Backyard BBQ: Ribs

We enjoyed these ribs yesterday for Father’s Day! I wish I could take credit for this delicious sauce – it was fabulous! I found the recipe on Food Network. I did change the cooking instructions to start with baking – I think it makes ribs more tender and you still have the wonderful grilled flavor from finishing on the grill. I would probably make these with baby backs next time…and there will be a next time! As I note, I did not use an entire can of chipotles – add them until you reach your desired heat level.



HONEY-CHIPOTLE PORK RIBS
(Cooking Method adapted – Recipe from foodnetwork.com)
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1 cup honey
2 cups ketchup
1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
1 (7-ounce) can chipotles in adobo sauce
3 pounds country style pork ribs, bone in

In a food processor, combine honey, ketchup, ginger, and 5 chipotles with adobo sauce. Blend until smooth. Taste and add remaining chipotles, or more honey, if desired. If sauce is too thick, thin with a little water or apple juice. Pour half of the sauce over the pork and reserve the rest. Marinate for at least 4 and up to 24 hours.

Bake at 300 degrees for 2-3 hours. Prepare a grill or grill pan. Grill the pork ribs until cooked to desired doneness. Some charring on the pork is delicious. Brush with some of the reserved sauce. Remove pork from heat and slather with remaining sauce or serve sauce alongside.

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International Cuisine: Chipotle Mexican Meatballs

The other evening I had a flash of inspiration and wondered why there are Italian meatballs and Swedish meatballs and Greek meatballs, but no Mexican meatballs. So, I set out to make Mexican meatballs spiced with the smokey flavor of chipotle chile powder.

Not too spicy, with definite Mexican flavor, I wrapped these little meatballs in a soft corn tortilla, nestled on a bed of sautéed peppers and onions, topped with a bit of cheese, tomatoes, and guacamole. I call these Fajita Meatball Tacos (or something like that!).

CHIPOTLE MEXICAN MEATBALLS
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1 lb ground beef
1 small onion, finely chopped
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
1/4 tsp oregano
1/4 tsp dried cilantro flakes
1/2-3/4 tsp chipotle chile powder
1 1/2 tsp cumin
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
splash of milk

Preheat oven to 350°F.

Mix all of the ingredients together and thoroughly work the spices into the meat (you may need to use freshly washed hands to do this).

Scoop 1-inch meatballs (or your preferred meatball size) onto a foil lined baking sheet. Bake for 10 minutes, or until cooked through.

Make into tacos or taco salad.

On the Side: Chipotle Cheddar Chard

We’re all in need of a little more green in our lives–be that greenbacks, a green thumb, or green consciousness. I’d happily have a little more of any of that in my life, but one green thing I’m always searching for is new recipes for greens. Typically I make a batch of green soup to enjoy throughout the week. But sometimes that just doesn’t cut it.

My default bunch of greens to purchase at the grocery or farmer’s market is usually spinach or kale. However, in an attempt to bring versatility to our diet and knowing greens are the heavy lifters of good nutrients, I’ve been experimenting with other varieties and recipes.

Last week I grabbed a bunch of swiss chard and tried out this recipe from the new cookbook The Simple Art of Eating Well. My greens-hesitant husband asked for the leftovers in his lunch. The chipotle powder adds a delightful smoky edge to this tasty, cheesy dish.

CHIPOTLE CHEDDAR CHARD
(from The Simple Art of Eating Well)
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1 lb chard
2 tsp canola oil
1 small onion, halved and thinly sliced
1 medium tomato, chopped
1/4 c. chicken broth or water
1/4-1/2 tsp ground chipotle powder
1/4 tsp salt
2/3 c. shredded sharp cheddar cheese

Wash chard and let water cling to the leaves (it helps steam the chard and keeps the dish room drying out); separate stems and leaves and chop.

Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the stems and onion; cook, stirring often, until softened, 3-5 minutes. Add tomato, broth (or water), chipotle to taste and salt; bring to a simmer. Add the leaves; cook, covered, stirring once, until just tender, about 2 minutes. Scatter cheese on top and cook, uncovered, until it is melted, 1-2 minutes more. Serves 4-6.