May 26, 2014

Rib Sticking Good

Honey and Cayenne Glazed Ribs
 As much as I hate to admit it, Mr. B and I are creatures of habit and for as long as I can remember, he's been making ribs the same way. There really wasn't a good reason for him to toy with his recipe, after all, perfection really is perfection. So, it was came with complete and utter surprise when Mr. B casually mentioned that he was "ready to try something else."

Let me preface this story by saying that Mr. B's regular, old school rib recipe is so good that it's not only legendary for its taste, but for the time consuming and unique method that he went about assembling and cooking the ribs, finishing them by wrapping them tightly in aluminum foil and placing them in a paper bag, tightly folded, so they could 'rest' in their own goodness. While I'll readily admit that I'm keen for adding a bit of exaggeration to a narrative, I'm not elaborating when I say that people would drive from far and wide to eat Mr. B's ribs.

Yeah. They're that good.

There was another problem with Mr. B changing course. I spent the best years of my life developing the 'perfect' BBQ sauce to compliment his ribs and if he was changing the game, it meant that I had to change my ways, too.

So, there we were, a fresh rack of ribs between us. It was a blank canvas, a chance to embrace a different path, the sign of new beginnings, and hopefully, a good meal. Mr. B went simple--plenty of garlic, salt and pepper, and a good oil massage. There was no paprika, cumin, brown sugar or any of the other many spices that he usually used in preparing his ribs. And, on my end, I decided to forge into 'mop' territory and made what I considered to be between a true mop and a lacquer.

Smoked low and slow over pecan wood, the ribs were tender and flavorful and when Mr. B lifted the lid to swab on the last of my sauce and the sun caught the deep mahogany sheen, Mr. B yelled for me to get the camera.

I guess some things never change.

May 14, 2014

Orzo, Spinach and Feta Salad

Chicken, Orzo and Feta Salad
Just when Mr. B fixed my oven, the temperatures have started to heat up, a clear sign that spring is coming to an end and the hot summer days are just around the corner. Our house is inching ever closer to 100 years old and while I like the historic details, not having air conditioning isn't one of them. Staying relatively cool isn't an issue if we keep the house tightly shut, but turning on the oven is a big no-no.

Not to worry. Hot days and warm nights give me good cause to hang out in the pool, which means less dinner preparation and of course, lighter fare. Mr. B picks up my slack by manning the grill and usually cooks extra meat or chicken so we can toss it into a salad later in the week. This salad is one that regularly graces our summer menu--orzo tossed with grilled chicken, tomatoes, olives, peas, fresh spinach and feta--because it's filling, easy, and delicious.

Orzo is often mistaken as a grain, but it's not. Instead, it's a very small pasta. It cooks up quickly and it's versatile. Mr. B craves this salad and often begs me to make it for him. Lucky for him, it's on the menu tonight.