Some people raise an eyebrow when we say we make ribs in the winter by baking them in our oven. The truth is, I think some of our best ribs have been made in the winter. With the busy holiday weekends over, we’ve reclaimed the last several for slow cooking, baking and food prep for the week ahead. The word savory comes to mind…
I feel like post-Christmas becomes all about appetizers around here — the result of playoff games and the impending Super Bowl I think. We’re definitely not sports people (other than CrossFit), but I’m happy to partake of this trend every year. On New Year’s we made deviled eggs, now we’ve covered ribs and I’m hoping for wings next. Fun hand foods, snacks and ways to make weekend afternoons stuck inside a little more fun.
4 pounds baby back ribs, cut in 1/2
1 tablespoon sea salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
3-4 cloves of fresh garlic
1 tablespoon olive oil
Wet rub mixture
1/2 cup honey
1/4 cup Braggs Liquid Aminos
1/4 cup chili garlic sauce or 2 tablespoons Sriracha
1/3 cup tomato paste
1/3 cup olive oil
1/4 cup coconut sugar
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1/2 tablespoon lemon juice
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/4 teaspoon celery salt
1/4 teaspoon dry mustard
1/8-1/4 teaspoon paprika
fresh ground black pepper
1 teaspoon ground ginger
- Rub rack of ribs with a mixture of salt, pepper, minced garlic and oil to help it stick. This can be done as long as a day in advance, but should be at least a couple of hours before cooking.
- Preheat oven to 250 degrees F.
- Stir together wet rub ingredients in a medium bowl until incorporated. If the addition of heat is necessary to incorporate the honey, do so. Set aside.
- Cover a rimmed baking sheet with 1-2 layers of aluminum foil (for easy clean up) and place ribs on the foil.
- Rub ribs with wet rub on both sides thoroughly.
- Cover ribs with foil and place in oven.
- Bake for four hours, or until meat has pulled back from the rib bones,removing each hour to apply more wet rub. For the last hour, remove the foil and allow the rub to caramelize.
- Allow to cool for 5-7 minutes.
- Note: If you have rub left over, you can cook it until it reduces by 1/2 and use as a very tasty dip or glaze to add to your ribs!
Serves 4 hungry people.
I served these with a big batch of cauliflower mash, a growing favorite of ours. People laugh when I say I could never eat mashed potatoes again and be happy, but it’s true. I love the taste and texture of cauliflower mash so much more.
These ribs were divine. Definitely uncover them for the last hour, the carmelized flavor and resulting texture from the wet rub is phenomenal. You’ll need plenty of napkins, but it’s worth it.
What’s your favorite appetizer?
While I sift through the several hundred photos and drawings I made over the weekend to document our home projects (!!), I thought I’d divert to a fun recipe you absolutely must try. Definitely not Paleo, but nonetheless a super easy dip to pull together when you’re aiming to snack or entertain a bit healthier. I’m late to the homemade hummus train, but it really is so easy. Once you invest in good tahini, the sky is really the limit on what you can do flavor-wise.
adapted from Whole Living
1 pound sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces
1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1/8 cup fresh lemon juice (from 1 lemon)
3 tablespoons sriracha sauce (I also like it with a little sweet chili sauce — why not right?)
1/4 cup tahini
2 tablespoons coconut oil, melted
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 garlic clove, minced
salt and pepper to taste
2 green onions, sliced for garnish
- Set a steamer basket in a large pot. Fill to reach just beneath the steamer basket; bring to boil. Add cubed sweet potatoes, cover, and reduce heat to simmer. Cook until tender, 9-10 minutes. Transfer to food processor.
- Add remaining ingredients (except salt and pepper and green onions) to food processor. Puree until smooth, adding water by the teaspoon to thin if necessary. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Transfer hummus to an airtight glass container and chill. Will keep for up to 1 week. Garnish with green onion to serve with veggies (or whatever floats your boat.)
Makes around 4 cups.
I’ve been reading that Macadamia nuts are a good (and amazingly nutritious) Paleo-safe alternative to chickpeas, so I’m thinking I will go that route with my next batch. I’m finding that with a lot of my recipe makeover projects, I like to make the original before I re-make it. Kind of a culinary “before and after,” but mostly because I like to challenge myself to get the flavor — and in this case texture — as close as possible.
That being said, Sweet Potato Hummus is slightly sweeter compared to other variations I’ve had in the past, but it complements the flavor of the tahini perfectly. The orange color makes it extra fun too don’t you think? I think mine would have been more orange if I owned a bigger food processor and been able to avoid separating my hummus into three batches to blend. Enjoy!
We never leave a vacation without a new favorite food, and the Sweet Potato and Shrimp Croquettes (Bolinhos) at Cafe Brazil were by far a new and already much-missed favorite. Inquisitive and with the excuse of having nearly all the ingredients already in the kitchen, we decided to give our own inspired variation a try. A perfect cheat snack for a relaxing Friday night!
4 tablespoons coconut oil/olive oil
1/2 pound shrimp shelled and deveined
2 sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed
2 cloves garlic
1/4 cup minced shallots, minced,
1/2 cup minced scallions, sliced thinly
1 tablespoon minced serrano pepper
1 tablespoon minced ginger
2 teaspoons coconut sugar
Kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper
1 package wonton wrappers
- Peel and de-vein shrimp, rinse thoroughly. Heat half of the coconut oil/olive oil in a medium skillet. Saute shrimp for 2-3 minutes. It is okay if they are not completely done through.
- Heat remaining coconut oil/olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Saute onion and garlic in olive oil until soft. Add ginger, serrano pepper, sugar and sweet potato and saute for 3-5 minutes, or until soft.
- Transfer shrimp and sweet potato mixture to food processor and pulse until thoroughly blended. Season with additional salt and pepper to taste.
- Crack egg into small bowl and whisk until blended. Position a wonton wrapper with point facing toward you. Place 2 heaping teaspoons of filling in the center of wrapper. Fold bottom corner over filling; fold sides toward center over filling. Roll toward the remaining point. Moisten top corner with beaten egg; press to seal. Repeat with remaining wrappers and filling. (You can also fork the edges to seal if desired.)
- Place on baking sheets coated with cooking spray; lightly coat wontons with additional cooking spray.
- Bake at 400° for 10-14 minutes or until golden brown, turning once halfway through the time. Serve with salsa or sweet chili sauce if desired. Makes about 4 dozen.
Crunchy, salty and sweet — irresistable! We served them with some salsa Blake canned and brought by around Christmas. It’s a favorite, but man is it SPICY!