Posts Tagged 'Dinosaur BBQ'

Slow cooker “BBQ” Spareribs

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Who doesn’t love pork ribs? Well, I can definitely see those with OCD having a problem with it. But the mess is part of the fun.

Of course to make them for real you need to smoke them low and slow (or at least that’s the rumor). Unfortunately, despite our apartment complex having the name “Patio Gardens” we have neither a patio nor a garden (that’s what we get for living on the second floor), so I can’t actually smoke them over charcoal for hours and hours. That and I have to go to work on Mondays so it couldn’t have been dinner in that case.

Enter the slow cooker. Sure, it’s not real barbeque (hence the quotes in the title; they are not superfluous) but it’s as close as I’m going to get in the near future. And, frankly, it’s still good so who really cares?

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Slow cooker “BBQ” Spareribs

1/4 cup All Purpose Red Rub
1/2 rack pork spareribs (about 2 lbs)
1 tbsp canola oil
1 bottle barbeque sauce (preferably Dinosaur Bar-B-Que)

  1. Preferably one day before serving, trim any excess fat from the spareribs and cover them well with the red rub. Refrigerate until ready to cook.
  2. Remove the spareribs from the refrigerator and dry the outside with paper towels (some of the rub will come off). Heat a large skillet (preferably cast iron) over high heat with the canola oil until smoking. Brown the spareribs in the skillet, about 2 to 3 minutes per side (the rib side won’t brown particularly well because of the curvature of the ribs).
  3. Place the spareribs in the slow cooker and cover with barbeque sauce. Cook on low heat for at least 8 hours. Remove from the slow cooker and allow to rest for 15 minutes before serving.

Serves 2 to 3.

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All Purpose Red Rub
Adapted from Dinosaur Bar-B-Que: An American Roadhouse

1/2 cup paprika
1/2 cup kosher salt
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1/2 cup garlic powder
6 tbsp onion powder
1/4 cup chili powder
1 tbsp black pepper
1 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper

  1. Combine all ingredients in a sealable plastic container and mix well.

Makes 2 3/4 cups.

Tomato and Roasted Garlic Soup

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I work in a building that is, at times, fairly well air conditioned (read: cold). It’s also significantly closer to the beach then where I live (which means it’s cooler). So, on Monday, I was feeling a cold at work (I swear I walked between buildings and also was cold but it could’ve been that it’s heavily in shadows) and was trying to figure out what to make for dinner (the refrigerator is mostly bare and we had some tomatoes left over from last week). In early afternoon, I called Angela and said that it was a bit cooler and would she mind having tomato bisque for dinner.

Turns out, when I got home that there were two complications: it was most definitely not cold (it wasn’t quite hot but it was definitely not on the cold side of the scale) and Angela thought I meant this soup (not that I really had any particular recipe in mind). Well, when she-who-must-be-obeyed tells me that she expects one thing for dinner, if I’m smart (like that’ll happen regularly), I make what she wants. And so I did.

This recipe actually comes from one of my favorite cookbooks from one of my favorite restaurants. I went to college (er, technically I went to “institute”) in Rochester, NY and the area right around the school was a chain-restaurant wasteland. Every once in awhile, we’d consider it special enough (or when parents visited and were willing to pay), we’d venture downtown and go to Dinosaur BBQ. Now, not being from the south (Maryland never seceded y’all), I have no idea how this compares to the “real thing” (Angela, while being from Florida, is really from “Southern Long Island”). I consider it to be very good and that’s good enough for me (I’m getting hungry just thinking about the pulled pork; I may make my bastardized crock pot version this weekend).

Right before I graduated from college, I realized there were several things I would miss from Rochester (outside of the people). Towards the top of the list was Dinosaur BBQ, so while shopping at a bookstore I noticed they had a cookbook and I bought it. Now, I don’t have a backyard and, hence, no grill or other way to smoke meat but surprisingly, there are plenty of recipes for indoors (or that can be adapted for indoors use, such as the above mentioned pulled pork). Also, uniquely among barbeque restaurants (or so I’ve heard), they gave away their recipe for their sauce (of course, I’ve not made it from scratch; some grocery stores sell it and it’s indistinguishable from the original).

The thing that’s amazed me about the cookbook is that the recipes work. They’re clearly written and they work well. Outside of Julia Child, there are very few recipes that have worked as well for me as the ones in this cookbook. So I highly recommend you buy it if assuming (and this is a pretty easy assumption to make) you don’t own it.

And there are no pictures of the soup because they were pretty unattractive.

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Tomato and Roasted Garlic Soup
Adapted from Dinosaur Bar-B-Que: An American Roadhouse

1/4 cup butter
3 tbsp olive oil
1 1/4 cup chopped onion
salt and black pepper
1 1/2 tbsp minced garlic
2 tbsp flour
4 cups chicken stock
1 large garlic bulb or 2 small garlic bulbs
2 lbs. fresh tomatoes or 1 28 oz. can of tomatoes
1 bay leaf
1 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
Tabasco sauce
2 tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp thyme, chopped

  1. Preheat the oven to 375°F. Cut the tops off the bulbs of garlic, exposing the tops of the individual garlic cloves. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and drizzle with olive oil. Wrap the garlic bulbs in aluminum foil and roast in the oven for 45 to 60 minutes or until they are softened. When the garlic bulbs are finished cooking, squeeze out the garlic into a bowl and then, using a fork, make a paste of the garlic.
  2. Prepare the tomatoes by either running them through a food mill fitted with a disk with large wholes or, skin them, dice them, and crush them with a potato masher.
  3. In a soup pot, melt 2 tbsp of butter and 2 tbsp of olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the onion and add a pinch of salt and pepper. Cook until softened. Add the minced garlic and cook for 1 more minute.
  4. Whisk in the flour and cook for 1 minute. Then, whisk in the chicken stock.
  5. Add the roasted garlic, the tomatoes, and the bay leaf. Bring to a boil, cover, reduce heat to low, and simmer for 15 minutes.
  6. Uncover and add the heavy cream, the parmesan cheese, thyme, and lemon juice. Season generously with Tabasco sauce.
  7. Remove from heat. Puree the soup either with an immersion blender or, in batches, in a food processor or blender. If you’d rather have a chunky soup, skip this step (I like it mostly pureed with some chunks in there).
  8. Return soup to medium-high heat and cook until thickened to your desired consistency (how thick do you like your soup?). Taste for seasoning.

Serves 6 to 8.


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