Slow Cooker Baby Back Ribs

I know my buddies on the grilling and smoker forums are going to give me grief over making slow cooker baby back ribs. But I am always up to trying something new (to me). Now, yes, I know these baby back ribs don’t sit in a smoker for 6 or so hours and get a beautiful smoke ring. But, they are tender, almost fall-off-the-bone tender, and with a little help, quite tasty. And hey, when it’s blowing 45 MPH winds outside with a wind chill well below 0, slow cooker baby back ribs will do just nicely.
Slow Cooker Baby Back RibsLike with boiling ribs (ok, don’t hate me for boiling ribs!) before grilling them, you have to add something so that the ribs get some flavor to them. Last time I boiled ribs, I added Old Bay seafood boil seasoning. When I made these baby back ribs I added a drop or two of liquid smoke and a little smoky BBQ sauce to boot. Sure, it’s not the same as sitting over hickory smoke for a long time, but those smoky flavors do absorb into the meat as it cooks.

Slow Cooker Baby Back Ribs

Course Main
Cuisine American
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 8 hours
Total Time 8 hours 15 minutes
Servings 3 -4 servings
Author Mike

Ingredients

  • 3 pounds baby back ribs trimmed of any excess fat
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup water
  • A few drops of liquid smoke optional
  • Your favorite BBQ sauce I recommend a smoky Hickory BBQ sauce
  • 1/2 onion sliced
  • 1 clove garlic minced

Instructions

  • Separate the ribs into sections, 2-3 bones each.
  • Season the ribs on both sides with plenty of salt and pepper. Don't be shy.
  • Add the water to the bottom of your slow cooker.
  • Stir in 1/4 cup of the BBQ sauce.
  • Add the ribs. Top with the onion and sprinkle with the garlic.
  • Cover and cook on low for 8 hours.
  • Preheat oven to 375 F.
  • Remove ribs, discarding the onion.
  • Coat ribs in BBQ sauce on all sides.
  • Place on a foil-lined baking sheet and bake for 10-15 minutes or until the sauce has set.

Mushroom Asiago Chicken

This mushroom Asiago chicken dish was the perfect therapy for a Sunday evening. By therapy I mean it was fun to make. A great distraction before going back to work the next day. And it was oh so tasty good. The perfect way to cap off a week and start a new one. It isn’t complicated, but then it isn’t all of of box or can either.

Mushroom Asiago ChickenThis mushroom Asiago chicken is crazy creamy good. Personally, I wouldn’t hesitate to add a pinch or two of red pepper flake to give it just a bit of a kick. That’s just me, I like a bit of spice in everything. The chicken has a nice buttery flavor and is oh so tender and juicy. I was worried it might dry out or get a bit touch after frying in the flour, but no, it sure didn’t!

I love the nuttiness of Asiago cheese, but there is a limit. There is a such thing as too much for me. So start slow when you add the cheese, tasting as you go, until it is just perfect.

Also try my Buffalo chicken Alfredo.

Mushroom Asiago Chicken

Course Main
Cuisine American
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Servings 4 servings

Ingredients

  • 2 large boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil divided
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 8 ounces cremini mushrooms sliced
  • 1 clove garlic minced
  • 1 1/2 cups dry white wine
  • 3 springs fresh thyme or substitute 2 teaspoons dried thyme
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1/4 cup shredded Asiago cheese
  • Egg noodles pasta or rice, cooked per package instructions

Instructions

  • Slice the chicken breasts horizontally. Place between sheets of wax paper and pound with a meat mallet until very thin (about 1/4"). Cut into large strips.
  • Add the butter and 1 tablespoon of the olive oil to a large skillet over medium heat.
  • Place the flour in a pie plate and season with 1 teaspoon of salt and 1/2 teaspoon of pepper. Stir to combine.
  • Dredge the chicken pieces in the flour then transfer to the skillet. Saute until golden brown on all sides. Remove to a plate.
  • Add the remaining olive oil to the skillet.
  • Add the mushrooms and saute until just starting to soften.
  • Add the garlic and saute for another minute
  • Add the wine and scrape up any bits on the bottom of the pan.
  • Bruise the thyme (if using fresh, otherwise, crumble the dried thyme) and add to the pan.
  • Return chicken to the pan. Bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer. Cover and let simmer for 15 minutes.
  • Remove chicken pieces to a plate again.
  • Stir in the cream and cheese until melted. Reduce by half, stirring often.
  • Add the chicken back and heat thoroughly.
  • Serve over warm egg noodles, pasta, or rice.

Mini Corn Dogs

Ooooh, you dangerous little mini corn dogs you. The original recipe says two of you are a serving. Yeah…. right. You’re too good to only have two.

These are not like scaled-down versions of your typical corn dog. Hot dogs are replaced by tasty Lit’ Smokies, which bring a whole lot more flavor to the game. And they’re fun to eat too!

Mini Corn Dogs

My rule-of-thumb when making mini corn dogs is: don’t skimp on the batter. Now, if you want yours thinner, go right ahead and I won’t make faces at you. But for me, more is better. You’ll find you’ll perfect your dipping technique after a few dogs. I settled in on a simple method: dip the Lit’l Smokies so they are fully covered, then lift them out of the batter and let the batter run down the sausage and coat the sides and bottom. The result? Nice and even batter.

Mini Corn Dogs

Course Appetizer
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Servings 12

Ingredients

  • 14 ounce Hillshire Farms Lit'l Smokies
  • 2 8.5 ounce packages Jiffy cornbread mix
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 2 large eggs
  • toothpicks
  • oil for frying

Instructions

  • Preheat oil to 350 F.
  • Make the cornbread batter in a large bowl by stirring together the mix, buttermilk and egg.
  • Pour some of the batter into a small glass.
  • Working in batches, insert a toothpick into the sausages, leaving enough for a handle.
  • Dip the toothpick into the batter. I like to tip the glass a bit on it's side to get maximum coverage. I stick the sausage into the batter then lift it up and out of the batter (but still in the glass) to let the batter run down the sausage, coating it completely.
  • Transfer to the fryer and fry 1-2 minutes, rotating them as they cook, until golden brown. Transfer to wire rack-lined backing sheet to drain and cool.
  • Serve with your favorite dipping sauces.

Notes

I doubled the amount of cornbread mix that the original recipe called for. I found myself getting a pretty thick coating on the sausages, and I liked that. With just one box you might run out of coating before you run out of sausages.