The rain stopped! Quick, time to grill! Really, it seemed that desperate. Even though it was warm over the weekend, it still kept threatening rain. And as we were putting the final brush of marinade on the ribs the wind starting picking up – kind of scary, even. Rain didn’t come, but it was so menacing! So thank god the weather cooperated and let us make these. Oh man, they were good. I love summer and summer food.
And while I can think of a thousand rebuttals to this, what’s more summery than cherries? I bought so many at the grocery store, it’s a little silly. They were on super sale and I got carried away. Good thing that there are a bunch of cherry recipes in the new Bon Appetit, including a salad with butter lettuce and pan-fried chicken thighs that I’m for sure going to make. Not that I really need help getting rid of them, but hopefully planning recipes will stop me from just eating two pounds of cherries in one sitting. It’s not hard.
The rub on these ribs is really super. It’s got a whole ton of spices in it and there’s a nice hot bite to it, as well as being very deep and rich. I wish I’d made more of it, because it’d be great to have on hand to mix into burgers. Since I don’t yet have a wood chip basket for our grill, I included both smoked paprika and smoked sea salt in the spice rub. It’s not even close to mimicking a smoked rib, but you can’t blame me for trying. You can certainly sub out the unsmoked variety if you don’t have the smoked on hand. The liquid I brushed on the ribs during grilling was just the juice left in the bottom of the pan after roasting. If you want to try something different, I’d say try using an equal parts mixture of mustard and cider vinegar. I love vinegary sauces.
The cherry and cabbage slaw is a really simple, crisp little salad. There’s no mayo in it, so it’s not a traditional cole slaw. Instead it’s tossed in a lime and olive oil dressing. This recipe makes a whole ton (even a half cabbage is just so much cabbage!), but it’s such a good side to have around. I had it for breakfast with my eggs. Not the best for morning breath, despite a vigorous teeth brushing. I was thinking toasted pecans or some other nut would be really yummy in it. You could also do another pitted fruit in place of the cherries – sliced peaches or nectarines. I love pitted fruit season! Red cabbage is in general prettier, but for some reason a bit more expensive. So, I bought green.
baby back ribs
1 whole rack of pork ribs, cut in half crosswise
1 tablespoon dried thyme
1 tablespoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon onion powder
1 tablespoon smoked paprika (or normal)
1 tablespoon ground ancho chiles
1 teaspoon dried rosemary
1 teaspoon celery seed
1 teaspoon ground mustard
1 teaspoon cayenne
1 teaspoon applewood smoked sea salt (or normal)
1. Mix all spices together. Place ribs in two large baking dishes (or in one if you have one large enough). Rub spices all over ribs and let sit at room temperature for about 45 minutes.
2. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Add about a 1/2 cup of water to each dish. Cover tightly with foil and cook for about 80 minutes.
3. Heat grill to medium-high. Grill ribs for about 10-12 minutes, basting frequently with the leftover liquid in the baking dish. Once they’re super crispy, they’re done.
cherry cabbage slaw
1/2 cabbage head, cored, halved or thirded lengthwise and thinly sliced crosswise
1/2 red onion, thinly sliced crosswise
2 medium carrots, shredded or julienned
2 cups fresh cherries, halved and pitted
juice and zest of 2 limes
4 tablespoons olive oil
sea salt and pepper
Mix lime juice, zest, olive oil, sea salt, and pepper. Toss with vegetables and cherries.
Have fun making this! Hopefully your weather is nicer than ours has been. You know what you should also do? Check out the beginnings of my new business, Gathered! It’s a Paleo snack and pantry items company. I’m giving out samples to local gyms and businesses right now, and I hope to soon have a whole bunch of items available for sale online and at local businesses. Think jerky, grain-free and low sugar cookies, rendered animal fats, spice mixes, protein bars… I have tons of ideas. I’d love to hear any ideas, comments, suggestions, etc. that you might have. Post them on the Facebook site or shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks! : )