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Memorial Day Weekend! Time to bring out the Orange and Soy-Glazed Ribs and Coleslaw with Apple and Yogurt Dressing to go with them!

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        The Un-Official start of summer officially starts this Friday. Out our way, that generally means a lot of premature wearing of summer clothes because we’ll still have a couple of weeks before it gets warm. The cool nights won’t stop the grill fanatics. They’ll haul out their Webers or open up their monster gas grills even if the temperature dips into the 50s.  I love their dedication just as much their wives love their participation in feeding their families.  But I’d prefer have to wait for the warm-up to enjoy grilling. Especially when I can make something as summer-y as Orange and Soy-Glazed St. Louis Cut Pork Ribs and a Coleslaw with the tang of an Apple and Yogurt dressing in the comfort of the kitchen. 


Bon Appetit used
Baby Back Ribs
in their version

I first saw a version of the Ribs recipe in a winter issue of Bon Appetit.  In it, BA used baby back ribs.  I love those little guys but for a main course, to me nothing beats St. Louis-cut Ribs. Baby Backs are smaller and have less meat on them.  St. Louis are a trimmed version of Spare Ribs.  They have a lot more meat than Baby Backs. I prefer them to anything the supermarket packages up.  Those ribs always seem to have so much waste and inedible bits that I go out of my way to find the St. Louis cut.   The original recipe was advertised as being a way of not having to wait for summer to enjoy the incomparable taste of great pork ribs. No grilling required, they bubble away on the top of the stove for most of the cooking time:  Only at the very end do they go under the broiler to get their glaze and then only for minutes a side. 

         For years, I’ve boiled ribs for a good 30 minutes before doing anything else to them.  This cuts down on their unquestionably high fat content as it tenderizes them.  But in this take, the ribs are simmered in a seasoned soy broth for virtually the entire cooking time of 2 ½ hours.  They emerge almost falling off the bone and full of Asian flavor.    Then they’re brushed with an orange and honey glaze and broiled for just a couple of minute.  What was new to me was the shower of citrus peel—lemon, lime and orange. As you can see in the visual at the visual at the start of this post, the citrus really does improve the look of the otherwise completely brown dish.  So don’t leave them when you present the platter to the table.  They make a great party main course because almost everyone loves ribs and they’re relatively inexpensive. 

The Coleslaw gets its tang
from Green Apples and
Greek Yogurt

Ribs would be nothing without Cole Slaw.  I would miss the light green and carrot salad’s contrast with the ebony ribs.  But it’s not just the color contrast.  This particular Cole Slaw, made with green apple and Greek yogurt is a lively, tart contrast to the richness of the ribs.

The recipe calls for Broccoli Slaw.   I am familiar with that item through its fairly constant presence at Trader Joe’s.  My enormous supermarket in Bridgehampton, which is stocked to the ceiling with pre-packaged salads of every description, does not carry Broccoli Slaw so the latest batch was Broccoli-free.  If you can find it, by all means use it.  But if you can’t, the slaw won’t suffer.   Just up the quantities of cabbage and carrots.  And one other thing: Add the green apple no more than 20 minutes prior to serving the slaw or it will brown on you. And waiting to add both apple and dressing will give you a crunchier slaw.  Here are the recipes, both adapted from Bon Appetit.

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