Another Sunday has come and gone! Another fantastic meal! This week, we invited some of my staff to come join us for one of our blog nights. We went Southern BBQ and "smorgasbord"-style and had a blast!
Cocktail - JD and Ginger
Jack Daniels. Ginger Ale. That's it. We kept it super simple because there's a lot of whiskey in the some of the dishes, and because I didn't want to get my teller line drunk. So we toasted with a refreshing whiskey-based cocktail to start our evening!
I am going to post every dish we cooked in no particular order, as we served it buffet style. I will start with the baby back ribs - we made them 3 ways.
Bourbon Glazed Baby Back Ribs
We cooked these exactly as stated. The sauce was made to the T. (However, I did cook the sauce on the stove top for about 10 minutes to mellow the bourbon.) These were delicious! The grill leaves a great crust and the sauce is a sweet/spicy/savory blend that's so smooth! (When we salt and peppered the ribs, we also added some garlic powder and ginger powder.)
Dry Rubbed Baby Back Ribs
The first recipe is for cooking method. The second recipe is the dry rub I used for these. First and foremost - this is my standard cooking method for ribs. In the oven, wrapped in foil, low and slow. Secondly, 99% of the time, I just dry rub them and that's it. The dry rub forms a fabulous crust that has amazing flavor. With the oven cooking, the meat just falls right off the bone. Yummmm. (My vote for favorite of the 3 styles.)
Whiskey BBQ Sauce for Ribs
I did the baking method from above, but this recipe is for the BBQ sauce used to marinate the ribs. Delicious sauce - definitely smokey and has a little heat to it with the backdrop of brown sugar on the palate. Bear in mind, when baking the marinated ribs, they don't really get good color because they are wrapped in foil. I didn't do it this time, but I would recommend brushing a little sauce over them once they are done and throwing them back in for a very quick broil.
Molasses Baked Beans with Ginger
Yes, this is a repeat recipe. If you remember from the All American BBQ post, I said that we'd never cook beans another way. We weren't lying. Superb.
Four Cheese Macaroni and Cheese
Okay, I'll be honest with you. There is a particular macaroni and cheese recipe that Jenn and I salivate for. This is not it. That recipe is on the back burner for Thanksgiving. :-) However, this is a good one for a barbecue themed dinner. The only recommendation I have is to the double the cheese. Rich and creamy, and easily made in advance and just popped in the oven.
What's not to love about corn fritters?!?! Deep fried nuggets of delicious-ness. They were delicious dipped in whiskey sauce. (What is whiskey sauce? It's a secret recipe that John makes that involves ketchup, mayo, whiskey, sherry, sugar, vinegar, mustard, god knows what... every condiment and spice in their kitchen goes into it, but it is soooo good!)
Deep Fried Dill Pickles
Let me simplify this recipe for you. Dump all the ingredients in a bowl and mix well to create a batter. Dip the pickles in and then toss in the deep fryer. There is no need to dredge and dip, etc. And we used milk instead of buttermilk. These were awesome. The crunchy texture and then the hot and dill-flavored pickle. Topped with whiskey sauce. I'm in heaven.
Kickin' Collard Greens
Garlicky, smoky, bacon-y, green goodness! Who knew us New Englanders could pull off some classic Southern cooking? These were fantastic (only change was using a whole package of bacon!) and we just threw them in the Crock Pot and let simmer for hours! Amazing.
Garlic Cheese Biscuits
We goofed on these a little. I didn't realize there was no granulated garlic in the house, so I used jarred minced garlic. Delicious, still, but the granulated garlic is a must for that great flavor. I'd also recommend a little sprinkle of Old Bay. If you replicate as I'm suggesting, you actually have the recipe for a certain seafood joint known for their biscuits. Just saying.
Go figure the one thing I forget to take a picture of is probably the most important! We did a sangria this week because we figured it would be lighter and more fun. This was a fantastic drink! We followed it as written, except for doubling the recipe and leaving out the simple syrup. If you prefer a sweet drink, then add syrup to your taste. It was refreshing and not overpowering!
Dessert - White Chocolate Raspberry Cheesecake
Okay, so I don't want to brag or anything - but this is my signature dessert. For the last 8 or so years that I have been cooking, this is my "go to" when I need to bring a dessert to impress. I was hesitant to even put the recipe out there, because now my secret is out. However, I will add some changes. First off, I make them cupcake style now. It's better portion-sizing and easier for people to take home leftovers. Bake at 350 for approx. 20 minutes. Secondly, I use just 1 bag of white chocolate chips and use melted seedless raspberry preserves instead of the whole frozen raspberry concoction. And lastly... a tablespoon or so of creme de cocoa. (What else am I going to use it for? It's sitting in my liquor cabinet!) If you are looking to impress... this MUST be the recipe you use. If there is ever a recipe that I insist you try off this blog - this is the one. (After steak frites, of course.)
Overall, a wonderful meal! Many thank yous to Rems, Karina, and Cassie who joined Jennifer, John, and I for our experimental Southern BBQ cuisine! (#DreamTeam) Looking forward to the next one!
Next Week - A Trip to the Farmer's Market