Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Get in My Belly!

Stick to Your Ribs!

Ever had Bad Ribs?
I mean Mean Ribs?
Ribs so tough that when you bit into it, you coulda sworn it bit back?
That you work & work & pull & chew & chew & chew.
Left with what feels like teethful of tendons?

I've been there too.  
It's a terrible place to be.  
Especially when you've gone to the trouble of leaving your home, going to a restaurant, reading a menu and anticipating a plate full of one of your favorite foods!  

I for one, deal badly with disappointment.  Yeah.  I've gotten better at it.  
Yet one thing I still can not tolerate?
Bad Ribs!!!  

So I have a two-pronged approach so I'm never ever disappointed again...well when comes to Ribs =)
I use this approach with basically any type of pork ribs.  This works with beef ribs too.
Phase 1: It's basically a simple Braising technique:
Low Heat, Longer Time, Enclosed Space.
What I do?
300 degree oven.
For about 2 hours.
And a tight foil pack for the ribs, to lock in the moisture. (in hindsight, I could have fired this phase in my cast-iron dutch oven as well instead of a foil packet...mental note!)
I used a rack of Pork Baby Back Ribs.  Different ribs are like different Rices; they all share the same basics yet each specific has its own unique quality but iDigress...
I used a simple rub of Kosher Salt & Garlic Powder with an equal amount of Brown Sugar.  I cover both sides the full rack.  I also throw in a few crushed garlic cloves for aromatics.
I did check the internal temperature of the ribs at 180+ degrees when I pulled them from the oven. Anything over 160deg is great yet we want to keep them juicy so no overcooking, please?
It's pretty simple.  It just takes proper technique & the right amount of time.
Phase 2: When finished "braising", I'll slather the Ribs in BBQ Sauce and fire under my broiler.  I'll glaze the ribs three times.  It's almost like a brulee.  This is the part where you could also finish on a grill, outside or indoor for the grill marks but either one will do.  I love the almost burnt bits.
Just for reference, as always I use my own homemade BBQ sauce.  I make it while the ribs are cooking.

Thanks and Don't Ever Settle for Anything but Satisfaction!
Have a Great Rib Instead!
Never again bite a rib that can bite you back. =)

And Bonus Pointers in Pork!
Since the oven was on and I love to be a Little Pig when it comes to Cooking Pork...
I got a Boneless Pork Loin.  I love a huge cap of fat on top of a loin.
That's where all the flavor lives!!!  When I cook a pork loin, I make sure that fat cap is well-seasoned and pointing "north"...aka Up!
I season the loin in Kosher Salt, Garlic Powder, regular paprika, chili powder and just a few shakes of cayenne, then an equal part brown sugar.  I rub every inch of its surface and if your loin is tied off in twine, then get your fingers in there and stuff that cavity with your seasoning & a few raw garlic cloves for the aromatics.
Cooking pork loin depends on how much it weights.  I start it off in a really hot oven for the first 40 minutes, about 450 degrees, spinning the pan once.  This will start to crisp the skin.
Then I drop to 350 degrees until I've reached an internal temperature of 140+ degrees at the loin's centermost thickest!  Of course the thinner tail section will be hotter, sooner.  Finishing the loin could take anywhere between 45 minutes to an hour & a half depending on how thick the beastie is.
Pull and let rest on a wooden cutting board for ten minutes.  The roast should gain almost ten degrees while resting & recirculating all the juices.
It's become a staple in my fridge.  I use it as an entree, for sandwiches, for tacos...
Even cold, it'll be the juiciest piece of pork you though you could never cook at home.

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Get In My Belly!

F@&# Valentine's Day Edition!! 

Down With Love!  Phooey!!  This Year give her what?
For me, Valentine's Day is nothing more than Capitalism's Victory over Love.
Imagine for a second, some empathy...use your mind's eye and try to see the Shadow of this Great & Mighty celebration.
Living in this Shadow, we the Unloved, the Unworthy, the Unwanted say in Chorus...
"F@&# Valentine's Day!"

I recently made yet another quixotic tilt at the Windmill of Love.  Well 2015 started off great on paper but iDigress...

So instead of wallowing in self-pity, I decided on something Spiritual.
I decided to ask Krishna to be my Valentine.  Yeah, that blue guy, not a smurf.  Plays a mean flute, got a wickid sense of humor & he's one hell of a driver!  My Best Friend of Besties, know what I mean, Jellybean?

The Buzz on the IntrePoop this 2015 Valentines was "Bacon Roses".
I got inspired.  And I raised the level on it too.
I decided I'm going with my Inspiration and making these for my Valentine.
The Self, the Soul, the sliver of God that lives within you, me & everything else.

So Enjoy a little D.I.Y. in the Spirit of Romance.
To quote the enigmatic D.A. Bass, "If you don't know 5 different ways to make chocolate, you're gonna lose that girl..."
Remember: You Can Do This At Home Too!  This is Fun with Cooking.
Stay tuned for the corrections I'll apply to the method here that I thought of after tasting the finished product.  Thanks.

I bring you, "Dark Chocolate Dipped Long-Stemmed Bacon Roses"!
Huzzah and GET IN MY BELLY!!!

POSTSCRIPT: I need to be honest, although the execution went exactly to my vision, the end product I felt was unsatisfactory.
Next time I make them I'll do two things to make them perfect:
1.  I'll save the "seasoning" of the rosebuds with brown sugar & cayenne until they're done cooking.
2.  I'll fire the roses on a rack.  The direct contact of the bacon, the aluminum foil and the over-caramelization of the brown sugar seriously charred one side of the roses and made it very displeasing to the tooth.
3.  The bacon fat for unsalted butter substitution lent no noticeable flavor distinction yet I'd do it again just for the shitzengiggles.
I am going to make this for my Valentine someday...and it'll be perfect next time.

Sunday, February 15, 2015


From the International Space Station!

Monday, February 09, 2015


"Apollo Speeches"
Click Link Above to Embiggen!