Wednesday, August 29, 2012

BBQ Ribs for Two

Ribs are one of those things you want to make for a crowd … right? Heck no! The boy and I had a hankering and decided to make it happen — on a weeknight no less. If you split this into a two-part process: Baking the ribs with a dry rub one night and then grilling the next, it's no biggie. 

This no-brainer recipe—adapted from a Bon Appetit recipe for 8 servings—with a five-ingredient dry rub you probably have everything for on hand and store-bought sauce (I know!) enhanced with the porkie drippings … it can't be beat. Throw in a little vinegary potato salad and pickled corn … you've got yourselves a party for two (with leftovers)! 

BBQ Ribs
Adapted from via Bon Appetit

1 1/4 tablespoons kosher salt
1 1/2 tsp dry mustard
1 1/2 tsp paprika
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2.5 pounds baby back pork ribs (1 rack)
Low-salt chicken broth (optional)
1 cup store-bought or homemade barbecue sauce plus more

Preheat oven to 350°F. 

Combine first 5 ingredients in a small bowl. Place the ribs on a double layer of foil; sprinkle rub all over ribs (you will probably have a little bit extra, but too much can't hurt). Seal up foil and place ribs on a baking sheet.

Bake ribs until very tender but not falling apart, about two hours. Carefully unwrap ribs — watch your face for steam! Pour juices from foil into a heatproof measuring cup and set aside to cool. Let ribs cool completely. 

(Ribs can be baked up to three days ahead (the flavor will be more developed, and the cold ribs will hold together better on the grill as they heat through). Cover and chill juices. Rewrap ribs in foil and chill.)

Build a medium-hot fire in a charcoal grill, or heat a gas grill to high. 

Remove layer of fat from reserved juices. Add broth or water to rib juices in an equal amount to what juices you have. I was left with just over a cup of juices, so added 1 cup sauce. Whisk well to blend.

Grill ribs, basting with barbecue sauce mixture and turning frequently, until lacquered and charred in places and heated through, 7-10 minutes. Transfer to a cutting board; cut between ribs to separate. Transfer to a platter and serve with additional barbecue sauce. 

Lick those fingers! 

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Book Business Tuesday

I am a fiction junkie. I read all kinds of books, but a good novel is always my favorite reading material. It has also been my number one procrastination method this summer. I've lost many a daytime hour these past few weeks to "one more chapter." With just a few fleeting days of summer before Labor Day, I hope you're finding a little reading time, too. From my recent bedstand (hammock stand?!) favorites, there are two books — very different in nature and style — I'd highly recommend:

The Orchardist by Amanda Coplin

A quiet, yet grand family epic that fills you with images of Washington state and rich, compelling characters you wholeheartedly root for. Earnest and wonderful. 

The Family Fang by Kevin Wilson

An entirely different kind of family story: Contemporary, quirky and filled with equal parts desperation, oddity and humor. Clever and funny.

But I've cut myself off from daytime reading at this point and am eking out the final touches of my 2013 calendar. I'll have them available at this year's Kerrytown Bookfest, Sunday September 9.

In other book business, if you've been taking part in the amazing Ann Arbor library's summer game, this Friday is the final secret shop and it will be stocked with a few Sloe Gin Fizz items … so gather up your points and get ready to solve those clues!