This was one of the nights that Kevin was spared from my Mexican food obsession, and trust me he was very happy about that.
Kevin - What's for dinner? Like I need to ask.
Me - What is that supposed to mean?
Kevin - *the look*
Me - And what was that look for?
Kevin - Well let me ask this....am I going to use salsa, sour cream, or guacamole on it?
Me - Ha ha ha you are funny (he had a point but I am not going to let him know).
Kevin - Well?
Me - As a matter of fact, NO you will not need salsa, sour cream, or guacamole tonight.
Kevin - Seriously? Are you teasing me now? *smirk*
Me - *eyeroll*
Kevin - OhhEmmGeeeee where is the calendar? I need to write this down!!
Me - Are you done yet?
Kevin - WOW that was seriously good.
Me - Thanks I am glad you liked it.
Kevin - No I am serious, that was amazingly good!!
Me - OK, I get it.
Kevin - I mean that was one of the best meals I have ever had!!!
Me - Don't push it or we will have burritos the rest of the week.
On the serious side, we both really did love these ribs.
And no, I didn't make him eat burritos the rest of the week.
adapted from Rachael Ray 365 No Repeats
1 cup cilantro leaves
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup low-sodium soy sauce
2 tablespoons fish sauce
4 cloves garlic, cracked from skin
2 Serrano peppers, seeded and chopped
1 Fresno pepper, sliced
1 (2-inch) piece fresh ginger, peeled and grated
3 pounds pork loin ribs, cut into single ribs
1 stalk lemongrass, white part chopped
1 lime, sliced
1/3 cup sugar
1 (1-inch) piece fresh ginger, peeled and thinly sliced
3 tablespoons rice vinegar
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
2 tablespoons Sriracha
1 tablespoon fish sauce
1 Fresno pepper, finely chopped
1 lime, juiced
1 bunch of green onions, thinly slice the green tops (can substitute chives)
Hot rice, for serving
Combine the cilantro, brown sugar, honey, soy sauce, fish sauce, garlic, peppers, ginger and the white part of the lemongrass in a blender or food processor. Puree until a smooth, thick sauce forms.
Put the pork ribs in a large resealable plastic bag or shallow plastic storage container and pour the marinade over the meat, making sure it is entirely coasted. Add the lime slices and the top part of the lemongrass to the bag and refrigerate for 1 to 4 hours.
Combine 1/2 cup water, the sugar and ginger in a small pot. Bring to a simmer, stirring to dissolve the sugar, then simmer for a couple of minutes to infuse the syrup with the ginger. Pour the syrup into a small bowl and let cool. Remove the ginger, then stir in the vinegar, cilantro, mint, Sriracha, fish sauce, chile pepper and lime juice.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Arrange the ribs in an even layer in a baking dish, and add the marinade and lime slices. Cover tightly with foil and bake for 1 hour. Remove the baking dish from the oven and add the drumsticks. Cover and bake for 30 more minutes.
Raise the oven temperature to 425 degrees F. Uncover the baking dish and bake until the ribs and are deeply browned, 20 to 25 minutes. Transfer to a serving platter and drizzle with about half the sweet and sour sauce. Top with the green onions. Serve with rice and pass the remaining chili sauce at the table.