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.)
instant espresso powder
I’m the odd woman out when it comes to the combination of chocolate and peppermint.
I know, I know. They go together like chips and dip. Like bread and butter. Like peanut butter and jelly sandwiches with a side of dill pickle. (If that last example throws you off, I get it. I couldn’t imagine how a dill pickle can possible partner with a P,B & J, but it really does work! That combination of sweet, salty and sour really wakes up the ol’ taste buds!) But I do understand the obsession with chocolate and mint. The combo just never won me over with three delicious exceptions. Andes Mints, Cerreta’s Famous French Mint Truffles and this recipe for York Peppermint Patty Brownies. It’s a recipe I discovered around 2010 and have loved it ever since! I think I Iike it so much because it’s not just a treat with mint flavoring. You get to sink your teeth into a rich and chewy brownie and along the way you bite into a York Peppermint Patty smack dab in the middle of the tasty chocolaty square.