I’m a smoke-your-ribs kind of guy. My preferred rib is a St. Louis-style sparerib, cooked low-and-slow for up to 6 hours. The result is a tender, lightly smokey flavored, moist rib. That’s why I went into this experiment cooking baby back ribs using my Char-Broil Big Easy with a little skepticism (but an open mind).
These ribs were very tender, very moist and cooked perfect. The only thing they lacked was that smokey flavor and of course, that lovely pink smoke ring you get from hours of low heat over smoke. A smokey BBQ rub and sauce helps make up for this if that’s what you’re hankering for. They’re basically trouble-free since the Big Easy is pretty much a light-it-up, load-it-up, and come-back-when-the-food-is-done cooker. I should add that there are other models of the Big Easy that have smoke boxes for adding wood chips during the cooking process.
I’d make these ribs again. You can fit 2 racks of baby back ribs into the Big Easy (they have to be cut to fit as they have to be around 11″ or so or less in length), and you’ll need a set of rib hooks (though you could fashion your own).
Here’s how the process came along. First, brined ribs are hung on rib hooks and placed into the Big Easy basket.
The brined ribs are cooked “naked” (no sauce, no rub) for 35 minutes.
Then, the ribs are rubbed and cooked for another 45 minutes, sauced, and cooked a bit longer.
I love chicken wings. Any flavor, any time, but in particular, I love wings with some kick. Not over-the-top, kick-me-in-the-gut hot, but just spicy enough to wake you up. This version brings the heat thanks to Louisiana hot sauce. And to make sure there’s enough heat to go around, I served them with a dipping sauce that is also kicked up!
These crazy-good burgers remind me a bit of one our favorites, pimento cheeseburgers. This kicked-up version comes from Chris over at Nibble Me This, a fantastic blog to follow. I highly recommend you pay Chris a visit. We used a mix of whatever cheeses we had on hand. You don’t have to get picky. No matter what you use these burgers will turn out fantastic. Lots of cheese, and a little heat.
I recently discovered McClure’s pickles, and they are just fantastic. You see some of their pickle spears in the pic. The spicy varieties have a really nice heat to them. They taste fresh, and homemade. Oh, and you have to try their dill pickle relish. It is unlike that mass-produced relish. Once you’ve had it, you’ll never go back, that’s for sure.
July 4th marks the beginning of corn season here in Indiana. It’s when the best corn starts to become available at our local farmer’s markets. Nothing beats fresh sweet corn… unless you have something even sweeter to put on it.
If you want to kick the honey butter even more, add a pinch or two of cayenne pepper and throw a few jalapeno rings in with the corn disks.
Our post on a peas and pasta salad has been the most popular post on Life’s A Tomato for a long, long time. We make it often. Well, I was reading through Paul Kirk’s Championship Barbecue book when I came across this recipe for Creole macaroni salad. I knew it would be a hit. It has everything in it that we love, from crunchy celery, to salty olives, to a great buttermilk dressing. I made a few minor changes to the recipe and made up a big batch, and oh, how it was sooo good. It was even better the next day after the olives got happier in the dressing, giving the entire salad a nice lightly salty olive flavor.
Paul Kirk’s book is amazing. I can’t recommend it enough. It has recipes for everything from sauces, to meats, to wonderful salads like this one.
If the salad gets a little dry the next day, stir in a little extra buttermilk or mayonnaise.
I’m not sure when this idea hit me. I was probably sleeping, dreaming away… In my dream I dreamed of buffalo wings. A big batch of tasty, hot buffalo wings. And then, I started dreaming of ABTs (bacon-wrapped stuffed jalapenos)… tasty, cheesy… with just a little heat. Then POW! I woke up and thought Buffalo ABTs!
So I made them.
And they were really, really good. So good I made them several times in one week. Jalapenos lose a lot of their heat when slow cooked for an hour or two. They still have a little bite, but are more like a poblano than a hot pepper.
The stuffing for the ABTs is fantastic, and also makes for a great dip for celery or chips.
You’ll need peppadew peppers to make the sauce. If you can’t find peppadews, you can use hot and sweet cherry peppers from Trader Joe’s, or in a pinch you can substitute roasted red peppers, with a bit of hot sauce added for kick.
8 slices thick bacon, cooked and broken into large chunks
4 hot dog buns
For the sauce
1/2 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 small sweet, diced
2-4 hot peppers (I used jalapenos), minced
1 pickled Peppadew pepper, finely chopped, plus some liquid from the jar
2 cloves garlic, minced
Salt and pepper
1/2 cup grainy mustard
1 tablespoon mayonnaise
Heat oil in a medium saucepan over medium high heat.
Add the onion and peppers and saute until the onion is soft.
Add garlic and cook another minute.
Remove from heat and season with salt and pepper. Allow to cool.
Place onion mixture into a blender. Add mustard and mayonnaise and pulse until combined. If too thick, add a bit of the liquid from the peppadew jar. You want the sauce to be thick, but still easy to spread.
Grill the hot dogs and toast the buns as desired.
Place dogs on buns and top with blender sauce and bacon chunks.