Monday, June 27, 2011

Date Night Dinner: Cabbay Ole Tex-Mex Pork Ribs

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Well, we are back from DC and the cook-off.  Going away for just a few days always knocks me off kilter.  There is something about the whirlwind packing, unpacking, flight-catching, trying to fit everything in, and then getting home with a pile full of dirty clothes that is just exhausting.  Fun, well worth it, but exhausting.

The cook-off was a long day (9 a.m. to 4 p.m.).  Everyone was great and despite a small setback with some missing wine of mine, it was a fun day!  Since a smoker can basically be left alone, John and I got to pop over to many of the other booths and see what was going on!  At the end of the day came judging, and lo and behold, my ribs WON!  I am so excited that in October I will be traveling to Kansas City to cook these ribs again for $5,000.  It's by far the biggest prize I've won so far, and I am thrilled!  The judges loved the interesting depth of flavors and thought that the cabernet was the perfect pairing.  I agree!

The ribs came out amazing with very little effort because we used a real smoker (something I have never done before; how cool am I now?!).  We even got to take the smoker home and it is on its way to Mom and Dad’s as we speak.  We’re planning to smoke some stuff for Fourth of July weekend down in NY!  DC is an amazing city and if you are a US citizen and never made it there, I encourage you to go.  It’s a stark reminder of how many great opportunities we have in our lives as Americans.
Cabbay Ole Tex-Mex Pork Ribs
Serves:  8
1/2 cup brown sugar
4 teaspoons salt
4 teaspoons pepper
2 tablespoons cayenne (adjust to taste)
2 teaspoons cinnamon
2 tablespoon cumin
4 teaspoons paprika
6 pounds pork short ribs
3 cloves garlic
1/4 cup small red onion
2 tablespoons cilantro
1 cup Gnarly Head Cabernet Sauvignon
1/4 cup Worchestershire sauce
1 teaspoon liquid smoke

Combine salt, pepper, cayenne, cinnamon, cumin and paprika.  Rub into the pork ribs (both sides) and let sit for one hour.  Preheat the smoker (or grill).  Chop up the garlic, red onion and cilantro and grind them together into a paste.  Combine with Gnarly Head Cabernet Sauvignon, Worchestershire sauce, and liquid smoke.  Cook ribs about 2 hours until cooked through (160-170 degrees F) basting often with the Cabernet mixture.  Serve and garnish with a little fresh cilantro.

Adjust the cayenne to your spice preference since these were definitely fiery ribs (and you all know how I just love my spices hehe). 

Funny story about the event; the emcee was a DJ for a local radio station and he couldn't figure out how to pronounce my recipe.  He was like why are they cabby?  I said, no cab-BAY, like Cabernet to rhyme with Ole!  Haha, you always need a way when the judges are reading hundreds of recipes to really make them sit up and say hmm.  I like to do it with my recipe name (besides, doesn't Tex-Mex Pork Ribs sound sooo boring?!).
Anyway, we are home, I have a big trophy, and a fun trip coming up.  I know a lot of you are loyal followers so while I have this chance, the women on my blogroll and in my life through Contest Cooking have for the past year really pushed me above and beyond.  I have thought bigger, better, and more creatively in my kitchen.  This win is a result of their encouragement, support, and wisdom (which they always give freely).  I couldn't have done it without them so check out their blogs and I know you will not be disappointed.

Until the next time my oven is on...

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Welcome! I'm Dani (aka the Growing Foodie), just a girl balancing her career and passion for all things edible in NYC. I hope you'll join me in my adventures in life, through food. (Click for More)
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