Enchiladas

Had a hankering for these again today.  Nothing special.  All good.  Enjoy!

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Thursday Night Menu: Let’s Grill

I had some chipotle peppers left over from the Baby Back Ribs with Citrus Glaze last week, so I thought I’d pull this marinade out for this Thursday’s menu. Since it’s a 3-day holiday for many, I figured grilling would be a safe bet. I love 4th of July, that and Thanksgiving are my favorite holidays. Time to break out 1776, do some grilling, have a picnic and enjoy the fireworks. Really, what’s not to love? All week long I’ve been posting 4th of July recipes, so check them out if you’re looking for ideas. I’ll be making the Drunken Chicken Appetizers for sure (and I’m pretty sure I’m soaking more than the skewers in bourbon). What plans do you have for the holiday?

On the board tonight:

  1. Adobo Sirloin
  2. Garlic Roasted Potatoes
  3. Cucumber & Zucchini Spears tossed with Italian dressing
  4. Summer Fruit w/Mint

Adobo Sirloin (marinate overnight)

  • 4 oz chipotle peppers in adobo sauce
  • 1 to 2 tbsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp crushed garlic
  • 1 cup cilantro (not packed – about ½ bunch)
  • ½ cup orange juice concentrate
  • ½ cup water
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 lb (or more) sirloin, cut into 4 pieces

zip-lock bag

In a blender, mix together all ingredients, except sirloin, and puree. Add to zip-lock bag with sirloin and marinate overnight (do not freeze). Remove steak from marinade, grill for 3 to 5 minutes each side for rare, basting with marinade.

Garlic Roasted Potatoes

  • 4 large potatoes, well scrubbed
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp butter, melted
  • 2 tsp crushed garlic

Cut each potato into 4 wedges. Combine oil, melted butter and garlic. Dredge potatoes in mixture and place on either baking sheet and bake at 425° for 15-20 minutes, turning frequently or put in vegetable basket, grill for 15 to 20 minutes, turning frequently until potatoes are tender.

Summer Fruit w/Mint

  • 1 ¼ cups white grape juice
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 1/2 ripe cantaloupe, seeded, cut into 3/4-inch cubes
  • 8 oz fresh strawberries, quartered
  • 1 cup seedless green grapes, halved
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh mint leaves
  • 2 oz chopped walnuts

bowl & saucepan

Heat grape juice & sugar in saucepan until sugar is dissolved. Add fruit, mint & nuts to bowl, pour warm mixture over and toss. Refrigerate for 30 minutes before serving.

Menu serves 4

Shopping List:

  • 2 cucumbers
  • 2 small zucchini
  • Italian dressing (or other favorite)
  • 4 oz chipotle peppers in adobo sauce
  • 1 bunch cilantro
  • 6 oz can orange juice concentrate
  • 1 lb (or more) sirloin
  • 4 large potatoes
  • 16 oz white grape juice
  • 1/2 ripe cantaloupe
  • 8 oz fresh strawberries
  • 1 cup seedless green grapes
  • Fresh mint leaves
  • 2 oz chopped walnuts

Also: chili powder, crushed garlic, olive oil, salt, pepper, sugar, butter

Baby Back Ribs with Citrus Glaze

I was not feeling it today at work, so my mind wandered to some old recipes I haven’t tried in a while.  I don’t think I’ve made this exact recipe in 10 years.  I love barbecue ribs, but rarely have the patience to properly slowcook them.  I don’t know why, it’s basically wrap them up and put them in the oven and ignore them for several hours.  This recipe really stands out because of  the citrus glaze which I’ve used on chicken, as well.  I think for a quick dinner it would work on pork chops without too much effort.  Coat chops with Chinese 5-spice, grill on one-side and turn, then brush with glaze and finish grilling.  Glaze again before serving.

Not too early to start planning the July 4th menu so here is the original rib recipe:

Baby Back Ribs with Citrus Glaze

  • 4 to 6 slabs baby back ribs, about 10 – 12 ribs per slab
  • Chinese five spice powder
  • salt
  • Fresh ground pepper
  • Foil

Season the ribs liberally on both sides with spices. Place the ribs on the grill and cook for about 5 minutes per side. Remove the ribs from the grill and allow to cool (or if you prefer, you can broil them, 5 minutes per side).

Preheat the oven (or grill) to 325 degrees. Wrap the ribs in foil, tightly,  and then wrap in another layer of foil, place on a baking sheet or directly on grill, and bake for 2 hours. Remove the ribs from the oven and allow to cool while still wrapped.

Prior to serving, spoon the Citrus Glaze (see recipe below) over the ribs, liberally coating both sides.  Serve with remaining glaze.

4 – 6 servings

Citrus Glaze

  • 12 oz orange juice concentrate, not diluted
  • 1 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 of a 7-ounce can chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, pureed in the blender or finely chopped (more or less depending on the heat you desire)
  • 1/2 cup soy sauce
  • 1 cup sugar

In saucepan combine  ingredients and cook over medium-high heat until the sugar has melted and the sauce has reduced to half and coats the back of a spoon, about 20 minutes.  Careful, you’ll have to stir frequently and watch to make sure it does not boil over or burn.

Btw, the original glaze recipe comes from Emeril (here) and calls for 8 cups of sugar.  I played with it until I came up with this citrus glaze, because I just couldn’t make anything that called for 8 cups of sugar.  Seriously, 8 cups.  That’s 2 cups per person. Cannot even wrap my head around it, but if you make it and love it, drop me a note here.

UPDATE: So I gave up on work and decided to bring work home and work here this afternoon.  That means I could actually make the recipe tonight.

The ribs are in the oven and the glaze is on the stovetop bubbling away.  I stir it every once in a while, but I seem to have it at a steady low boil requiring little more from me than I be in the same room with it.  I did a couple of tweaks, instead of soy sauce I used a 1/4 cup of soy sauce and 1/4 cup Ponzu since I had it on hand and it’s a citrus sauce and at the end I added the juice of 1/2 lime and then since I had the other half sitting there, I used that on the ribs before I seared them.  Also, I pureed the peppers with a bit of the orange juice to make it easier.  I froze the other half of the peppers in a plastic container.