Food & Drink

Stir Crazy: Poke around recipe web site, then make cake and ribs

Key Lime juice and condensed sweetened milk combine to make the sauce that gets poured over this poke cake.
Key Lime juice and condensed sweetened milk combine to make the sauce that gets poured over this poke cake.

Two recent discoveries I want to share. One happened online and the other in the supermarket.

First, if you enjoy expanding your culinary knowledge in a practical and fun way, go to tablespoon.com. This is a crazy-good site that is easy to get around with colorful icon/buttons at the top of the home page that direct you to recipe categories like Mini (Honey, we shrunk the treats), Rainbow (all things colorful and bright), OMG (awesome food) and more.

The site links you to a ton of great recipes and outstanding color photos from other web sites as well as offers some oh-so-practical themes, such as 10 Ways to Use a Box of Cake Mix or 10 30-Minute Casseroles.

The second was more of a revelation: Try country-style pork ribs this summer. The ones we buy are boneless and big enough that they cook really well on the grill and stay very tender. Usually, we get a pack with four pieces, just right for two. We slap a rub on them, grill and then add sauce at the table.

While we’ve had grill disasters in the past making blackened, dry baby-back ribs, these have never failed us and also provide more meat for the money.

Here are two recipes from tablespoon.com.

Key Lime Poke Cake

CAKE:

1 box white cake mix

1 1/4 cups water

1 tablespoon vegetable oil

4 eggs

KEY LIME FILLING:

1 can (14 ounces) sweetened condensed milk (not evaporated)

3/4 cup whipping cream

1/2 cup Key lime juice or regular lime juice

1 teaspoon grated lime peel

4 drops yellow food color

1 drop green food color

FROSTING:

1 container (12 ounces) vanilla frosting (or your own recipe)

2 teaspoons grated lime peel

Garnish, If desired

Heat oven to 350 degrees (325 degrees for dark or nonstick pan). Spray bottom only of 13-by-9-inch pan with baking spray with flour.

Cake: In large bowl, beat cake ingredients with electric mixer on low speed 30 seconds, then on medium speed 2 minutes, scraping bowl occasionally. Pour into pan.

Bake 27 to 33 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 5 minutes.

With handle of wooden spoon (1/4 to 1/2 inch in diameter), poke holes almost to bottom of cake every 1/2 inch, wiping spoon handle occasionally to reduce sticking.

Filling: In medium bowl, stir together filling ingredients (mixture will thicken). Pour over cake; spread evenly over surface, working back and forth to fill holes. (Some filling should remain on top of cake.) Refrigerate 1 hour.

Spread frosting over cake; sprinkle with lime peel. Garnish as desired. Store loosely covered in refrigerator.

Makes 15 servings, each with 370 calories, 15 grams fat, 80 mg cholesterol, 290 mg sodium, 54 grams carbohydrates, 40 grams sugar, 5 grams protein. Exchanges: 1 1/2 starch, 2 other carbohydrates, 3 fat. Carbohydrate choices: 3 1/2.

While this recipe is made in the oven, try it on the grill over indirect heat.

CHILI-ORANGE

COUNTRY-STYLE RIBS

3 to 4 pounds pork boneless country-style ribs

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon dried marjoram leaves

1/4 teaspoon pepper

SAUCE:

1 cup chili sauce

1/4 cup orange marmalade

2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce

1 teaspoon ground mustard

1. Heat oven to 350 degrees.

2. Place ribs in rectangular pan, 13-by-9-by-2 inches. Sprinkle both sides with salt, marjoram and pepper. Cover tightly with aluminum foil.

3. Bake 1 hour 30 minutes to 1 hour 45 minutes or until tender; drain.

4. While ribs are baking, mix sauce ingredients in 1-quart saucepan. Cook over medium-low heat 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, or until flavors are blended. Brush sauce over ribs.

5. Bake uncovered 15 minutes. Brush again with sauce. Bake 10 to 15 minutes longer, or until ribs are glazed. Serve with remaining sauce.

Makes 4 servings, each with 485 calories, 22 grams fat, 115 mg cholesterol, 1,260 mg sodium, 33 grams carbohydrates, 1 gram fiber, 40 grams protein. Exchanges: 2 fruit; 1 vegetable; 5 lean meat.

Contact me at sboyle@bnd.com, 618-239-2664 or follow me on Twitter @BoyleSuzanne. Write to 120 S. Illinois St., P.O. Box 427, Belleville, IL 62222-0427.

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