Memorial Weekend Recipes: Baby Back Ribs with Citrus Glaze

 

DSC_2163 [1024X768]I didn’t have any photos of my ribs, but JeffreyW never fails to bring the yummy. 

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.



 

Friday Recipe Exchange: A Dash Less Salt

Cranberry Chicken 3_Snapseed2

Over the last couple of weeks I’ve had requests to pull together some of my recipes that go easy on the salt. I found quite a few and this week lemon made the biggest appearance, but tonight’s featured recipes bring in a whole host of other flavors that make it easier to go lighter on the salt.

Reducing salt with out losing flavor can be managed with several steps. First of all, try to use fresh foods whenever possible.  If you begin to read labels you’ll see many packaged foods contain extra fat, salt & sugar that you wouldn’t add if you prepared it fresh. And good, fresh ingredients bring their own flavors to a dish.

When you need to buy something, such as canned tomatoes or frozen vegetables, go with the no-salt version whenever possible. Then you can be in control of the sodium.

Adding flavors that enhance a dish is the key to cutting back on salt. Wine vinegars (especially on potatoes and meats), lemon juice (great for fish, vegetables and chicken), limejuice, and different spice mixes, including peppers, garlic, basil, rosemary, celery seeds, dill, toasted sesame seeds and citrus zest – go wild, try something new, you might surprise yourself – can transform a dish.  You can also buy prepackaged spice mixes to shake on, just make sure to read the label looking for sodium content.

With all that in mind, I went searching through my recipes to find ones that used a dash less salt.

I started the week with Lemon Ricotta Pasta with Chicken and Spinach, recipe here.

This week’s dinner menu (pictured at top) is Cranberry Chicken and Lemon Cheese Cauliflower, click here for menu, recipes and shopping list.

JeffreyW makes a flavorful Shrimp,Ham and Kale in Garlic Lemon Sauce, recipe here.

And finally, click here for Grilled Lemon Salmon with Corn Pepper Relish.

For the pet lovers, lots of pictures of Bixby in the next Bixby Diaries installment here.

How about you, what do you use to spice up a dish? What’s on the menu this weekend?

Tonight I’m featuring a few recipes that bring in some sweet and spicy flavors. These beans and rice are a nice change-up from the standard Wash Day Beans and Rice I usually make.

Caribbean Jerk Beans & Rice

  • 2 cups water
  • 1 cup rice
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • ½ onion, chopped
  • 1 stalk celery, chopped
  • ½ green pepper, sliced
  • 1 tsp crushed garlic
  • 1 lb lean boneless pork, cubed in large pieces
  • 14 oz can diced tomatoes
  • salt to taste (this is a good recipe to substitute white wine vinegar for salt)
  • pepper to taste
  • ¼ to ½ tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1 to 2 tsp Caribbean jerk spice (you can buy it or make your own, recipe below)
  • ½ cup fresh chopped cilantro (Italian parsley works well in this recipe if you aren’t a fan of cilantro)
  • 14 oz can black beans, drained and rinsed (or substitute dry beans, soaked and cooked)

saucepan & skillet

Add water & rice to saucepan, bring to a boil, cover, reduce heat and let simmer until all liquid is absorbed, about 20 minutes. Heat oil in skillet, add pork and brown on all sides for 5 minutes, add onion, celery, pepper & garlic, sauté for additional 5 minutes. Add tomatoes & spices. Let simmer 15 minutes, add cilantro, black beans and simmer additional 5 minutes, until beans are heated through. Add cooked rice & mix thoroughly.

Caribbean Jerk Seasoning

  • 2 tablespoons dried onion flakes
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 4 teaspoons crushed dry thyme leaves
  • 2 teaspoons ground allspice
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper

Blend together and store tightly covered (I keep old spice jars around for mixtures like this)

Orange-Mango Coleslaw

  • 8 cups shredded green cabbage
  • 1-1/2 large mangoes, peeled, pitted and diced
  • ½ medium red bell pepper, thinly sliced
  • ½ medium yellow bell pepper, thinly sliced
  • 6 green onions, thinly sliced
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro

Combine cabbage, mangoes, bell peppers, green onions and cilantro in large bowl; stir gently to mix. Add Orange-Mango Dressing; toss gently to coat. Serve, or store in refrigerator up to 1 day.

Orange-Mango Dressing

  • ½ mango, peeled, pitted and cubed
  • 6 ounces plain nonfat yogurt
  • ¼ cup frozen orange juice concentrate (not diluted with water)
  • 3 tablespoons limejuice
  • ½ to 1 jalapeño pepper, stemmed, seeded and rough chopped
  • 2 tsp minced fresh ginger (substitute 1/2 tsp ground ginger if desired)

Place mango in food processor; process until smooth. Add remaining ingredients; process until smooth.

That’s it for this week. Have a great weekend – TaMara

 

Thanksgiving Files: Cranberry Upside-Down Cake

In preparation for next week, I thought I would highlight a few of my favorite Thanksgiving ideas. Also, to see all of them, click on this link: Thanksgiving Files.

This is by far the most requested dessert I make.  This time of year every dinner I attend, this is what I am asked to bring. I’ll be making two tonight to take to various get-togethers  this week.  Easy, easy, easy and foolproof, but always a beautiful presentation.  If you’re looking to wow, try this one.  From 2009:

Cranberries are on sale!  Buy them now, because I’ve got some great cranberry recipes coming up.  I’m starting with this one, because if you’re going to be a guest at someone else’s Thanksgiving dinner, this is the dish to take.  It’s pretty to look at and it’s both sweet and tangy, perfect after a big dinner.  You’ll wow everyone with it and it’s foolproof to make.

Cranberry Upside Down Cake

  • ½ cup butter
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 cups cranberries, chopped*
  • ½ cup walnuts, finely chopped
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 tsp orange zest (rind)
  • 1 ¼ cups flour
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • ½ cup milk

Topping

  • ½ cup powdered sugar
  • 1-1/2 tbsp orange juice (more as needed)
  • 2 tsp butter, softened

8×8 glass baking dish & mixing bowl

Preheat oven to 350°

Melt 3 tbsp of butter and pour into baking dish, spread to cover bottom and up the sides. Add ½ cup sugar, mix with butter on bottom of pan. Add cranberries & walnuts, spread over bottom of pan. Cream remaining butter & sugar, add vanilla, egg, orange zest, mix well. Add flour, baking powder & milk, mix until well blended, don’t over mix. Pour batter over cranberry mixture. Bake for 1 hour, or until golden brown and center bounces back at the touch. Invert on plate. Let cool.

Topping: Mix together butter, orange juice & powdered sugar, pour over cake and serve.

* if you don’t have a food processor, you can leave cranberries whole.

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Dinner Menu: Better Late than Never, Spicy Chicken Stew

It has been a crazy week and I was going to skip the weekly dinner menu, except it falls completely inline with the Friday Recipe Exchange tonight.

Meanwhile in the kitchen right now I’m making a gluten-free Pumpkin Cake, I’ll post the recipe later, as soon as I know if it came out ok. Company on the way to taste test. 🙂 Although they do not know  it.

On the board tonight:

  1. Spicy Chicken Stew
  2. Sweet Potatoes w/Apples
  3. Tossed Salad
  4. Shortbread

Spicy Chicken Stew

Slow-Cooker Meal

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 4 boneless breasts, large cubes
  • ½ lb smoked sausage, cubed
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 green pepper, chopped
  • 15 oz tomato sauce
  • ½ cup water
  • 2 tsp to 1 tbsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ¼ cup sliced almonds

Slow-Cooker

Combine all ingredients (except almonds) into Slow-Cooker, cook according to manufacturer’s directions (usually on low) for 8-10 hours. Add almonds, simmer 5 minutes & serve.

Sweet Potatoes w/Apples

  • 2 sweet potatoes, peeled & cubed
  • ¼ cup water
  • 2 apples, cored & sliced
  • 8 oz can sliced pineapple (including liquid)
  • 2 tsp butter
  • ½ cup orange juice
  • ½ tsp cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp salt

2 qt casserole dish, greased

Add sweet potatoes and ¼ cup water to casserole dish and microwave for 3 to 5 minutes (until potatoes are fork tender, add more water if needed) Add remaining ingredients to casserole dish, stir gently and bake at 450° for 20 to 30 minutes, uncovered, until apples and potatoes are very soft.

UPDATE: I just received an email from a friend who said that you can actually put all the ingredients from the stew and the sweet potato recipes into the same slow-cooker and create a very popular Mexican stew called Mancha Manteles.  Who knew?  I knew the two dishes complimented each other nicely…all together would be interesting.

Shortbread

  • 1 cup butter
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 2 ½ cups flour

baking sheet

Cream butter and sugar until fluffy. Stir in flour. Chill for an hour. Divide in half. Place each half on baking sheet and pat each into approx. 7 inch circle. Prick each with a fork to make 16 wedges (total of 32). Bake for 30 minutes at 300°

Shopping List:

  • 4 boneless breasts
  • ½ lb smoked sausage
  • 1 medium onion
  • 1 green pepper
  • 15 oz tomato sauce
  • 1 tbsp chili powder
  • ¼ cup sliced almonds
  • 2 sweet potatoes
  • 2 apples (my new favorite are Jazz)
  • 8 oz can sliced pineapple
  • 4 oz orange juice
  • 1 1/4 cups butter
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 2 ½ cups flour

Also: olive oil, cinnamon, salt, pepper

Originally published on January 2010

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Thursday Recipe Exchange: Grilled Chicken

Photo by JeffreyW

I had a request to do some grilling and picnic recipes for the next few weeks (thanks Yutsano). We’ll traverse the table: meats, vegetables, side dishes and desserts. By July 4th we should be covered.

Tonight we’ll start with grilling chicken. I have a stockpile of marinade and grilling recipes for chicken breasts. I may be in the minority, but when it comes to many chicken dishes, including bbq and fried chicken, I prefer thighs. They have more flavor and are moister. The introduction of boneless thighs was like a culinary miracle as far as I was concerned.

When I am using marinades, though, I actually prefer boneless breasts. Similar to pork loin, they take on whatever flavors are introduced and cook up quickly. When using a marinade, I think their blandness proves more of an asset than a deficit; they are kind of like a blank canvas for introducing flavors.

And for busy weeknights, nothing is quicker and easier than pulling marinated chicken breasts out of the refrigerator, doing a quick stir-fry or grilling them and serving with rice and a salad. I have three recipes to get us started:

Cranberry Grilled Chicken (recipe here) is one of my favorites and anyone who has read this blog, knows I LOVE cranberries.

And Sunrise Chicken (recipe here) is a great citrus based marinade.

Tonight’s feature recipe is a marinade that is meant for grilling. Grilling gives the marinated breasts a nice crust. It can also be used on pork loin or boneless pork chops, though I prefer apple cider or cranberry juice to the grape juice in that case.

So what do you look forward to the most at a picnic? What’s your favorite thing to grill?

Fruit Juice Marinated Chicken Breasts

  • 4 chicken boneless breasts
  • ½ cup grape or cranberry juice
  • ½ cup soy sauce
  • ½ cup wine
  • 2 tsp crushed garlic

zip lock bag or sealed container

Add all ingredients into zip lock bag and thoroughly coat & let marinate overnight. Grill 15 minutes each side, 165 degrees internal temp.

When grilling, to avoid drying chicken out, sear on each side (about 5 minutes each side), cook 5 additional minutes for each side, baste with marinade if desired, then move away from high heat for rest of the cooking time. The thickness of the chicken breasts makes a difference here, so adjust accordingly.

You’ re on your own tonight. I’ve been asked to film a drumming on Sunday and tonight is going to be a trial run. Should be fun.

Peach Salsa

It’s been a busy day.  Good ride today, despite the heat.  This was nice and not terribly sweet.  I’ll be trying it with a few things.

Peach Salsa

  • 2 cups diced peeled peaches (2 to 3 peaches)
  • 4 thinly sliced green onions
  • 1/4 cup diced red bell pepper
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice, about 1 medium lime
  • 1 to 2 teaspoons finely minced hot or mild green chile pepper, or to taste
  • 1 small jalapeño, seeded and chopped
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro
  • dash ginger
  • dash garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon orange or pineapple juice
  • dash freshly ground black pepper

Mix together and let meld together for about 30 minutes or more before serving.

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.