Sizzling Summer

SUMMERTIME IS THE BEST TIME FOR GRILLING WHILE SPENDING TIME WITH FRIENDS AND FAMILY. THIS MONTH, TRY THESE RECIPES FOR SOME GOOD EATS IN THE SUN!

BABY BACK RIBS WITH COLA BARBECUE SAUCE (Serves 4-6)

INGREDIENTS: DRY RUB
• 1 tbsp. kosher salt
• 1 tbsp. smoked paprika
• 1 tbsp. onion powder
• 1 tbsp. chili powder
• 2 tsp. ground cumin
• 1 tsp. celery seeds
• 1 tsp. ground black pepper
• 2 racks baby back ribs, each about 3 pounds
• 2 tbsps. yellow mustard

BASTING MIXTURE
• 6 tbsps. unsalted butter
• 2 tbsps. cider vinegar

COLA BARBECUE SAUCE
• 1 cup ketchup
• 1 cup cola
• 3 tbsps. cider vinegar
• 2 tbsps. molasses
• 2 tbsps. yellow mustard
• 1 tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
• 1 tsp. prepared chili powder

PREPARATION:
In a small bowl mix together all the dry rub ingredients. Set aside 2 teaspoons for the basting mixture. Trim any excess fat off from the ribs. Using a dull knife, slide the tip of the knife under the membrane covering the back of each rib rack. Lift and loosen the membrane until you can pry it up. Then grab a corner of it with a paper towel or your fingers and pull it off. Lightly coat the ribs evenly with the mustard and then season them all over with the dry rub. The mustard will help the seasoning to stick to the meat. Let the ribs stand at room temperature for 30 minutes to 1 hour before cooking. Prepare the grill for indirect cooking over very low heat between 250 °F to 350 °F. Melt the butter with the vinegar in a small sauce pan or skillet over low heat on the stove and stir in the reserved 2 tsp. of dry rub. Remove from heat and set aside for basting. Add the wood chunks to the coals and close the lid. When the grill starts to smoke lay the ribs flat, bone side down, over indirect very low heat, with the lid closed, for 1 1/2 hours. During that time, keep the temperature between 250 °F and 300 °F. Meanwhile, combine the sauce ingredients in a saucepan and bring to a gentle boil over medium-high heat on the stove, stirring often. Reduce the heat to low and simmer until the mixture thickens to a consistency that coats the back of a spoon, 15 to 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. You should have about 1 1/2 cups of sauce. When the ribs have cooked for 1 1/2 hours, swap the positions of the racks for even cooking. Lightly baste both sides of the ribs with the butter mixture. Continue cooking, bone side down, over indirect very low heat, with the lid closed, for 1 1/2 hour longer. After 3 hours of cooking, work quickly to brush the ribs on both sides with some of the sauce. Close the lid quickly to maintain the temperature. Continue to cook the ribs bone side down, over the indirect very low heat for another 15 minutes. Check the ribs as they should have shrunk back from the ends by 1/4 inch or more. If it has not, continue to cook until done, about 15 minutes more. Lightly brush each rack again on both sides with more sauce. The ribs are done if when you pick up a rack at one end with tongs and bend it, the meat near the center begins to tear. Remove from the grill, lightly brush with more sauce, and cut between the bones into individual ribs. Serve warm with the remaining sauce on the side.

SIDES: CRISPY OVEN FRIES (National French Fry Day – July 13th) (Serves 6)

INGREDIENTS:
• 6 large baking potatoes
• 3-4 tbsps. olive oil
• 2 tbsps. kosher salt or seasoned salt

STOVE TOP MAC-N-CHEESE (National Mac-n-Cheese Day – July 14th) (Serves 6-8)

INGREDIENTS:
• 1/2-pound elbow macaroni
• 4 tbsps. butter
• 2 eggs
• 6 oz. evaporated milk
• 1/2 tsp. hot sauce
• 1 tsp. kosher salt
• Fresh black pepper
• 3/4 tsp. dry mustard
• 10 oz. sharp cheddar, shredded

PREPARATION: In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook the pasta to al dente and drain. Return to the pot and melt in the butter. Toss to coat. Whisk together the eggs, milk, hot sauce, salt, pepper, and mustard. Stir into the pasta and add the cheese. Over low heat, continue to stir for 3 minutes or until creamy.