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Let the Grilling Begin!

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Written by foodie pam   
Thursday, 27 May 2010

ImageThis weekend is Memorial Day weekend, which means the beginning of grilling and barbecuing season. 

Picking the perfect first thing to grill for the summer can be a hard choice. After months of heavy, slow-cooked, or braised meats I tend to lean towards something different.  My top choices for the first of the season meal are an awesome hamburger or ribs. 

And since Memorial Day is a long, three-day weekend there's no need to limit the choice to just one meal so both can be enjoyed.  Although, one does need to be made first and for me that honor goes to ribs - primarily because I was lured into making ribs by the arrival of "Ribs, Chops, Steaks & Wings" by author Ray "Dr. BBQ" Lampe.  Not only are the images of the ribs extremely compelling, but the numerous variations will leave everyone with at least one choice.

Which brings me to my choice: "Sweet-and-Sticky Baby Back Ribs".  As Ray Lampe says "these ribs are over-the-top sweet, sticky, and gooey" all great traits for jumping into the summer bbq season - don't ya think?  

As for that first of the summer hamburger - check back tomorrow for my mouth-watering choice, but be warned if this baby doesn't make you crave hamburgers nothing will!

Sweet-and-Sticky Baby Back Ribs

From Ribs, Chops, Steaks, & Wings by Ray Lampe and Leigh Beisch. Chronicle 2010.

Most people like their ribs to be on the sweet side with some sugar in the rub and a sweet barbecue sauce either used to baste the ribs while they cook or served on the side, or maybe even both. But others like their ribs to be over-the-top sweet, sticky, and gooey. Well these ribs are for those folks. I often use Sugar In The Raw, honey, molasses, or cane syrup to sweeten things up, but this recipe uses them all and it's quite a combination. Steen's is a brand name of cane syrup (as in "sugarcane") that's easily found in the South either in a glass bottle or a can. If you can't find it you can order it online, and if all else fails you can substitute maple syrup or additional molasses. These would go very well served with baked beans and corn pudding.

  • 2 slabs of pork loin baby back ribs, about 2 ¼ pounds each Rib Rub #99 (see below) as needed.

Sweet and Sticky Sauce

  • ½ cup your favorite barbecue sauce
  • ¼ cup Sugar In The Raw
  • ¼ cup honey
  • ¼ cup molasses
  • ¼ cup Steen's Cane Syrup
  • ¼ cup cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon Louisiana hot sauce

At least a half hour and up to 4 hours before you plan to cook the ribs peel the membrane off the back of the ribs and trim any excessive fat. Season the ribs liberally on both sides with the Rib Rub. Refrigerate. To make the sauce, in a medium saucepan over low heat, heat the barbecue sauce. Add the sugar and mix well. Cook for 1 minute, until the sugar dissolves. Add the honey, molasses, cane syrup, vinegar, and hot sauce. Mix well and cook for 3 minutes, stirring often. Divide the glaze equally between two bowls, one for serving at the table and one for brushing on the ribs as they grill. Set aside. Prepare the grill for cooking over indirect heat at 300 degrees F using apple or cherry wood for flavor. Place the ribs on the cooking grate, meaty-side up. Cook for 1 hour. Flip and cook another 30 minutes. Flip again and cook until they are nicely caramelized and golden brown, about another 30 minutes, but may vary depending on your grill. Transfer the ribs to a platter. Lay out two big double-layered sheets of heavy-duty aluminum foil, each long enough to wrap a whole slab of the ribs. Transfer the ribs to the foil, meaty-side up. Fold the foil up around the ribs into a packet. Seal the packets snugly, being careful not to puncture the foil with the rib bones. Return to the grill for 45 minutes to 1 hour to reach your desired degree of tenderness. The best way to determine the doneness is to open the foil after 45 minutes and feel the texture of the meat. It should be very tender. Transfer the foil packets to a platter. Raise the temp of the grill to 400 degrees F. Remove the ribs from the foil and return to the cooking grate. Brush with the glaze and flip. Brush the other side and cook for 5 minutes. Flip again, brush, and cook for 5 minutes. Discard the glaze that you've been brushing with. Remove the ribs to a platter. Serve ½ slab to each guest with the second bowl of glaze on the side.  Makes 4 servings

Rib Rub #99

From Ribs, Chops, Steaks, & Wings by Ray Lampe and Leigh Beisch. Chronicle 2010.

  • 3/4 cup Sugar In The Raw
  • 1/2 cup salt
  • ¼ cup paprika
  • 2 tablespoons finely ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon granulated garlic
  • 1 tablespoon onion powder
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon dry mustard
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • ½ teaspoon ground allspice

Combine all ingredients, mix well, and store in an airtight container. Makes about 1 1/2 cups.

Disclosure: Review copies of books discussed in this post may have been provided to Project Foodie by publicists and/or publishers.

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Last Updated ( Tuesday, 25 May 2010 )
Sweet & Sticky does it!
peggy (Author) 2010-05-27 09:39:41

There may be raindrops on my windowsill, but this photo is getting me in the mood to grill this weekend! Yum.
Looks good
displaced.in.the.city (Registered) 2010-05-27 16:04:04

Yum yum!
O-M-G
Memoria (Unregistered) 2010-05-27 21:55:50

This looks absolutely AMAZING!! What a perfect photo and presentation. I almost forgot that it is almost Memorial Day in the United States. I should make this! Thanks for sharing this great recipe.
pam (Publisher) 2010-05-28 08:53:11

Yeah Ribs aren't usually top on my list but after I found these I simply had to have them!
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