August 17, 2010

1 Week, 1 Grill, 8 Friends - Part 1

I just got back from a lovely, albeit too short (aren’t they always), week vacation. Nothing too fancy, a condo near the beach, a gaggle of friends, and a grill. To the rest of the country a grill is common place, to 99.9% of city dwellers, its like Christmas, rainbows, and chocolate all rolled into one. We ate a lot. We lazed a lot - I have pictures of said gluttony and sloth to prove it. I also have some great recipes to share, just in time for those last summer bashes and lazy Sundays.

Here is part one of vacay highlights.

I've never made ribs before. I asked a friend what to do and she gave me a really basic rundown before I left. Armed with minimal knowledge, I wasn't so sure that her basic simple steps would actually work, haven't we all seen those shows on TV where large-bellied, well-bearded men take all day to make their ribs? Well, I can you tell with confidence, that only don't you need a belly or a beard, you don't even need 24 hours, two will do. She was right.

4lbs of ribs
3 large carrots, roughly chopped
3 large celery stalks, roughly chopped
6 large garlic cloves, roughly chopped
Broth (chicken or beef)
Dried Italian Seasoning
Cajun Seasoning
Plain bread crumbs (I know it sounds weird, but it really made these stellar by soaking up the BBQ sauce)
BBQ Sauce

-Take a large pot, put in the raw ribs, cover with water. Bring the pot to a boil, let it boil for five or so minutes. This renders off a large amount of the fat. Pour out the water. Add carrots, celery, and garlic to pot. Cover with enough broth to cover. Bring to boil - boil for one hour.
-In the meantime, combine three parts Italian seasoning (I know the use of Italian seasoning is odd, but it really added a great aromatic quality to the ribs) to one part Cajun seasoning. Add salt to taste keeping in mind that you will be adding BBQ sauce to the ribs as well. Set aside dry rub, heat up the grill about 15 minutes before ribs have finished boiling.
-Fish out the ribs, pat dry, sprinkle well with bread crumbs and cover in the dry rub. Slather on a thin layer of BBQ onto one side of the ribs and put on the grill, sauce side down. After about seven minutes, sauce the naked side and flip them. Another seven minutes and they're ready to eat. Serve with some extra warmed up BBQ sauce on the side.Yup, it's that easy and they are so damn good...

Gorgeous right?

Another hunger-inducing pic.

A friend made us his Mother's mac & cheese.
Needless to say it was stellar.
Also needless to say, I'm not allowed to have the recipe.
Sigh, secret family recipes, gotta love 'em.

Corn Bread:
I made corn bread three or four times over the course of the week. This is a recipe that a friend gave me, we ate it at dinner, lunch, and definitely for breakfast. I know she got it out of a cookbook, but which cookbook has since been lost to the sands of culinary time. That being said, it is the easiest most versatile corn bread recipe I've ever encountered. It also happens to be really yummy. You can add almost anything you want to this. We were surrounded by the sweetest freshest corn where we were, so I just added sweet, raw corn kernels to the mix. But feel free to add, cheese, jalapenos, nuts, fruit, whatever you want. This will make about nine corn muffins depending on the size of the tins. I wound up making double batches every time though - you can't have just one, especially not when they're warm and slathered in butter.

1 cup flour
1 cup yellow corn meal
1 tbs baking powder
3/4 tsp salt
1/4 cup sugar
1 cup milk
1 egg, beaten
1/4 cup softened butter

-Preheat oven to 400. Spray your muffin tins with some Pam, set aside.
-Mix flour, cornmeal, baking powder, salt, and sugar in a bowl.
-Mix milk, egg, and butter together in a second bowl. Don't worry about the butter being clumpy, it wont matter when you bake it.
-Make a well in the dry ingredients and slowly add the wet. Mix together until just combined then stop. If you're adding anything like cheese or corn, mix it in now. DO NOT OVER-MIX THIS!
-Let the mixture sit for 5-10 minutes. Ladle the batter into the prepared tins and bake for 15-20 minutes. The tops will be spongy and bounce back. You can also use a toothpick, when it comes out clean, they're ready to be gobbled. Speaking of gobbled, I make these at Thanksgiving too!


A friend was reading this post and the mystery of the corn bread recipe has been solved! Furthermore you'll never guess who we have to thank for this perfect concoction... Betty Crocker! 

1 comment:

  1. Oh my word!! What glorious feasting! :-) So glad you're back, Duchess, but delighted you had such a marvelous time. :-)