• Easy Oven Ribs With Sriracha Barbecue Sauce

    Easy Oven Ribs With Sriracha Barbecue Sauce.

    Easy Oven Ribs With Sriracha Barbecue Sauce.

    We do love our ribs here at the farm. And, without a doubt, we love Memphis-style barbecue ribs with a dry rub, mop and slow smoking over applewood and hickory. Toss in some hot, vinegary Carolina barbecue sauce and Nirvana awaits. But we just made it into spring, the rains come and go, it’s still cold and the smoker needs to be set up (and we are tired from working in the garden). Time to turn on the oven.

    orib2oribs3And there is nothing wrong with making ribs in the oven. In fact, some would argue that it may be a better place to cook ribs, assuming you use the right tools/technique and choose the right seasoning and sauce. The one thing that is really hard to do is get the deep smokey flavor and “smoke ring” color from the oven. But you can get very flavorful, tender ribs.

    oribs5oribs6As for the tools and technique, the main thing you need is some time, sauce (we will get there) and aluminium foil. The big thing with ribs is that they need to cook low and slow and, preferably, in a moist environment so they don’t dry out. This is particularly true for baby back ribs, which don’t carry much extra fat. But if you season and sauce the ribs and then wrap in a packet of foil, you can trap the juices from the ribs and gently steam the ribs for a few hours until they reach the desired temperature of 185 F. You need the temperature to get at least to 185 so the collagen in the meat turns to gelatin (that luscious texture) and the ribs get tender. Then you open the foil packets, add some more sauce and finish the ribs under the broiler for a few minutes to get a nice crispy, caramelized crust. Easy, but like most good things, you need a few extra steps.

    oribs7oribs9And now for the sauce. Since we don’t feel we can get a southern-style smokey flavor, we look more to Asian flavors. Instead of a base of ketchup, cider vinegar, Worcestershire and hot sauce, we go with ketchup, onion, garlic, soy sauce, rice wine vinegar and Sriracha. You get a familiar texture of barbecue sauce but the more Asian-inspired notes and some heat. And you can control the heat to your liking by just adding or subtracting Sriracha and/or some red pepper flake. Good stuff and good fun.

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  • Seared Sea Scallops With Sriracha Beurre Blanc

    Seared Sea Scallops With Sriracha Beurre Blanc

    Seared Sea Scallops are one of our all-time favorite dishes. Sweet, nutty, slightly salty and with a crisp caramelized crust, seared sea scallops are all that is good about seafood, they taste like nothing else. And, even better, scallops take just a few minutes to prepare and need no special gear to cook. But we are telling you not to make them at home. Ever…UNLESS

    1. Unless you have a local fish monger you trust.
    2. Unless you know how to pick out a good scallop.
    3. Unless you are cooking the scallops the day you buy them and store them properly.
    4. Unless you are comfortable cooking seafood to medium rare (or a little less).

    As for #1, you are on your own, but we do hope you have a good fish monger nearby. As for #2, #3 and #4 there are some pretty good guidelines to follow:

    Sea scallops should be fresh, large (U10 scallops, meaning about 10-12 per pound work best for searing to medium / medium-rare), ivory colored and slightly “sticky” to the touch.”Diver” or “Day-Boat” scallops are expensive, but the best quality. The term for well-kept scallops is “dry”. These are the only kind you want. Period. If you see the scallops in a white liquid, they have been “dipped” in phosphates to extend shelf-life and add water weight. You don’t want these scallops. Seriously, buy something else.

    All scallops are highly perishable. Only buy scallops the day you plan to cook them and it is best to keep them chilled until they hit the pan. When buying scallops, a cooler at the supermarket, or an extra bag of ice from your fish monger is the best way to keep scallops cold. Place them on ice in the fridge until you cook them.

    When cooking, scallops go from tender and juicy to dry and stringy in a flash. This means you need a light hand when cooking and should pull them from the heat slightly before they are done. Like most proteins, scallops keep cooking in residual heat a few minutes after they leave the pan. If the scallops are “perfect” in the pan, they will be overcooked when they make it to the table. Our guideline at home is to pull the scallops from the heat right when we say “they need one more minute”. They will keep cooking while they rest and be prefect for the plate.

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