Sunday, May 2, 2010

Barbecue Pork Ribs ... without the barbecue

Wow. I just took ruining mom's recipes to a whole new level, and I have to say, I'm not all that disappointed with the results.

Now, when I pulled these pork ribs out of the freezer yesterday, I fully intended on cooking them Mom's style. Since I was spending the day with her, I knew I'd have an opportunity to ask her exactly how she barbecues her spectacular ribs.

But then she told me that she first puts them in the microwave for about 10 minutes to cook them through, and I kinda started making my own plans.

Mom really likes the microwave -- it's easy, fast, effective, etc. However, I can't but help believing all those studies that say it zaps all of the life out of your food. Especially meat. So I decided to instead cook it in the oven at 325 degrees over a pan of water for 1-1/2 hours, then follow her barbecue directions.

But by the time the ribs were cooked through and ready to barbecue, it was all windy and the barbecue was in the garage and Bryan and I are just lazy ... so I simply slathered on some barbecue sauce, cooked the ribs for another 15 minutes, did the same with the other side, then cut them up and ate them.

And they were good. So maybe they didn't have the charcoal taste of the barbecue, but some days you just want to fake it. Part of me wants to say this method actually kept the meat much more moist, and it was certainly better than the dry rub ribs I made earlier this year, but naturally, it doesn't compare to Mom's.

If you want to try her barbecue method, with or without using the microwave, she cooks them right over the flames for about 15-20 minutes, adding barbecue sauce in the end for about 5-6 minutes per side.

Lucky you, I got her to make her barbecue sauce while I was over there yesterday. Although she used to add Char Siu sauce, she says it's too expensive now so she just uses ketchup. So experiment with both and decide what you like the best.

Mom's Barbecue Sauce
1/2 c. ketchup
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 t. garlic-chili sauce
2 T. Worcestershire
2 t. freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 T. oyster sauce
1 t. sugar

Mix all ingredients together then taste and add more of what you like to make it your own unique sauce!

This is enough for about 2 lbs. pork ribs.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Seven-layer bean dip never fails

I once produced a 7-layer bean dip I'd forgotten about at the end of a party, and it still got devoured. You just can't go wrong with any combination. This is simply refried beans, sour cream, salsa, cheddar cheese, fresh tomatoes, sliced olives and green onions. Guacamole would have been an excellent addition, but that would have required too much effort for Mai Ling!