Ribs to Rave Over--and More

By staff August 31, 2006

Get cookin’ over Labor Day weekend.


By Judi Gallagher


It might be football season to some, but for me, it’s just another great excuse to polish up on my grilling skills. Bring on those racks of ribs and jicama slaw, not to mention red-pepper corn bread and warm peach cobbler!

Last year I learned a great way to prepare ribs from Mark over at Karl Ehmer Quality Meats (



The best ribs in the world start with a rub. Mixing black and white ground pepper, a little cayenne for sass, some garlic salt, onion powder and a little brown sugar should do the trick. Rub both sides of the ribs, cover and refrigerate overnight. Preheat the oven to 300 degrees. Meanwhile, on a preheated grill at medium heat, throw the ribs—well, not literally—on the grill and mark on both sides. (That means to cook them about four minutes per side until the grill marks show.)

Remove from the grill and place on broiling rack. Bake the ribs until tender—about one hour. Add your favorite barbeque sauce to a medium-sized saucepan. (If I am invited, please select honey barbecue sauce) Pour one cup of the pan drippings from the ribs into the sauce. Blend well and heat for five minutes. Brush with sauce on both sides, and you are ready to go but don’t forget to serve extra napkins. This recipe is a real winner!



 Make a large batch of this signature rub. Place a cup in brown paper lunch bags with your favorite grilling recipe for guests to take home and enjoy.



With the Labor Day weekend approaching (and hopefully Ernesto is not attending), we are planning a simple get-together for about 12 people. Since I am a self-proclaimed burger aficionado, I will be heading up to The Market in Whitney Beach Plaza on Longboat Key to purchase some of the best ground beef I have found in Florida. Stuffing the burgers with two tablespoons worth of quality Stilton cheese and sautéed chopped red onions will make the Labor Day burgers burst with gourmet pizzaz.




Heading out to a last-minute party over the weekend I forgot to grab some wine from home. Since I was at the computer in my office, I simply went online and pre-ordered from Wine Warehouse ([email protected]). It was ready for me to grab and go when I got there. Now, that’s what I call quick-stop shopping.

My choice for a hot summer’s night of pasta and good friends: Calvachina Custoza Biancha 2005—about $12 (green apple, honey, citrus)… let this baby waylay you on your way towards sauv blanc or Sancerre and you’ll see what I mean.



Fall may be approaching, but it’s still hot, hot, hot here in Sarasota. And cocktails are hot, too—bartenders all over the country are creating new twists on those old-fashioned cocktails. If you’ve got an original recipe for a great warmth-weather cocktail, send it to [email protected]. We’ll post all the entries (be sure to let us know if we can use your name) and at the end of this month, we’ll choose a winner. The prize? Dinner for two at  Zoria.




What’s coming next week? A chocolate buttermilk fudge cake recipe that is sure to please and the sensational, simple flavors of fried red tomatoes.


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