A great July 4th for me is one spent with friends and family, naturally - with good food and lots and lots of laughs. While we all love hot dogs and hamburgers, we decided to raise the bar with some slow cooked baby back ribs and some BBQ'd corn on the cob. Dinner was rounded out with an easy pasta salad and a great big watermelon that I actually walked one mile - in both directions - to get. Why? That's a story for another day..
These ribs were so easy to prepare and with my husband's expertise at the grill, they came out great! I like a hint of cinnamon on the meat and I love a little tinge of spice. These had the perfect combination of both.
The corn was cooked on the grill in its husk and when it was finished, my daughter thought they were actually ruined because of the blackened edges of the husk. They were far from ruined and with a brush of some chive butter, they were a real delight.
Cinnamon-Jalapeno Baby Back Ribs
4 lbs baby back ribs, cut individually
1 1/2" slice off the end of a small jalapeno pepper
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 cup light corn syrup
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
2 cloves of garlic
Combine all the ingredients (except for the ribs) in a food processor until all ingredients are finely chopped. Using a basting brush, fully coat all the ribs before placing them on a tray or in a plastic bag and into the refrigerator for at least six hours and up to eight hours.
Stack charcoal on one side of the grill kettle and bring to high temperature. Place the ribs on the rack over the opposite side of the grill from where the coal stack is and cover the grill. Turn the ribs every 6-8 minutes - always keeping them away from the direct fire of the coals and recovering after each turn. Ribs should take about 40 minutes to cook. Allow them to stand at room temperature for about 10 minutes before serving.
Chive Butter Grilled Corn
6 fresh corn on the cob ears, husks pulled back (not removed) and silk removed
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 tablespoon fresh chives, minced
Once the silk is removed from the corn, pull the husks back onto the corn, covering the cob as completely as possible. Roast the corn on the grill on one side of the grill - with the coal stacked in the kettle on the opposite side. Turn and rotate corn every 6-8 minutes. Recover kettle after each turn - total cooking time about 20-25 minutes.
Melt butter in a microwaveable dish or in a pot on the stove. Add in the chives and mix well. Using a pastry brush, baste the corn cobs with as much or as little butter as you prefer.