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June, 2009:

Cobb BBQ

The Cobb BBQ cooking hamburgers

The Cobb BBQ cooking hamburgers

Recently, my parents gave Kat and I a Cobb BBQ cooker.  We had my brothers and one of their girlfriend over to try it out.  I figure the best way to test out a new grilling tool was to see how it would do with cooking a batch of my Burgers with Legs.

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Mustard Pickle

Delicious mustardy pickles

Delicious mustardy pickles

It’s not cucumber season yet but Kat and I are always yearning for different pickled produce so when we came across a package of cucumbers at Loblaws on the half-off rack I decided to take the opportunity to try out a potential recipe.  Ths is a small batch for a recipe that we may use again once cucumbers are truly in season in July or August.

The recipe I used has an interesting story behind it.  In a collection of family recipes that my mother compiled this recipe (on a typewritten cue card from her mother)  is titled “Mary Millichamp’s Mustard Pickle”.  Mary Millichamp was an early Toronto restaurateur who was the guiding hand behind several important Toronto eating establishments from the late 1920s onwards.  Her first establishment was the St. George Tea Room at Bloor and St. George and her position is described as chatelaine which I guess is a blend of owner, general manager, hostess, and executive chef.  She also acted in a similar role at The Roof at the top of the Park Plaza Hotel–still operating with the best view of the alien spaceship that crashed on the ROM but under a different name.  Finally, she opened her own restaurant named simply Mary Millichamp’s at 115 Yorkville Avenue.

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Ribs with Legs II: Braising, saucing, and finishing

The finished product

The finished product

Like I did for my pizza recipe I have decided to deal with ribs in two parts.  This recipe, while simple and straightforward, has a few independent stages that I think can be neatly divided into two posts.  Also, like the pizza recipe this one can be spread over two days/

When we left off the ribs had been rubbed, wrapped in aluminum foil and left in the fridge.  The aluminum foil will act as a perfectly-shaped pan to keep the braising liquid close to the meat, the rub will add lots of flavour and draw juices from the meat to enrich the sauce, all we need is a flavourful, slightly acidic braising liquid.  After testing several I can report  that the best combination here is the one suggested in the Alton Brown cookbook of 50:50 orange juice and limeade (or margarita mix).  Some flexibility here is totally acceptable.  I’ve used straight orange spiked with lime juice, or beer with apple cider vinegar, or white wine and wine vinegar.  All work, and you’ll need half a cup for each package of ribs.  Remove the ribs from the oven and using the funnel end of each package pour the juice, beer, or wine mixture into the funnel end and slide the pan(s) into an oven preheated to 350F.

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