Tag Archives: ribs

Father’s Day Grilling: Spice Rubbed Baby Back Ribs

ribs bbq tastefood

Posted by Lynda Balslev

Next week is summer solstice. For those of you who know me and this blog, Midsummer is a big celebration for our family. Each year we throw a Danish-inspired party at the beach to celebrate the longest day of the year. You can read in great detail about our celebration in this feature I wrote for the June issue of Marin Magazine. This year, however, we are changing gears a bit and heading to the beach a week earlier where we will celebrate Father’s Day. Like the solstice, you can be sure that grilling and a bonfire will be the main attraction – worthy of any Viking (and Dad).

On the menu? Grilled baby back pork ribs, thank you very much. They are a hands-down favorite, coated with a sweet and spicy rub that permeates the meat with flavor and heat while cooking long and slow in an oven or on the grill. They are perfect for beach toting, as the ribs can be prepped and cooked early, then transported and thrown on the grill just before eating to caramelize and crisp.

Spice rub

Dry Spice Rubbed Baby Back Pork Ribs

These ribs are great as is, with a crispy coating and succulent meat. If you like your ribs more wet, baste with your favorite sauce  just before removing from the grill and serve with additional sauce on the side. Serves 6 to 8.

For the rub:
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup dark brown sugar
2 tablespoons salt
2 tablespoons freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons paprika
2 tablespoons chili powder
2 tablespoons ground cumin
1 tablespoon cayenne (or to taste)

3 racks baby back pork ribs

1. Preheat the oven to 200° F. Combine all of the rub ingredients together in a bowl and mix well.
2. Pat the ribs dry with a paper towel. Arrange in one layer on 2 rimmed baking sheets. Rub the spices all over the ribs on both sides, coating well. Bake in the oven for 3 hours.
3. Prepare a grill for direct medium heat. Grill ribs on a rack over direct heat, turning, until the meat darkens and crisps, 10 to 12 minutes.

Super Bowl Party Food: Dry Spice Rubbed Pork Ribs

BBQ Pork Ribs TasteFood 1

~ Dry Spice Rubbed and Grilled Pork Ribs ~

Call me a fair weather fan (or a championship series fan) when it comes to football. I don’t pay much attention during the season, but once it gets down to the final stretch I am right there on the couch with all of you potatoes. As this season would have it, I was nearly in a connundrum, since I am a die-hard New Englander residing in San Francisco. Who would I root for? That question will remain unanswered (sigh) since the Ravens removed any potential conflict of interest. Now I am a resolute 49ers fan, which is a good thing, since that means I am now welcome in my friends’ homes to watch the game. And for the big occasion I suggest this finger-licking-spicy-good rib recipe for your Superbowl Party.

Dry Spice Rubbed Baby Back Pork Ribs

The key to making these ribs is in the method. Begin with a dry rub which coats and permeates the meat with a sweet, spicy, smoky flavor as the ribs cook long and slow in a low-heat oven. You can start the ribs early in the afternoon; pop them into the oven and forget about them for 3 hours. Thirty minutes before serving, remove and transfer to the grill to cook just long enough get all caramelized and crispy.

Serves 6-8

For the rub:
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup dark brown sugar
2 tablespoons salt
2 tablespoons freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons paprika
2 tablespoons chili powder
2 tablespoons ground cumin
1 tablespoon cayenne (or to taste)

3 racks baby back pork ribs

Preheat oven to 200° F. Combine all of the rub ingredients together in a bowl and mix well.
Pat ribs dry with a paper towel. Arrange in one layer on 2 rimmed baking sheets. Rub the spices all over the ribs on both sides, coating well. Bake in oven for 3 hours.
Prepare grill for indirect medium heat. Grill ribs on a rack over indirect heat, turning, until the meat darkens and crisps, 10 to 12 minutes.

These ribs are good as is, with the crispy exterior and succulent meat. If you like your ribs more wet, baste with your favorite sauce  just before removing from grill and serve with additional sauce on the side.

Summer Beach Grill Party: BBQ Baby Back Ribs

Last weekend we celebrated the summer solstice with our annual BBQ and bonfire at the beach. This is a Nordic tradition we happily packed up with us from Denmark, where the longest day of the year is celebrated in true viking-style with feasting, fire, libations, and an effigy which is burned to ward off evil spirits. Since the sun sets over the sea at 9 pm in California and not at midnight during the Scandinavian midnight sun, we enjoy an abbreviated version, Pacific-style, before the park rangers shepherd us off the beaches – or the residents call the police. This year was spectacular, with warm weather, tame winds and a hopping crowd of 50 wannabe vikings. As hosts, we took responsibility for the Danish beer, grillables and fire setting, while everyone else brought side dishes desserts, beach chairs, lots of kids and wine. It truly takes a village! On the menu were these sticky spiced ribs – inspired by a delectable recipe from my friend Karen who brought them along last year. (She is on tour in Italy right now with her band which is another story in itself.) Continue Reading Grilled BBQ Baby Back Ribs

Dry Spice Rubbed Baby Back Pork Ribs

Spice rub tf

It’s Labor Day weekend, and we are firing up the grill. A small crowd is expected to join us for dinner, and baby back pork ribs are on the menu. Now, there are all sorts of BBQ preparations, ranging from the restraint of a piece of steak to the elegance of a whole fish, or the finesse of, say, a pizza. None of this applies. Today we are getting down and dirty. I have 4 racks of baby back ribs ready to be smeared with a dry spice rub, slow cooked in the oven and then finished on the grill to crispen and darken the meat. This is Fred Flintstone material: white shirts, silverware and cloth napkins need not apply. We can’t wait.

The key to making these ribs is in the method. I begin with a dry rub which coats and permeates the meat with a sweet, spicy, smoky flavor as they cook long and slow in a low-heat oven. Thirty minutes before serving, the ribs are transferred to the BBQ where they grill over a low fire long enough to crispen and darken in color. The combination of the dry spice and the natural succulence of the meat is a perfect balance. However, if you like your ribs a bit more “wet”, either baste them right at the end when removing from the grill or serve with a sauce on the side for dipping.

Ribs bbq tf

Dry Spice Rubbed Baby Back Pork Ribs
Serves 6-8

For the rub:
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup dark brown sugar
2 tablespoons salt
2 tablespoons freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons paprika
2 tablespoons chili powder
2 tablespoons ground cumin
1 tablespoon cayenne (or to taste)

3 racks baby back pork ribs

Preheat oven to 200 F. (100 C.) Combine all of the rub ingredients together in a bowl and mix well.
Pat ribs dry with a paper towel. Arrange in one layer on 2 baking sheets. Rub the spices all over the ribs on both sides, coating well. Bake in oven for 3 hours.
Prepare grill for indirect medium-low heat. Grill ribs on a rack over indirect heat, turning, until the meat darkens and crispens, 10-12 minutes.
If using a sauce, baste ribs just before removing from grill. Serve with optional sauce on the side.

Healthy BBQ’s for Labor Day

OK, so it’s not Julie and Julia,  but I am still very excited to share with you a video I made, courtesy of BlogHer’s The Juice with Jory Des Jardins.  In honor of the approaching Labor Day Weekend, Jory asked me to share some healthy tips for grilling.  Healthy grilling?  You bet!

Grilling is a subject I am passionate about.  Grilling makes almost anything taste great, it gets you cooking outdoors, and it’s very social and interactive.  During the summer, it’s the cooking method of choice, keeping the heat out of the kitchen, and putting the bounty of summer on the grill.  That’s right – those fruits and vegetables ripe in the garden and piled high in the markets at this time of the year?  They taste great on the grill, and they are healthy to eat.

Grilled Ratatouille Grilled vegetables can be tossed in salads, salsas or side dishes. Grilled Ratatouille takes the traditional summer veggie stew and elevates it with a charred smoky flavor for a delightful grilled salad.

Fattoush Salad Or grill just one component of the salad or dish to add a crisp and smoky bite.  Fattoush Salad includes grilled pita bread, which adds a distinctive toasted flavor and crunchy texture.

Eggplant Sandwiches If you want to wow your guests, yet still keep it easy, make Grilled Eggplant and Heirloom Tomato Sandwiches with Goat Cheese and Tomato Coulis. The eggplant is the star of the show and adds a creamy, charred flavor to the “sandwiches.”

Grilled Nectarines and Apricot As for grilling fruit, many types of fruit grill well.  Remember that grilling fruit is not about cooking but flavoring.  The heat of the grill caramelizes the natural sugars of the fruit, enhancing their flavor, leaving you wondering how anything can taste so sweet, so delicious and be so healthy, as with Grilled Nectarines and Apricots with Honey and Thyme.



BBQ Ribs And what about meat?  Grilling doesn’t just mean burgers, dogs and heavily sauced meat cuts (as much as we love them!)  Go with leaner pork and chicken.  Instead of sweet, sticky sauces, try a dry rub on Barbecued Pork Spareribs or smoke roasting a salted, whole chicken for savory, spicy, succulent results.

Fish skewers FIsh is another healthy winner on the grill.  Keep it light and simple with a Lemon-Dijon marinade for Grilled Halibut and Salmon Skewers.

The bottom line? Grilling is delicious and inspiring.  It’s communal and primitive, perfect for entertaining and enjoying the outdoors.  You can keep it down, dirty and simple, with paper plates and beer, or all dressed up with a decorated picnic table, cut flowers and posh cocktails.  The important thing is to have fun, invite friends and enjoy fresh, seasonal food when you fire up that BBQ this Labor Day!

Football Party Food

No, I am not talking about the Superbowl. I am talking about UEFA.  It’s World Cup Football Championship time again and for those of you not interested in or in touch with this intenrationl rite, it is THE football championship that takes place worldwide every summer. Don’t get me wrong. I hardly watch football (that’s soccer for you Americans). But, after all, I am married to a Dane and spent many years in Europe where, come summer, if you are not following at least a teensy bit of football in the news or on the television, you are living in a shoebox. Two years ago we were vacationing in Italy at the time the Italians won the world cup. Now that left an impression I am still talking about. During the quarterfinals we were in Rome. Being the tourists we were, we naively ventured into the city for dinner during the quarterfinal match. While the restaurants were open, they were very empty except for wayward disoriented tourists such as ourselves. The staff were, to say the least, distracted, and we quickly deduced that we might as well just go with the flow, and root for our new favorite football team while not being overly critical about the spotty table service. After our meal we realized that there would be no hope in finding a taxi driver to bring us back to our hotel. So, we wandered into another restaurant with a lounge and cheered on our new favorite team as they won the match. From that moment on the streets came alive with revelers, cars honking, sirens blaring. This continued well into the night, long after we had gone to bed – and it was just the quarterfinals. The semi-finals took place after we left Rome for Tuscany where we were sharing a house with some friends near Montepulciano. The afternoon of the match, we wandered around the narrow streets of the medieval village and came upon the square, or Piazza, where an enormous screen was being erected against a building façade. Rows of folding chairs filled the Piazza, encircling the fountain, and an instant outdoor theater was in place where all the village residents would gather together that evening and watch the football match. It made me think of the film Cinema Paradiso.

The finals were played on one of our last nights in Italy. We had moved on to the Isle of Elba and were staying in a lovely hotel with an excellent restaurant. The staff was very professional and proper, and the clientelle was well-heeled and dignified, hailing from Europe, the Middle East and Russia. So, imagine the night of the finals, when in the middle of the first dinner service, a tuxedoed maître d’ wheeled a television into the center of the dining terrasse. On cue, all protocol was suspended, and waiters, busboys, hotel staff gathered around the television along with diners balancing dinner plates on their tuxedoed laps. The French tourists cheered on France and the Italian tourists and staff cheered on the Italians. We were all caught up in a passionate TV dinner for the next 2 hours. When the meal was finished we crowded into the bar, squeezing into already full sofas, balancing on the arms of chairs, sitting cross-legged on the floor, elbow to elbow with our fellow football fans. A Swedish photographer bought us a round of drinks, we reciprocated and also bought drinks for the French couple sitting at our feet, the bartender invited our children to perch on the bar and gave them free sodas. Together we cheered and booed as Italy won the world cup. What an equalizer. Who said that English is the international language?