Slow Cooker Ribs

Slow Cooker Ribs

Courtesy of Chowtown.wordpress.com

Pork ribs remind us of warm summer days and firing up the barbecue. Right now our five burner bbq grill is sitting on the patio with over two feet of snow around it. So why are we talking about ribs then. The month of January was the clean out the freezer project and a rack of ribs was sitting there waiting to be consumed. A plan had to be crafted when a few weeks ago I found a recipe while searching tags on wordpress.com that brought me to the blog Chowtown. There right before my eyes was a recipe for ribs made in a slow cooker.

I had never thought of using a slow cooker before; what an interesting concept. Then I started to think about how I slowly cook a chunk of pork shoulder in the oven. The slow cooker is just a smaller oven that is good at keeping moisture in so the idea seemed to make a lot of sense. Sure enough the concept worked and will now challenge me to create some new rib concepts in a slow cooker.

The recipe can be found here thanks to the efforts of RuneRider. The only thing I changed in the recipe was adding some more liquid for covering the ribs and increasing the cooking time. Time is probably dependent on the type of slow cooker you have and the style of ribs.

The ribs were very tender and flavorful with very little preparation. They truly are the fall of the bone type when they are done. Enjoy them with a nice side of cole slaw and some beans.

Haloumi Cheese – The Cheese for Grilling

We added another cookbook to the bookshelf this month and will detail our trials and errors over the next few months. Having recently returned from the Middle East region, we searched for a general book on the cuisine and found The Complete Middle East Cookbook. The book is broken up by region and has a good mix of text on the local food culture and plenty of recipes.

The Cheese for Frying and Grilling

Our family lived on the island of Cyprus for a short period of time when I was growing up so I immediately turned to that chapter for a look. The first recipe was for Haloumi cheese which is a favorite of this household and Cypriots. This goat milk based cheese is great for grilling as it won’t melt like many others. Just cut 1/4 to 1/2 inch slabs and fry it in a non-stick pan on a medium-low heat adding olive oil if you wish. Brown each side and serve warm with a drizzle of fresh lemon juice. The cheese is mildly salty and has some tang to it. You can also top it of with some spreads, herbs or vegetables. Thicker slabs can be put directly on a grill. If you like to cook kabobs, next time cut some Haloumi into cubes, put it on the skewer and grill it with the vegetables. We have found this cheese at Whole Foods and Wegmans, but any shop with a large cheese selection should carry it. Someday I might be adventurous and make the cheese as the book describes but for now we will just enjoy the unique texture of this cheese from the the local grocer. If you would like the recipe just drop a note and I will share that with you.

A scan of other recipes in the Cypriot section of the book noted an interesting ingredient for many; lambs brains. I am sure if I really tired I could find some in the greater Washington DC area, but I think we will pass on those and just keep reading. Anyway we will keep you posted on our progress and post a full review of the book.

Grill Wipes

When you are preparing your grill for direct cooking it is preferable to wipe the grill with oil to prevent food from sticking . I used to use  a paper towel soaked in vegetable oil for this, but I have found a more convenient way. I now buy Original disposable grill wipes by Grate Chef (www.gratechef.com). I have found them at Home Depot in the US and Canadian Tire in Canada. Just place one cloth on your grill brush and wipe away. I reuse them several times and  keep them in the resealable package. For about 3 dollars for 6 you can’t go wrong.

Cedar Planked Salmon

The BBQ Blog:

As you look at the various recipes in three meals a day website you might notice a category called Bill’s BBQ. Inside there are a number of recipes for the grill. I have chosen one of my favourite ones to start my BBQ contributions to this blog. Here is the link to it with some details below:

Cedar Planked Salmon With Spice Rub

1 cedar plank approx 8X12 inches, untreated
2 lbs salmon fillet (skinless)
1 Tbs olive oil
3 Tbs brown sugar
1 Tbs paprika
1 Tbs salt
1 Tbs pepper
1/2 tsp ground cumin

1. Soak plank in a tub of cold water for at least 1 hour and up to 12 hours
2. Score top side of salmon in about 2 inch diagonal slits but do not cut
too deeply or through the flesh.
3. Rub olive oil into salmon. In a small bowl combine sugar, paprika, salt,
and black pepper and cumin. Rub over salmon and into the slits. Marinate
salmon 10 to 20 minutes.
4. Place plank on preheated barbeque. Close the lid and wait until plank
starts to smoke. Place salmon to plank and close the lid and adjust the heat
to medium-high. Cook for 25 to 30 minutes or until the salmon is cooked
through and flakes. Do not turn the salmon during cooking.
5. The fish can be brought to the table on the plank decorated with fresh
herbs or transfer with a wide lifter to a serving platter or a clean plank.

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Check the salmon after 20 minutes to see if it is done. Just take a fork and gently break the flesh in the middle of the thickest part of the filet it should be opaque. It will cook better if the filet is cut into serving pieces before placing on the plank.