PICNIC FOODS, HERE WE COME!
All of those delicious summertime treats remind us of warm sunny days spent outside grilling, gardening, swimming, baseball games and having cocktails on the porch with friends. I love seasonal cooking and summer foods are my favorite! BBQ chicken & ribs, especially baby back, fresh salads and refreshing drinks make for the perfect meal.
LET’S START WITH THE RIBS!
Oozing with flavor, saucy, saucy meat, falling off the bone…yum. The messier the better. Everyone has their own special rub and sauce recipe. There are people who precook their ribs in beer, root beer, coke, and even Dr. Pepper, before putting them on the grill. Some like their ribs dry with well seasoned rub, while others like their ribs dripping with sauce. Some like the to cook them in the oven, some like to cook them on the grill, but I like a combo.. (this sounds like a Dr. Seuss book).
RUBBED & GLAZED RIBS!
Makes 2 racks
Reading the ingredients on most ready made bbq rubs and sauces from the store, not recognizing or being able to pronounce some, have inspired me to make my own sauces which are more amazing, flavorful and healthy.
FOR THE RIBS
- 2 racks baby back spareribs, about 7 lb.
- 3 T. each brown sugar, chili powder, kosher salt & pepper
- 1 T. each paprika, dried thyme
- Preheat oven to 300 degrees.
- Trim the excess fat, and pierce the meat between the bones using a fork.
- Place ribs on a baking sheet .
- Combine seasonings and rub on both sides of racks.
- Cover baking sheet tightly with foil & roast for 2 hours.
- While cooking, make the sauce.
FOR THE SAUCE
- 1 T. vegetable oil
- 2 T. minced garlic
- 1 C. chopped onion
- 1 C. ketchup
- 2 T. brown sugar
- 1/4 C. apple cider vinegar
- 1 T. Worcestershire sauce
- 1 T. prepared mustard
- 2 T. water
- 1/2 t. siracha or Tabasco sauce (optional)
- Sauté onion in oil in a saucepan over med. heat, 3 min. Add garlic and cook 1 min.
- Add vinegar and simmer 4 min. Stir in remaining ingredients & simmer 10 min.
- Season with salt.
- Preheat the grill to med-high.
- Remove ribs from oven & coat with sauce.
- Grill about 15 min. total, flipping and basting with sauce.
- Remove from grill, rest for 2 min. & slice between the bones.
SHORTCUTS THAT I L-O-V-E !
Recently I was having last minute company with little time to prepare, so I ran across these ‘ready-made’ Tony Roma’s baby back ribs in the refrigerated meat section of the grocery store. They are also available at Wal-Mart. I Recognized the brand name and remembered that I devoured these ribs at Tony Roma’s restaurant years ago, so I decided to try them. WHAT A HIT!
These saucy, flavorful ribs come fully cooked & grilled, and vacuum sealed in their own pan. Each pack contains 1 slab of ribs. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees, peal the plastic & bake for 15 min. That’s it! Slice & serve! (& don’t forget extra napkins!).
Now for the sides:
GRILLED REDSKIN POTATO WEDGES
Makes 4-5 Cups
Super easy, tasty and makes great use of the other side of the grill. While the ribs are cooking, toss 1/14 lb. red potatoes cut into wedges with 2 T. olive oil & salt & pepper to taste.
Grill until cooked through, turning often, about 20 min.
ROMAINE SALAD WITH PEARS, BLUE CHEESE & WALNUTS
- Wash and pat dry 1 large head of romaine lettuce.
- Tear into bite size pieces.
- Combine & put in a bowl:
- 1 T. red wine vinegar
- 1/8 C. crumbled blue cheese (about 1 oz.)
4. Mash the cheese with a fork & blend with the oil & vinegar.
5. Add & toss throughly
- 1/4 C. blue cheese
- 1/2 C. coarsely chopped walnuts
- 8 cherry tomatoes, halved
Place in individual bowls, or a platter and garnish with:
- 1 pear thinly sliced into 8 wedges
This is a refreshing salad that you can make ahead, and serve chilled.
CHECK OUT THESE SUMMERTIME SERVING IDEAS THAT PLUS UP YOUR TABLE!
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