Thursday, June 23, 2011

Can't BBQ your ribs...then bake them!!!!

Inclement weather sometimes gets in the way of our BBQing. When that happens, I resort to baking. It is not my first choice, but I can do some damage with the oven and broiler. I'm sure we all can.

Today I baked my pork spare ribs. Here is what I did....

Rinse off and lay out with bone side up.

Cut into these three pieces first. I later cut the upper piece again separating the thinner portion on the left from the heavy bony section on the right.

I then pull off the thin membrane that covers the bones. You want to do this so that your rub soaks into the meat easier.

Another view of separating the membrane from the ribs.

Photo of the slab rinsed, patted dry and ready for the olive oil and seasoning rubdown.

The ribs and the other pieces are all rubbed down, on the rib rack and ready for baking. I bake for the first 4 hours at 225 degrees and the last hour at 425 for finishing. The last 10 minutes I slather on the rib sauce real thick.

The finished product. The ribs were juicy and quite tender.

One of our sides is an imitation crab salad with mixed vegetables. Great stuff and goes perfect with ribs. We prefer real crab which we make on occasion, but we have to be aware of shellfish allergies.

Well that was another simple dish that we do at the firehouse. So if you're not able to BBQ for whatever reason and want to eat some good ribs, this will work out every time. 

Hope it works out for you.

Until next time....

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Enchiladas Anyone???

A lot of folks like Mexican food. I think this cuisine is so diverse, one cannot help but find at least one dish to your liking. Well one of our favorites in our household are chicken and pork enchiladas.

Here is one of our favorite recipes for chicken enchiladas...


1ea. 3-4 pound whole chicken or equivalent of chicken thighs or breasts (4 chicken quarters is enough for about 10 enchiladas);
1 dozen Corn tortillas or flour.
8 chicken bouillon cubes
1 can sliced olives (optional)
4 cups minimum of Cheddar and Jack cheese mix shredded

Enchilada Sauce

3 Tbsp Oil
3 Tbsp Flour
2 ½ cups Chicken Stock (preferably fresh)
4 Tbsp Chili Powder
1 Tbsp Minced Garlic
Salt to taste.


Boil chicken until cooked with chicken bullion cubes.
Drain and De-bone and shred the chicken and set aside.

Enchilada Sauce directions:

In sauce pan heat oil, stir in the flour a little at a time and keep stirring until it is all in and the consistency is like gravy (rue);

Add in the chicken stock stirring constantly;

Stir in the rest of the ingredients.

I put the garlic into a blender with some of the chicken stock and blend it on liquefy mode to really break up the garlic.

Stir until smooth and flavors have blended.

I adjust the amount of chili powder per individual taste as well as adding more flour to get the right consistency of the sauce. So add the chili powder until the flavor is where you want it.

Very important to use real chicken stock. The box and can stock does not have as good a flavor as the real stock and some have a bitter taste.

Reduce the sauce until it slightly thickens.

Putting it all together:

Heat the tortillas in a pan (comal) until warm and soft one at a time;

In a plate or shallow pan, pour in some of the enchilada sauce, about one tablespoon, and coat each tortilla on one side which will be the side you place the filling in;

In tortilla add in the chicken like a burrito, cheese and olives (optional). Spoon in a little of the sauce 1 to 2 tablespoons;

Roll it up like a burrito with the ends open;

Place in a baking dish that has been coated with the enchilada sauce similar to greasing a pan;

Repeat until all the enchiladas are in the pan;

Cover the tops of the enchiladas with the leftover sauce. Do not drown the enchiladas.
Just spoon on the sauce until the length of the enchilada is covered;

Once this is done, sprinkle your favorite grated cheese over the enchiladas. My favorite cheese for this is Monterey Jack and Medium Cheddar cheese combo;

Place pans in oven at 350 and bake until cheese is melted about 20 minutes.

Serve with refried beans, Mexican Rice and your favorite salsa and ice cold refreshment.

I think you will love this dish just like my wife Lupe...

Until next time....