Monday, October 12, 2009

Time for One Last BBQ

I know I am SO LATE in offering today's, MONTHS late! But I have a good excuse! I actually first tried these dishes back in July. A friend of mine from school invited a small group of colleagues that had become chummy over the summer via Facebook to his house for a fabulous cookout. Besides starting us off with some killer margaritas, my friend, Chris, served up some very tasty baby back ribs, this AMAZING potato salad, and also some wonderful marinated and grilled chicken skewers called "spiedies," that are apparently a specialty in the chef's hometown of Binghamton, NY. Chris tells me that everyone has his or her own "secret" recipe for spiedies, so I am honored that he'd share his secrets with me...and now you, dear readers! (Though it took me MONTHS of cajoling to wheedle all of these recipes out of him!)

I haven't made the spiedies yet, but today, in celebration of a four-day fall break from school, I tried a version of the ribs (though I made boneless beef ribs in my crock pot) and also the incredible corn and potato salad. As far as I'm concerned, we can close the book on the search for the best potato salad recipe--THIS IS IT! And if you hurry, you just might be able to prepare a batch with the very last of the farm stand produce. (There have been threats of snow here, and dustings in the higher elevations, but by some miracle, we still have local corn!)

Larry's Best Baby Back Ribs

2 racks baby back ribs
1 clove garlic, minced
1 medium onion, minced
5 tablespoons butter
2 1/2 cups catsup
1/2 cup dark corn syrup
1/2 cup honey
1/2 cup pineapple juice
1/3 cup cider vinegar
1 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
2 tablespoons spicy mustard w/horseradish
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoons chili powder
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon liquid smoke
1/2 teaspoon black pepper

Melt butter in 2 quart pot. Add onions and garlic. Cook over low heat until onions are soft.
Stir in remainder of ingredients. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Let cool completely.

Cut each rib rack in half. Place in tins and pour a liberal amount of BBQ sauce over ribs. Cover with tin foil and place in preheated 190°F oven for 9 hours. (Yes, 9 hours!*)

Remove from oven. Discard drippings or save for other use. Transfer ribs to grill or place under broiler for about 10 minutes. May be refrigerated and grilled at later time. Serve with extra BBQ sauce. Enjoy!

*Chris cooks his ribs in the oven for 225 degrees for two hours uncovered then two hours covered. I made mine in the crock pot. I sauteed the onions and garlic in the butter until soft, then added them and all of the other sauce ingredients to the slow cooker. Then I browned the ribs on all sides in the same saute pan and added them to the pot (my ribs were boneless, but if you're using bone-in or baby backs, you'll need to cut them into sections that will fit in the pot). Cook the ribs for 3-4 hours on high or 6-8 hours on low, or until exceedingly tender. I also only made half of the sauce and STILL had lots left over (which I saved for future uses)!

Potato and Corn Salad with Bacon, Blue Cheese, and Sherry Vinaigrette
(Source: Bon Appétit, August 2004)

Yield: Makes 8 servings

3 ears fresh corn, unhusked
2 large red bell peppers
2 pounds 1 1/2- to 2-inch-diameter unpeeled red-skinned potatoes (about 24), quartered
4 thick bacon slices, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons sherry wine vinegar
1/3 cup crumbled blue cheese
1 cup chopped green onions
3 tablespoons chopped fresh oregano

Prepare barbecue (high heat). Grill corn until husks are blackened on all sides, turning occasionally, about 15 minutes. Cool 15 minutes. Remove husks and silk. Cut kernels from cobs.

Cut 1/2 inch from top and bottom of each pepper. Quarter each pepper lengthwise. Trim ribs and seeds from peppers. Flatten pieces, breaking slightly, if necessary. Place peppers on grill, skin side down. Grill without turning until skins are blackened and blistered, about 10 minutes. Cool 10 minutes. Peel peppers; cut into 1/2-inch squares.

Cook potatoes in large pot of boiling salted water until tender, about 12 minutes. Drain; let cool 5 minutes in strainer. Transfer to large bowl.

Sauté bacon in medium skillet over medium heat until crisp. Using slotted spoon, transfer bacon to paper towels.

Whisk oil and vinegar in small bowl to blend. Season dressing with salt and pepper. Drizzle 1/4 cup dressing over potatoes; toss to coat. Add corn, bell peppers, bacon, cheese, onions, oregano, and 3 tablespoons additional dressing; toss to coat. Season salad with salt and pepper. Add remaining dressing by tablespoonfuls to moisten, if desired. Serve warm or at room temperature.

*Because I can't leave well enough alone, I made the following amendments to this recipe: to the vinaigrette, I added a tablespoon of grainy mustard, a half teaspoon of granulated garlic, and a pinch of cayenne. Also, I shorted the olive oil by a few tablespoons and swapped out some of the bacon drippings. And, I didn't have fresh oregano, so I used fresh thyme leaves instead. YUM!

Chris Ford's Special "Spiedies"

4 lbs. boneless skinless chicken breasts
1 cup olive oil
1/2 cup dry white wine
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
2 tablespoons parsley
2 tablespoons mint
2 tablespoons chives
1 tablespoon basil
1 tablespoon oregano
1 tablespoon sage
4 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/2 teaspoon rosemary
2 cloves garlic (crushed)
1 orange (cut up)
1 lime (cut up)

Cut chicken into 1 inch cubes. Mix all other ingredients together in large bowl. Stir up mixture and add chicken. Marinate for 24 hours. Put chicken on metal or wood skewers and grill.

*Traditional way to eat spiedies is to take a piece of Italian bread in your hand, fold it around the skewer, and pull the meat off.


Pam said...

Congrats on the foodie blogroll!

ShellyH said...

Wow...I wish we could of had a bbq this weekend but down here in PA, we got slammed with 4 days of pouring rain and icky snow flakes. Today the sun is out but we did take out LOL

Anyway, visiting your blog today via the food blog roll and I am enjoying all of your yummy recipes.

Velva said...

The dishes look fabulous! Margaritas, baby back ribs, who can ask for more!