Lazy Day BBQ Pork Ribs

I love smoked ribs or BBQ ribs, it’s just always a Caveman staple, but they can be a little work, especially if you want them to turn out tender and fall off the bone. I got a little lazy last weekend, we were out at a local street fair and when I got home I just didn’t feel like putting in the work so I decided to braise the ribs, kind of a set it and forget it, for those of you who know what I am talking about. It’s a great way to really get those ribs tender and impose some flavors into them.

Braising alone just wouldn’t cut it for this caveman, I still had to fire up the grill so after they were braised I slathered on a BBQ sauce and gave them a nice crust before serving them. I all this my lazy ribs.

Hope you enjoy!

Check out www.cookingwithcaveman.com for more recipes and info

Braised Ribs 1

What you will need:

  • 2 racks of St Louis Style pork ribs
  • 2 cups apple cider vinegar
  • 4 cups orange juice
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 2 limes juiced
  • 2 sprigs rosemary
  • 2 sprigs thyme
  • 4 cups BBQ sauce (sweet and spicy BBQ sauce below)
  • Salt and pepper

Braising LiquidBBQ sauce

  • 2 cups apple cider vinegar
  • 4 cups orange juice
  • I cup brown sugar
  • 2 limes juiced
  • 2 sprigs rosemary
  • 2 sprigs thyme

Sweet and Spicy BBQ Sauce

  • 2 tbsp. chili powder
  • 1 tbsp. white pepper
  • 1 tbsp. salt
  • 1 cup ketchup
  • ¼ cup yellow mustard
  • ¼ cup brown sugarOblong_disposable_aluminum_Foil_Pan[1]
  • 1 tbsp. garlic powder
  • 2 tbsp. lime juice
  • 3 tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
  • ¼ cup Mae Ploy Sweet Chili Sauce

 Prep

Sweet and Spicy BBQ Sauce: Combine all the ingredients in to a small sauce pan and then heat under low until warm and well blended. Give it a taste and if it’s what you are looking for let it sit until you are ready.

Cook

I like to use those disposable aluminum pans for this part of it, easy to use and no cleaning involved. If you have a braising pan more power to you.

Preheat your oven to 350°F

Remove the silverskin from the ribs, this is important so that the flavors can penetrate the meat and reduce the chances of it being tough. To see how check out my blog on Memphis ribs

Combine all the braising ingredients in a pan with the ribs and cover them. Put them in the oven and let them cook for about 3-4 hours.

Caveman Tip*** If you let them go too long in the oven they will just shred as you pull them from the pan and you will not be able to put them on the grill for that great BBQ flavor.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Preheat your grill: I like to turn all the burners on high and get that grill smoking hot. You want to crisp up the outside not cook the ribs.

Caveman Tip*** You can obtain that same crust on the outside of the ribs by using your broiler if you don’t want to use the BBQ.

Check the ribs, they should be nice and tender but not disintegrate when you pull them from the pan. At this point you will want to let them slightly cool on the outside so you can handle them. Pat them dry with a paper towel and then liberally coat them with the BBQ sauce.

Once your BBQ is good and hot, put them on the grill for a minute or two per side until you get that caramelization from the BBQ sauce and you are ready to go.

Slice them up and enjoy.

Lamb Chops Take 2

I originally made this dish after a food truck festival one evening. We were there with some friends and as we were leaving everyone decided to come by our house for some food, which is pretty common for us. So I stopped by the local Fresh & Easy looking for a Tri-Tip or something that could feed 5 people. Fresh & Easy isn’t well known for their choice of meat so I wasn’t surprised that they didn’t have a tri-tip.  I contemplated getting steaks but then I saw the lamb chops and thought fun, let’s give that a try.

From what I remember the lamb chops were awesome, but I will admit, after a day and evening of drinking I really didn’t remember the entire recipe, nor did I get any pictures. So this is my grilled lamb chops take two.

Hope you enjoy!

Check out www.cookingwithcaveman.com for more recipes and info

What you will need:

  • 2 Racks of lamb chops
  • 3 Cups red wine & pomegranate juice for the wonderful marinade (see below)
  • 1 Cup Caveman Chimichurri sauce (optional)
  • Salt and Pepper

Marinade

  •  2 Cups red wineOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
  • 1 Cup pomegranate juice
  • 2 sprigs fresh rosemary
  • 1 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 1 tbsp. minced garlic
  • 1 tbsp. salt
  • 1 tbsp. fresh cracked pepper

Caveman Chimichurri

  • 1 bunch flat leaf parsley
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • ½ – ¾ cup EVOO
  • 3 tbsp. red wine vinegar
  • 1 tbsp. red pepper flakes
  • 1 tsp. kosher salt
  • 2 tbsp. yellow mustard
  • 2 tbsp. horseradish sauce

Prep

Marinade: Combine all the ingredients with the lamb chops into a zip lock bag, seal tightly, removing as much air as possible from the bag, and let it sit in the fridge for 1-3 hours

Caveman Chimichurri: Combine the first 6 ingredients (all but the yellow mustard and horseradish) into the food processor and pulse several times until well blended. You may need to add a little more EVOO while blending; I like my mixture to be a little loose as it will be a coating for the chops and not finishing as a sauce. After the mixture is well blended, put into a small bowl and mix in the yellow mustard and horseradish sauce. I do this at the end so I can regulate how much I add in, and make it to my liking.

Cook

Preheat your grill: First make sure you clean the grates and then oil so that the chops will not stick. Turn your grill up to full heat; close the lid and let it get hot for about 10 minutes.

While your grill is getting hot pull the lamb out of the marinade and pat it dry. Coat it liberally with the chimichurri sauce and let it sit out until your grill is ready. You want your meat to get close to rlrst_rack_z[1]oom temp; this will help cook it more evenly.

Caveman Tip*** Grilling won’t take long because you really want to serve lamb rare or medium rare. I prefer medium rare over rare because I like my meat to be warm in the middle and not cold. I strongly recommend getting an instant read thermometer – they are pretty cheap and you will always get your meats the right temp.

When your grill is ready (good and hot) put on the chops. To get a good sear, I let them go 3-5 minutes on each side and then even the ends for a few minutes each. Just keep an eye on them as I said it will not take long. Once you get a good sear on each side, check the temp in the center of the chops, you’re looking for 135°F for medium rare. If you prefer different temperature, you be the judge. If you need to cook them a little longer just use the top rack of the grill or put them off the heat and finish cooking.

Let the chops rest for 10 minutes or so covered and then slice and serve them with your favorite sides.

Enjoy!

Spicy Mushroom Udon Noodle Soup

Turned out to be just one of those weekends where things are just not going right. Had to go into the office on Saturday morning for a few hours to make sure things were going well. Unfortunately, I felt a cold coming on the day before and yes, stuffy nose and all, Saturday morning. I hate colds! On top of all that – it’s been raining for 2 days straight!  Now I know that most of you will go “really, rain for two days? What’s the problem?” However, I live in Arizona and this is not common for us; it’s supposed to be my favorite time of year.  Always sunny with temps in the upper 60’s and low 70’s.

With the rainy weather and “cold temps” (yea sorry, cold temps for me!), I was in the soup mood and Cavewoman was all for it. Being that I made chicken noodle soup a few weeks back, I decided I wanted something different. I decided to tackle a spicy Udon noodle soup. Traditionally, I am a huge chicken noodle, chicken and dumpling, & chicken pot pie fan – but I wanted to change it up with spicy zesty Asian flavors. That’s where the Udon noodle soup idea came in.

Being that I was a prisoner in my home, (rain and all) I went all out and made my own chicken broth. This really isn’t something I would recommend because nowadays you can buy chicken broth for a lot cheaper than you can make it. Don’t get me wrong, you can’t beat the flavors of homemade but for $10 a bowl, you can make it a lot cheaper with store-bought broth. So, if you’re feeling adventurous, check out my chicken broth recipe; if not, don’t be shy and buy the broth, I have plenty in my cupboard.

For more great recipes and tips go to http://www.cookingwithcaveman.comOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
What you will need:

  • 2 tbsp. bacon fat (or other oil)
  • 2 medium carrots, chopped
  • 1 small white onion, chopped
  • 2 celery stalks chopped
  • 2 tbsp. chopped ginger
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 habanero, seeded and chopped (or 1 small jalapeno for less heat)
  • 3 oz. shiitake mushrooms, sliced (1 package)
  • 3 oz. oyster mushrooms, sliced (1 package)
  • 8 cups chicken stock
  • 2 cups shredded chicken breast recipe follows
  • 2 chicken bouillon cubes
  • 1 (7-ounce package) udon noodles, prepared according to package directionsoyster1[1]
  • 1 cup fresh cilantro leaves, for garnish
  • 2 baby bells chopped for garnish
  • 1 cup bean sprouts, for garnish (optional, adds a good crunch)

 

Prep

Grab a small stock pot and fill it with about 8 cups of water and 2 chicken bouillon cubes. Add your chicken breast and bring the water just to a rolling boil. Then you will want to reduce the heat to a simmer and let the chicken cook. It will take about 15 – 20 minutes. Once it’s cooked set the chicken aside and let it cool and then shred it with a fork.

Caveman Tip*** If you boil the chicken it will seize up and get tough. You want to gently boil or simmer the chicken. I also like to add some dried herbs to the water to help add flavor to the chicken. You could also bake it or grill it whatever you want to do.shiitake01[1]

Cook

I like to use the same stock pot as I cooked the chicken in, less dishes to clean. To the pan add the bacon fat or oil and give it a medium heat. Next add the onions, celery, carrots, ginger and garlic to the pan. Cook until the onions become soft, stirring frequently.

Once the onions are soft, add the 8 cups of chicken broth and the diced habanero. Now turn up the heat and bring it to a rolling boil. Let the broth simmer for about ten minutes with the lid off.

Caveman Tip*** By letting the brother simmer with the lid off, it will reduce the liquid slightly and give you a more concentrated flavorful broth. Always taste the broth at multiple times this will give you an idea if it needs more salt or other seasoning. I can’t say this enough; always taste your food as you cook.

While you are finishing you broth get a pan out and cook your noodles as the package describes, don’t forget to salt the water.Shredded Chicken

Caveman Tip*** I like to boil my noodles in a separate pan from the broth that way I can salt the noodles and the starch released from the noodles doesn’t get in my broth.

Once the broth is where you want it add the shredded chicken, shiitake and oyster mushrooms, reduce the heat to low and let it simmer for another 20 minutes with the lid on. This will allow the beautiful flavor of those mushrooms to infiltrate that broth and give it an earthy flavor.

Grab a bowl; place your noodles in center and ladle the broth in. I like to garnish with a little cilantro, bean sprouts and red baby bell peppers.

Enjoy!

Rancho Tia Rosa

Restaurant Reviews By:    Cavewomanimages[2]

Restaurant:  El Rancho de Tia Rosa

Location:  Mesa, AZ, Stripmall

Day & time visited: Friday Night, 5:55pm

Reservations:  Unknown

 

El Rancho de Tia Rosa’s – “where Mexican Cuisine becomes a work of art.”  Well, give me the name of the artist and remind me to NEVER buy from them!  EVER.

Let me give you a little background on why we chose to try Tia Rosas (as I’ve always heard it called).  This is a place that has come highly recommended to me by coworkers and out of town visitors.  More than once over the last 3 years, I’ve heard this place come up in discussion…and so I put it on my list of places to try.  I was told most recently by a woman I work with – don’t go there if you want good food.  That raised a flag for me so I started to remember why it came recommended from others – the atmosphere.   Well, let’s go see for ourselves.

We had gotten home from work on a Friday night and were excited for ‘date night’ because we hadn’t done one in a while. It’s always nice to go out.  Plus, it was early so we figured we can go and have an early dinner before the crowds arrive. I quickly changed my clothes and freshened up my make up while Caveman changed his shirt and grabbed a jacket.

El Rancho de Tia Rosa is located in Mesa, AZ not far from where we live.  Maybe 6 or 7 miles north of where we’re located.  It was easy to find the corner location, but not as easy to see which building was the restaurant. Tucked away in a rather large corner filled with strip malls and workout places, we finally see the neon red, blue and green sign that spells out Tia Rosas.  Honestly – the neon sign was a little tacky…but that’s just my first impression.

It’s 5:55pm and the lobby is already jam packed with people.  My initial thoughts are – Really? This early and this many people??  We put our names in and were told we‘d have a 15-20 minute wait.  We decided to go to the bar because we saw 2 openings at the bar top and I could tell Caveman needed a drink.  We aren’t big fans of huge crowds of people, so we quickly grabbed the 2 seats at the bar.  The biggest plus we have going for us at this point in our experience is – the food must be really darn good!   First impression of the bar?  It’s really small.  Only about 5 seats at the bar top and probably 5-6 tables in a dark room.  It’s a rather cramped bar compared to the rest of the restaurant and gave off an airport vibe.  I can say that because I spend half of my adult life in airports across the US!  Caveman ordered a greyhound (vodka & grapefruit juice) but the busy bartenders told him they didn’t have grapefruit juice.  They also didn’t look him in the eye and laughed when he ordered it.  Hmmmm…..is this something they get all the time?  Not really feeling a friendly vibe.  So, Caveman ordered some cranberry juice with his vodka instead.  He’s not a huge tequila guy on the whole…so no margaritas for him.    I let the bartender know that I wanted a tequila drink that wasn’t “too sweet” because I don’t care for super sweet girly drinks.  I like my drinks to have some substance.

He suggested I get a margarita without the sweet and sour but with grand marnier instead.  He was really nice to me and asked if I had a tequila preference?  “Umm…..Don Julio?” I suggested.  You betcha!!  Almost as quickly as he poured this tasty concoction, our names were called to be seated.  Holy 7 minute wait! We were expecting longer!  I sent Caveman to go get our seats as the bartender told me I had to pay now.  Sure – what do I owe ya?  The damage was $16.86…which means Tia Rosas is charging a good $8 a drink.  Okay. So I threw a $20 his way and went on my mission to find my man!

I followed my Caveman through a very crowded, very loud dining area to a “backroom” in the corner.  This room was small and had only about 5 tables, but the amount of echoing noise blaring from these walls could be compared to that of a parade!  One table had about 20 or so people and the other 2 tables had small children.  Oh the yelling, the screaming laughter, and the annoying echo in my ears! I have a naturally loud voice (or so I’ve been told) and this was a challenge even for me!  Minus all the uproar in that back room, I must say that there was a nice fireplace with a real fire burning.  I am always a fan of “homey environments”

We were immediately brought chips and 2 different kinds of salsa, one was red and the other was green.  Our waiter greeted us and noticed that we had drinks that we carried from the bar, so he stepped away and gave us some time to look.  At this point – I’m hungry! I would describe the red salsa as a liquid with very salty flavor & lacking chunks of goodness.  It contained a lot of pepper seeds but it’s flavor was unauthentic.  The chips were nothing special…possibly even store bought and warmed up, but I’m not sure.  I enjoyed the taste of the green salsa much more.  Though it was also a very fine liquid, it was sweet in essence and tasted much better than the red.  Caveman kept saying it was too sweet…and toward the end, I could really see his point.  But I’m hungry, so keep the green salsa coming!

The menu had several odd choices for a Mexican place. The most noticeable mistake on the menu was, No combination dinners!  What Mexican place doesn’t offer food combos like enchilada and burrito, or tacos and a tamale?  We continued to look and tried to be fair, but the menu seemed confused. What’s up with the clam chowder and peach blossom soup?  Where am I again?  In addition, there was pineapple and mangos in almost every item.  No combos + odd choices = MENU IDENTITY CRISIS!!!  This is going to be a tough night.  Stay optimistic.

I was really struggling with what to order but wanted to stay true to the local favorites.  Caveman decided to order the Nuevo Chile Relleno.  It was described as a roasted poblano chili pepper stuffed with pork picadillo, and topped with pinon nuts, sour cream and cheese.  It was to be served with Spanish Rice. It has been a while since he ordered a chile relleno…and it sounded delicious.  I was torn between Fajitas, Burro or tacos mariscos (seafood).  I went out on a limb since we never order seafood in Arizona and went with the Shrimp Taco and a Salmon Taco.  They came highly recommended by our server, so I decided to try it.  The shrimp taco is covered in a pineapple salsa while the salmon taco gets an orange mango salsa.  A little sweet and savory combination sounded good to me.

As we waited on our food to come, we had trouble ordering more chips and salsa because our server was very busy.  I was finally able to nab the attention of a waitress passing-by and asked if there was any HOT salsa available. Seeing as the red and green salsa was not doing it for us – she had no problem bringing us a cup of hot salsa.  Not only was it heated up hot, but its essence was chipotle based with smoky, peppery heat emulating as it hit your mouth.  It sure was HOT!!!  But I’m not a huge chipotle lover, so the flavor was limiting for me.  I decided to look around at the large dining area adjacent to our corner room and that area had high ceilings and was very well lit, offering a mix of colors to the eye.  From yellows, reds, greens and purples, the décor was all over the place.  At the end of the day, it just doesn’t ring Mama’s Mexican to us.  My headache starts to set in and I realize it’s from the loud voices echoing in our back corner room.  It’s so loud in there, we can’t think and now we’re starting to have a hard time enjoying ourselves.  And our drinks are empty.  They stayed that way for about 10 minutes until our waiter brought the food.  No refills for us during our wait.  The service is getting questionable…

Our food comes out and we reorder our adult beverages and disappointment starts to sink in.  The appearance of our food was unexceptional at best.  Caveman’s Nuevo chile relleno looks like it’s covered in spaghetti sauce, and it’s very small in size.  Stay open minded….he takes a bite or two and all we can say is the sauce on this poblano chile is unsophisticated.  As you take a bite, you get a rush of sweetness that enters your mouth, followed by this unwelcomed burnt flavor.  The sauce tasted like bottled pepper juice and did nothing for the meal.  The sweetness I described was coming from the mysterious pork inside the pepper.  It was served with what they are calling Spanish rice, but quite honestly – the rice mirrored the flavor of a white onion.  Little did we know, that’s the best tasting thing on both of our plates!  For $15, this meal really lags in every possible area.  We’re going to need those drink refills now…

My tacos mariscos.  The presentation was inviting and I couldn’t wait to eat!  Heck – after seeing Caveman’s Chile Relleno, I was certain mine had to be better…

Um…I was wrong.  My first bite was into the rice which was bland, unseasoned, and tasted like an onion. Did I mention it was barely warm in temperature?  The salmon from my salmon taco was not only cold, but EXTREMELY dry and substandard. There was no flakiness and the salmon was lacking any seasoning; including salt and pepper. How long was it sitting under a heat lamp back there?  The mango salsa was forced to do damage control, but when you put cold salsa on cold salmon – it does not result in good.  So I quickly moved onto my Shrimp taco.  The shrimp had better seasoning and good texture, but it was also cold.  What an unimpressive display that I have to pay for!  Not a lot of things dishearten me as much as a restaurant serving cold food!  The one item I ordered that was served hot was the beans.  Deemed frijoles, I expected these to be good. I mean – they are my first warm food all night!  But to my grave dissatisfaction, the beans had an overwhelming BBQ flavor that finished with that same burnt taste from the relleno sauce.  Where is this burnt flavor coming from??  El Rancho de Tia Rosa – you can keep it!  Take it back to the artist that created it.  We don’t want it!!

I left almost all my food on my plate and Caveman ate as much as he could handle of the small portioned pepper.  In my experience, men will eat anything, but this cavewoman wasn’t about to waste her calories on this crap.  Tia Rosa’s can best be described as “overpriced Americanized mexican food” and we will never go back.

Want to hear something totally random??  As we are unhappily waiting to pay our $46.21 bill (that’s without the first round of $20 drinks) – a man dressed as a clown comes up and proceeds to do magic tricks at our table.  **This is not a typo!  A man dressed as a clown performed magic for me.  I think he saw the look of regret on my face and was trying to cheer me up.  I have nothing negative to say about a man going table to table performing magic tricks; but I will bundle this final straw into my earlier comment – unauthentic identity crisis!!!!

Needless to say – we will never go back to El Rancho de Tia Rosa.

On a scale of 1-10, 1 being poor, 5 being mediocre, and 10 being the best experience I can describe, here is how I rate the following for El Rancho de Tia Rosa:

Atmosphere – 3     Service -4     Appetizers- 3     Food-1    Drin

Home Alone BBQ Pork Chop

This week the cavewoman is out of town for work so looks like I am cooking for one this week. Usually this means I tend to be less healthy since I am only cooking for myself but now that the holidays are over we are trying to cut back and drop some of winter weight. With the healthy frame of mind, for tonight at least, I thought about a quick and easy BBQ pork chop dish with a bitter green salad and asparagus. It turned out pretty well the sweetness from the pork balanced well with the bitter greens, and I was able to use pull double duty on the pork marinade as a salad dressing.  For other recipes like this visit www.cookingwithcaveman.com

What you will need: O

  • 2 Center Cut Pork Chops
  • 1 Cup Italian dressing (recipe below or use store bought)
  • 2 Cups BBQ sauce (recipe below or use store bought)
  • Salt and Pepper

Pork Marinade

  • 1 Cup red wine vinegar
  • 1 Cup of olive oil
  • ½ tbls. garlic powder
  • ½ tbls. onion powder
  • ½ tbls. honey or white sugar
  • 1 tbls. dried oregano
  • ½ tbls. ground black pepper
  • ¼ tsp. dried thyme
  • ½ tsp. dried basil
  • ½ tsp. dried parsley
  • 1 tablespoons salt

Quick BBQ Sauce

  • 1 cup ketchupBraungerPorkChops1[1]
  • ¼ cup cider vinegar
  • 2 tbls. Molasses
  • 1 tbls. Yellow mustard
  • 1 tbls. Chicken broth
  • ½ tsp. kosher salt
  • ½ tsp black pepper
  • 2 tbls. Sriracha (or your favorite hot sauce)

 

Prep

BBQ Sauce: Combine all the ingredients into a small sauce pan and heat on low for 5-10 minutes until the ingredients are well blended. Let it cool until you are ready to use.

Pork Marinade (Italian Dressing): Combine all the ingredients and mix well. Use half for the marinade and reserve the other half for the salad by covering well and storing in the fridge.

Caveman Tip*** `While you are prepping dinner and getting things ready or just puttering around the house doing chores just drop the pork in a zip lock back with the marinade and let it sit in the fridge until you are ready to cook, I like to let it go 45 to 60 minutes

Preheat your grill: First make sure you clean the grates and then oil so that the chops will not stick. Turn your grill up to full temp, close the lid and let it get hot for about 10 minutes.O

While your grill is getting hot pull the pork out of the marinade and pat it dry. Now liberally coat it with the BBQ sauce and let it sit until your grill is ready.

When you grill is good and hot, the temp gage should read 700 degrees or better, place your pork on the grill directly over the heat source. Close the lid and let the pork site for 2 minutes and then turn them 90 degrees and close the lid again. This should leave those great grill marks you are looking for. After 2 more minutes flip the chops over close the lid and let them sit on the grill for 2 minutes. After the two minutes is up rotate them 90 degrees and close the lid. You will want them to sit another (you guessed it) 2 minutes.

At this point you will want to temp your chops depending on the thickness they may be done. You are looking for 145 degrees. If they are ready pull them and let them rest, if not put them on the top rack and turn your burners to low. You will continue to cook until you reach 145 degrees, it should not take long.

Let the chops rest for 5 minutes or so and serve them with your favorite sides. I just so happened to make a bitter salad and asparagus.

Enjoy!