Monday, September 17, 2007

White Bean Soup with Tomatoes and Basil

This soup is great this time of year; when the tomatoes and basil are so abundant. Thank you, SC!

2 tsp olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 19-ounce can of cannellini 2 cups chicken broth
2 ripe tomatoes, chopped and seeded
1/4 cup fresh basil leaves, shredded
1/4 cup parmesan cheese

Heat a medium saucepan. Swirl in the oild, then add garlic and saute until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the beans and the broth. Heat, and then use a masher to coarsely mash up most of the beans.

Bring to a boil, and then reduce heat and simmer for four or five minutes. Add tomatoes and basil, and heat through. Serve with cheese sprinkled on top.

Sunday, September 02, 2007


I love this recipe of Alton Brown’s from “I’m Just Here for the Food”. I do end up making these on my grill instead of broiling at the end. It works really well.

Alton Brown's No-Backyard Baby Back Ribs
1 full rack/slab baby back ribs
Kosher salt
Rub No. 9 (see note)

1/2 cup orange juice (not fresh squeezed)
1/2 cup prepared margarita mix
1/3 cup honey
1/3 cup ketchup
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon espresso powder or instant coffee (freeze-dried, not actual grounds)
1/8 teaspoon ground cayenne

You will also need:
Paper towels
Extra-wide, heavy-duty aluminum foil
Shallow roasting pan
Saucier or small sauce pan
Kitchen shears
Broiler pan

Rinse the ribs and pat dry with paper towels. Place on a sheet of extra-wide, heavy-duty aluminum foil. (The foil should be 4 inches longer than the ribs on either end.) Season liberally on both sides with the salt and rub No. 9.

Turn the ribs meat-side-down and tightly seal inside the foil by folding and rolling the longer edges together, then closing the ends tight over the ribs. Place the packet in the roasting pan and refrigerate for 6 to 12 hours, turning the sealed packet over once.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Remove the packet from the refrigerator and unroll one end, shaping the foil upward like a funnel. Pour in the orange juice and the margarita mix. Reseal the foil packet and see-saw it back and forth a couple of times to evenly distribute the liquid inside. Return the packet to the pan and place the pan in the middle of the oven. After 1 hour, reduce the temperature to 250 degrees and cook until tender, approximately 2 hours.

Remove the pan from the oven, unroll one end of the packet, carefully drain all the juice into a saucier or small saucepan, and add the honey, ketchup, Worcestershire sauce, espresso powder, and cayenne. Bring the mixture to a boil, whisking frequently until reduced to a glaze that coats a spoon. Remove the pan from the heat.

Move oven rack to the next-to-the-top position and turn on the broiler (use the high setting if you have a choice). Remove the slab from the foil packet and cut it into four equal sections (I use kitchen shears for this). Place ribs on the broiling pan, meat side up, brush with the glaze, and broil for 2 to 3 minutes. Reglaze and repeat until the ribs are a dark mahogany color. Flip the ribs bone side up and glaze, and broil a minute longer.

Remove and allow to cool a couple of minutes before serving, preferably with potato salad or copious amounts of cole slaw.

Makes 1 to 3 servings, depending on who's doing the eating

Rub #9
A part can be any amount - a tablespoon, for example - depending on how much is needed. For one rack of ribs, 1/2 to 3/4 cup of rub will be sufficient. The ratio of ingredients for Rub No. 9 is: 5 parts brown sugar, 3 parts chile powder, 1 part garlic powder, 1/2 part ground thyme, 1/4 part cayenne, and 1/4 part allspice