GIVE DAD A taste of forbidden pleasures on Father's Day. Our decadent menu, for four to six people, includes ribs in a tasty homemade barbecue sauce, Mexican deviled eggs and individual Texas turtle cheesecakes.
Our two side dishes, shredded zucchini salad and marinated cabbage salad, are guaranteed crowd pleasures. The tart cabbage salad is a delicious alternative to more traditional cole slaw recipes.
This menu serves four to six hungry people. The menu can be expanded to fit your guest list, just be sure to allow about three-quarters-pound of ribs per person.
Any kind of ribs can be used. Baby back ribs are great -- but expensive. We used pre-sliced country-style spareribs.
The ribs can be served warm or cold. If they're cooked ahead of time, store them in the refrigerator, wrapped in foil or placed in a covered container. If you'd like to reheat them, heat the foil-wrapped ribs in a 350-degree oven for 15 to 20 minutes to take the chill off.
Ribs with BBQ Sauce
Pinch of ground sage
4 1/2 to 5 pounds pork ribs, such as baby-back ribs
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
3 tablespoons grated onion
1 10 3/4 -ounce can tomato puree
1/3 cup Worcestershire sauce
1/3 cup honey
3 tablespoon red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon dry mustard
Pinch of cayenne pepper
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the sage and ribs and bring back to a boil. Reduce the heat and let the ribs simmer five minutes. Drain off the water and if you're going to do this ahead of time, store the meat in the refrigerator.
To make the barbecue sauce: place the vegetable oil in a saucepan over medium-low heat. Add the onion and cook gently until the onion is tender and light yellow.
Add the puree, Worcestershire sauce, honey, vinegar, and mustard and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Taste and season with cayenne and salt and black pepper. The sauce may be made ahead and refrigerated.
To finish cooking the ribs: heat the oven to 350 degrees. Place the ribs in a low roasting pan and lightly baste the top side with sauce. Cook in the oven about one hour, turning the ribs and lightly basting every 10 to 15 minutes.
The ribs can also be grilled. Cook in water as directed then finish cooking over a low fire on a charcoal grill, turning every 15 minutes. Start basting with the barbecue sauce after 30 minutes. Total cooking time is about 60 minutes.
-- "Picnics" by Marilyn Myers -- Running Press; 1988.
Mexican Deviled Eggs
4 hard-cooked eggs
1/4 cup grated sharp Cheddar cheese
2 tablespoons mayonnaise
2 tablespoons salsa medium-hot to hot
1 tablespoon chopped green onion
1 1/2 teaspoons sour cream
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Slice a small bit of egg off each tip so that egg will stand upright. Cut egg in half. Transfer yolks to medium bowl. Add remaining ingredients and mix thoroughly with fork. Mound mixture into eggs. Refrigerate before serving. Eggs can be transported in
-- Adapted from "Cooking with Bon Appetite Picnics and Barbecues" -- Knapp Communications; 1986.
Shredded Zucchini Salad
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup sour cream
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 1/2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
4 cups shredded zucchini
1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
Pimento strips, optional
In small mixing bowl, place the mayonnaise, sour cream, lemon juice and mustard and combine thoroughly with a wire whisk. Chill covered for one hour. The dressing may be stored in a covered jar in the refrigerator for up to four hours or until serving time. When ready to serve, pour the dressing over the zucchini and the tomatoes and toss lightly. Mound on a bed of chilled lettuce leaves and watercress. Garnish with pimiento strips if desired.
Note: the zucchini and the tomatoes may be prepared for up one hour before serving and kept in separate plastic bags in the refrigerator until ready to mix with the dressing. If the zucchini retains too much moisture, place it into a strainer for a few minutes before assembling the salad.
-- "The California Heritage Cookbook" by The Junior League of Pasadena -- Doubleday; 1976
Marinated Cabbage Salad
1 large cabbage
1 green bell pepper
1 medium red onion
1 cup sugar
3/4 cup salad oil
1 cup white wine vinegar
1 teaspoon whole celery seed
1 teaspoon whole mustard seed
1 tablespoon salt
Tear cabbage into bite-sized pieces and slice the green pepper and the onion into very thin rings, separating the rings. Remove and discard any seeds from the pepper. In a large mixing bowl or deep salad bowl place a layer of torn cabbage, sliced green peppers and onions. Repeat two more times, ending with the onion.
In a one-quart jar combine the remaining ingredients. Shake vigorously for 30 seconds or until combined well. Pour over layered cabbage mixture. Cover and chill at least four hours. Periodically toss the mixture to marinate the ingredients evenly.
When ready to serve, toss the greens well in the dressing mixture and using a slotted spoon, place individual servings on chilled salad plates. Keeps well for up to 24 hours.
3' -- "The California Heritage Cookbook"
Texas Turtle Cheesecake Cupcakes
1 pound cream cheese, cut into cubes
3/4 cup sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Large pinch of salt
For the topping:
1 3-ounce bar bittersweet chocolate such as Lindt, coarsely chopped (the same amount of semisweet chocolate chips can be substituted but is not nearly as good)
12 caramels, quartered, such as Borden's Eagle Caramels
1/2 cup pecans
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Place the cheesecake ingredients in a food processor and blend for three minutes, until perfectly smooth. Stop and scrape down the sides once or twice. (An electric mixer can also be used.) Place 12 foil baking cups on a baking sheet or place cupcake liners in a muffin tin. Ladle the cheesecake batter into the cups.
Combine the topping ingredients in a bowl and generously top each cheesecake with this mixture. Try and keep the pieces of caramel toward the center.
Bake in preheated oven for about 35 minutes. Cool completely, then refrigerate. Let come to room temperature before serving. Recipe is easily doubled.
-- "The Farm Market Cookbook" by Judith Olney -- Doubleday; 1991, $25