Just imagine enjoying tender juicy baby back ribs coated in a shiny Asian flavored glaze on your weeknight menu. I don't know about you, but we always seem to reserve a meal like this for the weekend thinking it requires a lot of time to prepare, but believe me that's not the case here.
You see the ribs are drizzled with pineapple juice, wrapped in foil and roasted in the oven for an hour and then cooled in the accumulated juices. That makes them perfect for partial prepping in advance - either while you're enjoying coffee and breakfast in the morning, or the night before. Whatever, you can just haul the pre-roasted ribs out of the refrigerator, coat 'em in glaze and finish them just before serving, which is exactly what we did.
We needed an excuse to try out our fancy new little gas grill and these glazed baby back ribs were just the ticket. You see, I've been after the Big Guy for a while to purchase one that I can use when he's out of town because I don't do charcoal plus we were a tad frustrated with the cooking equipment provided at the houses we rent at the beach so after a little research we found the perfect solution - the Coleman Roadtrip Grill LXE. It's perfectly portable so we'll be able to take it with us. How 'bout them apples?
As you can see, it worked beautifully putting a "dew" on the ribs. The spicy boozy Asian flavored glaze takes about 5 minutes to put together and can be made in advance as well which means dinner can be ready in a flash. Talk about make you look good!
We had our ribs along with a creamy corn and green chile gratin which can also be prepped ahead of time, refrigerated and cooked just before you need it. Loaded with roasted green chiles, sweet corn and cheese, the gratin is really like a chile rellano casserole and just a little different from the standard rib "withs" of beans and coleslaw.
Apple Jack Glazed Baby Back Ribs (adapted from Bon Appetit via epicurious.com)
1 – 2-1/2 pound rack baby back pork ribs
Sea salt and course ground black pepper
1/2 cup unsweetened pineapple juice
Preheat oven to 350. If desired remove membrane from back of ribs. Season rack well with salt and pepper. Place on a large sheet of aluminum foil and pour pineapple juice over ribs. Seal foil and place on a sheet pan to catch any drips. Roast for 1 hour. Remove from oven, open foil and turn ribs upside down so the meaty part is facing into the juices. Cool to room temperature then refrigerate until just before serving.
5 tablespoons honey
1/4 cup Apple Jack brandy (or bourbon)
1-1/2 tablespoons hoisin sauce
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon plum sauce
1-1/2 teaspoons light molasses
1-1/2 teaspoons soy sauce
1-1/2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon hot chili paste (sambal oelek)
1/4 teaspoon each salt and pepper
Place ingredients into a jar or container, seal and shake to combine well. Refrigerate until needed.
To prepare – preheat grill until medium hot. Grill ribs, brushing often with glaze and turning frequently until desired color – about 10 to 15 minutes. Serves 2.
Corn and Green Chile Gratin (inspired by Wall Drug Cookbook)
10 ounces roasted green chiles, chopped
1 cup frozen corn, thawed
1 cup grated cheese (I used combination of sharp cheddar and Monterey jack)
3/4 cup milk
5 tablespoons flour
Salt and pepper
Hot sauce (optional)
Fried Onion Rings and Crisp Bacon for garnish
Preheat oven to 350. Spray two 10 ounce ramekins with cooking spray. Arrange 1/4 cup of green chiles in bottom of each ramekin. Top with 1/4 cup frozen corn, then cheese. Repeat layers ending with cheese. Using a whisk, beat egg in a small bowl. Whisk in milk, flour, salt, pepper and hot sauce. Pour mixture into ramekins. Ramekins may be refrigerated at this point and baked later. Place ramekins on a sheet pan to catch any drips and bake in preheated oven for 35 to 40 minutes, or until knife inserted in center comes out clean. Garnish with onions and bacon. Serves 2. Download Corn and Green Chile Gratin
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