I have no idea if it’s Kansas City, Carolina, Texas, Memphis or St. Louis style. All I know is that this dry rub is magic dust on a rib. Just in time for your summer menus, this Dry Rubbed BBQ Ribs recipe is the perfect seasoning for a meaty slab of pork or beef ribs, finished off with just a light brushing of barbecue sauce. So let’s tackle cooking first. Slow and low. It’s the only way to keep those juices moistening the meat. For the rub, don’t overpower. Generally, whatever sticks to the slab should give you just the right amount of flavor. And because BBQ sauce is loaded with sugar or honey which can burn, save it for the last 10-15 minutes, and then just lightly coat it on the slab at the end of the cooking process. You want the flavor of the rub to come through. Now for the rub. It’s an incredibly simple formula I found in an old paperback cookbook called Tasty Vittles. This rub is the perfect combination of sweet, spicy, hot and salty. You can add a slightly citrusy kick if you’re using something like a chili lime sea salt, or burn it up big time with various chili powders. I’ve been on a quest for a good basic rub that I can make ahead, keep it in a jar in the pantry, and shake out onto a slab whenever I’m craving ribs, and this is it! Start with the basic rub and then add your own special touches using some of your favorite herbs and spices, a little at a time, until you make it your own. Rub some ribs and reap the rewards this summer!
Easter Deviled Eggs
They should be called “Angel” eggs because it seems as though just about everyone loves them. In fact, Deviled eggs are generally the first things to be gobbled up at a gathering like Easter Brunch. There are hundreds of variations on the popular party food that Julia Child simply called Stuffed Eggs. Can you just hear her, reading a line from her own book, Julia Child’s Menu Cookbook?
“I do think eggs look most attractive and professional when filled with a pastry bag and cannelated tube!”
Once I found out what the heck “cannelated” meant (fluted or grooved) I agreed with her! So, just in case you have some extra hard boiled eggs in the refrigerator after Easter egg dyeing this week, or you are hosting a get-together tomorrow, let me share one of my favorite recipes for Deviled Eggs. I found it in one of my oldest cookbooks called Quantity Cookery from 1922. I didn’t think you’d appreciate a recipe, however, that calls for 96 halves (or 6 pounds) of hard boiled eggs. I got the recipe down to a manageable size and started with an egg yolk and mayonnaise base. Softened butter and cream cheese add a rich, smooth texture while spicy mustard, prepared horseradish and Worcestershire sauce all add the kick. In fact, many Deviled eggs recipes I came across had dashes and splashes of flavor like lemon juice and hot sauces added to the base, which just goes to show that when it comes to Stuffed Eggs, the Deviling is in the details. Happy Easter and happy brunching!
Eggplant Pattie Casserole
Today is a fun day for Italians and those who love Italian cuisine and culture! The Italian Association of Arizona is hosting the first-ever Italian Pizza & Wine Festival at Scottsdale City Hall. Even though I wrote my own Italian cookbook, I decided on a recipe for Eggplant Pattie Casserole from an extraordinary cookbook to mark this fun foodie festival! The Modern Family Cookbook is a 900 page compilation of three daily menus for a family of five for an entire year. It was written by a woman named Meta Given who began writing recipes at age 10. As a famed home economist, and food editor for the Chicago Tribune, Given made certain that with each recipe, your family would be well-nourished since all dishes were built around a nutritious dietary plan. But the recipe I really loved is the Eggplant Pattie Casserole. Make or buy your favorite meat or marinara sauce, cook up some pasta and try it for a hearty family meal. Thanks, Italian Association for make today delizioso!
One Pot Pasta Wonder
Grilled Salmon with Garlic Lime Butter
I found the dusty well-worn cookbook in an old antique store off the beaten path in Ogden, Iowa. In researching the author, I was thrilled that I had stumbled across a treasure. The Gold Cook Book, first published in 1947 was written by Louis P. De Gouy, the Chef at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel for 30 years. He was also one of the original founders of Gourmet Magazine and the author of 16 cookbooks. In the Gold Cook Book I found an entire chapter devoted to something you don’t find as a separate section in many cookbooks today- Compounded Butters. My favorite line opening the chapter reads, “Compounded (creamed) butters in cookery are the finishing touch to food, be it a soup, fish, meat, sauce or vegetable as is powder and make-up to the face of a beautiful woman.” The chapter covered every compounded butter from Anchovy to Truffle Butter, and I was struck at how simple these compounds are, often mixing together just two or three ingredients to the softened butter. The great thing about compounded butters is that they can be made ahead and stored in a closed jar and refrigerated indefinitely for use when necessary. I chose a recipe for a Garlic Butter and loved the idea of paring it with a simple salmon fillet. Adding some fresh squeezed lime juice to the compound gave the salmon a bright and flavorful finish. Choose nice fresh, thick slices of salmon, cook them in a grill pan or skillet with a little salt and lemon pepper, and then drop a dollop of Compounded Garlic Lime Butter on top for a perfect light meal in minutes.
We’re just five days away from our Southwestern fiesta with friends, Cinco de Mayo! Searching for some salsas? This Roasted Eggplant Salsa was rescued out of my own recipe box—the one I’ve had for years stuffed with recipe clippings, potluck favorites and scribbles on scratch paper. It’s perfect for a Cinco celebration if you’re looking to add something a little different to your salsa spread this year. I’ve also included one of my favorite recipes for stand-out Salsa Fresca. It uses ingredients found in many diced tomato-based salsas, but you can heat it up or tone it down anyway you like. Then grab a chip and dive right in!