We’re heading into a nice long Fourth of July holiday week and I hope there will be plenty of chances for you to get your grill on and cook up some good eats! Have you thought about firing up a big batch of meaty and flavorful Country Style pork ribs? Those are the ones that are loaded with meat and virtually no bone. So wait a minute. Why do they call them ribs then? Well, country style pork ribs are actually not ribs at all. They are from the shoulder or the blade end near the shoulder. These cuts of pork are meaty and marbled—which equals flavor! They often get passed over in the meat department in lieu of actual ribs, and that’s a shame because they are delicious grilled and slathered with BBQ sauce or cut up for kebabs. Speaking of BBQ sauce, with this recipe, the BBQ sauce is a bonus that is used as a finishing sauce because all of the flavor is in the rub! I’m using a variety of spices for this rub that combines sweet, heat, salty and spicy. What a flavor profile! It’s a great combination that you can make your own by adding more brown sugar or less chili powder, according to your taste. It’s so simple to mix the spices together and sprinkle over the country style ribs, and the magic happens when you refrigerate them! The spices draw out the moisture and when you put them in a hot pan or grill, that juicy outside caramelizes and seals in the moisture. When the ribs are cooked, you can then slather on the BBQ sauce and serve them up with your favorite fixings like baked beans, roasted corn on the cob or macaroni salad. If you’re lucky enough to have any leftover ribs, you can slice them up for sandwiches or chopped up for a salad. So if you haven’t had country style pork ribs lately, this may be a great week to give them a try. I can almost guarantee you’ll be licking your chops!
One delicious way to kick off your Memorial Day celebration is by popping a cold one in honor of the man who has helped make barbecued chicken one of America’s favorite picnic foods. Cornell University professor, Robert Baker, is the creator of the famous Cornell Barbecue Chicken Sauce, the recipe that is often referred to as “State Fair Chicken.” This simple and tasty sauce can be used as a fabulous 2-hour marinade or for basting chicken on the grill. The Cornell Barbecue Sauce isn’t the only iconic recipe to come from Professor Baker. He is also the inventor of more than 40 other recipes including chicken-and-turkey hot dogs and the world-famous chicken nugget (McDonald’s generally gets the credit for inventing the chicken nuggets, but Baker published his chicken nugget recipe in the 1950’s, while McDonald’s Chicken McNuggets recipe was patented in 1979). Another creation that probably helped land Baker in the Poultry Hall of Fame (yes, there is one!) was his revolutionary method of binding breading to chicken, which is used in hundreds of food applications today. In the book, “The Lexicon of Real American Food,” it says that Robert Baker’s goal in life was to get people to eat more chicken. Mission accomplished – especially this weekend!