Monday, May 25, 2009

Pom-Wonderful Ribs for Memorial Day

I still have several bottles of Pom-Wonderful juice in the fridge waiting to be used in some creative way, and since Memorial Day calls for--yea, demands--barbecue, I thought, why not combine the two? My favorite way to prepare ribs is to forego the grill and follow the Alton Brown low-and-slow oven method. So I just reworked the braising liquid to include some pomegranate goodness, and they turned out GREAT! I served them with a fairly basic macaroni salad based on a recipe from "Big Daddy's House" on the Food Network, corn on the cob (from Florida, but very sweet), and the wonderful Austrian tea cake. A memorable meal for Memorial Day!

What made it even more memorable was what happened when I posted my menu on Facebook and invited people to join me (in jest, as most of my FB friends are long-distance). After posting, I left the computer for a couple of hours to tend to some household chores--a mountain of dishes, a load of laundry, cleaning out both fridges, taking out the trash, and so on. I had just taken a break, gone upstairs to use the restroom and was considering jumping in the shower as I was all sweaty and gross, when I begin to hear a banging and my name being called. I stuck my head out of the upstairs window and said, "Hello?" Then I recognized my friend Vicky's voice and saw her truck in my driveway. Apparently, she had read my posting on Facebook and taken me up on my virtual invitation to dinner! Mind you, this woman lives in a cabin in the woods in the Adirondacks and drove about an HOUR on the spur of the moment! (Come to think of it, that may be the nicest compliment I've ever received for my cooking!) However, I looked like an absolute wreck, and the house hadn't really been cleaned thoroughly since before finals! I was absolutely horrified at being so unprepared to received guests. But I opened a bottle of wine, turned on some music, lit some candles, and Vicky and I ended up having a lovely dinner together. And we both learned some lessons. I learned to be careful in issuing open invitations unless I really mean them, and Vicky learned that if she gives me more advance notice, her hostess would look (and smell) more pleasant, and at least the top layer of pet hair would be removed from the surroundings (it is the shedding season, you know)! Tee hee.

I hope you all had a memorable Memorial Day weekend, too!

Pomegranate-and-Honey-Glazed Ribs

2 slabs pork ribs
1/2 to 1 cup BBQ rub

Braising Liquid:
1 cup Pom-Wonderful pomegranate juice
1/4 cup pomegranate balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
2 tablespoons honey
4 cloves garlic, chopped

Coat both sides of the ribs liberally with the BBQ seasoning. Refrigerate for several hours or overnight.

Preheat oven to 250 degrees. Place each slab of ribs on one half of a piece of heavy-duty aluminum foil, shiny side down, then fold the other half over and seal both side edges but not the top opening. In a microwavable container, combine all ingredients for the braising liquid. Microwave on high for one minute.

Place the ribs on a baking sheet. Pour half of the braising liquid into each foil packet then seal the top openings. Tilt the baking sheet in order to equally distribute the braising liquid. Braise the ribs in the oven for 2 1/2 hours.

Transfer the braising liquid into a medium saucepot. Bring the liquid to a simmer and reduce by half or until of a thick syrup consistency. Brush the glaze onto the ribs. Place under the broiler just until the glaze caramelizes lightly. Slice each slab into 2 rib bone portions. Place the remaining hot glaze into a bowl and toss the rib portions in the glaze.

Mega-Egga Macaroni Salad

(adapted from Food Network's Aaron McCargo, Jr. of "Big Daddy's House")

1 pound elbow noodles (I used shells and spirals)
6 hard-cooked eggs, peeled and diced (I used only 4, so maybe mine was just super-egga!)
1/4 onion, finely diced (I used 1/4 cup Vidalia onion relish instead)
2 celery stalks, finely diced
1/8 cup pickle relish (I used zucchini relish)
1 1/2 cups mayonnaise (mine only seemed to need about a cup)
1 teaspoon salt (or to taste)
1/2 teaspoon coarsely-cracked black pepper
dash hot sauce
1 1/2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce

In a large pot with salt, boil pasta according to package directions. Stir often. Drain and cool. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.

In a large pot with a dash of salt, add eggs on medium high heat. Bring to a boil. Cover and remove from heat. Let eggs sit for 6 to 7 minutes. Remove eggs and shock in ice water. Once thoroughly cooled, peel eggs and roughly dice.

Place pasta in a large bowl. Add onions, celery, eggs, relish, mayonnaise, salt and pepper, hot sauce and Worcestershire. Mix until well combined. Refrigerate until thoroughly chilled before serving.


jsgrant said...

That sounds fun. I have some pomegranate syrup that I have no idea what to do with, since when I use it as part of a barbecue marinade the sugar content makes the chicken skin burn. One of my clients works in the Pom Wonderful building in LA, which is filled with very expensive, pretty awful (not museum or gallery worth) art - lot's of sculptures of ladies in Venetian costumes and boys with winged feet. But those Pom people want you to put POM on EVERYTHING! They would be really proud of you! And I think dog hair is a great decorative art - with pbgv hair topping the list. I've displayed bags of it in galleries!

JoyBugaloo said...

Hey, Scott....try the following recipe to use your pomegranate syrup (it's for pork, but it would be great with chicken, too).

Or if you're going to use the syrup straight, season the chicken and grill it almost all the way, then baste with the syrup toward the end so that it won't burn (like you do with sweet barbecue sauces). Good luck--Gina