Stick to Your Ribs

This is a perfect recipe during a polar vortex. It’s pretty much a delicious mess on the plate. I served it with some sauteed cabbage.

1 slab St. Louis style pork ribs, cut in half
salt and pepper
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
2 tablespoons clarified butter or ghee
1 1/2 cups sliced leek greens
1 28 oz can tomato puree (preferably homemade)
1 tablespoon ground coriander seed
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon celery seed
2 teaspoons dry mustard
dash cayenne pepper or more to taste
3/4 cup water or chicken stock
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons brown sugar
4 lemons slices

Salt and pepper the meat. Preheat oven to 300 F degrees. In a very large saute pan or flat bottomed roasting pan, heat the vegetable oil over high heat. When it is shimmering, add the pork, fleshy side down and let fry, undisturbed, until nice and brown, about 8 minutes. Flip the meat over and repeat. When it is nicely browned all over, remove it from the pan and set aside. Turn down the flame and add the butter and the leeks. Stir fry the leeks until they are wilted and browning. Add all of the spices all at once and stir briefly. Add  remaining ingredients except the lemon and bring to a simmer. Return the ribs to the pan and coat them with the sauce. Top the ribs with the lemon slices. Cover the pan and bake for 3 1/2 hours, until the meat is fork tender. Remove the pan from the oven and skim off as much fat as you can from the sauce. Taste and adjust seasoning as necessary with salt and pepper.


Ginger Crusted Catfish with Gingery Tartar Sauce

Yes, I like ginger. I suppose any thin, white-fleshed fish would work here. I like catfish because I can get locally raised. I used King Arthur gluten free all purpose flour. Make the tartar sauce in advance and let it sit in the fridge while you cook the fish.

For the fish:

1 lb. thin catfish filets
1 cup cornmeal
1 cup wheat-free all purpose flour
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 cup clarified butter or ghee
1 tablespoon sesame oil
1 egg
salt and pepper

Salt and pepper the fish filets and set aside.  Combine the cornmeal, flour and spices in a shallow dish.  Break the egg into another shallow dish, add a few tablespoons of water and beat vigorously with a fork until it’s a little frothy. Dredge each piece of fish in the flour mixture, then roll it in the egg wash, and then dredge it in the flour mixture a second time.  Heat the butter and oil in a sauté pan large enough to hold all of the fish at once without overlapping.  When it is shimmering and starting to smoke, add the fish. Let fry for 2-3 minutes or until just browned. Flip the fish and fry another 2-3 minutes until browned and cooked through. Serve with the tartar sauce.

For the tartar sauce:

1 cup mayonnaise (I used Duke’s)
1 hard boiled egg, chopped
1 tablespoon minced scallion greens
1 tablespoon minced dill pickle
2 tablespoons minced fresh cilantro
grated lemons zest from 1/2 lemon
juice from 1/2 lemon
grated lime zest from 1/2 lime
juice from 1/2 lime
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1 tablespoon ground ginger
Tabasco to taste
salt and pepper if needed

Stir together all of the ingredients and refrigerate until ready to serve. Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary.