Menu: Sticky Ribs, Twice-Baked Potatoes & Creamed Leeks

RibsRibs are good. Ribs are yummy. Ribs are generally adored by all (except for those who don’t like sticky fingers and flossing their teeth after dinner). Knowing all of the above to be true, I decided to revisit my Superbowl Ribs recipe for a dinner we hosted this weekend. Having decided on the main dish, the rest of the menu shaped up as follows:

I won’t time out this menu as I did the last one, as it is not designed around a need for speed. I also had the pleasure of my lovely sister in the role of sous-chef…so it just wouldn’t be fair unless you have access to your own lovely sous-chef:

Sticky Ribs with Tangy Sauce (otherwise known as Superbowl Ribs)
This recipe uses the rub and baste method that will give your flavourful and sticky ribs:

SPICE RUB
This is enough for 3 large racks of ribs

  • 1/2 c. brown sugar
  • 1 Tbsp. coarse salt
  • 1 Tbsp. chipotle chili powder
  • 1 Tbsp. cumin
  • 1 tsp. paprika (smokey…not the hot type)
  • 1/2 tsp. oregano
  • 1/2 tsp. cracked black pepper

1) Find a roasting pan (or two) that will fit your ribs. I have been known to cut the racks in half with no negative effect. TIP: Unless you love scrubbing dishes, layer these pans with foil and oil the foil with a bit of olive oil…I would recommend at least 2 layers in case your first layer fails.

2) Mix all ingredients together in a bowl and rub all over the ribs. Be sure to get the backside of the ribs as well. Place your ribs (meaty side up) in the roasting pans and cover with plastic wrap. Refrigerate for at least 2 1/2 hours, up to overnight.

3) While your ribs are chillin’, tackle the sauce.

TANGY SAUCE

  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 5 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
  • 1/2 c. brown sugar
  • 1 1/2c. ketchup
  • 1/2 c. apple cider vinegar
  • 1/3 c. soy sauce
  • 1 Tbps. Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tsp. dry mustard
  • 1 tsp. coarse salt
  • 1/2 tsp. ground black pepper

1) Heat up olive oil in a heavy bottomed sauce pan, which will comfortably hold all of the ingredients. Add the garlic and saute until the garlic is nice and golden brown.

2) Add the rest of the ingredients and bring to a gentle boil. Turn down the heat and simmer for about 15 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside. Reserve 3/4 c. for basting.

RIBS

1) Turn on your oven and set it to 350 F.

2) Remove ribs from the fridge and let stand for about half an hour, to bring them to room temperature.

3) Cover the ribs tightly with foil and pop in the oven. Bake at 350 for 1 hour 45 minutes.

4) Uncover ribs and generously baste with the sauce you set aside. Cook for another 30 minutes, basting every 10  or 15 minutes.

5) Remove from oven when ribs are done. You can tell their ready when you can easily push a fork through the meat connecting each bone. Let stand for 10 to 15 minutes. This is where you see the meat “falling off the bone”.

6) While your delicious ribs are “resting”, return the remaining sauce to a medium burner and heat up.

7) Separate the ribs in each rack.  Place them on a large platter and cover with the remaining tangy sauce.

TWICE-BAKED POTATOES

I have made many versions of these tasty potatoes…some much fancier and requiring a prescription for Lipitor (think pancetta and gorgonzola). However, as we are trying to keep the health of our hearts and the size of our waistlines in mind, I have opted for a slightly lighter version:

  • baking potatoes, scrubbed, poked and tightly wrapped in foil
  • 1 cup greek yogurt
  • handful of green onions, chopped
  • 1 c. grated cheese of your preference…I used an aged cheddar but I imagine that asiago or gruyere would be equally as yummy (I did say slightly lighter).

1) Bake your potatoes at 350F for at least an hour, or until you can easily pierce them with a fork. This can be done in advance…in fact I recommend it if you have an oven that will not accommodate both the ribs and the potatoes, such as mine.TIP: Put all of your potatoes on a cookie sheet before placing them in the oven. When it is time to remove them, you won’t have to fish them out of the oven individually.

2) When you are satisfied that the potatoes are thoroughly baked, remove from oven and open up the foil. Cut them in half…careful…they are the proverbial “hot potato”.

3) When they have cooled down enough that you can stand to handle them, use a spoon to scoop out the middle of each of the halves. You don’t want to go too deep, or you risk breaking the skin.

4) Place your scooped out potato in a mixing bowl and add the yogurt, green onions and season with salt and pepper. Mix well.

5) Scoop this mixture back into the potatoes and top with some grated cheese. Arrange them back on a baking sheet.

6) While your ribs are resting, pop these potatoes under the broiler for 10 minutes so that the cheese on top begins to brown.

Serve with Sticky Ribs and Creamed Leeks and you are all set. Just don’t forget the napkins. It may not hurt to leave some tooth-flossers in the washroom in a conspicuous place either….


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