Sunday, September 19, 2010

The Rib-Off

Some friends of ours had their Annual "Rib-Off" party last night.  Attendees bring a rack or two of their homemade ribs.  B has made ribs from scratch before, but they are VERY time consuming so we decided to just go check it out and bring some side dishes.  There were over 12 entries...two of which were pulled pork.  Had I known that pulled-pork was an acceptable entry, I could have made that...well maybe next year.  I tried about 3 different kind and was VERY full!

I made fresh tomato salsa, orzo salad and brownies (from a box and because of K's she would have something nut free to eat).  Since I have 30-something tomato plants in my garden I am clearly overrun by tomatoes! 

I'm going to warn you guys, I tend to wing-it with recipes...I don't really measure unless I'm followng a strict recipe or if I'm baking.

Fresh Tomato Salsa:
lots of tomatoes - I used several varieties - green zebra, beef steak, tiger-like and plum...I didn't measure I just filled this bowl...probably about 5 cups?
1/2 red onion chopped
2 jalapenos, ribs and seeds removed and diced
juice of 1 to 1.5  limes
good size bunch of cilantro - stems removed and chopped
salt and pepper to taste

Mix all of the above together....refridgerate and enjoy with tortilla chips.

Orzo Salad (I did get a recipe from a friend, but I wing it):
THIS RECIPE MAKES A can cut it in 1/2 if you aren't going to a party or don't enjoy eating the same thing for multiple meals.

1 lb package of Barilla or Prince Orzo - cooked al dente and drained
1 - 2 tbs olive oil
1 1/2 cup crumbed feta cheese
cherry tomatoes, halved (about a cup and a half)
cucumbers (if they are the English variety, I leave the skins on, I had a cucumber from my garden so I removed the skins) - sliced and quartered
kalamata olives - chopped or quartered (I used Trader Joes) - about 12 olives
2/3 cup of greek dressing - I like Newman's Beta Feta
juice of 1 lemon
salt and pepper to taste
optional: 2 tbs drained capers, you can use bell peppers (any color) in place of cucumbers.  I just use what I have on hand.

Boil pasta per directions.  Toss with 1 - 2 tbs of olive oil to prevent sticking.  Toss in feta cheese, tomatoes, cucumbers, olives.  Mix dressing and lemon juice.  Pour over and toss well to combine.  Refrigerate and serve as a side dish.  Keeps for about 4-5 days in the fridge and tastes better the next day.  I do make the night before and it's been good, just put the olives/capers in the same day or the whole thing tastes like olive.  I personally don't like olives so I've even left it out and it tastes great.


  1. That sounds like a lot of fun! Now I just use the costco ribs from tony romas, but I also like to make mom's ribs, with water, soy sauce, black vinegar, cooking wine and sugar. We just made salsa too, but left the seeds in the jalapeno, yikes!! We had to water it down with jar salsa.

  2. I told B that we should bring the Tony Roma's and pretend they were homemade and see what people thought. The Tony Romas are too easy and good to bother to make ribs from scratch really.

    Do you do mom's ribs in a crockpot?

  3. Lol at bringing the tony romas to see if people would know. I have never made mom's ribs in the crock pot, but I wonder if the sauce would thicken...i will have to try it, although they're pretty easy on the stove!