs plus probably enough for 1 more).  Either scale it down to meet your needs or save the rub for other uses.  The rub can be extended/reduced by any amount, as long as the ratio of 8:3:1:1 remains the same.

**Make sure you are using KOSHER salt.  If you are using tablesalt, this should be scaled down to about 1 tablespoon due to different granule size of the salts.  And, if you're like me and are sensitive to salt, you might want to cut down to 2 tablespoons of kosher salt instead of 3.

  1. Preheat oven to 225 degrees.
  2. In a bowl, combine all dry ingredients and mix well. Place each slab of baby back ribs on a piece of heavy-duty aluminum foil, shiny side down. Sprinkle each side generously with the dry rub. Pat the dry rub into the meat. Refrigerate the ribs for a minimum of 1 hour. In a microwavable container, combine all ingredients for the braising liquid. Microwave on high for 1 minute.
  3. Place the ribs on a baking sheet. Open one end of the foil on each slab and pour half of the braising liquid into each foil packet. Tilt the baking sheet in order to equally distribute the braising liquid. Braise the ribs in the oven for 2 1/2 hours.
  4. After 2 1/2 hours, check ribs for doneness by gently opening foil packet and twisting a bone.  If the bone turns slightly in the socket, it is done.  Otherwise, continue cooking until done.
  5. Place foil packet on top of a medium saucepan.  Cut slits in the middle of the foil packet so that the braising liquid drains into the pan.  Skim out the oil layer.  Bring the liquid to a simmer and reduce by half or until of a thick syrup consistency (this took me about 30 minutes). Brush the glaze onto the ribs.
  6. Place under the broiler just until the glaze caramelizes lightly or finish on the grill. Slice each slab into 2 rib bone portions. Place the remaining hot glaze into a bowl and toss the rib portions in the glaze.
Source: Alton Brown

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Nakalele Blowhole

Hi friends!  I admit I've been a bad blogger but I do have a somewhat legit excuse...I've been in PARADISE the past couple weeks.  No cooking, no cleaning, no nothing except relaxing and working on my tan :D. 

It's not food but here's a video of one of our adventures...

I'll be back with more delicious food once life settles back down.  Promise!

Click here to view this video