Monthly Archives: September 2011

Happy Labor Day!

I hope you had a wonderful day off filled with hiking, kayaking, whitewater rafting, skydiving… Whatever your fancy! As for me, I mainly lazed about the house, did nothing, dyed my hair with blue streaks, did a little more of nothing and then made dinner.
Last Friday night at 8pm, my doorbell rang. On the front step awaited this bottle of barbecue sauce, sent to me for free from KC Masterpiece and Foodbuzz as part of the Tastemaker Program. I was sent this product free in order to review/create a recipe with. All my opinions are my own, blah blah blah. I now present to you:

Zesty Beer-Braised Baby Back Ribs

Serves 4-6
Prep time 20 minutes
Cook time 2 hours, 30 minutes
Total time 2 hours, 50 minutes
Meal type Main Dish
Fall-off-the-bone baby back ribs are tenderized with beer and drenched in a spicy sweet beer and barbecue sauce reduction.

Ingredients

  • 2-3lb babyback ribs
  • 12oz beer (I recommend something roasty like a nut brown)
  • 1 cup KC Masterpiece Southern Style barbecue sauce
  • 2 cloves garlic (minced)
  • 4 tablespoons brown sugar (tightly packed)
  • 1 lime (zested and juiced)
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • pinch salt
  • pinch ground black pepper
  • pinch red pepper flakes

Directions

Step 1
In a large mixing bowl, combine the beer, barbecue sauce, garlic, brown sugar, lime juice and zest, onion powder, ground ginger, salt, pepper and red pepper flakes. Whisk until combined.
Step 2
Place the rack of ribs in a baking pan. Sprinkle liberally with salt and pepper, then pour the marinade on top.
Step 3
Flip so the meaty side is drenched in the marinade, cover with plastic wrap and let it marinate in the fridge for 4-8 hours.
Step 4
When you’re ready to cook, preheat the oven to 275 degrees Fahrenheit.
Step 5
Take the ribs out of the marinade (setting the marinade aside) and encase them in foil, tightly sealed but with enough space to allow the air to circulate through.
Step 6
Bake at 275 for 2-2 + 1/2 hours, or until the meat falls off the bone.
Step 7
An hour before the ribs are done, pour the marinade into a saucepan, bring to a boil, then let simmer until reduced by half.
Step 8
Pull the ribs out of the oven, let rest for five minutes, then serve, drenching them with this sauce.

The hint of spice from the red pepper flakes, the caramel sweetness of the brown sugar, slight tang from the lime and the acidity of the KC Masterpiece Southern Style barbecue sauce make for a lively combination! Of course, adding beer makes everything better. There was never any doubt about that… I’d recommend using any amber/brown/stout – anything that’s incredibly roasty and malty will really round out this sauce and take it to the next level.

If you want to turn this into a full meal that teeters on the edge of health (but leans slightly toward the “not-THAT-healthy” side), grab a few ears of corn from the local farmers’ market, tear out the hairs and shove a couple of pats of butter between the husks.
Grill them outside over medium heat for about fifteen minutes, extinguish the flames that erupt from the singed husks (oops), turning every five minutes.
If you want to add ANOTHER vegetable, grab a potato or two (they come from the earth, therefore, I consider them a vegetable. Don’t argue! You’ll ruin it for me!) from the farmers’ market, wrap them in foil and grill them over medium for an hour, rotating every fifteen minutes. Then, stuff them with sour cream and butter so they no longer resemble anything healthy.
Hint: Taking pictures of your meal surrounded by green grass makes it appear to be more healthy. Green = healthy. I see lots of green in the picture above, therefore, it is indeed healthy.

There’s no better way to say farewell to summer than messily chowing down on a rack of ribs and freshly grilled corn, desperately trying to wipe off the butter that runs down your chin and slurping the sticky-sweet barbecue sauce from your fingers. Happy Labor Day!

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Vegan Attempt/Fail

Sometimes, you just to have a meat-free, dairy-free, good ole fashioned vegan breakfast.
Modified from my Peach Pie Pancakes – subbed in dairy-free chocolate chips for peaches. Chocolate matches PERFECTLY with the cinnamon on a chilly, marine-layered morning! And then I also subbed in sour cream for some of the almond milk. Oops.

After such a wonderfully vegan attempt start to the day, you may want to keep up with that attempted vegan streak. I, however, went out for a big pulled pork sammich.
Oh, yes! The stuff of my dreams!

After YOUR vegan lunch (obviously you didn’t cave to the call of the pig as I did), you may decide that a day full of only vegan food is indeed possible. If you happen to be looking for a simple, delicious vegan tortilla soup recipe, Angela created one the other day that is to die for!
The most difficult part of the process is the chopping, and even that only takes a few minutes!
Add some chopped avocado and vegan sour cream and you’re good to go! Unless you’re like me… Then you may decide that this tortilla soup needs a little protein boost…
You can try as I did and roast your own chicken. I’d never roasted one before, so I winged it. I washed it, dried it, sprinkled lemon pepper and salt all over and stuffed with with onions, carrots, celery and two lemon halves. Then I stuck it in the oven and went to Twitter to find out how long I should bake it for in order to not die of salmonella or E. coli. The answer is two hours at 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Just in case you also wanted to not die.
This time, I added regular sour cream to pair well with my chicken tortilla soup. It was awesome.
If you want to expound upon your newfound veganism, you could get a gluten-free, vegan amber ale. This was… interesting. I can’t really compare it to other gluten-free beers since I haven’t tried any, but it wasn’t too bad… I ended up opening a Sierra Nevada Tumbler right after. Whoops. I’ll definitely need to find some others to try out so I can give Amanda some recommendations. Trying beer for a friend – the ultimate sacrifice.

Hopefully your attempt at a vegan day is more successful than mine… For now, it’s 10:20am and I’m already cracking open a bottle of beer so I can make my cheat version of Oatmeal Stout Brownies with Caramelized Bacon for today’s brew day at Enegren Brewing Company.
My day = Massive vegan fail.

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