National Hamburger Day is May 28 🍔 Get these burger recipes!

National Hamburger Day is May 28 🍔 Get these burger recipes!

National Hamburger Day Recipes

National Hamburger Day is May 28th.  What will YOU be eating?

We all know you really don’t need a designated day to savor a delicious, sizzling burger, fresh off the grill, or make a veggie-forward option for a lighter lunch option.

And with Memorial Day around the corner, it’s all the more reason to start thinking burgers!

I have made my fair share of burgers over the years for a number of occasions:  Super Bowl parties, outdoor get-togethers, and just good ol’ American eatin’.

But these recipes endure, and I’m sure they’ll find a special place in your May menu line-up!

Score a Touchdown with the SUNDAY BEST BURGER!

Check out my recipe for my Sunday Best Burger to see just what happiness is made from! If you don’t want to grind the beef yourself, ask your butcher to do the grinding for you. Most grocery store meat departments will be happy to do this for no extra charge.

Read on

Couch Potato Fan Food for the Super Bowl

 These sliders are bite-sized and couch PERFECT.  Use sharp cheddar and do NOT forget the pickles.  Oh, and good news, the recipe a mountain of pimento cheese, suitable for savoring with burgers, nachos, you name it!

Read on

Couch Potato Fan Food for the Super Bowl

My veggie burgers are filled with fiber and offer a delicious alternative to the more caloric beef burger. This is your go-to recipe for a basic veggie burger that most condiments and giant bun can make extra delicious. I like that you can make it in a skillet just like you would a grilled cheese.  

Read on

Couch Potato Fan Food for the Super Bowl

What would a delicious burger be without homemade fries?! You’ll be delighted by how easy – and delicious! – these hot potatoes are.

Read on

What I’m Reading and What We’re Eating: Super Supper Book Club Menu

What I’m Reading and What We’re Eating: Super Supper Book Club Menu

I chose a veggie-forward menu for this Super Supper Book Club, Social-Distance Edition. Safely supp over a good read and prepare for what will be a roller coaster discussion and meal!  Click to skip to the recipe

 

In the months before COVID, we started posting a once a month book club guide for you to follow with your group. 

I stopped posting because we couldn’t gather.

But, in today’s environment, with some of the restrictions eased and our ability to safely gather in a socially distance approved way, I thought I would bring it back! My book club has gathered over the summer and we will convene again this week.

For those of you who are still staying home, you might consider starting a virtual book club.

A few of my besties did this over the summer as well, and we found that we gathered (virtually) more often than our in-person club.

I have included the full supper club menu here, but if you wish, just a sampling of one or two dishes works just as well.

Either way, if you are looking for a good read to share with friends (or just on your own), this one’s for you!

 

“The Family Upstairs” by Lisa Jewel

As I read, I had the same feelings that I had when I read The Goldfinch. The abuse of children is never an easy subject.

However, I loved this read because of the development of the characters from childhood to adulthood, the paths their lives eventually take, and The Baby that brings them together.

There are several twists and turns, many of which I didn’t see coming (which to me is the measure of a good suspense novel).

This is my next pick for our Super Supper Book Club.

Gather your readers, give them the title, and dole out the recipes for what will be a roller coaster discussion and meal.

There are three stories woven into the narrative. On Libby’s 25th birthday, she finds out she’s inherited a Chelsea mansion that’s been held in trust.

She soon discovers the house has a dark history based on scant decades-old news coverage. Lucy is living hand-to-mouth in France when her phone reminds her that The Baby is 25.

Without the means or identity, she must resort to some pretty desperate acts in order to get back to England after 24 years. Henry knows everything that happened in the house in the last several years when his family lived there.

He knew why there were so many extra people living there, what happened to the once-opulent residence and its contents, and how and why people were found dead in black robes on the kitchen floor.

I already cooked up some questions for your Super Supper Book Club gathering…

  • Do you think Henry’s lies and violent acts were born out of his need to survive an unimaginable situation, or do you think there is, as Clemency states, “a streak of pure evil” in him?
  • In your opinion, who is the most tragic figure in this novel? 
  • What do you imagine happens to the characters after the book ends?

I chose a veggie-forward menu for this Super Supper Book Club. In contrast to the spartan food the children were given while they lived at 16 Cheyne Walk, this menu celebrates the abundance of the garden with dishes woven into a delicious menu that all your members will enjoy.

Super Supper Book Club Menu

“The Family Upstairs”

 


Fresh Corn, Green Bean and Arugula Salad with Lemon Balsamic Vinaigrette •
Canvas and Cuisine,  page 150

Cauliflower Risotto with Cinnamon-Roasted Butternut Squash • Canvas and Cuisine, page 36

Grilled Portobello Mushrooms with Sun-Dried Tomatoes, Pancetta and Toasted Breadcrumbs (Recipe below) Canvas and Cuisine, page 96

Fresh Fish of the Day in Puttanesca Sauce • Canvas and Cuisine, page 262

Meyer Lemon Olive Oil Cake with Thyme • Canvas and Cuisine, page 341

Grilled Portobello Mushrooms
With Sun-Dried Tomatoes, Pancetta & Toasted Breadcrumbs

Best Stuffed Portabello Recipe

Spending quality time in the Farmer’s market naturally leads to veggie-forward main meals. This is one of these. There’s nothing better than meaty mushrooms, with a tangy, crunchy filling! You can serve these mushrooms as a first course, or as a late-night snack. Or you can stuff smaller mushrooms and serve these to your book club! The flavors are fantastic – everyone is a mushroom lover after tasting this dish!

Ingredients

1 cup Panko Breadcrumbs

2 tablespoons butter, melted, plus 2 more for sauce

1 (3.5-ounce) julienned sun-dried tomatoes packed in oil, drained but save 2 tablespoons of the oil 

4 ounces pancetta, finely diced

4 large garlic cloves, minced, about 2 tablespoons

¼ cup Marsala wine

Juice of ½ medium lemon, about 2 tablespoons

1 teaspoon kosher salt

¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

8 Portobello mushrooms, stem and gills removed

2 tablespoons olive oil

Yields: Serves 4 for a Veggie Main or 8 as an Appy

Time:   30 Minutes

glazed lemon cake with berry sauce
glazed lemon cake with berry sauce

Preheat the oven to 350°. Mix the breadcrumbs with 2 tablespoons of melted butter in a small bowl. Spread the crumbs onto a baking sheet. Toast the buttered crumbs until they begin to crisp, about 5 to 7 minutes. Remove and set aside.

Pour 2 tablespoons of the oil from the sun-dried tomatoes into a skillet over medium-high heat. And the pancetta and cook until crisp. Use a slotted spoon to remove the pancetta to a platter lined with paper towels. 

Add the sun-dried tomatoes to the skillet. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute. Pour in the wine and simmer until most of the wine has disappeared, about 3 to 5 minutes. Pour in the lemon juice. Season with some of the salt and crushed red pepper. Turn off the heat and swirl in 2 tablespoons of butter. Stir in the parsley.

Heat a grill pan on high heat. Brush the mushrooms with olive oil on both sides. Season with salt and pepper. Grill the mushrooms, turning once, until they are just beginning to soften, about 5 minutes total. Transfer the mushrooms to a platter. Spoon the sun-dried tomatoes into the mushroom caps. Top with pancetta and toasted breadcrumbs.

Market Finds: Tomato Hoarder Edition

Market Finds: Tomato Hoarder Edition

There’s nothing that says love than a big bowl of tomato soup. Why not share this recipe, brimming with Farmer’s Market bounty, with your numero uno?!! Click to skip to the recipe

Heirloom Tomato Soup

 

Facemask in hand, I was strolling the mark last week and found a few exceptional produce offerings.

It is TOMATO TIME.

The varieties of heirloom tomatoes are on full display at almost every farmer’s stand.  If there were a TV show that centered on tomato hoarders, I would be featured on episode number one! I just can’t help myself.

I fill my straw basket with these red, ripe beauties and then take them home and display them on my counter. 

Luckily, I am married to the numero uno tomato consumer and we eat them at every meal. But, when the numero uno consumer can’t keep up with the number one hoarder, we have a problem. 

Enter my recipe for heirloom tomato soup. I think you are going to love this one.

One of the most interesting additions to my soup is elephant garlic. Remember those beautiful garlic scapes we found in the spring? Well, those scapes are on the top end of growing bulbs of garlic that are dug up right about now. 

The cloves from this garlic are huge and have more of the texture of a turnip than a potato. The taste is more delicate and doesn’t overpower the flavor of this soup.

Last but not least, I found delicate zucchini squash blossoms still attached to their mini mates. These need to be dealt with quickly, as they don’t have an awfully long life span in the fridge.

I stuffed the flowers with a combination of ricotta, Parmesan and mozzarella cheeses and roasted them alongside the mini-squash for a delightful bite of cheesy vegginess. 

It was an excellent side dish for the soup. A super YUM on the Yum-O-Meter.

I offer my soup recipe for you to try this week, whether your strolling the market or not. 

There’s nothing that says love than a big bowl of tomato soup.

Why not share one with your numero uno?!!

Heirloom Tomato Soup

Elephant garlic gives this soup a unique flavor as well as an interesting texture.

Ingredients

2 pounds heirloom tomatoes, about 6 large

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 medium red onion, peeled and diced

3 cloves elephant garlic, thinly sliced, about ¼ cup (substitute with 3 cloves regular garlic)

1 cup sherry 

1 (28-ounce can) crushed tomatoes

1-quart vegetable stock

1 tablespoon kosher salt

1 teaspoon coarse black pepper

1 teaspoon dried thyme

½ cup half and half

Yields:   A crowd

Time:   60-minute cuisine

glazed lemon cake with berry sauce
glazed lemon cake with berry sauce
glazed lemon cake with berry sauce

Peel the tomatoes by first slicing the skin crosswise at the stem and then placing them in boiling water for just a few seconds. Transfer the tomatoes to a colander and peel the skin. Cut the tomatoes into chunks.

Heat the olive oil in a soup pot over medium heat. Add the onions and cook until soft, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and tomatoes and cook for 5 minutes more. Pour in the sherry and continue to cook until most of the liquid has evaporated. Pour in the crushed tomatoes and vegetable stock. Season with salt, pepper, and thyme. Reduce the heat to low and simmer the soup for 20 minutes.

Use an immersion blender to emulsify the soup. You can also use a stand-blender or food processor to accomplish this step but cool the soup first. You don’t want hot soup in a blender!

Stir in the half and half. Taste the soup and adjust the seasoning. You can add more salt and pepper if you like, or any other herb or spice you want to flavor your soup. It’s all good!!

A Rainbow of Fresh Pasta: Cooking With Kids At Home

A Rainbow of Fresh Pasta: Cooking With Kids At Home

Homemade pasta is not only delicious, but it’s a great activity to do with kids. Click for recipe to make pasta in all the colors of the rainbow with your kiddos! Click to skip to the recipe

Jorj Morgan Camp Nana Homemade Pasta

 

While brainstorming to come up with some activities to do with campers at my recent Camp Nana, one of my first ideas was to offer a class on baking and cake decorating. 

But, here in the mountains of North Carolina, we sit in a bit of a rain forest. 

A humid, wet rain forest. 

This is not the best environment for cake decorating as the frosting has a hard time setting up. Get the pun?

My next thought was to do a cooking class where we eat what we cooked for dinner, doing double duty.

Then I thought about pizza which led me to think about pasta (My mind wanders in strange and mysterious ways…)!

This time, I thank goodness for strange thoughts as this class went down with pasta perfection.

My over-achiever self decided that we would make differently colored pastas instead of plain old noodles. 

Why not? If you are going out on a limb, it might as well be a high one. 

I amassed several pasta machines and decided to make a go of it. 

I took beets and boiled them, spinach leaves and steamed them and carrots and roasted them. Then I pureed each veg into a puree. 

Note to self, boiling root vegetables creates a smoother puree than roasting, although roasting gives a better flavor. The difference in the pasta is that a smoother puree will create a full-colored noodle, where a coarser puree will create little bits or dots in the noodle. How’s that for insider info?

The technique is really simple and a perfect activity for kids of all ages. 

Since we were creating four different types of pasta, I used a smaller amount of ingredients per pasta maker. You can double or triple this basic recipe based on your needs. You dump the flour onto your work surface and use your CLEAN, WASHED hands to bring it together in a circle. 

You then create a well and put the wet ingredients in the center. This is just like you pool gravy in mashed potatoes at Thanksgiving. 

Then use a fork to start swirling the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients and eventually form everything into a smooth dough. Kids LOVE this!!! 

Next, we cut the dough into pieces and run it through the machine. Through various degrees of thinness, we smooth the dough into thin sheets. The last setting on the machine cuts the dough sheets into the size noodles you prefer.

We let the noodles dry on a rack for a bit and then we boil them quickly in salted water and serve them with a topping of your choice. 

I offered marinara sauce, alfredo sauce, and plain old delicious browned butter with just a hint of sage. 

It was soooooo much FUN!!!

You don’t have to have a group of kids to make pasta. You can make pasta with just one of your favorite kids. 

Or you can gather a few and take turns on the pasta machine. You can store dried pasta for several days in the fridge. 

You can also purchase prepared sauces to go on top of your pasta. It’s all good.

Just as long as the smiles keep coming. Enjoy!

A Rainbow of Fresh Pasta

Homemade pasta is not only delicious, but it’s a great activity to do with kids. You can make pasta in all the colors of the rainbow, although some might take a bit of imagination! Gather a kid or two and have some fun!

Camp Greystone Famous Opening-Day Scones

Ingredients

2 large eggs, plus 1 egg yolk

½ cup spinach puree (substitute with beet, carrot, or your favorite)

2 ½ cups unbleached all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon kosher salt

Serves:  4 hungry kids

Time:   60-minute cuisine

glazed lemon cake with berry sauce

Use a fork to combine the eggs and yolk with the puree in a small bowl. Place the flour onto your work surface. Use your impeccably clean hands to scoop the flour into a circle. Make a well in the center of the flour. Pour the liquid ingredients into the well. Use a fork to combine the flour into the wet ingredients starting from the center of the well and working your way to the outside. Use your hands to gently knead the dough into a smooth circle.

Cut the dough into four pieces. Flatten with your hand and run through a pasta machine on the thickest setting. Do this twice and then move to the next setting until you get a thin sheet of pasta. Run this sheet through the machine on the final setting that cuts the pasta into the noodle size of your choice.

Dry the pasta for several minutes (or longer) on a rack or swirl the noodles onto a baking sheet lined with a bit of flour. Cook the pasta in salted, boiling water for just a few seconds, until the pasta is tender. Drain and top with your favorite sauce.

Overboard Tip:

To make the puree, cook (boil or steam) the vegetable until it is incredibly soft. Drain the vegetable thoroughly in a colander and squeeze out as much liquid as you can. Place the veggie into the bowl of a food processor or blender and pulse until it is pureed.

Corny Corn Corn: My Best Corn Cake & Corn Salad Recipes

Corny Corn Corn: My Best Corn Cake & Corn Salad Recipes

Corny Corn Corn!  It’s summertime and the livin’ is easy. Try corn two ways with my corn salad and best corncake recipe.

Click to skip to the recipes

 

 

This is the time of year that you want simple, fresh suppers that are leisurely served on the veranda or back deck.

Picture a pitcher of frosty strawberry lemonade, a vase filled with flowers plucked from your garden, and a basket of cornbread swimming in honey butter.

The scene is set!

…and so is the supper.

This one features corn on the cob.

First, I grill it and blend it with sweet baby tomatoes, cucumbers, and green onions. Then it’s tossed with a lemon balsamic vinaigrette. Shaved Parmesan cheese tops off this simple summer salad.

The second dish begins with salmon (I had some leftover) that turns into delicious salmon cakes. Corn kernels in the cakes, cornbread crumbs both for binding and for dredging and corn-spike tartar sauce take these cakes way, way over the top!

This easy summer supper is so good that even if your veranda is invaded by mosquitos or the flowers in your garden have wilted, or you feel the need to spike your lemonade, summertime will shine through!

Enjoy!

Grilled Corn Salad With Lemon Basil Vinaigrette

Breakfast Skillet with Glazed Eggs

Ingredients

This simple salad comes together in minutes and is a perfect outdoor supper side dish.

For salad:

6 fresh ears of corn

1 English cucumbers, cut into ½-inch chunks

1 bunch green onions, diced, about ½ cup

1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved

For vinaigrette:

1 bunch basil leaves, about 1 cup

1 tablespoon Dijon-style mustard

Juice of 1 lemon, about ¼ cup

¼ cup white balsamic vinegar

1 tablespoon honey

½ cup olive oil

1 teaspoon kosher salt

½ teaspoon coarse black pepper

2 ounces Parmesan cheese, shaved, about ½ cup

Serves:   A crowd

Time:  20 minutes

Remove the husks from the corn and grill over medium heat, turning often, until the kernels are golden brown. Cool to room temperature. Cut the kernels from the cobs into a bowl. Add the cucumber, green onions, and cherry tomatoes.

Place the basil leaves into a blender or the bowl of a food processor. Add the mustard, lemon juice, balsamic vinegar, and honey. Pulse to combine. With the machine running, slowly pour in the olive oil. Season with salt and pepper.

Drizzle some of the dressing over the corn salad. Toss to just coat the veggies. You want just a bit of dressing; you don’t want it to be soggy. Garnish with shaved Parmesan cheese.

Salmon and Corn Cakes With Fresh Corn Tartar Sauce

Ingredients

Adding fresh corn to the cakes and dredging in fresh cornbread crumbs adds a true Southern twist to this everyday staple. And then….. we put corn in the sauce. Now that’s FUN!

For salmon cakes

2 cups cooked salmon, flaked

2 garlic scapes, chopped, about 2 tablespoons (you can substitute with 2 garlic cloves, minced)

¼ medium red onion, peeled and finely diced, about 2 tablespoons

½ yellow bell pepper, finely diced

2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill

2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

½ cup cooked corn kernels (you can use grilled corn)

2 cups fresh cornbread crumbs, divided 

¼ cup mayonnaise

1 large egg, beaten

1 tablespoon Dijon-style mustard

1 teaspoon kosher salt

½ teaspoon coarse black pepper

Olive oil for sautéing

For creamed corn tartar sauce:

½ cup mayonnaise

½ cup sour cream

Juice of 1 lemon, about 2 tablespoons

3 tablespoons, cooked corn kernels, chopped

2 tablespoons finely diced red onion

1 tablespoon chopped fresh dill

Yield:   18 bite size cakes and about 6 large cakes

Time:  45 minute cuisine

glazed lemon cake with berry sauce
glazed lemon cake with berry sauce
glazed lemon cake with berry sauce

Place the salmon into a bowl. Add the garlic, 2 tablespoons diced red onion, yellow pepper, 2 tablespoons each of dill and parsley. Add the corn kernels and ½ cup of the cornbread crumbs. Season with salt and pepper. In a separate bowl, whisk together ¼ cup mayonnaise, egg, and mustard. Pour the wet ingredients into the bowl and toss everything together. 

Place the remaining corn breadcrumbs into a shallow plate. Use an ice cream scoop to scoop out balls of the salmon mixture onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. For bite-size cakes, use a 1-inch scoop. For main course cakes, use a 3-inch scoop. Flatten the balls into patties. Dredge each on in the corn breadcrumbs and return to the baking sheet. Place the cakes into the freezer to chill for 15 minutes.

For the tartar sauce, stir together ½ cup mayonnaise, sour cream, lemon juice, chopped corn kernels, 2 tablespoons red onion and 1 tablespoon dill. Season with salt and pepper.

Heat olive oil in a skillet. You want enough oil in the skillet to just coat the bottom of the pan. Remove the cakes from the freezer and carefully place into the hot oil. Cook until the bottom of the cake is golden brown. Use a spatula to turn the cakes and cook until golden on the other side. The amount of time will differ depending on the size of the cake. It will only be a few minutes for bite-size cakes and about 5 to 7 minutes total for larger cakes. 

Serve warm or at room temperature with a dollop of the sauce. Garnish with fresh dill.

Make-Ahead Tip:

You can make these ahead and freeze them until you are ready. Bring them to room temperature before you cook them.

Overboard Tip:

This recipe calls for leftover salmon. However, you can bake salmon in just a few minutes in the oven and then cool to room temperature. I sprinkle the salmon with lemon juice and olive oils and then coat in a rub of 2 tablespoons brown sugar, 1 tablespoon each of chili powder, onion powder, cumin, and garlic powder. Season with salt and pepper and bake at 400°for 20 minutes for every 1-inch of thickness.

4th of July Party, Safely: A Socially-Distanced BBQ Get-Together Plan

4th of July Party, Safely: A Socially-Distanced BBQ Get-Together Plan

Host a social distancing get-together this July 4th with tips to stay safe and recipes to make it delicious!

Click to skip to the recipes

With so many large-scale activities canceled for the 4th of July holiday, small gatherings with appropriate social distancing are the sign of the times.

This year, my family barbecue is trimmed down to immediate family with only a few (very close) family friends. I will miss the annual get-together of friends and neighbors. Mostly, I will miss seeing the kids that grow from children to tweens to teens to young adults each year.

But, with my “glass is always half-full” vision, I appreciate the opportunity to spend more time with loved ones and less time preparing for a big bash. After all, those glow-in-the-dark bracelets will last ‘til next year!

We are who we are, and we Americans will celebrate! Trying to plan for my slimmed-down annual party, I started by putting my caterer’s hat on.


Back in the day, when my pals and I were planning a Memorable Occasion’s (the name of my old catering company) party we would lay out the menu and then come up with some clever way to serve it. We were always short of staff, so serve-yourself food was a great solution when feeding a crowd.

This strategy works perfectly when you are planning an appropriate socially distanced backyard Fourth of July barbecue. Allowing your guests to choose their own items from individual containers is smarter in today’s climate.


Here are some pointers for a safe and social distancing get-together:

 

  1. Fresh air is best for this year’s celebration. If it’s possible sit outside. Sit on your back porch, in your back yard, even in your driveway.  If you are rained out, or don’t have enough space, open the windows to let the fresh air in. 
  2. It’s still okay to ask your guests to bring a dish. No one says you, the host, must do it all. But we’re going to ask either that the dish is brought in individual portions, or that you dish it up in the kitchen before serving. This is not the time for a buffet supper. 
  3. Serve right from the grill. For example, let guests bring their bun to you when grilling dogs and burgers! Condiment packs are key here for mustard and ketchup, but you can also be safe by providing several bowls of condiments and allowing each guest to use his or her own spoon for scooping diced onions and peppers.
  4. As much as you can, serve everything individually. Use whatever you have around the house as containers. My plan this year is to serve scoops of potato salad in metal cups, shrimp on skewers, and stuffed mushrooms on porcelain tasting spoons. A homemade milkshake served in a mason jar, dripping with chocolate and nuts, or doused in sprinkles is the best of the best when you’re talking personal desserts. Get creative with what you have, but also take a look at all the clever paper goods that are available to hold sides and desserts. 
  5. Don’t forget to get the kids involved. Kids can pass around trays of individual appys and help prepare those decorative shakes. The more people involved, in the safest way… the better!

There are lots of ways to celebrate what is a most important American holiday, but there’s only one way to make it perfect. And that is by sharing it with your friends and family who you love and who love you back! 

Happy Fourth, everyone.

And here are a couple of my favorite recipes for you to try.

Spicy Potato Salad

Ingredients

Potato salad is a picnic and cold supper staple. When spiced up with a little hot sauce, it becomes a devilish addition to most everyday meals. Feel free to make this day a day in advance to allow the spicy flavors to marry with the potatoes.

5 pounds small red creamer potatoes, cut into ¼-inch pieces

1 bunch (6 to 8) green onions, chopped (about ½ cup)

½ cup mayonnaise

¼ cup sour cream

2 tablespoons Dijon mustard

1 teaspoon paprika

4 to 6 drops hot pepper sauce

2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro

Salt and freshly ground pepper

Servings:   6 – 8

Time:  30 minutes, plus chilling

glazed lemon cake with berry sauce

Boil the potatoes in salted water until just tender, about 10 to 15 minutes.  Drain and place into a bowl.

Add the onions to the bowl. Stir together the mayonnaise, sour cream, mustard paprika and hot sauce.  Pour this mixture over the potatoes. Toss the potatoes with the dressing.

Season with salt and pepper and if you like with additional hot pepper sauce.

Chill the salad for 1 hour or overnight.  Sprinkle the salad with fresh cilantro.

Beer Basted Baby Back Ribs with Jack Daniels Barbecue Sauce

Ingredients

This is a foolproof way to prepare moist, tender, and never over-cooked ribs. By steaming the ribs in a slow oven, the meat cooks in advance of grilling; therefore, the time spent grilling is significantly reduced.

For ribs:

6 pounds baby back ribs

Salt and freshly ground pepper

Garlic powder

1 (12-ounce) can beer

For sauce:

1 (16-ounce) can diced tomatoes

1 cup cider vinegar

½ cup dark molasses

¼ cup canola oil

¼ cup Jack Daniels whiskey

2 tablespoons prepared mustard

1 tablespoon chili powder

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

4 or more drops hot pepper sauce

Salt and freshly ground pepper

Servings:   4 – 6 

Time:  Several hours in the oven and about 20 minutes on the grill

Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Season the ribs with salt, pepper, and garlic powder.  Place them onto a rack in the bottom of a large roasting pan.  Pour the beer into the pan.  Cover the pan with aluminum foil.  Place the pan into the oven.  Cook until the ribs are quite tender, but not falling off the bone, about 2 to 3 hours.

For the sauce, bring the tomatoes, vinegar, molasses, canola oil, whiskey, mustard, chili powder, cinnamon, and as much hot pepper sauce as you like, to a boil in a saucepan over medium-high heat.  Reduce the heat and simmer for 20 minutes.  Season with salt and pepper.

Transfer the ribs to an outdoor grill over medium-high heat.  Cook, turning often until well browned, about 15 to 20 minutes.  Baste the ribs with sauce during the last 5 minutes of cooking. Transfer the ribs to a board and slice into individual servings.

Invite guests to bring their plates to you and serve with a drizzle of extra sauce on the side.