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Monday, October 4, 2010

Rib-Tickling good!

Well, the winner of the triple-threat hummus taste-test is....

TA-DA!!  The roasted garlic flavor!

I feel compelled to say that although all three varieties were just fine, and the roasted red bell pepper variety was great on the more bitter vegetables, the roasted-garlicky goodness won hands down. Thanks to Tribe for providing a great and wholesome product that I can trust to be good enough to not have to dirty my food processor making hummus on a weeknight, you rock!

Growing up in South Florida, where the chain of rib restaurants called Tony Roma's was invented, I miss that sweet, yet tangy barbecue sauce, and lots of it, on tender baby back ribs.  I did some internet research, and like most everything nowadays, there are copycat-style recipes out there. I settled on one that sounded the most like what I remember, and began by letting the ribs chill out over night with a nice dry rub. Then, it was time for a thirty minute parboil. This is what a rack looks like after a night in rub, and a good thirty minute soak in the hot tub.
Then, in the proper procedure for the authentic recipe, the ribs are slathered with the home made sauce, and returned to the refrigerator for a few hours. My hunch is that this process acts as a marination...here they go, getting wrapped & ready for fridge time...

A different shot, showing all the racks - ready for some absorption-o-flavor!

After a couple of hours in the fridge, I coated the ribs with some extra sauce, and placed in a nice low oven (250) for two and a half hours. I suspect the low cooking temperature is one of the keys to success to these ribs, because then the sugars in the barbecue sauce do not burn, and create that awful over-done taste. A short broil and brush with sauce at the end, and here you have the meal....

I made my Asian slaw, crunch-tastic with Napa cabbage, red cabbage, cilantro and other assorted goodies, and my barbecue baked beans, rich and smoky with bacon and onion, and I was lucky enough to have a shortcut, by using some of the extra barbecue sauce that I made for the ribs.

What is your favorite childhood barbecue memory? Do you make something that takes you right back?

The verdict? Outstanding! I was back in Miami, circa 1979 or so, eating ribs at Tony Roma's with all my friends and family. The ribs were tender, but not so falling-off-the-bone as to be just mush meat, the slaw was perfection, with the crunchy cabbages, and sesame flavor, and the beans were tender and tasty indeed. Eat well, my friends, and make something that takes you back to a great memory. See you later in the week with a new chicken dish I'm excited to have created, and curried lentils!

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