Friday, July 22, 2011

Recipe: Church Supper Potato Salad and Spryfield Ribs

You may be an undigested bit of beef, a blot of mustard, a crumb of cheese, a fragment of underdone potato. A Christmas Carol, Charles Dickens

Remember those church suppers when you were growing up? They're still
being held every year. Photo: smallritual, Flickr ccl
The weekend is upon us, again. The summer is nearly half over. Can you believe it? Have you started having your backyard barbecues yet? I hope so. Here’s two staples that will help make your festivities memorable.

I just want to say up front: there’s nothing worse than under cooked potato salad. Who wants to chew through a side dish that’s sitting beside tender ribs, juicy steak or a moist hamburger?

Uncomfortable chairs, friends you haven't seem for ages,
and delicious food. Photo: jessamyn, Flickr ccl
Potato salad can be a tricky thing. I find that purchased potato salad is often under done. The potatoes are undercooked and hard. It’s a real turn off. 

I assume that undercooking probably has something to do with extending shelf life. But I’m not sure. I do know it’s quite common in pre-made potato salad.

That just doesn’t cut it when it comes to your special barbecue guests. There’s also no excuse to purchase pre-made when potato salad so easy to make. This recipe is particularly tasty. 

The green relish adds a really nice unexpected flavour. It’s the kind of unusual flavour you only only see in food made by loving hands with a lot of kitchen knowledge.

This is the kind of potato salad you get from the ladies at a village church supper. It's full of tang and flavour, with just the right amount of mayo and egg to bring everything into balance. I’m sure you will find this recipe “a keeper.”

I feel the same way about these ribs. The ribs recipe came from an acquaintance who lives in Spryfield; hence the name. I had never heard of this particular technique for tenderizing the meat before grilling. It works amazingly well.

This is THE only way we do ribs in our house now. They are “fall off the bone” tender. So much so in fact you have to be a little careful when your grill or broil them.

So, on to the feast!

Church Supper Potato Salad
Prep: 10 min  |  Cook: 30 min  | Serves 6
2 lbs potatoes (5-6 medium sized)
3 hard boiled eggs
1 rib celery, finely diced
1 medium onion, diced
1/2 cup green relish
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/2 tsp roasted garlic powder 
1 tsp salt
1 tbsp Dijon mustard
1-2 tsp cracked black pepper

Spryfield Ribs
Boiling: 1 hour  | Grilling: 3-4 min per side  |  Serves 6
2 racks of pork ribs, each cut into 3 sections
1 can pineapple juice (1 L)
1 tsp salt 
your favourite barbecue sauce

Boil the potatoes in enough salted water to cover them for 15 minutes. They should be able to be pierced with a fork but still firm. Change the water to cold and let sit to cool while you boil the eggs.

Place the eggs in a pan with enough water to cover. Boil for 12 minutes for “hard cooked.” Rinse with cold water to cool the outer temperature.

Remove the skins from the potatoes and cut into pieces no larger than 1/2” square. Place into a large bowl. Shell the eggs and chop into a similar, or slightly smaller, size. Add to the bowl.

Add the remaining ingredients and toss very well. Refrigerate until ready to use. (It can also be served immediately if you like slightly warm potato salad.)

Place the ribs in a large pot with a lid. Pour over the pineapple juice. Add the salt. Cover the ribs with the lid, bring to a boil and let simmer for 1 hour. The acid in the pineapple tenderizes the ribs as they cook.

After 1 hour, remove the ribs from the juice and bast with your favourite barbecue sauce. I used Diana brand Western Smokehouse, but you know what you like…

Grill or broil the ribs for only 3-4 minutes. They are fully cooked so you only need to “brown up” the sauce.

Serve, sit back, and wait for people to ask for the recipes!

If you are a vegetarian, I do have a recipe for tofu “steaks” that can just as easily be done on the barbecue. It’s here.


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