Saturday, January 26, 2008

Coconut Rice Pudding and Baby Back Ribs

Since I didn't get out like I had planned to this weekend I had time to cook.  I spent a while thinking about what I wanted to make but I wasn't really inspired.  Food network was doing a chili thing this weekend so everyone was making chili, which wasn't what I really wanted.  I thought about making ribs since I had plenty of time now and had no intention of going anywhere but I didn't see any at the farmer's market.  But then I went to Walmart and they had some vacuum packed ribs and I figured what the hell.  So I made baby back ribs and coconut rice pudding.  

For the rice pudding I based my making on this recipe.  Except I couldn't find light coconut milk so I used 3 cans of regular coconut milk.  And I stirred in the vanilla extract along with just a tiny bit of cinnamon just before I put it in the dish.  I would post a picture but I am a horrible food pornographer and couldn't get a decent picture.  I didn't follow their crispy coconut recipe, I just toasted some sweetened coconut flakes in a pan and sprinkled it on top.  I probably should have waited to put it on after the pudding cooled but I didn't think of it until I had put just about all of it on.  Flavorwise I'm pretty happy.  Not as coconutty as it smelled when it was cooking, which is probably good because while it was cooking I thought wow this is REALLY coconutty.  Pretty mild in flavor, pretty light, not as creamy as some other rice puddings I have made.  I am stopping eating it until after the ribs finish and I eat some real food.

I followed Alton Brown's recipe (obviously) for the ribs.  Though I didn't have cayenne pepper, jalapeno seasoning, onion powder or thyme so I used a bit of paprika, italian seasoning mix and a beef seasoning mix that I had.  I also don't have wine so I used birch beer, cider wine vinegar and 3 cloves of garlic for one rack of ribs rather than the 2 cloves for 2 racks.  It was a bit too garlicky but that's ok.  Either my oven doesn't hold temp well enough or the cooktime was too short... I cooked them for 2.5 hours at 250, 30 mins at 350 and then broiled it with the sauce like his recipe... I know which one I think it is.  Not all of the collagen and fat had dissolved so the texture of the ribs was not fall off the bone like it was supposed to be.  I had a feeling when I looked at them after the 2.5 hours and they didn't look like enough of the collagen had dissolved so I stuck them in for the 30 mins while the sweet potato fries baked.  Since the sweet potato fries were done I figured I'd move on with the ribs as well.  It wasn't bad for a first try but there's definitely room for improvement.

As for the sweet potato fries, I did them like I always do them.  Tossed in a bit of oil then sprinkled with salt and my paprika-cumin-cinnamon blend.  They came out decent though I burned some of them because I baked them in a pyrex dish and had it on a low rack so I had room for the ribs too.

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