Monday, July 11, 2011

A restaurant that bans children?

There's a restaurant in Pennsylvania that now bans children under six at all times. You can read about it here. What do you think?

Friday, July 01, 2011

Sweet smoky Spanish-inspired ribs!

A couple of weeks ago, I promised more of the recipes from our wine dinner club Spanish meal. I was the hostess, so I made the main course.

I had had "Costilla de Cerdo Lacada," or glazed pork ribs, in a tapas bar in Washington, DC, a while back and thought I’d attempt a similar recipe. I knew it had smoked paprika and a lot of brown sugar and garlic. The first time I tried it, it was tasty enough but didn’t have the glazed look of the original. And was missing a spiced flavor that I decided was cinnamon and ginger.

I tried it again and intended to glaze it with reduced sweet sherry, but didn’t have any in the liquor cabinet. I looked to see what might be a good substitute and there was a bottle of maple syrup in the pantry. Talk about serendipity! It was the perfect glaze, and so easy!

I served the ribs with a yellow rice pilaf and the wonderful rum-baked black beans from a much earlier column. You can find the recipe on my blog.

I did them as noted below. But last week I visited my son and his family and wanted to make them again for a group of his friends. He has a smoker and smoked them for about four hours on low heat, then glazed them on the grill. They were wonderful, so if you have a smoker you might want to try it.

With the Fourth of July weekend upon us, why not give these ribs a try? With rice, baked black beans and a salad, you have a dinner that will have your friends saying "Ole"!!!


2 racks baby back ribs (about 3 lbs each)
½ cup dark brown sugar, packed
2 tbsp. Spanish sweet smoked paprika
1 tbsp. ground cinnamon
1 tbsp. ground ginger
5 plump cloves garlic, put through a press
2 tbps. Chipotle Tabasco sauce
1 tbsp. kosher or sea salt
¼ cup maple or other pancake syrup
Fresh cilantro, for garnish

Rinse the rib racks and pat dry. In a bowl, combine all remaining ingredients except maple syrup and cilantro.

Tear off a strip of heavy duty aluminum foil large enough to seal around one rack. Using half the spice mixture, rub evenly over the meat. Use about a third on the bottom (bone) side, and the rest on top. Seal the foil completely, then over-wrap with another sheet of foil. Repeat with the second rack.

Place on a baking sheet and refrigerate at least four hours or up to 24 hours. Remove from the fridge about an hour before you plan to cook.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place the racks side by side on a baking sheet. Bake for an hour. Remove the foil and place the racks on a clean baking sheet. Discard foil and any cooking juices. Brush the meaty side of the rack with the syrup.

Pre-heat your grill to medium-high. Place the racks with the glazed side down and cook for about 5 minutes. Turn and brush again. Cook for another five minutes. Cut into three-rib servings and sprinkle with the cilantro. Delicious hot, but also perfectly tasty at warm room temperature. Serves 6 generously.

NOTE: Spanish smoked paprika is available in many supermarkets, and at Fresh Market and Whole Foods.

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