Tuesday, October 26, 2010

they grow up so fast...
sometimes even the simple things can make us smile.
(especially if there is a little bribery involved.)

i love fall. have i mentioned that? evidently, this guy does too.

i think he does too.

i love cooking experimentation.
well, i guess it's really just learning how to cook without always following a recipe. just getting the hang of what goes together, what you need to balance things and using what is at it's peak. and by "at it's peak" i mean in season, fresh in the fridge, or bought at a great price! and i think tonight's supper has accomplished all three!

your looking at pork country style ribs (bought on a great sale, and cooked with things i already had on hand) with fresh grilled veggies (done often and never tired of around here)!
now, i've never cooked ribs before in my life and it really intimidated me. but for that price, i dropped it in the shopping cart and determined i would figure something out! and low and behold, the hubby gave this one a double helping, mouth full, thumbs up.

i knew i wanted them tender and i knew that meant time. so around noon they found their way into my slow cooker. for something acidic (because meat always like a little acid) i used a can of Dr. Pepper (plus a little bit of water). then just added whatever... in this case, some dried herbs (sage & lavender), peppercorns, Jamaican all spice, and a good palm size amount of kosher salt (so i was kind of using a brine with the cooking).

several hours later i decided i wanted some kind of sauce, knowing that my hubby is a sauce man and instinctively reaches for the bbq, ranch or mustard for nearly all his meats. so it went like this...

heat a small pan on the stove to medium and mix up some of the broth from the slow cooker, a little tomato sauce (just out of the can, nothing fancy) a little Dijon mustard, a blop of real maple syrup (grade b) and a tiny bit of garlic powder in said hot pan. let it all simmer for a long while, stirring every couple of minutes so that it doesn't burn. eventually it change from watery runny stuff to thick & beautiful in color, smell and consistency.

i whacked up the veggies i had on hand (potatoes, broccoli, cabbage, onion, green pepper) and tossed it with some extra virgin olive oil & salt and pepper. dumped it all in a foil pocket i made and threw it on the grill for a while.

then i carefully scooped my fall-apart-tender ribs into a wire grill basket my mom gave me (thanks mom!) and coated them with the sauce. added them to the grill to give the sauce a little color and carmelization.

everything on the table and 3 boys who loved it! i must say, i love to cook, especially when i can break it up into bits and pieces so i'm not spending an hour in the kitchen with little boys underfoot. :)

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