Spicy Sticky Back Ribs

These ribs might take a little extra time but I guarantee that you won’t find tastier ribs anywhere – and they are certainly worth the effort. 

Make sure to serve with plenty of napkins and additional barbecue sauce for dipping.


  • 1 cup dark brown sugar
  • 3 tbsp kosher salt
  • 1 tbsp dry mustard
  • 1 tbsp ground fennel
  • 1 tbsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tbsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 tbsp sweet smoked paprika


  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 1 small onion, minced
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 1/2 tsp dried thyme
  • 1 cup ketchup
  • 1/2 cup – 3/4 cup cider vinegar
  • 2 tbsp molasses
  • 1 can or bottle beer
  • 1 cup beef broth
  • 1/4 cup hot sauce
  • zest of lemon or lime
  • 4 tbsp maple syrup
  • 4 tbsp soya sauce
4 racks pork baby back ribs, membrane removed

In small bowl combine dry ingredents.  On large baking sheet place rub both sides of ribs with dry rub, pressing and patting it in.  Cover with foil and refridgerate overnight.

Preheat the oven to 250 – pour off any liquid on baking sheets, cover ribs tightly with foil and roast for 3 hours, until the meat is tender but not falling off the bone.  Pour off any liquid on baking sheet.

For the bbq sauce:

Melt butter, add onion, garlic and thyme.  Cook over moderate heat until onion has softened.  Add the rest of the ingredients and bring to boil.  Stir well and continue to cook at a moderate heat until sauce has thickened. This does take some time, and will taste better if you allow it to slowly reduce.   Taste and season with salt and pepper.

Broil or grill ribs, continuing to brush barbecue sauce over.

To serve, slice between each rib – mound on serving platter and scatter sliced green onions, lemon and lime wedges.

If you love Mexican cuisine, as we do, then make a few substitutions/additions ….

To the rub:  1 tsp smoked sweet paprika, 1 tsp ancho chile powder & 1 tsp chipotle chili powder

To the BBQ sauce:  2 tbsp of the leftover rub, replace the beer with 1/2 cup of smoky mezcal, and add 2 minced chipotle chiles in adobo sauce (if you can get it add 1 tbsp sour lemon)

Flank Steak

This has been a family favorite for years!  While it is pretty good with any cut of steak, flank is definitely the best.  Also – if you can’t access a grill …..

you can use the broiler, but – well it just won’t be as fantastic!

  • 1 flank steak
  • 1/2 cup soya sauce
  • 1/4-1/2 cup olive oil (I usually stay with 1/4 cup)
  • 4 1/2 tbsp honey
  • 6 cloves garlic – minced
  • 2 tbsp fresh rosemary (and only fresh will do)
  • 1 1/2 tbsp pepper
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt

Prepare marinade and put in ziplock bag along with the steak.  Seal for a minimum of 2 hours, but really …. overnight is best.  I have also put it in the freezer at this point, and then you alway have one ready!

Grill for 7 min per side for medium rare, and then slice thinly on the diagonal.

Garnish with slivered green onions

Yam Chipotle Chowder

  • 5 medium yams, peeled and cubed
  • 8 cups chicken or vegetable stock
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion, finely diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 tbsp chipotle pepper, finely minced
  • 1/2 cup red pepper, finely chopped
  • 1 cup frozen corn kernels
  • 1 tsp adobo sauce (from the chipotle peppers)
  • 1/2 – 1 lime, juice and zest of
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • GARNISH – crispy bacon bits and thinly sliced green onion

Put yams and enough stock to cover in saucepan.  Boil until yams are soft, about 1/2 an hour.

Heat oil in sauce pan, saute onion, garlic, chipotle and red pepper until tender – set aside.

Remove 1 cup of chopped yams and set aside.

Puree the rest of the yams and stock together until smooth  – either with an immersion blender or in a traditional blender – (remembering to leave the lid ajar to let steam escape!).

Return to saucepan, add onion/red pepper mixture, the corn and the cubed yams.

Add juice and zest of lime – start with 1/2 the juice, and season with salt and pepper.

If it is too thick, add a bit more stock.

Nationalist Guacamole

Named for the colors of the Mexican flag – white, red and green!

  • 2 large onions, peeled & finely chopped
  • 15 oz FRESH lemon juice
  • 4 large avocados
  • 4 oz fresh cilantro
  • 3 oz serrano chilies, deseeded, deveined & chopped
  • salt & freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 oz fresh pomegranate seeds
  • 2 oz ricotta or feta cheese, crumbled

Marinate the onion in the lemon juice for 30 minutes, then drain and set aside.  (I usually use the lemon/onion juice for something else….) Mash the avocado, add cilantro, marinated onion, 1/2 the pomegranate seeds and serrano chilies. Season with salt and pepper.

Arrange in bowl with scattered pomegranate seeds and crumbled cheese on top.