Sunday, June 23, 2019

Easy Baked Ribs - Video Recipe

Summertime is right for ribs. I guess anytime is fine, but I usually smoke ribs in my patio during the warm weather months. But for this recipe I make it easy by only baking the Ribs.

My latest recipe features cheaper Pork Spare Ribs but you can use any you like or find on sale, include Beef Ribs.

I first add a 3-ingredient dry rub and favorite barbecue sauce on the ribs. Wrap them in foil. Finally, you bake ribs until tender, about 3 to 4 hours.It's important to wrap the ribs in foil so they do not dry out and will stay moist with steaming to reach fall-apart tenderness.

I use a simple dry rub of garlic and chili powder along with salt and pepper, that's it. You can even buy store bought versions, or use your own family recipe.

Memphis Style BBQ dry rub mix

You can use any local favorite dry rub and barbecue sauce that's on sale.

Click on any photo to see larger.

I get my Pork Spare Ribs for about $2 per pound from my local Latin grocery store called Superior Grocers, now that's a good deal.

My simple dry rub ingredients come from a local Dollar Tree and 99c only Store. Barbecue sauce is cheap at any grocery store. If you have a local fave then use that.

This summer I'm racking up with slabs of Easy Baked Ribs for my summer patio parties. How about you?
Easy Smoked Ribs - Video

Play it here. Video runs 2 minutes, 26 seconds.

My YouTube video link for viewing or embedding, just click here.

  • 1 large rack pork spare ribs - about 4 pounds. You can use this recipe for any favorite pork or beef ribs.
  • 2 tablespoons garlic powder - any dried type of garlic.
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder - okay to substitute with paprika.
  • Salt and Pepper to taste - I used about a tablespoon each
* If you have a favorite premixed or grocery store Dry Rub then use that instead of garlic powder and chili powder.

With the meat side up, apply garlic and chili powder, plus salt and pepper - sprinkle over pork spare ribs. You can lightly rub seasoning onto meat side. For extra meaty ribs then add seasonings all over the ribs.

Can you sprinkle on a half a teaspoon of Liquid Smoke? Sure, why not.

Finally, add BBQ sauce. Okay to leave it off, if you like your Easy Baked Ribs plain.

Some recipes call for removing the bottom rib membrane. I don't because the ribs are cooked so long the tough membrane renders to a soft fatty texture. But if you want to follow the crowd go ahead and remove membrane.

 If I was grilling only (no baking stage) then I would slice away most of the membrane on the rib/bone side. Shorter times of grilling would not last long enough to tenderize, so the membrane will be tough and stringy.

rib membrane

To prepare the ribs for baking, wrap Spare Ribs in foil tightly. Try not to tear the foil or leave any holes or the meat juices will steam away and the ribs will dry out a bit too much.

Place the meat wrapped in foil on a rack or pan. Some meat juices will leak out a little bit, so best to have a pan to catch it. I keep the meat side facing up. If meat is in contact with a hot pan surface it will fry, dry and toughen.

The view inside foil while baking.

When done baking wait 5 minutes and carefully unwrap the ribs, they may still be hot. If any meat juices are left you can pour out and save to drizzle on ribs when serving.

I like to serve my Easy Baked Ribs with cool Coleslaw or Potato Salad, click on recipe names to read all about them.

Hindsight - Easy Smoked Baked Ribs
Follow my baking directions above. Just leave off the barbecue sauce. When done wait a few minutes then unwrap and remove foil carefully as ribs will be very hot.

Add the meat to a pan or rack with a bottom. You can also just put the meat on your bbq grill. This is when I add a layer of barbecue sauce to the rib meat. Put on as much or as little as you like. Hey, you can even leave it off.

I do an easy smoking method, that is, I smoke the cooked and baked ribs in a gas grill with a cover for just an hour only. For the real thing, you normally have to smoke meat all day.

My simple smoking method uses a pan of wood chips that rests over a low gas flame. I find the dry wood chips start smoking in less than 5  minutes. I only have to add more chips a couple of times, pushing aside or removing the burnt wood.

The flame is under the wood chips only, so the ribs get indirect heat from the smoke. After an hour the barbecue sauce will dry out some and the meat will get a crunchy coating.

Spare Ribs have most of the meat on one side so make sure the meat is facing up to get all the smoke flavor. Some ribs have meat on both sides, so turn the meat a couple of times during smoking time.

Monday, June 17, 2019

Sriracha Chicken - Deal of the Day Review

My latest Deal of the Day is a 5 alarm fire hot bowl of deliciousness. If you can take the heat, then stay in my kitchen and check out my review of  Sriracha Chicken Bowl by evol. 

Sriracha is a red, spicy sauce first found in Thai and Vietnamese restaurants. You use it like any American regional hot sauce. The flavor is similar to red chili based hot sauces. It was popularized here by the California purveyor, Huy Fong Foods. Locals call it Rooster Sauce because of the cock on the bottle label.

Click on any photo to see larger.

I guess it ended up at my local 99c only Store is because of the firey heat. Not everyone can handle it. But if you live on the spicy side of life, you will like this chicken, rice and veggie bowl.

The chicken pieces are on the small side, but I think real chicken was used, not processed loaf type. The white meat chicken was moist and flavorful.

I especially liked the baby corn and sugar snap peas. The veggie pieces are whole and still had a little fresh snap. There is also broccoli, carrot and onion, too. I enjoyed the veggie medley evol. has come up with.

This is a tasty stir fry made with brown rice. Often rice in frozen fare is mushy and can go from watery to dry - not the case here. The rice kernels had a slight chew, with a nice nutty flavor, you expect from brown rice. I would have liked more brown rice, evol., don't be so skimpy next time. This is a light and small meal at 9 ounces.

As expected evol. uses fresh ingredients without chemical enhancements. I've bought their meals before and have always enjoyed them.

If there is a problem with the Sriracha Chicken Bowl, it's the namesake, Sriracha. Hey, I pour on the hot sauce for Cajun meals and breakfast tacos are loaded with salsa, so I'm no hot sauce wimp. But even my calloused taste buds were put to the test.

It was hard to taste the full veggie and chicken flavors when smothered in fiery Sriracha sauce. Whew, I had to take a breather halfway through the meal. But it was good going down. Although it is a hot dining experience, the heat quickly faded, so all is good, ultimately.

                                                    frozen                zapped

At 9 ounces, it's nice light lunch or dinner, but not enough for hearty eaters. I like the all natural ingredients list.

While I liked my latest Deal of the Day, not everyone will be able to take the heat, especially youngsters, so be judicious with who you serve the Sriracha Chicken Bowl too.

So, on my Cheap$kate Dining Scale of 1 to 9, 9 being best, I give Sriracha Chicken Bowl by evol. a...strong 7!

When I need a blast of hot flavor, I would get this Deal of the Day again.

Friday, June 14, 2019

Father's Day Recipes

I know what guys like to eat, I know what guys want. So get out your notebook, or bookmark this page for a slew of recipes that Fathers everywhere will enjoy.

I've had my father-in-law, Bob, over for lunch and dinner. He's a real meat and potatoes type of guy. So what's on the menu for his Father's Day? First off, I would make him a good old Anglo-Saxon, Old World, hearty Sherperd's Pie (recipe here.)

This most British of dishes is literally made with meat and potatoes. It's a one-pot meal and simplicity defined. Just make your favorite mashed potatoes (or follow my recipe) and spread it over a beefy, tomato paste and Worcestershire-flavored stew, which also includes: ground meat (I used cheap ground turkey,) onion, carrots and peas. And you finish it off in the oven until piping hot. In my video recipe above, cheap beef shank is used.

After that meal your Dad may be put in a food coma, so make sure he has his favorite spot on the couch ready, including a foot cushion and TV remote controller.

For more meaty meals to serve your Dad (or Husband) just click on any of the following recipes: Chicken Satay with Peanut SauceSausage and Sauerkraut with BeerPulled PorkChicken Fried Steak & GravyHomemade Deli PastramiChicken StroganoffRoast Cuban PorkMeatloafCarnitas (Mexican-style pork,) Baked Lasagna with Ground ChickenSweet and Sour PorkMint Roasted ChickenSteak Carne AsadaPork Bourguignon, and BBQ Chicken.

My Louisiana niece, Candyse, is a new mother. You've seen her in a couple of my Mom's cooking videos. I even made one with her husband, and proud papa to newborn Ava, Chef Tony. He's the face (creating a bunch of cooking videos) and main chef for BBQ Guys. When I asked him what Cajun dish he wanted to cook for this blog, he chose a classic Cajun dish - Crawfish Etouffee (written recipe here.) Check out the talented Chef Tony in action in my video below.

Dad's definitely like seafood, so give Chef Tony's rich flavorful stew a try for one of the main men in your life. Other seafood entrees I would recommend are (click on any name to see): Fish and ChipsScallop RollsFish Tacos, Fish Veracruz, a rich Portabella Crab RockefellerCoconut Crusted Fish & Mango SalsaScallops and Snow Peas Stir Fryand Salmon Olympia.

My Louisiana sister Brenda is married to Rich and he is the Dad to 2 of my nephews, who've put many hours at the grill in various restaurants. I always have a good time making cooking videos with them whenever I visit Cajun country, like Chef Zakk's Blackened Fish and Sweet Potato Hash right here.

My oldest nephew, Chef Matt, has a nickname for me.

He also has a cute kid named Miles and he's a handful. If you are thinking of being a dad to a boy then you want to check out my video below of Miles First Bite to see what's in store!

Click on the following recipe names if you would like to cook a Cajun-inspired meal for Father's Day, including Zakk's Cajun Style Pasta Primavera and Blackened Fish with Sweet Potato HashMom's Chicken & Andouille Sausage Gumbo and JambalayaMatt's Alligator Po'Boy Sandwich, and Shrimp and Grits.

If your Dad (or Husband) likes it raw then I have the perfect recipes for you, my Sushi Video Series, that includes a Spicy Tuna Handroll and Nigiri Tuna Sushi (but if he's squeamish of raw fish, I have a colorful California Roll made with cooked krab, here.)

I break it all down for you with easy-to-follow sushi rolling GIF illustrations and a Sushi Rice recipe as well. Click here to get started or click on any recipe name above.

I work with a vegetarian Dad. We're facebook friends so I am enjoying his latest posts featuring his high school daughter who just graduated. She even once posted about making a Mushroom Risotto for his birthday. Well, I don't know her recipe, but if it's good enough for her Pops then is good enough for all my Dad blog readers - click here to see my own Mushroom Risotto recipe.

I like to cooking with mushrooms as you can see by all the following recipes - go ahead and click on one: Mushroom Nigiri SushiMushroom Soup, a Portabella Mushroom & Bell Pepper Burger, and my Portabella Mushroom Fries video below.

Here are some other vegetarian dishes your noshing Husband, Dad or Grandad will enjoy, so click on any following recipe name: Denise's Eggplant BurgerBorschtBlack Bean and Corn SaladBaba GanoushCarrot Nigiri SushiPasta SaladStuffed TomatoesSaag Paneer (creamy India-style spinach,) FalafelSteamed ArtichokeMs Patti's Red Beans and Rice, Eggplant Parmesan,  Braised Romaine Lettuce HeartsPasta with Cashews & GarlicVeggies in Cream with PastaTomato and Basil BruschettaEggplant HummusSnow Peas with Tofu and Ramen Stir FryVeggie Curry with LentilsBaked Pasta with Califlower and CheeseVeggie TempuraFrench Onion Soup, and Pear & Spinach Salad with a Creamy Herb Dressing.

If your Dad has a sweet tooth, then watch my Mom's Homemade Cherry Pie recipe video below.

And finally, if you are an LA local (or just visiting,) and looking for a restaurant to take your Father too, then check out my ongoing nighttime restaurant video series. You'll get menu highlights of a dozen or so restaurants in each of my unique Restaurant Nocturnes videos. I go out at night to bring you a culinary cross-section of dining, both high end and low. So just play the video below to see my latest compilation, Restaurant Nocturnes XIII. And click here, then scroll down to the end of the post to activate links to all the other ones (thirteen videos so far.)

Happy Father's Day to all the Dads out there!

Saturday, June 8, 2019

🏆 NBA Playoffs - Shooting Produce Video & Recipes 🏀

Welcome to the NBA Playoffs, 99 Cent Chef-style, that is. This is basketball played by the rulebook of the Cheap$kate Dribbler. The matchup this year is between the returning Golden State Warriors and newbies, Toronto Raptors.

Great NBA All-Star match-ups have included Magic and Bird, Kawhi Leonard and Kevin Durant, and now: Pete versus The 99 Cent Chef! It's a triple-double of a basketball video event. One-on-one has never been so much fun.

In the video below I take playing with food to surreal and fanciful extremes. What starts out as a simple 5 basket pickup game turns into a food free-for-all, and you can be sure things go splat when there is a drive to the hoop.

During this week of the NBA Playoffs, be a sport and join me for my outlandish halftime entertainment event.

If you are looking for yummy eats for your NBA Playoffs Finals, I got drooly double dribble recipes that will satisfy North of the border Canadian Raptor tastes. There are no turnovers in this recipe list! Just click on any recipe name to be directed to my blog post with yummy photos and tasty text.

Toronto Raptor fans will eat up my riff on an East Coast favorite Lobster Roll -- a cheaper Scallop Roll. This recipe is so scrumptious it was featured in the Huffington Post website! Click here to see the write-up.

  Scallop Roll

If an evening game is played on a chilly night then throw another log on the fire and gather in front of the big screen with a steaming bowl of my cheap$kate Clam Chowder. Fans will throw off their warming blankets, peel off their gloves, and elbow each other for a big bowl.

As you enjoy and cheer on your team check out some classic basketball moves I've adapted.

 First up is the Bell Pepper Bank Shot: a shot that hits the backboard before hitting the rim or going through the net.

Stuff your face Golden State Warrior-style! You gotta have some Mexican cuisine during the NBA Playoffs. and I have a Cali Classic called, Carnitas. Hours of braising reduce a pork shoulder to a tender and succulent Mexican-style taco filling. I even throw in the pigskin for extra flavor. Carnitas are what I order for late night noshing at a taco truck. And dig deep from the bench for second string sides of Vegan Pinto Beans and Mom's Mexican Rice.

My recipe for an LA Street Dog is a freeway pileup of flavors that alley oops any hot dog out there.

A Golden State fan favorite is a California Roll. Like a stadium wave, this California spin on Japanese sushi has traveled to grocery deli cases all around the country. And it uses cheap imitation crab so you will save big bucks on expensive seafood.

Cucumber Chucker: a player who takes frequent, and often imprudent, shot attempts. The term was popularized by the television series Seinfeld.

Canadians and Californians love Pizza. You can avoid the long lines at Domino's or Shakey's Pizza and save your pizza delivery driver tips by making your own pies cheaply with my recipe that uses pre-made cooked pizza crusts from the Dollar Tree store.

What's great about making your own Individual Pizza, is everyone can add their fave ingredients. I like anchovies and an egg on mine -- I know no one else would order that one!

Just set out a stack of individual pizza crusts and a few bowls of pepperoni, shredded cheese, black olives, fresh basil leaves, Italian sausage, a fave jar of marinara sauce -- you get the picture. And it only takes 10 minutes or so in a hot oven and they're done. This is a slam dunk recipe!

Next to pizza and hot dogs, Fried Chicken is a fan favorite and no one fries chicken better than this Penny-Pinching Game Changer.

I've come up with a crunchy coating that will empty the bleachers and have fans storming the kitchen! Get Playoff day going with my Fried Chicken Sandwich Recipe, or use my special flour and spice mix for regular bone-in chicken pieces. Fry up a batch of chicken to hand off when the jump ball starts the game.

Banana Cut: a wide, curving cut, as opposed to a cut that is a straight line. Also known as a 'C' cut.

Bring more Southern flavor to your kitchen, no matter what State or Country you are in. Fans will take a half-time break and huddle around your cast iron pot of my fragrant and spicy Chicken & Sausage Jambalaya and Cajun Gumbo.

 Mom's Chicken and Sausage Gumbo

In Louisiana, we put a dollop of Cajun Potato Salad on our Gumbo. If you don't believe me just check out the video below.

Keepin' it vegan is Amy's longtime friend Ms. Patti. Her Red Beans and Rice entree is a swish, all net. Dig it here:

Onion Over the Back: a foul committed by a player who tries to rebound the onion by pushing, moving or climbing on a player's back who is already in a position to rebound the ball.

Everyone will huddle around sandwich plates of gooey, cheesy Patty Melts, hearty Meatball Subs, Homemade Deli PastramiFalafel Pitas, and steaming Sloppy Joe's (or Sloppy Jane with ground poultry.)

If you're looking for one pot meals, so you don't miss any action on the court, just check out my Pork BourguignonFrench CassouletChicken Tinga StewBaked Pasta with Cheese and CauliflowerBaked Lasagna with Ground ChickenShepherd's Pie, or Sausage & Sauerkraut with Beer recipes.

Baked Lasagna with Ground Chicken

Apple Advance Step: a step in which the defender's lead footsteps toward their man and the back foot slides forward.

Tired of stale, soggy stadium hot dogs? I have a deliciously decadent and easy Corn Dog Recipe made with Vienna sausages -- but you can use regular wieners. Your hungry guest will not step out of bounds dipping these crunchy coated B-balls into a tasty Honey-mustard Sauce.

Since you have the fryer going you might as well make a batch of my Krispy Kreme Doughnuts. They're as light and airy as the Goodyear blimp.

All the above NBA Playoff recipes are easy free throws to do, so head down the court for an easy layup to the dinner table loaded with Pick-and-Roll Cheapskate's gameday eats.

Toilet Bowl Tomato: when the ball hits the rim at a certain angle and then circles around it, can go in or out.

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