Saturday, July 04, 2015

Better Homes and Gardens: Cantonese Baby Back Ribs

What do you make when you're too lazy or too hot to get the grill going, but you still want something grill-ish or barbecue-ish?  You make ribs.  In your oven.  They're tender and juicy.  And if you baste the right way, they have that caramelized bark that everyone loves.  And you're not covered in mosquito bites by the time you're through.

Cantonese Baby Back Ribs
Adapted from the 1974 edition of the Better Homes and Gardens New Cookbook

2 pounds baby back ribs
Cantonese Sauce (or bottled barbecue sauce, if you prefer)
Finely grated orange zest

Preheat the oven to 450°F.

Place the ribs, meaty side down, in a shallow roasting pan. Roast for 30 minutes. Remove the meat from the oven; drain the excess fat from the ribs. Turn the ribs meaty side up. Lower the oven temperature to 350°F; continue roasting for 1 hour. Pour sauce over ribs; roast 30 minutes longer or until tender, basting ribs occasionally with the sauce. Sprinkle with orange zest before serving.

Makes 2 to 3 servings

Cantonese Sauce
1 cup orange marmalade
2 tablespoons cup soy sauce
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon lightly packed brown sugar
½ teaspoon ground ginger
½ teaspoon five-spice powder
¼ teaspoon garlic powder

Combine all ingredients; blend well.  Cook over medium heat until mixture reduces slightly.  Set aside.

Friday, July 03, 2015

Two Potato Salads: Mom's Potato Salad and Loaded Baked Potato Salad

It's the fourth of July.  Also known unofficially as The-Day-You-Must-Grill-Or-You-Are-Un-American.  And if you're grilling, you need some fabulous sides.  Why should the burgers or ribs get all the glory?  It's time to go big or go home.  Luckily I know of two fabulous potato salads that would be beautiful next to your grilled glory. One even got me a marriage proposal.  True story.

Mom's Potato Salad
Loosely adapted from the 1963 edition of the Good Housekeeping Cookbook

6 medium russet potatoes
2 large eggs
3 tablespoons canola oil
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup chopped celery
½ cup chopped pickles
¼ cup chopped yellow onion
⅓ cup mayonnaise
1 tablespoon yellow mustard
1 tablespoon celery seed

Boil potatoes in their jackets and eggs until the potatoes are soft but firm. Let potatoes and eggs cool; peel and set aside eggs to chill. Peel and cube potatoes. Throw potato cubes in a large bowl. Whisk together oil and vinegar and toss with the potatoes. Sprinkle with salt. Refrigerate the potatoes until chilled.

Chop eggs roughly. Add the celery, pickles, onion, and eggs to the potato mixture. Separately, mix the mayonnaise, mustard, and celery seed. Add the dressing to the potato mixture and toss lightly. Add salt to taste. Refrigerate before serving.

For a Spring potato salad, substitute 8 medium red potatoes for the russet potatoes, ¼ cup chopped green onion for the white onion, and Dijon mustard for the yellow mustard.

Makes 8 servings

Loaded Baked Potato Salad

6 medium russet potatoes
½ cup mayonnaise
1 cup sour cream
8 to 10 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled
½ cup finely shredded Cheddar cheese
8 green onions, sliced
1 teaspoon lemon-pepper seasoning
1 teaspoon sea salt

Boil potatoes in their jackets until the potatoes are soft but firm. Let potatoes cool; peel and cube potatoes. Throw potato cubes in a large bowl and refrigerate.

Combine the mayonnaise and sour cream.  Toss sour cream mixture and remaining ingredients with chilled potato cubes.  Chill until ready to serve.

Makes 8 servings