2x Spare Ribs on the BBQ

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Preparation time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 20 minutes

Now that we finally are getting some sun in Belgium, after all it is only June 3rd … the barbecue can come out of the garden shed.

A BBQ meal ever so successful for the lover of meat, are grilled spare ribs. Like the Americans say ‘the rack of ribs’. In Belgium the rack of ribs is actually cut in half lengthwise and one rack is about 10-15 cm wide and 30-40 cm long. Just the size an average person can dispatch during an evening diner.

Ribs are always great, served as ‘finger food’ with the aperitif as appetizer, or as a main dish served with a jacked potato with some sour cream or garlic butter, and a simple green salad and tomatoes. Simple, cheap and a definitely a treat deluxe.

The following post is not about grilling, it is about marinating. If you want to surprise your audience, marinate your spare ribs in advance. These are 2 of the summer marinades my hubby specifically developed for ribs.

The Ingredients: marinade for about 2 rib racks

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Chinese spicy ribs:

  • ketchup
  • Chinese (or Asian) pili-pili (bottle)
  • 2 gloves of garlic
  • salt & pepper

‘Distinguished’ ribs

  • 1 lime
  • 2 tsps. smoked paprika powder
  • 3 tbsp. sugar
  • 2 globes of garlic
  • salt & pepper

The work:

Cut the garlic, squeeze the lime and mix the marinade ingredients and smear them on the ribs. Cover up the ribs and keep them in the fridge to marinate at least 2 hours before you grill them. You can even prepare this the evening beforehand.

When it is time, grill the ribs and use the left over marinade to baste the meat from time to time while you are grilling. You can use one of these modern heat resistant kitchen brushes.

Et voilà, you can discover for yourself how different the 2 preparations taste.

The tip:

I you can’t find the smoked paprika, you can improvise by mixing regular paprika powder with cayenne pepper.

The secret:

Each year we dedicate our first weekend of summer to contribute to one of our town’s festivals ‘de Zomerfeesten’. Our contribution is limited the hard work of serving mojito’s for 3 days. Depending on the weather, mojito sales vary from good to extremely good. In one of these not so extremely good years we ended up with a lot of left over limes. After having preserved a large part for use in the winter tagines, my husband kept on searching what he could do with them. Apart from the obvious lime sorbet, the ‘distinguished’ marinade was invented.

Hei, but if you ever need the recipe for mojito…

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Home-made Mayonnaise

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By now you should master the art of making the Belgian fries, so high time to learn about mayonnaise.

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Preparation time: 5 minutes

The ingredients:

  • 1 egg yolk
  • 0.5 tbsp.  mustard (dark mustard preferably)
  • 1 tbsp. vinegar, or lemon, or lime (according to taste)
  • salt & pepper
  • optionally cayenne pepper
  • corn germ oil

The work:

Take a round bowl and put it on a humid towel. This will prevent that your bowl starts skating on your kitchen counter when you start stirring the mayonnaise.
Put the egg yolk, the salt & pepper, the mustard and optionally the cayenne in the bowl. Stir so that the ingredients are mixed. Now slowly add oil while stirring. Don’t whisk! You use a whisk to stir, but always move in the same direction, not to fast, not to slow. An emulsion between egg and oil will start to form and so develops your mayonnaise. Stop adding oil when you reach the right consistency.
Don’t overdo it. One egg only fuels a large cup of mayonnaise.
When this is done you can add some vinegar, lime or lemon, according to taste to reach your best homemade mayonnaise flavour.

The Secret:

In Flemish history there is much wisdom about what can make your mayonnaise fail. Women will not succeed making mayonnaise during the time of their period… If you stir left AND right the mayonnaise will clot…

The Tip:
One thing is for sure. If you want to succeed, the secret is that your ingredients need to have the same temperature. So take your eggs out of the fridge a while ahead.

When it happens that your mayonnaise starts to clot, try adding a small bit of cold water (about 1 or 2 tbsps.), continue to stir and if you are lucky it will repair itself.

If you want to use another oil, please do. But use oil which doesn’t have an imposing taste. Olive oil is nice, but it will definitely change the original taste of the true Flemisch mayonnaise.

At the beginning we gave away that you can add some cayenne pepper to the recipe. This is in preparation to make ‘cocktail sauce’ instead. When you have the mayonnaise done, add cayenne if you haven’t already done so, add ketchup and a drop of your good whisky (2-3 tbsps.). Stir and voilà, all done!