When I first started to teach cooking classes a year and a half ago at Sweet Basil Culinary Center, I was introduced to a new cooking vessel that would change everything for me. It’s called a stove-top smoker and it works perfectly on the cook top, on the BBQ or in the oven. It’s fantastic for fish, vegetables and chicken, but it really shines when you throw a rack of ribs in, close it up, and 90 minutes later you have a succulent stack of ribs mopped with your favorite BBQ sauce! This recipe for Chili Rubbed Baby Backs with Espresso BBQ Sauce is one of my new favorites, given to me by a co-worker who knows I’m a rib fanatic. Even if you don’t have a stove-top smoker, these ribs and sauce will be a hit no matter how you prepare them! The dark beer (it really should be a Guinness!) and espresso powder combine to give the ribs a deep and rich flavor that melt together to create the umami you want in a rack of ribs! The recipe calls for a bottle of your favorite BBQ sauce or if you have a homemade version, use that! (A few years ago we did a taste test of the country’s most popular store-bought BBQ sauces. Topping the list of brands were Stubbs, Rufus Teague, Sweet Baby Ray’s and Bone Suckin’ Sauce.)
This weekend a host of local broadcasters came together for our annual Christmas Concert to raise money for The House of Broadcasting. One year our fundraising efforts helped to create the House of Broadcasting Celebrity Media Cookbook. It’s a treasure trove of great heirloom dishes by your local television and radio personalities. One of the most delicious recipes in the book is an award winning chili recipe from Jack Clifford, the man who created the iconic Food Network. (More than 20 years later, about 90 million people agree that Jack’s idea was a brilliant one and changed forever the way we view food.) Jack’s scrumptious chili has won dozens of chili cook off awards. It kicks you with five different spices and yet has a smooth-as-silk finish on your palate. This chili’s base is a combination of beef chunks, ground beef and pork with plenty of onions and garlic! So, grab a big pot and get cooking, just in time for “chili” evenings!
If you’d like a copy of the House of Broadcasting Cookbook, visit www.houseofbroadcasting.com.
By the way, Jack used to say that the Department of Homeland Security had identified his chili as a WMID (Weapon of Mass Indigestion). But I say Clifford’s Chili it’s so good, it’s what the cowboys call MGS–Mighty Good Sop!
Watch my Video for Clifford’s Chili here!