Sticky Barbecue Ribs & Grilled Sweetcorn – Farmer’s Market Wednesday

It felt a bit strange to me to be buying fresh corn on the cob at the farmer’s market today – it is a vegetable I only associate with the summertime, and this morning was .definitely. definitely. autumn. But never mind, at 40p each and grilled to go alongside some baby ribs, I managed to convince myself for a few minutes. The sauce is tomato based and really easy. Even if you don’t have a food processor like lazy old me you can still do it, just ensure that you crush the tomatoes down well with your hands and mince the onion and garlic as finely as you possibly can. Serves 2. Hugely easily multiplied.

For the ribs:

  • barbecueribs500g ribs, preferably on the rack
  • 2 tsps cajun seasoning
  • 400g can tomatoes
  • olive oil
  • 100ml tomato puree
  • 1 small onion
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp cider or white wine vinegar
  • 2 tbsp worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tbsp dark brown sugar (or, in my case, maple syrup) or even honey if you like
  • 1 scant teaspoon chilli flakes
  • 1 tsp mustard powder

Preheat your oven to gas 2. Cut your rack of ribs in half, and rub a teaspoon of cajun seasoning into each piece. Put them into a heavy casserole with a lid, or if you don’t have one of the right size, a solid roasting tin which you will cover with foil. Put the covered ribs into the oven and leave them to cook slowly for 2 – 2 and a half hours.

In the meantime, put your garlic and onion in the bowl of your food processor and whizz down until chopped extremely finely. Put them in a saucepan with a generous pinch of salt and pepper and a splash of olive oil. Sweat off over a very low heat until soft and translucent. In the same food processor, put all the remaining ingredients and whizz again until smooth and fully combined. Put the sauce into the saucepan with the onion and garlic, stir well and simmer gently for around 20 minutes.

About forty minutes before you are ready to eat, turn the oven right up to gas 6, and put the ribs onto a roasting tin or baking sheet. Cover each side of the ribs with the barbecue sauce, reserving a little, and place into the oven. Cook for 20 minutes and then turn over. Add the remaining barbecue sauce and put back in the oven. They will need just twenty more minutes, but keep checking that the sauce isn’t burning. If it starts to catch, you can take it out.¬† Turn on your grill.

For the sweetcorn:

  • cornoncob2 corn on the cob
  • 2 tsps of butter

Get two lengths of tin foil about 6 inches long. Remove the corn from the husks, if they’re ready to cook they should come off really easily. Place the corn onto the foil and put about a teaspoon of butter on each. Roll up the foil, tucking in the end until they are wrapped snugly. Put under a hot grill, and turning fairly regularly, cook for 15 minutes, until kernels have softened in the melted butter. Serve with the ribs.

Acorn Squash with Maple Syrup & Rosemary – Farmer’s Market Wednesday

IMG_0517OK, its Tuesday. But I’ve only just got round to it. Luckily for me, the squash kept. I’ve never cooked acorn squash before, but I love squash and they’re seasonal so therefore very cheap at the moment. I was really stuck with what I was going to do with it and was on the brink of stuffing it (maybe next week) but I noticed that a lot of people baked theirs simply with sugar and maple syrup. Given I bought a bottle of syrup on the weekend, I thought I would give this a go, but with rosemary and black pepper to make it more savoury. Serves 2 as a very substantial side dish.

  • 1 acorn squash

  • 2 tbsp maple syrup
  • 2 heaped tsp butter
  • 1 tsp very, very finely chopped rosemary
  • a lot of turns of the peppermill
  • salt
  • half kettle of boiling water

Preheat oven to gas 6.

IMG_0528

Firstly cut your squash in half with very large, very sharp knife or cleaver from the stalk to the base. If the halves won’t sit upright by themselves, you can cut a small slice off the bottom of them, so they behave better. Remove the seeds and innards from the squash and with a small sharp¬† knife, score lines into the flesh length and width of the flesh so the maple syrup mixture soaks in. In each cavity put a tablespoon of maple syrup, a teaspoon of butter, and then sprinkle on the rosemary, salt and pepper all over the inside. Put the halves on large roasting tin, and pour an inch or so of boiling water into the pan. Put into the oven and cook for about an hour and a half, depending on the weight and size of your squash.

IMG_0531

You will notice that mine has, errr, caramelised on top. I think that was because I was basting it with the maple syrup mixture all the way through, and it simply took too long. Ah well, better to meet with triumph and disaster just the same. In case you are wondering, yes, it was really delicious, despite looking a little black in patches. In future though, I would cover it with foil after an hour or so, so it doesn’t catch again.