Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Baby Back Ribs

A Labor of Love 

As the end of summer draws nigh, The Cooking School at Jungle Jim's staff determined to help our readers send it off with a succulent slab of ribs fit for a culinary finale to the summer of 2014. Baby back pork ribs are a meaty choice for a weekend BBQ. Follow the step-by-step instructions and you will be rewarded with sticky fingers and sloppy grins. For proof of satisfaction, scroll on down for a photo of our panel of taste testers thoroughly enjoying these Sweet Chili and Root Beer Baby Back Ribs! To start, let the ribs sit at room temperature for about 1 hour. Prepare a gas or charcoal grill fire for indirect cooking over low (300°) heat. Let the fun begin!


In a medium bowl, mix the sweet soy sauce (kecap manis), root beer, and both chili sauces. Set aside 1/2 cup of the sauce for serving. Do not be tempted to substitute regular soy sauce for the sweet soy sauce - it is not the same!


Start by removing the silverskin. Silverskin is a tough, chewy membrane that holds the bones together. It takes a little effort to remove it, but it pays BIG dividends in appearance and ease of eating!


Start by inserting a blunt-nose butter knife under the silverskin. Gently wiggle the knife to loosen the silverskin. Make room to get your finger inside to gain hold to loosen the skin enough to get a good grip.


With the aid of a paper towel as a gripping agent, grasp the silverskin and tear it off completely. 


Sprinkle the meat side of the ribs with 2 teaspoons salt. One teaspoon per rack.


Arrange the ribs bone-side down in a single layer over the cool zone of the grill. Close the lid and cook the ribs until tender, about 2-2½ hours. 



The grill temperature should stay at a constant 300 degrees. To test if they’re done, insert a knife into the rib meat—if it slides out without pulling at the meat, they’re ready. The meat should be tender but not falling off the bone.


Increase the temperature of the indirect grill fire to 350°. Remove the ribs from the grill and transfer to a large rimmed baking sheet lined with foil.



Brush the ribs on all sides with the remaining sauce.



Return the ribs to the cool zone of the grill and cook, turning once, until nicely lacquered, about 10 minutes total. If you like your ribs more browned and with a little char, place the racks over the direct heat for 3-4 minutes per side before removing from grill. Let the ribs rest, tented with foil, for about 10 minutes before cutting and serving with the reserved sauce for dipping or for drizzling over the ribs.



Enjoy! It's a tough job testing the finished product, but somebody has to do it.


Sweet Chili and Root Beer Baby Back Ribs

2 racks baby back pork ribs (about 5-6 total), silverskin removed
Kosher salt
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons sweet soy sauce
1/4 cup root beer
1/4 cup sweet chili sauce, preferably Mae Ploy brand
2 tablespoons hot chili sauce, preferably Sriracha


Let the ribs sit at room temperature for about 1 hour.

Meanwhile, prepare a gas or charcoal grill fire for indirect cooking over low (300°) heat.

Sprinkle the meat side of the ribs with 2 teaspoons salt. Arrange the ribs bone side down in a single layer over the cool zone of the grill. Close the lid and cook the ribs until tender, about 2-2½ hours. To test if they’re done, insert a knife into the rib meat—if it slides out without pulling at the meat, they’re ready. The meat should be tender but not falling off the bone. Remove the ribs from the grill and transfer to a large rimmed baking sheet lined with foil.

Increase the temperature of the indirect grill fire to 350°. In a medium bowl, mix the sweet soy sauce, root beer, and both chili sauces. Set aside 1/2 cup of the sauce for serving. Brush the ribs on all sides with the remaining sauce. Return the ribs to the cool zone of the grill and cook, turning once, until nicely lacquered, about 10 minutes total. If you like your ribs more browned and with a little char, place the racks over the direct heat for 3-4 minutes per side before removing from grill.

Let the ribs rest, tented with foil, for about 10 minutes before cutting and serving with the reserved sauce for dipping or for drizzling over the ribs.

Serves 4-6



Adapted slightly from Fine Cooking magazine

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Grilled Bricked Chicken

Spatchcock....Huh?

This isn't a word we made up, not a swear word or a culinary term you should fear. Quite simply put, to spatchcock a chicken means to split and flatten it for grilling or roasting. There is some technique involved and The Cooking School at Jungle Jim's will demonstrate how easy it is and how delicious a grilled, whole chicken can be. You can use a sharp knife to remove the chicken's backbone, but a good kitchen shears will make this task easier and safer. It's a good kitchen gadget to have on hand and you can visit the Gourmet Galeria inside Jungle Jim's International Market to select one. Foil covered bricks help press the chicken onto the hot grill, helping to cook evenly and quickly. It doesn't have to be a special brick - just a regular brick used to build a house. If you are ready to try something new on the grill, give a spatchcocked chicken a try!


Select a 3 1/2 - 4 pound whole, all-natural chicken. You will need a cutting board, knife and kitchen scissors.


Using scissors or a sharp knife, cut backbone from chicken


You can save the backbone for making chicken stock or you can discard it.


Using scissors or a sharp knife, cut backbone from chicken. If you are making stock, add the wing tips to the backbone. 


Turn the chicken skin-side up and press firmly on breastbone to flatten.


Pull firmly on each leg to pull from socket and press down to flatten.


 The chicken is flattened and ready for the marinade. Set the chicken aside and make the marinade.


Combine juice and zest of lemon and orange, olive oil, garlic, rosemary, salt and pepper in a small bowl and whisk to combine. 


Pour the marinade over the chicken, cover and refrigerate 1-24 hours.



When ready to cook, preheat grill to medium for indirect heat (for a charcoal grill, bank coals on 1 side of grill; for a gas grill, leave center 1 or 2 burners off). Remove chicken from marinade.


Place skin-side down over direct heat.


Place bricks on top of chicken. Close lid and grill (approximately 450° heat) for 5 minutes to brown skin. Move chicken to indirect heat (or turn heat off directly under chicken), cover and grill 15 minutes longer.


Remove bricks from the chicken and turn the chicken skin-side up



Replace bricks on the chicken and grill indirectly an additional 20-25 minutes, or until thermometer inserted in thickest part of the thigh registers 170°. Remove the chicken from the grill and allow to rest 10 minutes before cutting into pieces and serving.


A grilled whole chicken is tender and juicy and really very simple to prepare on the grill. Give it a try!



Grilled Bricked Chicken

One chicken, 3½-4 pounds, spatchcocked
Juice and zest of 1 lemon
Juice and zest of 1 orange
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large clove garlic, minced
2 teaspoons chopped fresh rosemary
Salt and freshly ground pepper
2 bricks wrapped in foil


Spatchcock the chicken: Using scissors or a sharp knife, cut backbone from chicken. Turn chicken skin-side up and press firmly on breastbone to flatten. Pull firmly on each leg to pull from socket and press down to flatten. Using scissors or a sharp knife, cut backbone from chicken Set aside.

Combine juice and zest of lemon and orange, olive oil, garlic, rosemary, salt and pepper in a small bowl and whisk to combine. Pour over chicken and refrigerate 1-24 hours.

When ready to cook, preheat grill to medium for indirect heat (for a charcoal grill, bank coals on 1 side of grill; for a gas grill, leave center 1 or 2 burners off).

Remove chicken from marinade, place skin-side down over direct heat and place bricks on top of chicken. Close lid and grill (approximately 450° heat) for 5 minutes to brown skin. Move chicken to indirect heat (or turn heat off directly under chicken), cover and grill 15 minutes longer. Remove bricks from chicken, turn chicken skin-side up, replace bricks on chicken and grill indirectly an additional 20-25 minutes, or until thermometer inserted in thickest part of thigh registers 170°. Remove chicken from grill and allow to rest 10 minutes before cutting into pieces and serving.

Serves 3-4


Thursday, August 14, 2014

Raspberry Chipotle Sauce

Making the Most of Summer Berries

The Cooking School at Jungle Jim's International Market held two sold out classes featuring all kinds of berries. After the first class, we had some very ripe raspberries that begged to be used - and quickly. Soft, ripe berries are perfect for a cooked dish and we decided that a Raspberry Chipotle Sauce would be a great choice to use these little red gems. This sauce is a multi-tasker and can be used for glazing, dipping and saucing various kinds of chicken, pork, salmon and seafood. Put it in a squeeze bottle and jazz up tacos and quesadillas. Spice levels can be adjusted down for the faint of heart or up for the fan who embraces the heat. So simple to make, you can serve it over grilled chicken or fish for dinner this evening.


This recipe calls for 2 chopped jalapeno peppers. If you like a hotter sauce, substitute serrano or habanero peppers. If you are a bit leery of usually-mild jalapenos, take a taste of the one you have and if it is too spicy, adjust the amount you want to use. We thought this sauce had a nice, medium kick using the jalapeno and chipotle combination.


Stir in the garlic and and the adobo sauce. 



The green and red is very pretty together and quite fragrant!


Stir the raspberries into the softened jalapenos and chipotle mixture.


Bring the berry mixture to a simmer and cook until soft, about 3 minutes.



A chunky, seedy sauce is forming.


Stir in the vinegar, orange juice, salt, brown sugar and white sugar.



Simmer until thickened and reduced by half, about 15 minutes.


Strain the sauce into a heatproof bowl, pressing on the solids to release all the liquid.


Use this raspberry chipotle sauce  as a glaze while grilling and/or as a finishing sauce. 


Raspberry Chipotle Sauce

1 tablespoon olive oil
2 large jalapeno peppers, seeded and minced
2 cloves garlic, minced
3-4 teaspoons pureed chipotle peppers in adobo sauce
2 (6 ounce) containers fresh raspberries
1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup orange juice
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar


Heat olive oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Stir in jalapenos; cook until tender, about 3-4 minutes. Stir in garlic and adobo sauce. Stir the raspberries into the sauce, bring to a simmer and cook until soft, about 3 minutes. Stir in the vinegar, orange juice, salt, brown sugar and white sugar. Simmer until thickened and reduced by half, about 15 minutes. Strain sauce to a heatproof bowl, pressing on solids to release all liquid. Use as a glaze while grilling and/or a finishing sauce.


Makes about ¾ cup

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Shortbread Cookies with Condensed Milk


6-Ingredient Cookies

A freshly baked cookie is a thing of sublime beauty. If you happen to be an experienced baker, you've probably tried many ways to make the perfect cookie - and everyone has their favorite cookie! Many interesting recipes land on our desk and in the Cooking School inbox, but few really grab our attention like this Shortbread Cookie with Condensed Milk recipe. None of the staff have made cookie dough with sweetened condensed milk in place of granulated sugar, so we had to try it! The result? A surprisingly not-so-sweet, crumbly cookie. Leigh formed the dough into a large disk and also scooped individual cookies - both good. It's worth a try because the dough is easy to make and you'll enjoy mixing up this unusual way to bake cookies.


Mix the softened butter and condensed milk in a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment.


The mixture will be light and fluffy.


Add the flour, baking powder and salt and mix until just combined. Scrape down sides of bowl and briefly mix again.



You should have a firm dough.


Stir in the chopped, semi-sweet chocolate with a wooden spoon.



Mix until well combined.



Using a 1-inch cookie scoop (1 tablespoon), scoop the cookie dough balls onto a prepared baking sheet about 2 inches apart. Press tops lightly to flatten slightly. 



We use parchment paper on the baking sheet for making cookies - easy clean up!


To make a large round shortbread, divide the dough in half. On either end of the baking sheet, shape each half into a 6-inch circle, about ½-inch thick. Lightly score the circle into 8 triangles.


Baking instructions for cookies:  Bake 14-15 minutes, until cookies begin to brown around outer the edges. Transfer the cookies to a cooling rack and cool completely. Makes about 3 dozen cookies.



Baking instructions for a large round shortbread:  Bake for 20 minutes, or until very lightly browned. Remove from the oven and cool 3-4 minutes before cutting through the scored circle to make 8 wedges. Cool completely on a rack. Makes 16 wedges.




Shortbread Cookies with Condensed Milk

1 cup unsalted butter, softened
½ cup sweetened condensed milk
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
½ cup finely chopped semisweet chocolate


Preheat oven to 350°. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Mix butter and condensed milk in a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Add flour, baking powder and salt and mix until just combined. Scrape down sides of bowl and briefly mix again. Stir in chocolate with a wooden spoon.

Make cookies: Using a 1-inch cookie scoop (1 tablespoon), scoop balls onto prepared baking sheet about 2 inches apart. Press tops lightly to flatten slightly. Bake 14-15 minutes, until cookies begin to brown around outer edges. Transfer cookies to a cooling rack and cool completely. Makes about 3 dozen cookies.


Make large round shortbread: Divide dough in half. On either end of the baking sheet, shape each half into a 6-inch circle, about ½-inch thick. Lightly score the circle into 8 triangles. Bake 20 minutes, or until very lightly browned. Remove from oven and cool 3-4 minutes before cutting through scored circle to make 8 wedges. Cool completely on a rack. Makes 16 wedges.