Baby Back Ribs

Average NinjaMmm, yeah!  Baby Back Ribs.  It doesn’t get any better than this!

 

Honestly, I borrowed most of the dry rub from Alton Brown, of Good Eats fame.  Great show.  It will teach you to cook better than any of those BAM shows or the Blue Tortilla guy ever will.

I like his rub and his braise, but Baby Back Ribs should have smoke.  ‘Nuff said on that.

Also?  they are done when the bone wiggle a little, but does not come free without a little effort.  You want your ribs to be tender but have some toothsome feel to them.  Fall off the bone is overdone, though still tasty.  I won’t throw out a fall off the bone rib; I’ll simply adjust my time for the next batch.

 

Ok, the howto.

Put down a bunch of plastic wrap on the counter, making sure it overlaps.  This makes cleanup easier.

Open the pack of Baby Back Ribs and gently rinse them off.  Put them on the plastic wrap, and pat them dry with paper towels.

Evenly spread the dry run on the meaty side.  Rub it in, gently.  The batch of dry rub I’m listing below is good for three racks of ribs.

Baby Back Ribs Baby Back Ribs Baby Back Ribs

 

Put the ribs on the smoker.  Warm smoke them for three hours, at around 160 degrees.

Now get a large sheet of heavy duty aluminum foil, large enough for one rack of ribs plus about four inches on either end.  GENTLY put a rack of ribs in the foil, and fold up the sides, crimping the top together, plus one of the ends.  Leave the last end open, but a little bent upwards.  Do this for all three racks, but be very careful that the bones on the racks don’t make holes in the tinfoil.

[No photo here.  I seem to miss taking one every single time.]

Now make the braise liquid.  Pour 1/3 of it into each tinfoiled rack of ribs.  Gently crimp the last end.  Put all three of these in your oven on 225 degrees, or back on the smoker at the same temperature.  I use the oven, because I am not a fan of wasting wood to smoke tinfoil.

Cook for another three hours, or until the bones can gently wiggle, but not quite fall off the meat without pressure.

Drain the liquid, carefully.  It’s Hot!

Now you must make a tough decision.  Wet, or dry?  If you like dry, cut them into two bone pieces, serve them and enjoy!  Personally, I like mine painted with my favorite BBQ sauce, then back on the smoker for another half hour.  it sets the sauce and adds just a hint more smoke.  The choice is up to you.  Choose wisely.

Either way, your dinner guests will snarf them up, and you will be sad the next day for no leftovers.  Or don’t invite anyone over, and have a lot for yourself.  or buy a second wire rack for the smoker, and do six instead of three!

Baby Back Ribs Baby Back Ribs Baby Back Ribs

Baby Back Ribs

 

Baby Back Ribs
Author: 
Recipe type: Entree
Cuisine: American
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 3 racks
 
Baby Back Ribs! Awesomacity at it's finest! (yes, it's a real word!) (ok, maybe not, but it should be!) This is enough rub and braise liquid for three racks
Ingredients
  • Dry Rub
  • 8 Tablespoons brown sugar
  • 3 Tablespoons salt
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon paprika, or smoked paprika
  • ½ teaspoon thyme
  • ½ teaspoon onion powder
  • ⅜ teaspoon cayenne pepper

  • Braise liquid
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 Tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 2 Tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 Tablespoon honey
  • 2 cloves garlic
Instructions
  1. To make dry rub, put ingredients into a zip top bag and shake until well mixed.
  2. To make braising liquid, put ingredients into a microwave safe bowl and microwave on high for one to two minutes, immediately before pouring into the tinfoil.
  3. Open the pack of Baby Back Ribs and gently rinse them off. Pat them dry with paper towels.
  4. Evenly spread the dry run on the meaty side. Rub it in, gently.
  5. Put the ribs on the smoker. Warm smoke them for three hours, at around 160 degrees.
  6. Now get a large sheet of heavy duty aluminum foil, large enough for one rack of ribs plus about four inches on either end. GENTLY put a rack of ribs in the foil, and fold up the sides, crimping the top together, plus one of the ends. Leave the last end open, but a little bent upwards. Do this for all three racks, but be very careful that the bones on the racks don't make holes in the tinfoil.
  7. Now make the braising liquid. Pour ⅓ of it into each tinfoiled rack of ribs. Gently crimp the last end. Put all three of these in your oven on 225 degrees.
  8. Cook for another three hours, or until the bones can gently wiggle, but not quite fall off the meat without pressure.
  9. Careful draining the braising liquid, it will be hot. Cut ribs into two bone pieces and serve, or paint with your favorite BBQ sauce and smoke for another half hour, then cut and serve.

 

French Toast

French ToastAnother quick post.  French Toast.

And not just any French Toast, but the most awesome French Toast.

Growing up, in my home what we got, which was good, was just beaten eggs with bread dipped into it and cooked on a griddle.  Sometimes, the bread was broken into chunks and just stirred with the beaten eggs, then all at once was put on the griddle and cooked, occasionally stirred or turned to get it all cooked.  The issue with *that* was that the eggs didn’t coat all the bread and some of the thicker chunks didn’t get fully cooked in the middle.  Personally, I love runny eggs, especially as a French Omelette, although admittedly with a few less herbs than Julia uses.  But when soaked with maple syrup, I find it to be cloyingly sweet and a little gross.  Of course, I also do not like maple syrup on scrambled eggs, or even McGriddle sandwiches.  Yuck.  My brother disagrees with me, and he adored the chumps of french-toast-like-stuff we ate as kids.

I am more of a purest.  I believe that you should make the French Toast in toast shapes, though I do add more than just eggs.  I actually tried a few different recipes (few dozen?), and even tried winging it a bunch and just put whatever looked good into the bowl and mixed it up.  It wasn’t bad, but it wasn’t awesome, either.  We actually now go to the Joy of Cooking, that wonderful classic of American cooking.  If you don’t have it, you should go get it.

Also?  it is good with normal sandwich bread, but to reach awesome levels of goodness, you need a thicker bread, and it is even better if that bread is a little stale or dried out.  We lay out the bread on a rack for a half hour or so before putting it in the custard, if we can at all stir up the patience for it.  And for those super special occasions, we get a big pack of Croissants, cut in half length-wise, and use those.  Awesomocity at it’s finest!

Really simple, too.  Dump all the ingredients into a bowl, whisk them (with a fork or a balloon whisk), and dip the bread into them until well coated.  Put it on a 325-350 degree griddle, flip them when the first side is golden brown, remove when the second side is golden brown.  Serve with butter or syrup.

French Toast French Toast French Toast French Toast French Toast French Toast French Toast French Toast French Toast

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Oh, and don’t forget Croissants!

French Toast French Toast

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

French Toast
Author: 
Recipe type: Breakfast
Cuisine: American
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 8-10 slices
 
Best French Toast, ever!
Ingredients
  • ½ Cup heavy cream (or half and half, or whole milk)
  • 4 large eggs
  • 2 tablespoons powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • ¼ teaspoon salt

  • 8-10 slices of bread (more or less depending on the type of bread used)
Instructions
  1. Preheat griddle or pan to between 325-350 degrees (when drops of water dance and evaporate rather than just sitting there)
  2. Put all the ingredients, other than the bread, into a bowl and whisk it together.
  3. Dip slices of bread into the custard and onto the griddle. Turn when golden brown, remove when second side is golden brown.
  4. Serve with butter and maple syrup, or powdered sugar.

 

Tomato Relish

Tomato RelishOk, This will be a quick post.  We have a friend that has had our Tomato Relish and wants it, so here it is.

Oh, and the difference between relish, tapenade, salsa, chutney and all other sorts of toppings?

Quick overview.

Pickle: preserve (food or other perishable items) in vinegar, brine, or a similar solution.

Relish: A piquant or spicy condiment eaten with food to add flavor; specifically a sauce made of chopped pickled vegetables.

Chutney: a spicy condiment made of fruits or vegetables with vinegar, spices, and sugar, originating in India.

Salsa: a spicy tomato sauce.

Tapenade: a Provençal paste or dip, made from black olives, capers, and anchovies.

 

Basically, a relish is chopped and pickled vegetables, and a chutney is a particular type of relish (of which Tomato Relish is NOT).  Also, Even though this uses tomatoes, it is not spicy, so it is not a salsa.  Also?  No capers, olives, or anchovies, so tapenade is completely out.

“Relish” will have to do.

 

Chop up a couple of tomatoes.  Finely dice red onion.  Put them in a bowl.

Tomato Relish

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chop some fresh basil (love that stuff!). Add it to the bowl.

Tomato Relish Tomato Relish

Add olive oil and a good balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper to taste and stir together.  Oh, and a good balsamic vinegar should be a taste thing, not an expensive thing.  $18-20 for a bottle should be sufficient, don’t go get that $60 bottle, and for the love of all that is good in the world, do NOT get the $4 bottle!  it won;t be balsamic vinegar, check the label.  If it says “musk wine”, then ditch it; that stuff is vile and not actually balsamic vinegar.  Wine musk is the dregs at the bottom of the wine barrel after they take out most of the wine.  Eww.

We buy from Mountain Town Olive Oil Company in Provo, at the River Bottoms shopping plaza.

Oh, and the relish is great right after made, but even better after a few hours.  But not the next day, not so much, so eat it fresh.

Tomato Relish

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Buy or make some Crustini.  We bought here because we were in a hurry, but a decent loaf of crusty bread cut into 1/4″ slices, lightly brushed with olive oil then broiled until toasted will do just fine.  If you want to be authentic, cut a clove of garlic in half and rub all over the bread as soon as it comes out of the oven, while still hot.  Mmmmm.
Tomato Relish

 

 

 

 

 

 

Put some of the relish on the Crustini and enjoy.

Tomato Relish

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tomato Relish
Author: 
Recipe type: Appetizer
Cuisine: Italian
Prep time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 1 bowl
 
Simple, fresh, and delicious topping for Crustinis or crusty bread
Ingredients
  • 4 cups diced tomato (2-3 large tomatoes)
  • ¼ cup red onion, minced
  • ¼ cup fresh basil, chopped
  • ¼ cup balsamic vinegar
  • ¼ cup olive oil, extra virgin
  • salt and pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. Stir together all ingredients in a bowl.
  2. May eat immediately, or let it blend for an hour or two. Eat while fresh, does NOT keep very well overnight.
  3. Server with Crustini or on slices of crusty bread.