Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Cheesy Pasta and Ribs Nite

Z, my fussy little 4-year-old, came up to me, opened his mouth and showed me a little brown morsel of half-chewed meat at the tip of his tongue. "Mummy, what's this?" he asked. I hesitated for a moment, wondering if he planned to spit it out if I told him what it was, in which case I would have to think of an alternative answer. "Bbq pork rib," I replied. He closed his mouth and resumed chewing. "Do you like it?" I asked him quickly. He answered me with a nonchalant "Yes". Oh yes. Approval from my biggest food critic. I'm ecstatic. No, really, I am glad that I now have one more item to add to my repertoire of "Food my kids will eat without giving 10 excuses not to".

We had purchased a bottle a Jack Daniel's Barbecue Sauce a few weeks ago, as seeing it brought back delicious memories of dining at TGIF restaurant, where we would always order the JD-glazed ribs. We have only dined there 3 times: Melbourne, San Francisco and Orlando. Unfortunately, there is no TGIF in Sydney. So we would just have to make do with JD in a bottle.

Rack of ribs resting on the roasting rack

First I prepared a dry spice rub for the ribs. Using what I had in the pantry, I mixed these ingredients together:
Smokey paprika
Garlic powder
Ground cinnamon
Brown sugar
Black pepper
White pepper

The ribs were washed and patted dry, then prepped by rubbing some oil on them as the dry spices are more soluble in oil than in water. Then, the spice mix is rubbed and pressed onto both sides of the ribs, giving them a nice thick coating. I left them in the fridge for a couple of hours before pulling them out to roast in the oven at a low temperature of around 120°C. After an hour, I covered it with aluminium foil and continued to cook it for another 3-4 hours till the meat was tender. Thereafter, I removed the foil, turned up the heat a little and left it to roast for another half hour while basting it with the barbecue sauce, turning once. When it was almost done, I placed it under the grill/broiler for a few minutes on each side until the surface of the ribs started to bubble and caramelize to give a nicely charred flavour.

I skimped on the barbecue sauce while basting the ribs as I wasn't sure how it would taste (and I also didn't want the kids to OD on whiskey). Yummm..... it turned out delicious, and I will definitely brush more glaze on it the next time so that there's extra to lick off the fingers!


I wasn't sure if just one rack of ribs would be enough to feed the whole family, so I decided to make Penne and Cauliflower Cheese Bake as an accompaniment. Initially, I had wanted to make mac and cheese, but I didn't have any macaroni in the pantry. It's basically garlic, bacon and mushrooms, sauteed in some butter with cream cheese, milk, dijon mustard and lots of cheddar cheese added to it. Then placed in a baking dish, topped with more cheddar  and breadcrumbs, sprinkled with paprika and baked in the oven for half an hour. Super easy and tasty! And dear H loves this one!

Penne and cauliflower cheese bake


Mizzsingbabe said...

Ribs !!!!!!!!!!!!! This looks so yummy

Fern @ To Food With Love said...

Thanks Mizz....easy to make too! :)

Anonymous said...

You're kickin' it in the kitch'n TFWL.  ♥ your cookin' style!