Tis the season to BBQ.  Okay – I really mean ‘grill’ because I’m of the propane tank crowd nowadays.  I’ll admit that the flavor from the right charcoal is out of this world, but I can have something on the gas grill in minutes.  It’s one area where I have succumbed…

We started off Sunday with the typical foods – ribs, baked beans, and potato salad.  But each had their own little twist.

The ribs were dry rubbed with a really interesting assortment of spices and herbs.  I found the concept in a herb and spice book and switched things around a bit… This makes a goodly amount!

Spicy Dry Rub

  • 2 tbsp cumin
  • 2 tbsp chili powder (I used chipotle powder!)
  • 2 tbsp cinnamon
  • 2 tbsp cloves
  • 2 tbsp black pepper
  • 2 tbsp oregano
  • 1 tbsp garlic powder
  • 1 tbsp salt

Mix well and use liberally!

I rubbed the ribs and let them set overnight in the fridge.  I brought them to room temperature before putting them on a slow grill with indirect heat.  They cooked for about an hour and a half – and were perfect!  The cloves and the cinnamon really come out, but don’t over-power.  Just great!

The baked Beans come from my baby sister, Phoebe!  They have become the only baked beans I cook anymore.  I love ’em!  She got the original recipe from Cooking Light magazine…

Phoebe’s Baked Beans

  • 1/2  cup minced shallots
  • 1  tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1  tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1/2  cup tomato puree (I use tomato paste – I never have puree in the house!)
  • 1  tablespoon canola oil
  • 1/4  cup honey
  • 1/4  cup cider vinegar
  • 2  tablespoons molasses
  • 1  tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/4  teaspoon salt
  • 2  chipotle chiles, canned in adobo sauce, seeded and chopped
  • 2  (28-ounce) cans baked beans

Preheat oven to 300°.

Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add shallots; sauté 4 minutes or until golden. Add cumin and garlic; sauté for 1 minute. Add tomato puree and oil, and cook for 2 minutes or until thick, stirring constantly. Add remaining ingredients (except beans.). Reduce heat; simmer for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Combine beans and shallot mixture in a 2-quart baking dish. Bake at 300° for 1 hour or until thick and bubbly.

And finally, my Mom’s Potato Salad.  I have no idea on amounts here.  This is one of those recipes that I just make without thinking about it.  It’s a close approximation to what she made – and she never used a recipe, either.

Mom’s Potato Salad

  • Russet potatoes, peeled, cubed, cooked, and cooled
  • Celery, diced
  • Carrots, diced
  • Pickles, diced
  • Onion, diced
  • Hard cooked eggs, diced
  • Radishes, diced
  • Mayonnaise
  • Catsup
  • Mustard
  • Garlic powder
  • Salt and pepper

Mom used russets, because back in the day, the two types of potatoes available were russets or red bliss.  I make it with yukon golds once in awhile and almost always peel the potatoes.  Every now and again I’ll make it with unpeeled potatoes and it works really well.

Play with it.  Make it loose (lots of mayo) or dry (less mayo) as you like.  Chop up other veggies, whatever.  It’s potato salad.  Go for it.  It won’t be bad no matter what!

Naturally, I made enough for an army.  We’re going to have some great leftovers!  I can’t wait for round two!