Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Recipe for This Weeks Bargains (See The Bargains Below This Post)

So I get asked a lot about how to properly prepare Spareribs. First, what are spareribs? Spareribs are considered the most flavorful and succulent of the rib family. Spareribs are pork, of course, and are cut from the bottom section of the ribs and breastbone of the pig, just above the belly. (Baby back ribs are from the top of the rib area along the back.) With the removal of the bacon, a thin layer of meat remains on the spareribs. Spareribs are considered to be more meaty and succulent than baby back ribs. Now how do you prepare ribs for the Bar-B-Que?

There is an important question you must ask yourself first, boil or not to boil. That is the question. You CANNOT buy ribs and then just grill them. They WILL be tough to eat and you will never get all the meat off the bone. They MUST be prepped before grilling or baking.
So what do I do? I have boiled and braised, but more often than not, I put them in the pressure cooker. I find that cooking them faster in the pressure cooker helps maintain some of the flavor that is lost in boiling the ribs.

There are both pros and cons for boiling spareribs.

• Pro: Since the ribs are fatty, many cooks choose to parboil spareribs for a short time or boil for an extended period of time to render out the fat, tenderize the rib meat, and shorten cooking time. The ribs are then further cooked on the grill or in the oven, usually with a Bar-B-Que sauce.

• Con: Boiling the meat not only renders out the fat, it also naturally releases the spareribs natural juices, both of which contain the true flavor of the ribs. Although spareribs are often served glazed or with a bar-b-que sauce, the meat itself can be dry. Long cooking with low heat either by oven or indirect heat on a grill accomplishes the same tenderness and fat-rendering goals without loss of flavor or moisture

BOILING: I recommend Par Boiling which is a slow rolling boil for about 15 to 30 minutes.

In a 9x13 pan add enough water
In a large pot cover the ribs with cold water and bring to a boil. Lower heat to a very light boil and remove after about 20 to 30 minutes or so.


Cut Racks into quarters so they fit and add about 1 to 2 cuos of water. Lock lid and bring to boil, then pressure cook for about 8 to 10 minutes


After boiling, braising or pressure cooking the ribs, place them on a pre-heated grill that has been sprayed with oil. Grill the ribs about 8 to 10 minutes on low to medium low fire. During the last 2 minutes of cooking slather the top with your bar-b-que sauce that has been slightly warmed on the side burner or in the microwave and flip over for one minute. Slather the other side now while the sauce side down is cooking, after the minute for side one is up, flip and cook again for another minute. Slather more bar-b-que sauce on the top while the other side is cooking. If you cook it any longer, the sugar in the bar-b-que sauce will burn and ruin the ribs. Warm some sauce on the side and serve with the ribs


I also have braised them in the oven. This takes longer but makes for a better tasting rib. Here is a great way to tenderize them before grilling. You should make a dry rub and a braising liquid. This is my favorite recipe for braising.

For 2 whole slabs pork baby back ribs:
Dry Rub:

8 tablespoons light brown sugar, tightly packed
3 tablespoons kosher salt
1 tablespoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon Jalapeno Seasoning (Optional)
1/2 teaspoon Old Bay Seasoning
1/2 teaspoon rubbed thyme
1/2 teaspoon onion powder

Braising Liquid:

1 cup white wine
2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon honey 2 cloves garlic, chopped

Preheat oven to 250 degrees.

In a bowl, combine all dry ingredients and mix well.
Place each slab of baby back ribs on a piece of heavy-duty aluminum foil, shiny side down.
Sprinkle each side generously with the dry rub.
Pat the dry rub into the meat.
Refrigerate the ribs for a minimum of 1 hour.
In a microwavable container, combine all ingredients for the braising liquid.
Microwave on high for 1 minute.
Place the ribs on a baking sheet.
Open one end of the foil on each slab and pour half of the braising liquid into each foil packet.
Tilt the baking sheet in order to equally distribute the braising liquid.
Braise the ribs in the oven for 2 1/2 hours.
Transfer the braising liquid into a medium saucepot.
Bring the liquid to a simmer and reduce by half or until of a thick syrup consistency.
Brush the glaze onto the ribs.
Place under the broiler just until the glaze caramelizes lightly.
Slice each slab into 2 rib bone portions.
Place the remaining hot glaze into a bowl and toss the rib portions in the glaze.
This recipe makes several batches of dry rub.


Simple Way: I will often cook my ribs in a 9x13 pan of shallow water, covered with foil at 275 degrees for about 2 hours. (This is actually another way of par boiling)
Then I finish them on the grill. (See on the Grill above)

Or: You can also bake them in the oven. I do not favor this as much. They can taste kind of gaming, but some people like them and they are easy to bake then finish on the grill.

• Plan on 1 to 1-1/2 pounds per person when purchasing spareribs.
• Remove the thin membrane on the backside of the ribs before cooking, if the butcher has not done so. Loosen a corner with a sharp knife, grip tightly and tear from the ribs.
• General baking instructions: bake at 325 degrees F. for 1-1/2 to 2 hours.
• If you plan on marinating the ribs in a liquid or spice rub for more than 4 hours, choose a marinade with very little salt. The salt will begin to cure the ribs resulting in a flavor more like ham or bacon.
• When finishing spareribs on the grill, add the sauce during the last few minutes to avoid flare-ups and burns or just after removing from the grill. (See on the Grill above)
• If you wish to use your marinade as a basting or baking sauce, be sure to boil it for about 5 minutes before reusing.
• When oven-baking, place the ribs on a rack inside a baking pan lined with foil so the fat can drip off.
• When the ribs are done, the meat will shrink back from the tips of the bones and the bone should wiggle easily in the meat.
• In general, plan on at least 1-1/2 hours to braise ribs.
• For baking, plan on 1-1/2 to 2-1/2 hours.

This weeks bargains (May 21 - May 27, 2008)

OK, here are some great deals this week. With Memorial coming up, you usually find great deals on Bar-B-Que type meats. Also, good deals on sodas and produce are usually better this week also. So let's see what is on sale.


Pork Spareribs .99¢ lb
Whole Chicken .69¢ lb
Chicken Half Breasts with Ribs Attached $1.29 lb. Buy these instead of boneless/skinless and SAVE!!! They also taste better.
Rib-Eye Steak $3.99 lb (That's over $3.00 off) Rib-eye at this price is a great deal.
Sirloin Steak $2.89
Blueberries 2 for $3.00. Great Price and good in pancakes and muffins.
Pepsi Products 5 for $11.00
7 UP Products 4 for $10.00
Coca-Cola Products 5 for $13.00


New York Steak $3.49 lb. That's $5.50 savings
Chicken Breasts Bone In $.99¢ lb
Coca-Cola, Pepsi and/or 7 Up Products 5 for $10.00


If you spend $40.00 or more on participating products at Von's you will receive 2 free movie tickets valid 5/7 - 6/10
Pork Spareribs $1.00 lb
Sweet White Corn On The Cob 4 for $1.00


Rib-Eye Steaks $3.99 lb
White Corn On The Cob 4 for $1.00
Best Food Mayonnaise $1.99 (Great Bargain)
Fresh Raspberries $2.99 (Lowest I Have Seen This Year at Von's They Are $3.99)


Corn On The Cob 5 for $1.00
Strawberries .99¢ for 16oz Pkg
Red, Green, or Romaine Lettuce only .49¢ each
Haas Avocados .79¢ each

Cherries are coming into season so most places have the for $2.99. A great snack for kids. Try this trick. Put them in the freezer and serve them to the family when they get home. They will love them!!! Plus, they're healthy!!!

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

The Grocery Game

For super bargains here is a great website that will help match coupons with current sales and save you hundreds of dollars a month, literally!!! You have to join, but the first 4 weeks is only $1.00. Teri Gault is the undisputed coupon queen and her website is easy to use. Enter your zip code and clip the coupons. I saw her ring up a basket of groceries for $280.00 and after the week's coupons. Her total came to $78.00 on name brand foods. That is a savings of $202.00!!!!
Maybe we can co-op on this and share the $5.00 a month fee (charged at $10.00 every 8 weeks.)
To view the website click here:

Month Of May Updates

Unfortunately, during the month of May I will be at Wood Badge and won't be able to update the weekly sales ads. There will only be one regular Wednesday update. That will be on May 20th. The other May updates will occur on Sunday, May 18th and Sunday, June 1st.
Then effective June 4th, they will continue to be updated on Wednesday. Sorry for the delay in the updates.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Gregg’s Buttery Cooked Carrots

Here is a very easy vegetable side dish that everyone will love. I have served it many times and it always gets rave reviews. VERY simple to make!!!

Gregg’s Buttery Cooked Carrots

1 Pound Baby Carrots
1/4 Cup Butter
1/3 Cup Brown Sugar

1. Cook carrots in a large pot of boiling water until slightly tender. Drain off most of the liquid, leaving bottom of pan covered with a little water. Set the carrots aside.

2. Stir butter and brown sugar into the water. Simmer and stir until the butter melts. Return carrots to the pot, and toss to coat. Cover, and let sit for a few minutes to allow flavors to mingle.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

New To The Blog

See These New Entries:
Cooking Classes
My White Bread Recipe
Great Buys at the Grocery Store

Also, be sure to check the polls at the bottom of the page.

I will try and add a new recipe each day or so for some of the items on sale this week. So check back often.


There seems to be some interest in setting up cooking classes or cooking sessions. I am more than happy to set up cooking classes for anyone interested. We can combine everyone and spend part of the day preparing everything for that night's meal. Or, one on one sessions can be arranged. I can also set up a class on food preparation, like cutting up a whole chicken,de-boning, correct knife usage along with proper cutting, mincing, slicing techniques, making sauces or your own mayonnaise, making appetizers, making bread, etc... If you are really interested email at:

We can set anything up. Day classes, evening classes, we can even arrange a specific time each week for a class or classes.
I think this would be fun for everyone. Let me know if this interests you.

My Popular White Bread Recipe

By request, here is my Simple and Easy White Bread Recipe

I have honed this recipe over time to make it a light and airy bread, perfect for sandwiches or with homemade jams. It will be soft and light.
You will never want store bought bread again. I guarantee it!!!
So here is my recipe. I hope you enjoy it. - Gregg

Gregg's Simple White Bread Recipe
Gregg Fry


2 1/2 Cups Water, at a temperature between 109 and 115 F

1 Package Rapid Rise Yeast (If using regular yeast, use 2 packets and add to Warm Water with the sugar and let it "bloom" for 5 minutes) DO NOT put Salt in the water it will slow the yeast. Then add liquid to flour and salt
3 Tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons salt
3 Tablespoons Vegetable Oil
6 1/2 cups flour


1. Add 5 1/2 Cups Flour (Set the other cup of flour aside), Sugar, Yeast & Salt in a large bowl or Kitchen Aid Stand Mixer Bowl.
2. Pour in warm water and mix together. If using Kitchen Aid Mixer set to 3.
3. As it starts to come together add the oil.
4. Slowly add the the remaining cup of flour and mix for 10 minutes, this is just like hand kneading. Make sure not to over heat mixer, stop and readjust as necessary, then skip to step 7.
Or if kneading by hand, slowly add some of the last cup of flour on a wooden surface, and knead until the dough gets sticky again.
5. If by hand, Keep adding more flour and keep kneading, pushing forward, folding over, push forward, fold over. Until the last cup of flour is added
6. Put a little vegetable oil, in the large bowl, that has been scraped clean, add the kneaded dough and roll it over a few times to coat. Or coat with spray cooking oil, spraying the sides of the bowl and the exposed dough.
7. Cover, let stand in a warm place for about one hour or until it doubles in size,
8.Punch down, cut the dough in half and roll it out to about a 9 inch by 18 inch rectangle.
9.Roll it up, tuck in the ends and place each loaf in very well lubricated heavy rolled aluminum 9.5" loaf pans. Preheat Oven Now to 375(f)
10. Cover with a damp cloth or plastic wrap, set in warm place and let it rise again for about 45 minutes or until just a few inches (maybe 4") over the top of the pans.
11. Use a sharp knife to put a few slashes in the top, brush with a little beaten egg or milk, and put into a pre-heated 375 (f) oven for 30 minutes.
12. The bread is done when an instant read thermometer reads 190 (f).
13. Let rest on wire rack for a few minutes, then turn out and cool.

TIP: I find it easier to slice the bread upside down. You can gauge the slices because the bread is square from the pans.

Your house will smell great for hours!!!! Nothing like fresh baked bread to make your home cozy.

OK, now if you have any questions call or email me. I am happy to help. I can also help you make it if you like. Sometimes it is easier to see how to do it the first time.