Tonight was spare ribs with macaroni and cheese. It took me a long time to learn how to cook the pork properly, but here is what works for me: First of all, trim the skirt away from the main rack, and loosen up all the silver skin around the bones in back. It is inedible, anyway, and doesn't add anything to the cooking process. Removing it will mean melt off the bone succulence, and easy slicing. Next, I use a dry rub. Adolphe's and a host of other experts make tasty dry rubs, but if you wanted to, you can make one by mixing unmeasured amounts of the following ingredients, with the largest amounts listed first: light brown sugar, garlic powder, onion powder, salt, pepper, cayenne pepper, cumin, dried thyme, cinnamon. This is a really sweet and savory rub, with a good kick in it as well. I don't really measure any of the ingredients, but it works out well with just your taste buds.
Rub the rack front and back, place in a foil lined broiler sheet, cover with a cookie sheet, and cook for 2 hours at 250 degrees. Yes, I know that some of you boil your ribs, but I don't and the slow cooking process works marvels on the meat. After you've slow cooked it, you can grill the rack out on the grill over a low flame, and then if you want, add your barbecue sauce. You don't want to turn the glaze into black tar, so be careful and watch what you're doing.
Next up, is the macaroni and cheese. I know this will sound blasphemous, but the best boxed mac and cheese is made by Sam's and sold in red boxes for 50 cents apiece at Walmart. It's called Sam's Extra creamy Macaroni and Cheese, and it really is much better than Kraft's but I make it over the top fantastic by substituting milk with light cream, and adding some sharp shredded cheddar at the end of cooking it. Mix the cheese powder, butter and cream over a low burner while the macaroni drains. Whisking or stirring with a wooden spoon makes it creamy. Just before adding the mac to the cheese, add the cheddar. Doing these two small things makes a big difference from mere boxed mac 'n' cheese to something darned near gourmet!
Green Beans are best when barely boiled. They should be slightly crisp. It is possible to get good steamed green beans from the frozen food section. I like Hanover's baby whole green beans. Something about eating the young and tender that makes my blackened heart merry! I hate green bean casserole, so I don't even make it. I keep it simple. I used to crisp up some bacon and drizzle the drippings over the beans, and toss them with diced tomatoes and bacon, and I still do, occasionally, but my family's favorite is steamed green beans, tossed with toasted sesame oil, kosher salt and toasted sesame seeds. The great thing about preparing the beans this way, is that they are just as good cold as they are hot! Give them a try, and tell me what you think.
And now, a final moment of tasty haram goodness: Eva Cassidy singing Somewhere Over The Rainbow....