Wednesday, May 05, 2010

Paprika-Glazed Baby Back Ribs (Page 491)

RECIPE #1157

  • Date: Tuesday, April 27, 2010 -- 7pm
  • Location: Berkeley, CA
  • Kitchen: Our Temporary California Home
  • Dining Companion: Matty
  • Recipe Rating: A-
After deciding to worry less about eating All Seafood All The Time, I really wanted to make some pork! I don't know why I hadn't already made this awesome-sounding recipe, but I hadn't. So I figured it was about time! This recipe was super easy. I cut a couple racks of baby back ribs into individual ribs, then marinated them for 24 hours in a mixture of garlic, red wine, water, sweet paprika, smoked paprika, sherry vinegar, brown sugar, salt, and pepper. I threw the ribs and the marinade in a roasting pan and roasted them, turning occasionally, until the ribs were tender. Then I served the ribs with the sauce that they cooked in. These ribs were incredibly tasty. The flavor was fantastic and the meat was wonderfully tender. They were easily some of the best ribs I have had, and they were super easy to make. My only complaint was that the texture of the sauce was a bit gross -- it came out sort of weird and chunky. It had a good flavor though. I would definitely make these ribs again. Yum.

The recipe is here.

People often ask me if I have learned a lot from this project. And I think I have. If nothing else I have learned cooking methods for many types of foods that I had never prepared before this. That, of course, is valuable. But when I think about the most valuable thing I have taken away from this project it is not a change in skill but rather a change in perspective. Earlier in my life I would often look at a restaurant menu and find one or two items that sounded good to me. I was never particularly picky and I was confident that I could find something I would enjoy eating off most any menu. But often there were only a couple things that I was drawn too -- things that felt familiar to me. Lately, when I look at a menu, I frequently think, "Well this all sounds good." More than 1100 recipes into this project, a lot of dishes feel very familiar. Either I have made them, or I have made something similar, or at the very least the ingredients are ones that I have worked with. And for the most part, I have liked the food that I have been making for the last four years. So more often than not, my feeling when looking at a menu is that it all sounds good to me. Often in social situations I just let someone else make all the food decisions because I can happily enjoy eating whatever is put in front of me. That new-found openness towards and appreciation for a huge variety of food is, in my opinion, more valuable that any particular skills I have learned. And it is something I will carry with me long after this project ends.

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