Chinese Ribs Make For Tasty Snow Food
Just because you're snowed in doesn't mean you can't enjoy a delicious meal.
With the Blizzard of '13 on the way, I stopped in to visit my parents who live in Lynn, fairly close to the Atlantic Ocean. Anybody who has ever lived near the coast knows how powerful and devastating coastal surges can be. Therefore, Nor’easters are a little more worrisome near the beach as opposed to other land locked areas.
My Mom was on her way to the market so I volunteered to give her a lift. Keep in mind my Mom and Dad are in their seventies and well into their empty nest years. As I bagged up her groceries I had to chuckle at her selections. Two cases of water , two loaves of bread, a super jumbo pack of toilet tissue, a twelve pack of batteries, enough cold cuts to feed the NE Patriots offensive line and enough milk to keep Capt’n Crunch afloat for a month. I said “ Ma, you know this is a snowstorm and not a nuclear holocaust”. She laughed and retorted, “how about you, are you prepared”. “Don’t worry about me I have plenty of snow food.”
Snow food?, snow food is my own personal term for any dish that keeps you in a warm toasty kitchen when it’s too blustery to venture out, braised meats, casseroles, stews, roasts and the like. Fresh baked breads, homemade pies, fresh tarts or upside down cakes are terrific snow foods. They fill your home with the smells of winter. Snow food kills time, keeps you occupied, and satisfies those yens for savory goodness.
What’s on the menu for this blizzard? I was thinking braised Chinese pork ribs, clean out the fridge fried rice, and pineapple upside down cake. I know you want the recipes, don’t you? All this stuff is surprisingly easy.
Let’s start with the pork ribs. Spare ribs, baby back ribs, short ribs or country style ribs all work equally as well, Today I’m using country style. First make sure the ribs are separated individually. This may require running a knife between the bones. You don’t want a rack. Toss the ribs with garlic, a little saki or white wine and a jar of Ahso Chinese BBQ sauce. Line the bottom of a roasting pan with roughly chopped onions and carrots. Pour the ribs in and cover with foil. Slow cook the ribs at 300 degrees for a couple of hours. Remove the foil and turn the heat up to 375 for the last 15 minutes. Sayonara, your done and what an aroma!
Next comes the fried rice. Cook the rice, I prefer brown but once again, whatever you have works fine, as directed and set aside. In a large frying pan or wok heat a tablespoon of oil over medium heat. I check my fridge for whatever I want to get rid of. Left over chicken, left over veggies , a beaten egg, a can of waterchestnuts, the scraps from your onion, some sprouts. I could go on but I think you get the point. When your mixture is heated through toss in the rice and stir vigorously. A teaspoon of sesame seed oil works best, it has a very unique nutty flavor but again whatever oil you have is fine. A few shakes of low sodium soy sauce to taste, shut of the heat and wait for your ribs.
We’re gonna cheat on the cake and mix a boxed cake to direction. Spray a cake pan with non-stick spray. In a small bowl mix a can of pineapple pieces , juice and all with a loose cup of brown sugar, a dash of cinnamon, and a tablespoon of corn starch pour the mixture into your pan and gentle pour the cake mix over the top. Cook as directed and add 5 minutes extra. Let the cake cool slightly and invert the pan onto a cake dish. Don’t worry gravity does the rest. Until next time stay warm and eat well.