Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Sauteed Organic Squash & Zucchini with Kale

Hi Everyone!

It has been a long time since I last posted a recipe, but I decided it was time to start writing again, so let's get started.

This post, I want to focus on a delicious side dish that has really become a staple for my diet - sauteed zucchini and squash with kale.

Prep Time:  15-20 minutes, Cook Time:  10-15 Minutes

What you'll need:

1-2 Organic Yellow Squash
1-2 Organic Green Zucchini
1 Small Organic Red Onion
4-6 Cloves Organic Garlic
1/8 Cup Avocado Oil (in place of Olive Oil)

Peel onion and cut into 1 1/2" slices, set aside.  Peel and chop garlic cloves and set aside.  Cut zucchini and squash in half longways, then slice into 1/8" - 1/4" thick slices.  Set aside.  Wash kale and set aside.

Heat large skillet pan on medium heat.  Add 1/2 of the avocado oil until shimmering.  Add garlic and onion.  You want to "sweat and soften" the onion and garlic, not brown it, so if the pan seems to hot, turn flame down to medium-low heat.  Allow garlic and onion to soften over 5-7 minutes.  Place a pinch of salt and a few turns of the pepper grinder in with the onion and garlic as you are sweating them down.

Once onion is somewhat soft, add squash and zucchini.  Add a teaspoon or two worth of salt and several turns of the pepper grinder.  Add rest of oil and toss to ensure all vegetables are covered in oil, turn up heat back to medium and cover.  Cook for 7 minutes, making sure to toss/mix every 1-2 minutes to ensure all vegetables cook evenly.  After 7 minutes or so, remove lid and add kale.  Continue to toss and turn heat up a little bit more.  Keep covered for another 3 minutes or so, mixing every minute to ensure kale softens and mixes throughout squash/zucchini.  Take lid off and cook on high for the last 2 minutes, tossing every 20-30 seconds.  Turn off heat, take out of pan and serve or allow to cool and then place in refrigerator for another meal.  As the dish cools, you may need to drain off the excess oil/water, as it will condense as the dish cools.

It is a delicious side dish and a healthy one at that.  I love it with chicken or a Quinoa salad.  Add an oven baked sweet potato and you have got yourself a really great meal.

Well, this is the first of hopefully many posts as I return to blogging.  I hope you enjoy.  Please drop me a comment if you like it and share with all.

Until next time...

Yours in cooking,

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

St. Patty's Day Mac & Cheese

Hello Fellow Culinarians!

It has been a while since I last posted, but life has been very busy and I haven't made too many new dishes to publish of late. However, this past St. Patty's Day, my wife and I ventured to throw our 2nd Annual St. Patty's Day Feast for 25 people. Needless to say, there was lots of great food and one of the dishes that was really a hit was my wife's Mac & Cheese.

The recipe was adopted from "Cabot Creamery Macaroni and Cheese" from the Costco Cookbook. She modified it to make it even more creamy and it was a huge hit at the party. So many of the people in attendance asked for the recipe that she asked me to publish it on my blog. So, here we go!

We made 2 lbs. of pasta, so we augmented this recipe by a factor of 4, but the recipe below makes 8 servings.

PREP TIME: 15 Minutes
OVEN COOK TIME: 20-30 Minutes


2 Cups Small Elbow Macaroni (or shells, fuscilli - be creative)
3 TBSP Butter
3 TBSP All Purpose Flour
1/4 Tsp Dry Mustard (we use Coleman's)
Pinch of Cayenne Pepper
1 Dash Worcestershire (Lea & Perrins)
2 Cups Whole Milk, heated (we used Skim Plus to cut down on fat and calories)
4 cups cheese (grated or small cubes) - [Nicole mixed shredded cheddar, Land O' Lakes American (had it cut thick at deli, then she cubed it small) and Velvetta. Ratio of 2 Velveeta to 1 Cheddar to 1 American. Hold enough grated cheddar aside to top the dish before putting in the oven.]


9x13 Pyrex baking dish or similar
Large Saucepan/Pot
Whisk (preferably a rake whisk if you have one, or a regular one if not)
Baking Spatula (silicone)


1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Spray Pyrex baking dish with non-stick spray or coat with butter to create a non-stick surface.

2. Cook and drain pasta according to directions (cook towards the al dente side so it is not too mushy...if it gets too mushy, it will only get mushier when you bake it). When you drain, immediately rinse with cold water...this will stop the pasta from continuing to cook in the colander.

3. Melt butter in a large saucepan over medium heat (keep and eye on it, you don't want it to burn). Once the stick has fully melted, start adding flour and whisk constantly until the flour/butter create a smooth paste with a nutty aroma, about 5 minutes or so (if you have a "rake whisk", we found that works best). You must constantly whisk this to work...otherwise you will get burnt flour butter...yuck!

4. Once the paste is formed, add dry mustard, cayenne and Worcestershire. Whisk that until well blended in the paste, about 15 seconds.

5. Add milk to paste, whisking briskly. Only add 2oz. at a time, whisk until blended, then add another 2oz. Continue until all milk is incorporated. The mixture will get easier to whisk as more milk is added. When all milk is added, you will have the makings of a "Rue", which looks like a very wet cream sauce. Keep whisking until sauce thickens slightly and starts to simmer.

6. Once the Rue starts to simmer, reduce heat to low and start adding cheeses. Remember to hold back 1/2 to 3/4 of the cheddar so you can sprinkle on top. Slowly add the cheese, using a baking spatula to mix constantly as you add. Continue to stir until the cheese is melted and incorporated into the mixture and there are no lumps of cheese still visible. The mixture should be a creamy cheese mixture when you are done (consistency will be that of a cream soup...you will still be able to stir it with ease).

7. Stir in cooked macaroni and mix until all is coated and blended. Pour entire contents of pot into Pyrex. Sprinkle remaining cheddar cheese on top to coat entire dish. Sprinkle Paprika over top of dish lightly, then cover with foil and place in oven for approximately 20 minutes.

8. Once 20 minutes elapses, remove foil and cook for another 5-10 minutes, just until edges begin to crisp slightly. Remove from oven, allow to set-up for 5-10 minutes, then serve.

I hope you enjoy my wife's Mac & Cheese...it was absolutely delicious and it is not difficult to make. Just remember to whisk constantly and you'll be well on your way to making a delightful dish for your family.

Good luck! Buona Fortuna, and as always...

Yours in cooking,

Monday, January 25, 2010

Italian Pot Roast al la Crock Pot - Healthy yet Delicious!

Hello fellow culinarians,

Recently I made a wonderful Italian Pot Roast in the crock pot that is really great nutritionally and absolutely delicious. To keep it healthy, serve with mixed vegetables instead of pasta and you will really hit it home.


2lb. Beef Tenderloin (trimmed to 0" fat)
1 Medium Onion
1 Cup Chopped Carrots
1 Cup Chopped Celery
24 oz. Marinara Sauce (Gravy for our South Jersey/Philly residents) - can be homemade or jarred
Red Wine (any)
Garlic Powder
Onion Powder
Garlic (3 Cloves minced)

Prep: 10 Minutes Cook: 5-6 Hours (High Heat in Crock Pot)

Take a Beef Tenderloin roast and trim all the fat and connective tissue. Season all sides of the beef with Salt, Pepper, Onion Powder, Garlic Powder, Rosemary, Oregano and Basil.

Next, place in your crock pot 6 oz. of a 24 oz. bottle of pasta sauce. Add 1/2 cup of red wine (any kind) to the sauce. Next, cut up 1 cup of carrots and 1 cup of celery and add it. Chop up one medium onion and throw it in along with 3 cloves minced garlic.

Next, sprinkle a little bit of all the spices in the crock pot (just eye ball it, not too much of anything) and then place the spiced meat on top of the vegetables in the crock pot. Next, pour the rest of the sauce from the jar (or homemade) over the beef. Cover, and cook on high for 5-6 hours. When it's done, take out of the crock pot (be careful, use stiff spatulas or two sets of tongs, as it will want to fall apart on you) and cut it into 1" cubes. Serve with a mixed vegetable and what a dinner.

Here are the nutritional facts:

For 5oz. of beef, 1/2 cup of sauce and 3/4 cup of mixed vegetables.

360 Calories, 11.5g Fat, 17 Carbs, 4 dietary fiber, 43 protein

It's easy, a nice set-it and forget recipe that is healthy. Enjoy and as always...

Yours in cooking,

Monday, January 4, 2010

Grilled Garlic Chicken in White Wine Broth

Hello and Happy New Year! I hope you are all having a good start to 2010! This years looks to bring with it many changes and hopefully will take a turn for the better, not worse.

This year, I am beginning a journey of losing weight and so my blog will start to focus more on healthier food. With 130 lbs. to lose, I can't continue making 3,000 calorie dinners.

This recipe is a very healthy and tasty version of Breaded Garlic Chicken in White Wine Sauce...this is Grilled Garlic Chicken in a White Wine Broth. The chicken is not breaded and there is no cream or butter in the broth, so the calories and fat are cut to a fraction of what they would be otherwise.

Prep Time: 30 minutes Cook Time: 2 hours 20 minutes


1.25 lbs. Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breasts
1/2 Large Sweet Onion (chopped)
6-8 Cloves Garlic (sliced small)
2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
1 Teaspoon Kosher or Sea Salt
1/2 Teaspoon Fresh Ground Pepper
2 Teaspoons Garlic Powder
2 Teaspoons Onion Powder
1 Tablespoon Oregano
1 Tablespoon Parsley
1 (32 oz.) Carton Reduced Sodium Chicken Broth/Stock
1/2 Bottle White Wine
1/4 Cup Balsamic Vinegar
2 Tablespoons Capers
Juice of 1 Lemon (seeds removed)


Trim chicken breasts of all visible fat, then fillet each breast so you have two pieces that are half the thickness of the original piece.

^TIP: To fillet, take your large chef's knife in your dominant hand with the blade facing the chicken horizontally, perpendicular to your body and facing towards the center of your cutting board. Place your non-cutting hand on the top of the chicken breast and start cutting the breast horizontally 1/2 way down from the top of the breast, watching to keep the blade horizontally centered and away from your non-cutting hand.^^

Once all the chicken is filleted, sprinkle both sides of the breasts with a majority of the salt, the garlic powder, onion powder and majority of pepper, in this order. Cover on plate and place in fridge for 20-30 minutes.

For Broth: Heat up a 3-quart pot on medium heat. Pour olive oil into the pot, allow to heat up to shimmer (approximately 20-30 seconds), then add chopped onion and sliced garlic, pinch of salt and pinch of ground pepper, oregano and parsley. Cook until onions are soft, approximately 5-7 minutes, stirring every minute or so.

Once onions are soft, add in wine and reduce by half (cover with lid to expedite process, stirring occasionally). Once the wine has reduced by half, add chicken stock, capers, lemon and half the balsamic and allow to reduce by 1/4 (approximately 10 minutes).

At this point, preheat your oven to 280 degrees.

Add rest of balsamic vinegar, take pot off heat and place on back burner to hold.

Heat a large skillet on medium-high heat. Use a cooking spray (preferably one that is just olive oil) and mist the pan once hot. Place chicken breasts in pan and cook for 5-6 minutes, turning half way through. Chicken should only be cooked 1/2 way through when you are finished.

Take out a large 9x13 pan (metal or glass, your preference) and pour in wine broth that you have on the stove. Add chicken to broth, cover and place in oven. Cook for 2 hours.

This is great over mashed potatoes, or over a pasta dish. Tonight, I cooked Fettuccine pasta with spring vegetables. After cooking the pasta to al dente, I drained the pasta, added in the summer vegetables (previously cooked), some of the broth from the chicken and some more balsamic vinegar to make the pasta a little sweeter. I covered and let it cook down until most of the broth was absorbed by the pasta. I then poured another 2 ladels of the broth into the pasta, quickly tossed it and served with the chicken.

1 serving of Chicken (4 oz.) and 1/2 cup of pasta was 377 Calories, 5.8 grams fat, 41.1 grams protein and 28.8 grams carbs. If you use a whole grain pasta (I didn't have any if you can believe that), you make out a little better but on a whole, these numbers are comfortable for any diet. If you are on a specialized diet, you can modify it (no pasta) and still enjoy the great flavor of this dish. To make this not healthy but extra tasty, bread and fry your chicken and put about a stick of butter into the stock while cooking it on the stove.

I hope you enjoy this recipe. I wish you and your family a very Happy New Year filled with prosperity, love and some fun times in the kitchen.

Buona Fortuna and as always...

Yours in cooking,

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Cuisine de Comfort Goes Fox?

Hi All:

I know it has been some time since I have written - apologies all around. It has been a very busy latter half of the year and I haven't been spending as much time in the kitchen as I would like. I have a turkey recipe (from Thanksgiving) that I have been meaning to post, but I will have to do that another evening. For now, I have some interesting news...

My wife, in her lifelong quest to find things for me to do (if keeping house, remodeling a bathroom and changing careers isn't enough) came upon a unique opportunity for me to become a reality tv star...

...I don't even want to know what you are thinking right now (ok, I sorta do).

There is a casting call for a new pilot/series called "MasterChef" that will be airing on Fox in the future. Gordon Ramsay, my favorite TV chef, is putting together another show that will feature non-professional cooks who have aspirations for becoming great chefs. It is focused on people who do not have formal training but love to cook. Nicole saw that and I think I was signed up before she told me about it (just kidding, honey :-/) and so I am auditioning.

So, for those of you that are loyal followers (and those who don't follow as often but read occasionally), I would like to have ideas of what to prepare for my audition. It has to be a dish that can be served at room temperature.

I am open to suggestions - it can be something I have made before (and posted here on my blog) or other ideas that you come up with...I am all ears!

The deadline for suggestions is January 5, 2010 at 11:59 PM EST. Please post as a comment to this blog post! Thanks and I look forward to your replies!

Yours in cooking,


Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Eggplant Parmesan (Melanzana Parmigiana)

Here is a fantastic spin on eggplant parm that, in my humble opinion, brings this dish to a whole new level of delicious. It has several steps, so just follow along and you should be able to put this together with little trouble.

As many of you know, I tend not to do things in the traditional style because, well, to be quite honest, what fun is that? If you can read about a recipe in 200 different cookbooks, then why read my blog? So, I like putting a spin to a dish that makes it interesting, something you may not have tried or thought to try and overall presents a new flavor and texture to a familiar (or sometimes not familiar) dish. If I don't like the way something comes out, I don't post it, so the posts you see here are tried and true (and tasty!) recipes.

A word of warning on this particular recipe: IT IS NOT LOW FAT! That's right, ladies and gentlemen, this dish is true Italian goodness and it is pretty uncensored. So hold on to your WW point calculators and come with me on a journey of ooey-gooey culinary creation!

Time: 30-40 minutes Prep/Fry Eggplant, 45 minutes Baking

Servings: 4 (large portions)


1 - Medium - Large Eggplant
1 lb. Part-Skim Ricotta Cheese
1 lb. Part-Skim Mozzarella (a block or shredded, up to you)
1 1/4 C. Romano, Parmesan or Asiago Cheese, grated (your choice)
3 Jars Marinara Sauce (26 oz. each) or 9 1/2 cups of your homemade sauce
1/2 - 1 lb. Pasta (your choice, I used Linguini)
3 C. Breadcrumbs
3 Large - Extra Large Eggs
1 oz. Water
Olive or Vegetable Oil (enough to fill large pan with 1/4" of oil (approx. 4 cups)
3 Tbsp + 1 tsp Salt
2 Tbsp. Garlic Powder
2 Tbsp. Onion Powder
1 1/2 Tbsp. Oregano
2 tsp. Basil
1 tsp. Dried Parsley
2 tsp. Ground Black Pepper

Large Bowl (to soak all cut eggplant)
Large Frying Pan (12" pan - the deeper the better)
9 x 9 Baking Dish (Pyrex)
Large Bowl (to mix Ricotta cheese mixture)
Wisk (to mix Ricotta cheese mixture)
Tongs (to flip eggplant)
Medium - Large Pot (to cook pasta)
2 Shallow Bowls (for eggwash and breadcrumbs to bread eggplant)
Large Cutting Board
Large Chef's Knife
Baking Spatula (to spread Ricotta cheese in between eggplant layers)
Large Pot - (to heat/cook Marinara sauce)


First, take your eggplant and use the peeler to take off all the purple skin. Once all skin is removed, cut off the top of the eggplant (the stem area). Next, square off the eggplant by cutting down the eggplant so the top and bottom are about the same and the eggplant looks like a large rectangular cube (you may either discard the pieces you cut off or slice them thinly and use them for additional layers or fry with the others for a snack). Next, using your chef's knife, carefully slice the eggplant from top to bottom, proceeding slowly. Each slice should be thin (about 1/16" thick, or about double the thickness of the top of your large chef's knife, nearest the handle (the image above is a knife - the part circled, #6, is the spine of the knife). When finished, you should have lots of long, rectangular slices of eggplant. Next, slice each piece of eggplant longways down the middle to double the number of eggplant slices you have.

Once you have done the slicing, it is time to soak your eggplant.

**Note: My greatgrandmother and grandmother (from Sicily) used to soak eggplant in milk. Eggplant is naturally bitter, especially the seeds. By soaking the eggplant, the bitterness is drawn out of the eggplant and into the milk, which is then discarded. Nowadays, with milk costing anywhere from $2 - $4 per gallon, it is a little expensive to use milk for this purpose. A simple solution of salt and water (known as a brining solution) will accomplish the same goal.**

*Interesting Fact: Did you know that putting salt on a bite or sting will draw out the poison? For instance, if you get stung by a bee or bitten by a mosquito, simply make a hypersolution of salt and water (the two together should make a gritty paste) and pack it on the bite. It will sting, but it will draw out the poison (must be done immediately after the bite/sting occurs to be effective. Powdered meat tenderizer is also very effective.*

Take a large bowl and fill 3/4 full with cool water and add 3 Tbsp. salt. Place all eggplant in the bowl. At this point, you are noticing that half the eggplant is not covered in water, right? Eggplant loves to float, so you need to be creative to get the eggplant covered in water. Make sure the bowl is filled to within 1/2" of the top and then place a frying pan on top of the bowl. The frying pan will hold the eggplant down enough to get it covered in water. Allow the eggplant to soak for about 30 minutes.

While the eggplant is soaking, let's prep the remaining parts of the dish.

Ricotta Cheese Mixture: Take a large mixing bowl and place the 1 lb. of ricotta cheese in it. Add 1 cup of grated asiago or romano or parmesan cheese (your choice, I used Asiago because I had fresh in the house), 1/4 lb. of mozzarella (shredded), 1 Tbsp. onion powder, 1 Tbsp. garlic powder, 1/2 Tbsp. oregano, 1 tsp. dried parsley, 1 tsp. black pepper. Mix all ingredients with a wisk briskly for 30 seconds until well mixed. Taste mixture - if you want to add anything to increase a specific flavor, by all means. When done, cover and set aside.

Next, get the two shallow bowls and put them next to each other. In the first bowl, add 3 eggs and beat until mixed. Add 1 oz. of water and continue to mix for 15 seconds. In second bowl, add breadcrumbs, and remaining spices listed above as well the remaining 1/4 cup of grated cheese (asiago, romano or parmesan). Mix with fork until all ingredients are evenly mixed.

Put sauce into pot and heat on medium low heat. Stir occasionally. Once hot, turn heat to low.

Once eggplant has soaked for a minimum of 30 minutes, drain all water from bowl. Bread eggplant by first dipping eggplant slice in egg wash, then placing in breadcrumbs. Once fully coated, place on dry plate. Repeat until all eggplant is breaded.

At this point, preheat your oven to 375 degrees.

Next, heat frying pan with oil on medium high heat until oil begins to shimmer in pan. Place eggplant in pan to fry (enough pieces to cover pan but with room in between). Eggplant should be lightly browned on each side. Flip eggplant ever minute and watch carefully - if oil begins to boil violently or eggplant begins to burn, turn down heat.

^Tip^ Since the eggplant slices are very thin, they will cook very quickly. Make sure not to walk away from the pan and flip them every minute for the first two flips, then every 30 seconds to avoid burning. Once the eggplant is crunchy but lighter than a brown paper bag, take it out and place on a plate with paper towel so it can drain.^

Repeat until all eggplant is fried.

Next, take ladle and spoon enough sauce into the 9 x 9 baking dish so the bottom is lightly coated (ladle in one scoop and then shake the dish to spread it around). Layer the eggplant strips into the dish so all the eggplant is touching and you cannot see the bottom of the dish (only one eggplant deep per layer). After the first layer is done, use the baking spatula to spread a 1/8" thick layer of the ricotta cheese mixture over the eggplant. Take your time and spread it around so everything is covered. Then, pour 1/2 ladle full of sauce over ricotta cheese and use back of ladle to spread around. Place next layer of eggplant and repeat steps 2 more times so there are 3 layers of eggplant. After the last layer of eggplant is placed, do not put a layer or ricotta. Instead, simply cover with sauce. Next, slice the remaining mozzarella cheese (or shred) and place over top eggplant so the entire top is covered. Be careful to leave a slight lip between the top of the mozzarella and the top of the dish so it does not overflow in the oven. Next, place tinfoil over top of the dish, making sure to tent it so it does not touch the mozzarella. Your oven rack should be in the middle slot to cook this dish.

^Tip^ To tent, simply take more foil than is needed to cover the dish. Lightly crease the foil in the middle to create a tent shape, then cover the dish and tuck the sides under the handle lips of the baking dish. this will allow the dish to bake covered but not allow the mozzarella to stick to the foil as it melts.^

Place in 375 degree oven for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes, increase temperature in oven to 425 degrees and remove cover from eggplant. Cook another 10-15 minutes.

^Tip^ I recommend placing a tinfoil-lined baking sheet on the rack below your eggplant (or the bottom of the oven). This will catch any drips that may occur from the eggplant cooking and will save you clean-up time and possible burning/smoking of your oven, which is always annoying when the smoke alarms go off.^

Once you put your eggplant in the oven, start boiling water for your pasta. Approximately 10 minutes before the eggplant is done, drop your pasta into the water. This will allow the pasta to cook and the two should be ready at the same time for service.

When done, take the eggplant out of the oven, allow to cool for a minute or two, then use a spatula or spoon to serve.

Nicole and I absolutely loved this dish last night and I had it again for lunch today. Give it a shot and let me know what you think. It is very gooky, so be prepared - the flavor is phenomenal and the eggplant has such a nice flavor that you will cherish this recipe. I think if my grandma and great grandma were around, they would love this dish, too!

As they say in the old country, mangia!

Buona Fortuna and as always...

Yours in cooking,

Monday, July 27, 2009

Fall-Off-The-Bone-Ribs - BBQ at its Finest!

Good Morning, Everyone!

So last night I was at my Dad's house and I decided to make dinner. My brother, his wife, my Aunt, my Dad and my wife and I were all there and I wanted to make something tasty for the whole family - a nice sit down meal on a Sunday evening. It's an old tradition that my wife and I have been trying to resurrect for both our families at least once a month. I have lost some very important people in my life recently (my Mom, my puppy) and it's clearer to me now more than ever that spending time with family as often as possible is by far the most important thing we can do. Both of our families enjoy good food and good company, so putting the two together through Sunday dinners seems the logical fit.

Yesterday, my dear Aunt informed me that we had ribs in the freezer that we could cook as well a 7.5 lb roaster chicken that could be cooked. Well, since there were six of us, my brother (the chef) and I decided we would make both the ribs and the chicken. My father had just bought one of those cool stands that you place the beer/soda can in and then you place the chicken/turkey on top and roast it...my brother decided that was going to be his contribution and I took the ribs, which are one of my specialties.

So, I began prepping my ribs for the oven and my brother was spicing the chicken. He rubbed oil and a handful of different spices into the chicken - a really beautiful array of aromatics that just tantalized me from the moment he started. He then took a can of Heineken beer, placed it in the little contraption my father bought, stuck the well spiced chicken on top and out to the grill he went. The objective was to use this cool contraption to grill the chicken and allow the beer to braise the meat from the inside out (which was the whole purpose of the contraption in the first place). Seemed like a great idea. So, I finish up putting my ribs together, get them in the oven and I head off to play Wii Sports (we are addicted to bowling and have competitions all the time) when all of the sudden I hear my father calling from the patio...Chris...ALEX...FIRE! My brother rushes out to find his beautiful chicken engulfed in flames and totally charred on the outside, yet still raw just under the skin. The look of disappointment was needless to say quite evident and he was in quite a sour mood for the rest of the afternoon (it probably didn't help that every chance we all got we made a joke about the chicken). So, we salvaged what we could of the poor bird and stuck it in the oven to roast like a normal chicken, hoping to get at least some good meat out of it. Needless to say, though the chicken was not bad, the ribs were considerably less burnt and considerably more tasty. A word of note - use a dry rub when cooking a chicken on the grill - you will avoid large 3-alarm fires on your deck that way!

Ok, now for the recipe. Ribs don't take long to prep, but need some time to cook.

Prep Time: 25 minutes Cook Time: Approx. 2 hours

This recipe works for beef or pork ribs, so feel free to choose either. We happen to use pork last night since that was what was in the house, though I tend to like the large beef ribs better. The beef ribs have a lot more meat and a lot less fat to contend with and you get more meat for each rib.

So, for ingredients:

3-4 lbs. of Ribs (Pork or Beef)
1 large onion; 1 medium onion
6-8 cloves or garlic (moderate based on personal taste...more the better in my book)
2 Green Peppers
2 Red Peppers
4 Bottles BBQ Sauce (your choice, but I prefer brands such as Cattleman's, Baby Sweet Ray's, etc. Stay away from Kraft and Hunts if possible)
Onion Powder
Garlic Powder
6 Bay Leaves


Start by trimming any excess fat off the ribs. You'll never be able to get it all, but try to cut off the obvious fatty sections.

Next, pour approximately 1 tablespoon of garlic powder, onion powder, salt, and pepper on each side of the ribs and pat them into the meat with your hands. Let the ribs sit for about 20 minutes while you prep the rest of the dish so the spices start to work their magic with the meat.

Open your first bottle of BBQ sauce and layer the bottom of a large metal or glass baking pan (large enough to fit the entire rib rack or 2 pans to split the rack between). Take empty bottle, fill 1/6 of bottle with hot water, swish around with cap on, then pour contents out into pan. This will thing out the mix and allow it to break down the veggies and make a nice sauce.

Next, slice all the onions into 1/4" rings. Take the medium onion's rings, break them apart into individual rings and cover the bottom of the pan(s) with the onion rings.

Next, slice up one green pepper and one red pepper into 1/4" by 1 1/2" slices (cut pepper into four equal pieces, then cut each quarter into quarters) and layer with onions in bottom of pan.

Finally, slice up 4 cloves of garlic and spread them around the bottom of the pan.

Next, pour second bottle of BBQ sauce in pan over onions and peppers. Again, fill empty bottle with 1/6 hot water, swish around with cap on, then pour contents into pan.

Place 4 bay leaves in the pan evenly dispersed.

Next, layer ribs MEAT SIDE DOWN on top of the onions/peppers. If it hasn't been a minimum of 20 minutes since you rubbed the spices onto the meat, wait to place into pan until the correct amount of time has elapsed.

Once you place the ribs in the pan, cut up the remaining peppers and place them with the remaining onions. Slice up the remaining 4 cloves of garlic and include them on top of the rib meat with the onions and peppers. Place the remaining Bay Leaves in the pan and pour remaining BBQ sauce on top of the ribs in the same fashion as before, making sure the meat is completely covered.

Cover tray(s) with tinfoil and place in 350 degree oven for 2 hours. There is no need to check them. Make sure the ribs are on the center rack, as the BBQ sauce with char and scorch if it is on a lower rack due to the high sugar content.

In two hours, you will the best wet ribs you have ever tasted with meat that literally falls off the bone before you can even pick it up. Serve out the ribs and pour the sauce over them (as long as it hasn't blackened from the heat) and enjoy with potatoes, corn, green beans or your favorite vegetables and side dishes.

I hope you enjoy this wonderful recipe of mine and as always...

Yours in cooking,