Monday, July 15, 2013

Super Easy Baby Back Ribs With a Fresh Corn Salad

Super easy and ribs aren't concepts that usually go together.  My friend and neighbor, Mark makes amazing ribs on the grill.  They take him all day.  This option seems out of my depth, both because I am too lazy to stand at the grill all day and don't feel like I possess the barbeque prowess to pull this technique off.  I have since mastered making my ribs in the oven with just a quick char on the grill.  They taste so, so good and are super simple.

Ingredients for the ribs:
Rack or racks of ribs (one rack for 3 of us was plenty, but my Dad can put away a rack himself, so adjust as necessary for your eaters)

Dry rub mix:  To be honest, I just get out my spices and start adding the ones that seem "barbequey".  Today for one rack that meant:
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 tsp fresh thyme
1 tablespoon grill seasoning
1/2 tsp smoked paprika
1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp cayenne
1/2 tsp dry mustard
1/2 tsp garlic salt
(I am not adding salt and pepper because the grill seasoning has a lot of it)

I use whatever jarred barbeque sauce I was able to coupon for really cheap, but to make it my own I like to add jam.  I don't share this secret with my husband Geoff because for some reason fruit with meat makes him irrational.  Today I added homemade peach jam at a 2-to-1 ratio.  Other stone fruits or orange marmalade are really tasty too.  

 Make up 2 bowls of sauce, one to use on raw ribs, one to use on cooked.  In each bowl (again for one rack of ribs, please do the math on your own to figure out how much you'd need for more racks) combine 1/2 cup barbeque sauce, 1/4 cup jam.

Preheat oven to 250 degrees.  Slather the ribs with the dry rub and put in the oven.  After 45 minutes add one of the bowls of barbeque sauce and coat the ribs.  Cook for another 45 minutes (for 1 1/2 hours total).  To test for doneness, carefully grab a hot rib bone and wiggle it.  You want it to wiggle to demonstrate the meat is "fall of the bone" tender.  Now add the second bowl of sauce if you like a "saucy" rib or you can save to serve along side.

Fresh from the oven
You can do the above early and just let the ribs hang out until you are ready for dinner.  Seriously, I got the ribs in the oven and left the house to go to my son's baseball practice, that is how easy and mostly hands off this recipe is.

To finish:  preheat your grill or broiler on high, and lightly char ribs on both sides, 2-5 minutes each side.

If your bbq sauce is gluten free, so is this recipe.

Now on to corn salad...

Fresh Corn Salad
 I make several variations of this salad, for today's I used:

2 ears fresh corn
1/2 orange bell pepper
1/2 large tomato
1/4 cup sliced fresh basil
1 squeeze of lemon
1 tsp olive oil
1 tsp honey
salt and pepper

Prepare corn by adding to boiling water for 2 minutes.  Remove from water and allow to cool.  Cut kernels off the cob and add to the bowl.  Dice bell pepper, tomato and basil and add to bowl.  Add lemon, olive oil, honey and salt and pepper.  Mix it all together and you have a simple, fresh, summer side dish.

Variations:  Think of corn as your base and really you can change up the flavors so many ways.  In the winter I will just defrost frozen corn and use it in place of the fresh corn.  I sometimes go more southwestern with canned and rinsed black beans, sliced avocado, cilantro, peppers, tomatoes and lime instead of lemon in the dressing.  Oh, so good. 

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