Dry Rub Spare Ribs

These ribs are juicy, tender, and have a delicious dry-rub crust that may be a nice surprise if you are accustomed to having ribs with a sauce. Spare ribs have been around the barbecue scene for generations and also affordable compared to other meats. I like to cut the ribs into serving-size pieces before roasting, which gives just a little more surface area for the delicious rub to stick to.


Ingredients for 3 servings

  • 3 lbs. pork spare ribs
  • 1/4 cup course salt
  • 1/4 cup paprika
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 3 Tbsp. black pepper
  • 1 Tbsp. garlic powder
  • 1 Tbsp. dried onion
  • 1 tsp. cayenne powder
  • 1/2 tsp. celery seeds
  1. Cut ribs into sections with two ribs each and parboil in a large pot for 4 minutes
  2. Remove ribs from boiling water and let cool to the touch
  3. Mix all remaining ingredients and spread liberally on all sides of the rib sections
  4. Place in a roasting pan or baking sheet at 325° for 1 hour and 15 minutes.
  5. Turn on broiler and broil for 3-5 minutes or until the crust darkens.

Notes

Parboiling means to partially cook for a short amount of time in boiling water. This does two things for the ribs; it helps make them more tender by cooking them with moisture and renders some excess fat away. You can smoke these ribs as well; make sure to keep the temperature and time the same as listed above. You want the rub to darken at the end of the cooking process to give a delicious crust, but you must be careful and not go over 5 minutes or so to avoid burning. The crust is what makes these ribs stand apart from the more traditional sauced version. I would love to hear from you if you try this recipe, and don’t forget to share and subscribe! Enjoy!

Classic Ploughman’s Sandwich

The Ploughman’s Sandwich is a classic sandwich that originates from England and has been in existence for at least two centuries. It is composed of basic and staple ingredients that are easy, cheap, and nutritional and created for a farmer’s and laborer’s lunch. A great sandwich that has stood the test of time and still many people’s favorites.  


Ingredients

  • Whole grain or white bread
  • English cheddar cheese sliced thinly
  • Branson’s Pickle or similar relish
  • Sliced pickled onions
  • Several thin slices of ham

Spread a layer of the pickle relish on one piece of bread, then layer on the cheese, ham, and onion. Enjoy with an English ale.

Notes

There are quite a few variations of this sandwich that exist, and sometimes incorporate tomatoes, lettuce, mustard, etc… Feel free to add or substitute anything to suit your taste. In the US, you can find Branston’s Pickle and pickled onions in some supermarkets that have a good international selection, World Market, international food stores, and Amazon. There are recipes online to make a copycat version, but it’s hard to beat the original. Please let me know if you try this sandwich, and don’t forget to share and subscribe! Enjoy!

Sesame Cheddar Crackers

These cheese wafers have a crispy texture and savory flavor and make a perfect appetizer, snack, or addition to the charcuterie board. You will love how easy these are to make plus you only need a few ingredients and a great alternative to the store-bought processed cheese crackers. Give these a try, you won’t be disappointed!


Ingredients for about 40 Crackers

  • 4 oz. good quality cheddar cheese
  • 6 Tbsp. melted butter
  • 1/4 c sesame seeds
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
  1. Toast sesame seeds in a dry non-stick pan over medium-high heat until golden-brown, about 7 minutes.
  2. In a mixing bowl, mix shredded cheese and butter.
  3. Mix flour, toasted sesame seeds, and Worcestershire sauce and mix with a spatula until a slightly sticky dough is formed. Add more flour in small increments if dough is still too wet.
  4. Cover dough and chill for at least an hour or up to overnight.
  5. Lightly flour your work surface, and roll out dough with a floured rolling pin until the dough is consistent thickness, about 1/8″.
  6. Cut with 2″ round cookie-cutter (or any size/shape cutter you like)
  7. Bake at 350°F for 15 minutes or until the edges just start to turn brown

Notes

When rolling out the dough you want the consistency of something similar to cookie dough, so don’t leave it out too long before rolling or roll it out directly from the refrigerator. Also, make sure to keep a close eye while baking, as only a minute too much can burn them. You can easily make this dough a day ahead as well for convenience. Please let me know if you try this recipe, and don’t forget to share and subscribe! Enjoy!

Grandma’s Oatmeal Bread

This recipe is adapted from “Mountain Measures – A collection of West Virginia Recipes” published in 1974. This is a hearty bread that goes well with a soup or salad, and also makes for a great breakfast with butter and jam. If you have never made bread before, this recipe will be great to start with since it is not difficult and the dough comes together quite easily. Even if you are an experienced bread maker, give this one a try, you will love it!


Ingredients for one loaf

  • 1 package active dry yeast (or 2-1/4 tsp. dry yeast)
  • 1/2 tsp. sugar
  • 1/4 cup warm water
  • 3/4 cup boiling water
  • 1/2 cup quick-cooking rolled oats
  • 1/4 cup dark molasses
  • 1/6 cup vegetable shortening
  • 1/2 Tbsp. salt
  • 3 to 3-1/4 cups sifted all-purpose flour
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 2 Tbsp. rolled oats
  • 1 egg white
  • 1 Tbsp. water
  1. Dissolve yeast in 1/4 cup warm water and add sugar, let sit for 10 minutes.
  2. Combine 3/4 cup boiling water, quick-cooking rolled oats, molasses, shortening, and salt; cool to lukewarm.
  3. Stir in 1 cup of sifted flour; beat well. Add beaten egg and the yeast; beat well. Add enough remaining flour to make a soft dough, roughly 3 cups total.
  4. Turn out on lightly floured surface; cover and let rest 10 minutes.
  5. Knead until smooth and place in a lightly greased bowl, turning dough once. This should take about five minutes. Cover, let rise until doubled, about an hour.
  6. Knock down dough (knead gently to remove any air bubbles that may have formed)
  7. Coat a well-greased loaf pan with 2 tablespoons of oats on all sides. Shape loaf and place it in pan, and let rest for 45 minutes.
  8. Brush with egg white and water mixture and sprinkle lightly with oats.
  9. Bake at 375° for 40 minutes.

Notes

Probably the most important thing to be aware of when making any bread is making sure the yeast has the proper conditions to do its job. This means to make sure you are not using old and stale yeast, and also not using too hot or cold water when starting it. I used 2-1/4 tablespoons of dry yeast in 1/4 cup of warm water, and as suggested on the yeast packaging, added 1/2 tablespoon of sugar and let sit for 10 minutes. This made a very foamy mixture, and this is how you know the yeast is working. When kneading, you want to make sure you do it long enough to get a smooth and consistent texture, and this took me about 5 minutes of fairly vigorous kneading to get to that point. Make sure to not skip the “knock down” to remove any large air bubbles that may have formed during proving. Please let me know what you think of this bread in the comments below, and don’t forget to like and share! Enjoy!

Beef-Noodle Casserole

This recipe is adapted from “A Cook’s Tour of Athens” from Athens, Georgia in 1963. After doing some research, I can’t seem to find any particular origin of this recipe, and is most likely an evolved version of several different things such as spaghetti bolognese, lasagna, and beef stroganoff to name a few. If you have ever had any of the dishes, you know how hearty and satisfying beef and noodles can be, and this recipe is no different. The creaminess from the cottage cheese, cream cheese, and sour cream is very well balanced with the tomato sauce, and like any casserole, this is a one-pot (or casserole dish) meal. You can also double the amount and freeze for a super-easy weeknight meal; just allow more cooking time from frozen if you do.


Ingredients for 8-10 servings

  • 1 8-ounce package noodles, cooked
  • 2-1/2 pounds ground beef
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 2 8-ounce cans tomato sauce
  • 1 tablespoon oregano (fresh)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 cup cottage cheese
  • 1 8-ounce package cream cheese
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1/3 cup minced onion
  • 1 tablespoon green pepper (optional)
  1. Cook beef in 1 tablespoon butter until browned.
  2. Add tomato sauce, oregano, salt, and pepper and set aside.
  3. Combine cottage cheese, cream cheese, sour cream, onion, and green pepper.
  4. Add cheese mixture and 2 tablespoons butter to warm cooked noodles.
  5. Place in the bottom of a buttered casserole dish. Pour in meat and stir to mix with the noodles.
  6. Cook about 35 minutes at 325 degrees.

Notes

This is a very easy recipe to make and you shouldn’t have any issues with this one. I used 93% lean ground beef and had a decent amount of fat in the pan after I browned it, so I scooped most of it out so the final result wouldn’t be too greasy. Also, don’t be too liberal with the salt when seasoning the meat; there is quite a bit of sodium in the cottage cheese and this takes care of most of the seasoning alone. Don’t forget to share and subscribe, and I would love to hear from you in the comments below. Enjoy!

Brown Sugar Pie

This recipe is adapted from “A Cook’s Tour of Athens” from Athens, Georgia published in 1963. A classic recipe that uses very basic and fundamental ingredients to make something that equals more than the sum of its parts. You will love this recipe since there are only five ingredients plus the pastry, and could not be any easier or more delicious. The texture is similar to a pecan pie but without the nuts, and the caramelized sugar on top gives a fantastic toffee and molasses flavor. A perfect southern summer picnic treat! 


Ingredients for 1 pie (6 servings)

  • 1 unbaked pastry shell (recipe here)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1.5 cups brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup evaporated milk
  • 1/4 cup melted butter
  • Vanilla ice cream (optional
  1. Add eggs to sugar, then melted butter, then milk.
  2. Mix well and pour into un-cooked shell.
  3. Bake for 1 hour in 350 degree oven or until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean.
  4. Serve with vanilla ice cream or as-is.

Notes

I used home-made pastry and this adds another level of quality and reminds me of when I was a child and my grandmother making pies that had that buttery and flaky crust. You should have no difficulties making this recipe and I would love to hear from you if you try it. Please don’t forget to share and subscribe below! Enjoy!