Cumin dry-rub Ribs with Pineapple Salsa

Here’s a recipe that would be great for your 4th of July festivities.  A dry rub that you can make ahead and smother some ribs in and let them hang out in the fridge for a day or two before you slow cook them, then grill them off to perfection.  The rub has just a few simple, savory spices, and there’s also a glaze of sweet, sticky, spicy sauce.

Ingredients:

1/4 cup ancho chile powder

1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon ground cumin

Kosher salt and fresh ground pepper

1 rack baby back ribs

1 jalapeño, seeded and thinly sliced

4 garlic cloves, smashed

1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice

1/2 cup honey

1 pound fresh pineapple rings, sliced about 1/2 inch thick

2 tablespoons brown sugar

1/4 cup finely diced red onion

1/2 cup chopped cilantro

Directions:

  • In a small bowl, combine the chili powder with 1/4 cup of cumin, 2 tablespoons of salt and 1/2 teaspoon of pepper
  • Set the ribs in a cooking dish, rub all over with spice mixture, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate

ribs coated thickly in the dry rub

  • When you’re ready to cook them: preheat the oven to 350°
  • Add a small bit of water to the bottom of the cooking dish and bake the ribs for 45 minutes, until just tender
  • Cover with foil and bake another 30 minutes
  • Meanwhile, puree 1/2 of the jalapeño with the garlic and 1/2 cup of lime juice, add in the honey and the remaining 1 tablespoon of cumin
  • Pour the glaze mixture into a saucepan and simmer over low heat until thickened, about 15 minutes
  • When the ribs have cooked to tender, raise the oven temperature to 450° or light your grill
  • Brush the ribs with half of the glaze and bake or grill for about 20 minutes
  • Brush with the remaining glaze for a sticky finish
  • Grill the pineapple rings over high heat, turning once, about 5 minutes (or pan fry them in a cast iron skillet over a high heat for 2-3 minutes) and set aside to cool

pineapple rings ready for the grill

  • Dice the pineapple and transfer to a bowl and add the brown sugar, onion, cilantro, and remaining 1/2 jalapeño and 2 tablespoons of lime juice. Season with salt and pepper

Pineapple Salsa

We served this with a black & pinto bean salad.

cumin rubbed ribs with sweet & spicy glaze, pineapple salsa, and black & pinto bean salad

This recipe was inspired by Food and Wine.

J

Cucumber Chili Salad

I love growing my own fruits and veggies.  This year I started all of the plants for the garden indoors, from seed, and just got them transplanted to small pots this past weekend.  I can’t wait until they’re in the freshly tilled garden plot.

The raspberry bush has been trimmed back a bit as have the grape vines.  Blueberry bushes have been fed spent coffee grounds.  Radishes and beets, pole beans and herbs have been sewn into huge pots and placed throughout the property according to sun requirements.  Strawberries which had spread too far out of their assigned area have been transplanted to hanging baskets and hung over budding azalea bushes.

And the Northampton Tuesday Markets begin again today for the season.  This means that I can take an afternoon break from work and walk over to pick up fresh, local produce, eggs, bread or anything else that I may have missed in the weekend’s marketing adventures.

This week’s marketing found us a beautiful piece side of salmon.  With the warmer weather moving in, my food cravings are switching over to lighter dishes and fresher ingredients so I went looking for a recipe that would pair well with the fish, and be light and crisp and tasty.  I found that in this cucumber chili salad.  Crunchy cukes, savory scallion, buttery cilantro, sweet jalapeño- yum!

cucumber chili salad

Ingredients:

3 cups thinly sliced, washed cucumber, with the peel on

2 tsp minced jalapeño pepper*, seeds and stem removed

1/4 cup chopped scallion

3 TBS chopped fresh cilantro

Juice of one fresh lemon

1 TBS soy sauce

1/4 cup chopped greek yogurt

Dash of cayenne pepper

salt and cracked black pepper to taste

Directions:

  • whisk together lemon juice, yogurt, jalapeño, scallion, cilantro, cayenne, salt and pepper
  • toss the cucumbers with soy sauce
  • dress the cukes with the yogurt mixture and serve

salmon on a bed of garlic spinach, whole wheat cous-cous, and cucumber chili salad

J

Recipe adapted from “the world’s healthiest foods“.

Indian-style Broccoli Rabe

Need a new way to prepare winter greens that are lingering in the fridge?  Or do you have some frozen peas to use up and aren’t quite sure how to go about making something interesting with them because if you serve plain ol’ peas again you’ll be banished from meal planning forever?  Look no further.  This dish is simple and it provides plenty of pop for the taste buds.

sarson ka saag

This dish (also known as “sarson ka saag”) really can be made with any type of greens, be they broccoli rabe or spinach, collards or chard, or even peas and mustard greens.  The way that it’s outlined below makes for a stiff sort of side dish, but you could certainly water it down a bit with water or chicken or vegetable broth for a creamier consistency and then serve it over rice.  Personally, I served it along side panko-crusted white fish and we had naan dipped in Greek yogurt too.

naan with spiced yogurt

Ingredients:

1 1/4 pounds broccoli rabe

1/2 pound spinach

2 tablespoons cornmeal

3 garlic cloves

1 jalapeño, seeded

One 2-inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled

1 red onion, chopped

1/4 cup vegetable oil

Salt

broccoli rabe, ginger, jalepenos, red onion

fresh, local spinach

Directions:

  • Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the broccoli rabe and cook for 2 minutes (to blanch)
  • Add the spinach and cook for 30 seconds
  • Drain the greens, transfer to a food processor and puree
  • Sprinkle the cornmeal over the greens and pulse, to combine
  • Set the pureed greens aside

if the recipe came in a box we'd call this the "season packet" 😉

  • Add the garlic, jalapeños and ginger to the food processor and pulse until you have a fine chop. Add the onions
  • In a large nonstick skillet, heat the oil. Add the garlic-onion mixture and cook over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned
  • Add the pureed greens and cook for 4 minutes, stirring occasionally; add about 1/4 cup of water if the greens look dry
  • Season with salt and serve

panko-crusted cod with Indian-style broccoli rabe

J

Recipe adapted from Food and Wine