Archive for the ‘Stuff Dan Makes’ Category

Dan smoked some ribs yesterday, and they were DELICIOUS! I can’t really take credit for anything but helpful comments such as “So what if that’s what the recipe says? We don’t need to do it that way” and “Um, no, we’re not using store bought barbecue sauce. We’re making our own.”

Ribs waiting to be smoked with their friends The Salmons, also waiting to be smoked

Ribs waiting to be smoked with their friends The Salmons, also waiting to be smoked

Sorry, we don’t have pictures of the finished products because they just didn’t last long enough to take any. I’ve eaten a LOT of ribs in my life, and those were absolutely the best ribs I’ve ever had. I’m not even kidding.

Here’s the link to the recipe he used: http://virtualweberbullet.com/rib1.html, except that we omitted the MSG because MSG scares us, and we did not remove the membranes because they make us feel like cavemen, and we like that feeling.

Here’s the recipe for the barbecue sauce. I’m not totally uncompromising, so we did use regular store bought ketchup (rather than figuring out how to make that from scratch too). We did make a few adjustments, so I’ll write what we did below, but here is the original recipe: http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/Bourbon-Barbecue-Sauce-103642 (from Bon App├ętit, July 2000).

Bourbon Barbecue Sauce

2 cups ketchup

1/2 cup dark unsulphured molasses

1/3 cup bourbon

1/4 cup Dijon mustard

1 tablespoon habanero sauce

2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce

2 teaspoons paprika

1 teaspoon garlic powder

1 teaspoon onion powder

1/2 cup honey

  • Combine all ingredients in heavy large saucepan.
  • Bring to boil over medium heat, stirring occasionally.
  • Reduce heat to medium-low; simmer uncovered until sauce thickens and flavors blend, stirring frequently, about 30 minutes or so.
  • Can be made 1 week ahead. Cover; chill.

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Dan loves cucumber salad, like the kind you would get at a Japanese restaurant. Whenever we make it, he has to scurry away to a computer to get the ratios of dressing ingredients to cucumbers. I thought I’d take this opportunity to write down exactly what we do so that we don’t have to scour the internets next time we make it.

Cucumber Salad

The recipe below is in units of cucumber, i.e. this is for one English cucumber. We triple this each time because a) it gets more delicious as it marinates in its own juices, and b) three cucumbers’ worth of salad fits perfectly in one large (8 cup) Gladware container.

1 English cucumber (about 1 lb), sliced very thin

1 tsp sugar

1/4 tsp salt

1 tsp sesame oil

1/4 cup rice vinegar

2 tsp sesame seeds (we like to use a mix of black and white sesames)

1/4 tsp red pepper flakes (if you like a little spice)

  1. Wash cucumbers and cut off tops and bottoms.
  2. Optional – Decorate the sides of the cucumbers either by peeling off a few strips of skin, or by scraping with the tines of a fork.
  3. Thinly slice cucumbers and place in large bowl. We got a Kyocera mandolin from Amazon for about $25 and it makes this salad REALLY easy and fun to make.
  4. Sprinkle sesame seeds and red pepper flakes onto cucumbers.
  5. In a small bowl, combine sugar, salt, oil, and vinegar; stir until sugar and salt dissolve.
  6. Pour dressing on cucumbers and then stir to coat all cucumbers with dressing.
  7. Allow to marinate. Overnight in the fridge is best, but a few hours will do. We usually transfer the salad to an airtight container for easier storage in the fridge.

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I have a lot to learn, like how long it takes to actually write down exactly what I’m doing, and remembering to take pictures. Last night, I made chicken enchiladas, Mexican rice, salad, sauteed greens, and guacamole, and I tested these dishes on Paula and Todd (and Dan, of course). I forgot to take pictures or write down what I did on all of the dishes, so I’ll have to re-post this menu later. This guacamole is probably my most requested item, so I’ll post that recipe first.


3 enormous, ripe avocados (or 4 small)

1/4 – 1/3 cup minced fresh cilantro

1 tsp salt

1/2 – 1 tsp fresh ground pepper

juice of 2 limes

1/2 habanero pepper, de-pithed, de-seeded, and very finely minced

1/2 red onion, finely chopped

Quarter the avocados (for easiest peeling and pit removal). Remove peels and pits, saving one pit (to add to the guacamole last so it doesn’t get brown). Place avocado quarters in a bowl, mash just a tiny bit with a potato masher or a fork, and then add all but the onion. After chopping, place the onion in a colander and pour boiling water over it. This wilts the onion and removes some of the bitterness. Add the wilted onion to the bowl and mash just a bit more, leaving significant amounts of avocado chunks so your guests do not think you’re serving guacamello. Place in a lovely high sided serving bowl for ease of chip-dipping. Add that pit you saved – just stick it right in the middle of the bowl.

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