Saturday, July 2, 2011

Slow Cooked Ribs, Asian Slaw, and Easy Shortcake Biscuits

This was our Father's Day Dinner.  We went to the Farmers' Market, and the strawberries were half gone by the end of the night.  Something about this menu says "summer," even though it was a cloudy day.   Make the ribs and cole slaw ahead of time, and then it's only about 30-40 minutes to get everything together at the end. 

Slow-cooked, Dry Rub Baby Back Ribs

The dry rub is an adaptation of the Neely Family Seasoning Mix (Food Network).  It's simple and good.  You probably have the ingredients already.  I wanted a recipe that you could make in the oven, and not have to stand out in the rain attending to the grill or own a smoker. The meat was so tender.  Not a single rib left. You can speed up the cooking time by increasing the heat to 350 degrees. 

1 rack of baby back ribs

Dry Rub Mix (Neely's Dry Rub, slightly adapted)
    1/2 cup smoked paprika (original recipe calls for paprika)
    1/4 cup sugar
    1 Tbs onion powder

The night before, rub the dry rub mix into the ribs.  Keep refrigerated overnight.  Preheat the oven to 250 degrees. Place the ribs meat side down, bone side up on a baking sheet, covered in foil, into the oven for 3 1/2 hours. Remove foil and carefully flip the rack over so the meat side is now up. Bake another 1 hour uncovered.  

Look at that lovely, lovely crust.

Asian Cole Slaw with Spicy Thai Vinaigrette
adapted from Joe's Farm Grill via Guy Fieri
Use whatever you have on hand, and toss with dressing.  Being a "slaw," cabbage should probably be one of the priority ingredients.  You can also use napa cabbage, red cabbage, red pepper, or bean sprouts. The dressing has a list of ingredients a mile long, but it's complex and wonderful. The only thing I didn't have was mint leaves, so I left them out.   It's better if you make this ahead of time, like when you put the ribs in the oven, and then let it sit in the fridge so that the flavors can marry.  This is also great on sandwiches or turkey burgers. 

2 cups finely shredded cabbage
1/2 c matchstick cut carrots
1/2 c diagonally sliced sugar snap peas
2 scallions, diagonally cut
1/4 c cilantro, chopped
1/2 c spinach leaves, thinly sliced
1/2 yellow bell pepper, thinly sliced

Spicy Thai Vinaigrette

Combine the veggies in a large mixing bowl.  In a smaller mixing bowl, combine all the ingredients for the dressing except the canola oil.  While whisking, drizzle the canola oil into the other ingredients in a small stream until it is emulsified. Mix the dressing in with the veggies. 

Garlic and Parsley Potato Wedges aka Home Fries
You can't have ribs without some sort of potato to stick to them. And this was faster than potato salad.  The kids dipped theirs in ketchup.  I also added 1/2 c of chopped spinach to the mix, because I like to add spinach to everything. 

6 potatoes, cut into 1/2 inch wedges
Handful of carrots cut similar thickness
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 c chopped parsley
1 sliced leek or 1/4 c chopped onion
1/4 c olive oil or enough to lightly coat potatoes
salt and pepper

Toss all ingredients together and place in a single layer on a large baking sheet. Bake for 30 minutes at 350 degrees. Take out and turn.  To finish them off, broil on high for 3 minutes or until golden.

Orange Vinaigrette
No dinner is complete without at least two veggie side dishes.  And the potatoes don't count. I'm always looking for new salad dressings. The kids love ranch dressing, but ranch gets so boring. This one is a great salad dressing, quick to make with ingredients that are already on hand. Adapted from

  • 1/4 cup orange juice
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon-style prepared mustard
  • 2 teaspoons honey
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 1/8 c olive oil

In a small mixing bowl, mix the all the ingredients together except the oil.  Whisk while drizzling the oil into the other ingredients until emulsified. 

Easy Shortcake Biscuits
My family used to sell fresh strawberries at our roadside stand.  In the spring, we had strawberries just about every night for dessert. We used to use Hungry Jack biscuits for our shortcake.  We would bake them with a small pat of butter and a sprinkle of granulated sugar. I used to love hearing the *pop* of that can.  I still use Hungry Jack biscuits, but my husband thinks this is weird. Unfortunately, many recipes call for buttermilk or shortening, and I just don't keep those on hand.  This recipe is quick and uses ingredients that you already have. It took me less than 10 minutes to put it all together, and 10 minutes to bake.  I garnished these with some cane sugar crystals. 

2 c flour
pinch salt
4 T sugar
4 tsp baking powder
1/2 c cold butter
3/4 c milk
1/2 tsp vanilla

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.  Whisk dry ingredients together in a medium mixing bowl.  Cut the butter into chunks and blend into the flour with your fingertips or a pastry cutter until the mixture resembles coarse cornmeal or breadcrumbs. Do this quickly so that the butter doesn't get too warm!  Blend the milk and vanilla mixture in with a fork just until the flour is moist.  Take large spoonfuls of dough (bigger than a golf ball, smaller than a baseball) and place on a greased baking sheet, about 1-2 inches apart.  Bake for 10 minutes. Makes 8 biscuits.

Something's missing here...
There we go.  We didn't have whip cream on hand,
but vanilla ice cream always saves the day.

Please leave any suggestions or comments!

Kuhn Rikon Vase Whisk, BlackNeelys Original BBQ SeasoningChili Garlic Sauce Huy Fong 16 Oz


  1. yum!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  2. ok, i think i was logged in and my son wrote that. but it was a tasty meal.