What’s for Dinner: Oven-Grilled Pork Spare Ribs

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Oven-grilled Pork Spare Ribs with Spinach-Jasmine Rice. Last vestiges of Summer, since the temps don’t seem to want to get us to Fall!

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Quickie Meals: Honey Sriracha Chicken with Jasmine Rice, Sweet Corn and Spinach

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Honey-Sriracha Chicken with Jasmine Rice, Sweet Corn and Spinach

While Ms. Foodie loves to mount elaborate meals from time-to-time, for the most part, I depend a great deal on Kitchen Cabinet Cooking: what’s in the Store (my cabinet/fridge), and what can be made quickly.

This meal has several quick and dirty components:

  • Chicken Thighs: The easiest part of the Chicken to grill and bake, because thighs they require so little maintenance, while still retaining their moisture and flavor. You can cook eight chicken thighs in a 400 degree oven in as little as 45 minutes.
  • Frozen Vegetables: Look, I grew up in the Midwest, and fresh vegetables were only possible in the late Spring and the Summer—or you paid a lot of money for shipped produce which didn’t retain half the nutrients. Frozen vegetables, especially the flash frozen variety we find today, retain much of the nutrients of their fresh counterpart, and they make for an easy meal accompaniment.
  • Pre-cooked sides: Ms. Foodie adores her Rice Cooker, and when I cook rice, I always make an extra cup or two. Cooked rice refrigerates for up to five days; so that means you can focus on the meat or veggie part of your meal, and simply heat up or nuke the rice to go along with it.

Thanks to this extremely easy recipe from Healthy. Delicious., frozen Spinach and Sweet Corn, and pre-cooked Jasmine Rice, Ms. Foodie was able to crank out dinner in less than an hour.

When you have so many things to do, wherever you can save time makes a huge difference.

Honey + Sriracha Chicken.

 

Big Food for the Big Game

CIMG0371Ms. Foodie is by no means a sports fan–I just use any excuse to cook and party! SuperBowl Sunday is the perfect day to trot out some new recipes, or put a new twist on the old ones.

Ms. Foodie kept the nibbles few and simple: Potato Chips, Baby Carrots, Celery Sticks, and Toasted sliced mini Baguettes.  They were the perfect complement to the AllRecipes.com Garlic Feta Dip and the Egg and Avocado Salad found on the Never Homemaker site.

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Ms. Foodie liked this particular Egg Salad because of it’s simplicity and flexibility. Of course, changes were made: Ms. Foodie rarely does Mayonnaise, when Miracle Whip tastes better; and Salt and Pepper should always be to taste–a pinch just doesn’t do the trick.

CIMG0367But enough of the nibbles, it’s always the main event that gets me really excited!

Ms. Foodie has fallen in LOVE with Trader Joe’s Sweet Chili sauce, so she decided to sauce up her Pork Spare Ribs with it! I first seasoned the Ribs with some Sea Salt, Pepper, and a bit of Cayenne, then poured on the TJ’s Sweet Chili sauce (about half of the 10 ounce bottle for 12 ribs), sliced some onions to cover the ribs, and put the mix in a crock pot for about six hours.

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Once the Ribs were sufficiently succulent,  I placed them in a pan, basted them with the rest of the bottle of Sweet Chili sauce, then baked them uncovered in a 350 degree oven for about 45 minutes.

CIMG0374Ms. Foodie paired the Spare Ribs with my favorite Jasmine Rice–Man, were they tasty!

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That got us through two halves of the game, so for halftime, Ms. Foodie whipped up some sliders. Easy to do with pre-marinated Ground Beef, mini buns from Trader Joe’s (love that place!) and some sliced Cheddar.

I mixed the Ground Beef with chopped Onions, Garlic, Worcestershire sauce, Cumin, Basil, Thyme, Salt, Pepper, and a bit of Probiotic Yogurt. Ms. Foodie set the mixture in the fridge for a couple of hours to meld these flavors. It also helps me form the mix into little balls, about an inch to an inch-and-a-half in diameter.

CIMG0378In lieu of a grill, I lined a pan with aluminum foil, then cooked them in a 350 degree oven for 20-25 minutes. While the Burger Balls were cooking, it gave me time to prep the mini buns by cutting the Cheddar Cheese slices in quarters, and putting those mini-slices on each side of the bun.

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Ms. Foodie placed the prepped buns in the oven midway through the Burgers cooking. Once the Cheese was melted, everything comes out, and the Sliders are ready to be put together.

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No matter who wins the game, these SuperBowl goodies make for a victorious feast!

Pasta with Florentine-Garlic Sauce

So what started out with a simple Garlic Butter Sauce recipe from AllRecipes.com, turned out to be a delicious Florentine-style addition to Angel Hair Pasta.

Taking their simple recipe, I increased the butter from 1/3 to 1/2 cup, added two cloves of garlic instead of one, and added sun-dried tomatoes, chopped mushrooms, and shredded kale.

Seasoned with dried Basil and Oregano to taste, Celery Salt, and Pepper, it made for a burst of extravagant flavor for the palate.

While that would have been a complete meal in and of itself, I decided to oven-broil some Rock Cod fillets, lightly basted in White Wine, Olive Oil, Curry Powder, Cumin and Minced Garlic.

This little addition was off the chain–and the entire meal took less than 40 minutes… Suhweet!

Honey and Orange Glazed Salmon

So Ms. Foodie did an informal poll on Facebook about how I should prepare my Salmon.  While usually not lacking ideas, I just felt like finding out what other people do, and I was not disappointed! Definitely will store some of the suggestions for future use.

Tonight’s winner was a suggestion by my friend, Christine Heneise: Coating the Salmon with a honey and orange glaze. I tented the fillet in aluminum foil, then seasoned it with Thyme, Sea Salt and Ground Ginger.  I put a bit of honey in a ramekin, then microwaved for about 5-10 seconds to liquefy.

Using a pastry brush,  I coated the Salmon with the honey. Ms. Foodie just happened to have some fresh blood oranges on hand, so I cut one in half and squeezed the juice over the honeyed fillet, then cut the other half into slices, and placed them decoratively on top.

Grill it in a 400 degree oven for 25 minutes–35 if you like your fish crispier.  Brown Rice or pasta is a nice complement, or something creamy, like Alfredo or macaroni and cheese. 

What’s Cookin’?

Barbecue Pork Spare Ribs with Ginger-Chili Sauce.  The base recipe for the sauce can be found on recipestips.com–the addition of crushed ginger, molasses (instead of brown sugar), chili-garlic paste, and a touch of lemon juice  is all mine!

I also brine my ribs overnight in chopped ginger, brown sugar, soy sauce (in place of salt), rice vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, thyme and ground pepper.  After rubbing the brining into the ribs, I cover them with hot water (to melt the brown sugar) then some cold water and ice cubes to melt overnight and maintain the balance.

Once the ribs have basted overnight, I place them in a pan, pour some of the marinade over the top, cover with aluminum foil and braise them in a 250 degree oven for about three hours, give or take.

Depending on how much time I have, I either baste the ribs in barbecue sauce and oven grill them for 20 minutes, or I ask hubby to do the same on the gas grill–either way, they get that nicely grilled flavor!

These ribs are for a potluck tonight celebrating three college graduates from our church.  Bob McNelis, Hazel Morgan and Janette Knudson not only share the same graduation year, but they also graduated from the same school–California State University in Northridge!  They aren’t young whippersnappers either; These three are people like me, in the middle of their lives, who chose to make a change and better themselves by going back to school.  Hazel and Janette raised their kids while doing this–so they deserve a celebration and Ms. Foodie is bringing her best.

Not that anyone would expect anything less…