Pork Spice Rub

You may never use another rub again, it’s that good.

2 Tbsp. paprika
1 Tbsp. kosher salt
1 Tbsp. ground black pepper
1 Tbsp. cumin
1 Tbsp. chili powder
1 Tbsp. brown sugar (dark brown is better)
1/2 Tbsp. cayenne pepper

1-2 Tbsp. extra virgin or regular olive oil

Take out the meat you will be using and place in a pan. Combine all the spices together in a small bowl and set aside. Spread the olive oil all over the meat, then sprinkle the spices over and rub in an all over the meat, using all of the spices. Cover pan and place in fridge several hours or overnight. Prepare meat either on grill, rotisserie or oven – whatever you wish. Enjoy.

Crockpot Barbecue Pork Ribs

Get out the napkins! Your large crockpot will fit 6-8 lbs or four slabs. I served these with homemade cornbread and coleslaw. Wow.

6-8 pounds pork spare ribs, cut into 3-4 ribs
4 cups of your choice of barbecue sauce (I used Sweet Baby Ray’s)
1 cup ketchup
2 Tbsp. worcestershire sauce
1/4 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar

Lightly grease your crockpot with a cooking spray. Arrange the ribs in the slow cooker. Whisk/combine all the other ingredients and pour in and around the ribs – lift the ribs and get the suace underneath. Cover and cook on LOW for 8 hours or until meat begins to separate from the bones. Serve immediatley.

Sticky Ribs (a.k.a. Superbowl Ribs)

This recipe is so utterly delicious and messy, the whole family will enjoy this one! Please note that an all-day or overnight marinade is essential, so plan ahead.

4-6 lbs. pork ribs – separated, or not – you decide

1/2 cup sweet chili sauce (Chinese or Thai works well)
1/4 cup jellied cranberry sauce
1/4 cup soy sauce
1 lime, sliced into quarters
1 orange or tangerine, sliced into quarters

Place ribs in single layer on 1 or 2 rimmed baking sheets/roaster pans and set aside.  Place all the rest of ingredients into a medium bowl and mix well. Divide and spread over each rack of ribs so they are coated well, using all the sauce mix, cover with foil then put in the fridge for several hours or overnight.

When you’re ready to cook, preheat your oven to 350 degrees and remove the pans from the fridge to set on the counter for 20-30 minutes while the oven preheats; remove and discard the oranges & limes. Turn ribs over, keep covered and cook for 1 full hour, turning them with tongs after 30 minutes, and rotating pans in oven, keep covered.

After 1 hour, raise the temperature to 400 degrees and remove the foil. Cook for another 15 minutes, turn, then cook 15 minutes more.

Get a roll of paper towels and dig in.

Slow Cooker Pulled Pork

Long, slow, cooking will guarantee the best results. This is delicious.

4-6 pounds pork shoulder
2 large, white onions, sliced
1 Tbsp. garlic powder
1tsp. kosher salt
1/2 tsp. ground peppper
1-1/2 cups cold water
2 cups (or 18 oz. bottle) BBQ sauce
Another large white onion, diced

Spray your slow cooker with cooking spray and place 1 of the sliced onions in the bottom, add pork, garlic powder, salt, pepper , water and then add the other sliced onion on top (you’ll use the 3rd onion later). Cover and cook on LOW for 8 hours or HIGH for 5. Drain liquid, coarsley chop up the meat, discard fat, place prk back in slow cooker, add BBQ sauce then the last onion. Cover and cook on LOW for 4 more hours. Serve on large rolls.

Sausage Bread

This is definitely a weeknight bread because you use frozen pizza or bread dough, or if you’re feeling ambitious, by all means make your own dough from scratch. But with this recipe you don’t have to. I like to serve this with a homemade soup such as chicken noodle or creamy tomato.

1 lb. thawed pizza or bread dough
Flour for dusting surface and rolling pin
2 Tbsp. of your favorite Italian dressing
1 tsp. Italian Seasoning
1/4  tsp. seasoned salt
1 lb. loose, ground sausage, cooked and drained
1 lb. shredded mozzarella

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and lightly grease or parchment paper a large baking sheet. Lighlty flour and roll out and prepare  your dough, spreading and rolling it into a large rectangle – do the best you can and let the dough rest for a few minutes if it’s giving you difficulty.

Spread the dressing all over the dough, sprinkle on the seasonings, spread the sausauge straight down the middle, horizontally then sprinkle on the grated cheese. Beginning with the longest side, slowly and carefully roll the dough into light a big cigar shape. Place on your prepared cookie sheet, then make 2-3 slits into it. Place in preheated oven and bake about 30-35 minutes until golden brown. Let rest about 5 minutes before serving.

Baked Ham

I just love baking a ham. The house gets that homey, everything is good kind-of smell. This dish is true simplicity and an absolute crowd pleaser.

8-10 pound uncooked ham
3-4 cups apple juice
3 tsp. kosher salt

Preheat your oven to 325 degrees. Take the ham out of the fridge and place skin side-up on a rack in a large roasting pan. Let it sit out on the counter like that for 30 minutes while the oven preheats.

Make slits all over the ham. Slowly and evenly pour 1 cup of the juice over the ham. As evenly as you can, sprinkle on the salt, then place in the preheated oven for 1 hour. Pour another cup of juice over the ham and keep cooking until the skin is fully crisp – about 3 more hours, or until done, basting it with more apple juice or water every 30 minutes.

Remove from oven and let sit about 10 minutes before cutting.

Sandy’s Spanish Pork Cutlets

img_0039.jpgFrom my sister Sandy – I slightly tweaked her recipe. Everyone gobbles them up. The trick is to use very thin slices of pork loin.

1/4 cup olive oil (extra virgin is best)
12 thin sliced boneless pork loin cutlets (have the butcher prepare)
3 Tbsp. Goya Adobo Seasoning*
1 packet Goya Sazon Seasoning packet*
1 cup unseasoned bread crumbs or matzo meal
1/2 tsp. ground black pepper
1/2 tsp. Italian seasoning

*If your local grocer doesn’t carry Goya products, then by all means substitute flour for the Adobo, and about 2 Tbsp. McCormick’s (or another brand) seasoned salt for the Sazon. The taste won’t be exact, but it’ll still be delicious in it’s own way.

Heat oil in a large skillet on med-high.

Meanwhile, rinse & pat dry the cutlets & set aside. Place the seasonings in something like a pie plate, mix together with a fork, dredge each cutlet, gently shake off excess, then place in the sizzling oil. Repeat with about 3 cutlets. Cook about 5 minutes on each side, or until done, then place on a cookie sheet lined with paper towels or brown paper bags. Serve.

Spicy Ribs

I don’t know what it is – I LOVE tinkering with ribs and my family loves eating them.  All of you will be emailing me your thanks after one taste.  One year I made these for Easter and nobody missed the traditional ham.

6 lbs. spare ribs – (if using more, double rest of ingredients)
1 cup apple cider vinegar

Sauce (tone down the hot spices a bit if it seems too hot for you)

1 cup water
1 cup ketchup
1 cup chli sauce
1/4 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
2 Tbs. Worcestershire sauce
1 Tbs. celery seed
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. ground mustard
1 tsp. hot pepper flakes
2 tsp. ground cayenne pepper
1/4 cup hot sauce

Get out a large pot and place the ribs into it (you will probably have to slice them into small slabs) then fill pot with cold water to cover.  Add 1 cup cider vinegar to the water, bring to a boil then cover slightly and simmer for one hour, stirring them once in a while.

Half-way through simmering time, preheat your oven to 325 degrees, and get ready 2 baking pans with at least 2″ sides; position your oven racks to accomodate these 2 pans. Now make the sauce. . .

Place all the sauce ingredients into a large bowl, whisk well to combine then spread half into each of pans.  When simmering is completed, using tongs, remove the ribs and divide between the 2 pans, turning ribs to coat completely in the sauce. Place in the oven – uncovered – for 30 minutes; turn the ribs, alternate pans in the oven, then cook 30 minutes longer.

Pass the napkins.

Baked Ham

Another ham recipe in my repertoire that you must try.

1 head garlic, no need to peel
1/2 cup scallions – optional
1 large bunch chives
2 Tbsp. dried parsley
2 tsp. dried thyme
1 Tbsp. dried rosemary
1 8-10 pound fresh ham
2 tsp. kosher or sea salt
1 tsp. black pepper
1/2 – 1 cup water
1 14-1/2 oz. can chicken broth

Preheat your oven to 350, rinse and pat dry ham then place in roaster in pan onto counter at least 30 minutes while your oven preheats. Make 2-inch deep slits all over ham. Place all ingredients up to the broth in a food processor or blender and whirl to a paste. Stuff 1/2 of this mixture into the slits as best you can and then pat it lightly over the ham, set the other half aside for now.

Bake, uncovered, for about 90 minutes. Reduce oven temp to 325 degrees, add the broth to the pan and bake uncovered for another hour. Pat the remaining paste over the ham, cover the pan tightly with foil and continue to roast it for another 2 hours or until done, checking, adding a cup or two of water as necessary, and basting only occasionally.

Remove from oven and let rest about 10 minutes before serving.

Chili Ribs

Oh my! These are so unbelievably good, if I may say so myself! Wowee!

1/2 – 2/3 cups chili powder
1/2 cup orange juice
1/4 cup olive oil
2 Tbsp. lemon juice
4 cloves minced garlic
4 tsp. ground cumin
1 Tbsp. honey
6 oz. can tomato paste
2 tsp. oregano
1 tsp. kosher salt
1 tsp. ground black pepper (or cayenne pepper if you want them spicy hot)
6 pounds pork spareribs

Stir all ingredients up to the ribs in a bowl. On 2 large foil-lined sheet trays lay out the ribs and with a small sharp knife cut “X’s” over both sides; brush the mixture over both sides and with your hands, rub the mixture well, all over and into these “X’s” as best you can.

Now place the ribs meat side down on these trays and cover with foil tightly. Place in the fridge for no less than 24 hours – these need a nice long rest for the ultimate flavor.

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and adjust oven racks so the two trays can cook in there at one time. Loosely cover the trays, place both in the oven for 45 minutes, switch trays around in oven and cook for another 35-45 minutes or until done – whereas the meat will almost be falling off the bone.