Sunday, September 20, 2009

BBQ Ribs and Pierogi

Last week was kind of a crazy one for me. As many of you know, I occasionally work as a personal chef. My neighbor (and friend) just bought a really cool home and accessories boutique and was having a cocktail party on Thursday night. I was able to make some food for the evening. We had: smoked salmon crostada, bruschetta, potato and cheese pierogi, veggie tray (with hummus and red pepper dip), grilled chicken skewers, fruit tray, cheese tray, apple cider punch, mini lemon meringue tarts, molasses cookies, and cowboy cookies (for 100). It was tiring, but so fun and very rewarding...everyone really enjoyed everything and she had a great "opening"! Then, just when I thought I could relax on friday....

My "main" client called and needed, I went to the grocery store for the fifth time that week and got to work. Oh, and did I forget to mention that my boys and their friends headed up to the cabin to do some four-wheeling on Saturday so...I also had to shop and prepare food for them (cause they're helpless ya know!) So on Friday I made: chicken corn soup, grilled sausage sandwiches and strata (for the boys)...and for my client: fresh fruit, greek chicken salad, pasta salad, BBQ ribs (with pierogi and green beans), Grilled veggie ravioli, Grilled balsamic chicken (with fried potatoes and cauliflower), Lemon-caper tilapia (with wild rice and broccoli), and Meat Loaf (with baked sweet potato and corn).

Two things: I was tired of cooking (and more than a little grumpy) and it reminded me that I go through "phases" in my cooking....usually very seasonal and when I find something I really like, I kinda go crazy. (like with the balsamic chicken and the pierogi) I make the same things until I get sick of them or until I find something else to fall in love with. Since I've already told you about the chicken, I'll share the recipe for my beloved (for now) potato and cheese pierogi and because I had a special request, the rib recipe. As a side, one of my standby veggie recipes, roasted cauliflower with smoked paprika!

BBQ ribs (super easy and very yummy)
baby back ribs (I usually prepare 1/2 rack per adult)
1 cup sliced onions
1 cup ketchup
1/3 cup water
1 1/2 tsp salt
2 T worcestershire sauce
1/4 c vinegar
1/2 c brown sugar
2 T dry mustard
1 tsp paprika (the recipe for the sauce, I believe, is "Uncle Fun's"...thanks, Mike!)

1. Grill ribs on high heat until browned or blackened (whichever you prefer).
2. Remove ribs, cut into smaller pieces, and place in crockpot.
3. Mix remaining ingredients and pour over ribs.
4. Cook ribs in crockpot on low all day.

Potato and cheese pierogi (interestingly, I checked,and "pierogi" is the plural form of the word....)
won ton wrappers
russet potatoes (1/2 for each person) peeled and coarsely chopped
sour cream
cheddar cheese
salt, pepper
1 small onion, finely chopped (and browned in butter in a small skillet)

1. Cook russet potatoes until very tender.
2. Mix potatoes with remaining ingredients, except wrappers, until thick and smooth (add as much sour cream or butter as you like, you won't need too much). you know I'm not about the details, sorry!
3. Unwrap won tons, fill with mashed potato mixture and wet the outside of the wrapper, close to seal and refrigerate for at least an hour.
4. In the same skillet you browned the onion in (if you've already washed it, I admire you!!), "fry" the pierogi in canola oil over medium heat until browned. You won't need much oil, just enough to coat the bottom of the pan.
5. Drain the pierogi on plate lined with a paper towel.

Roasted Cauliflower with smoked paprika
salt, pepper
smoked paprika
olive oil

Toss cauliflower with all ingredients and roast in a 400 degree oven for about 20 minutes or until slightly browned.


  1. Woa!!!! That is a ton of cooking! But after all that you had a quiet weekend with the girls??? :)

  2. ok that is amazing- i would have needed some chocolate and a glass of wine after those long days!
    i haven't tried the tomato salad yet- i will soon!

  3. Oh, no, Jamie...I pigged out on chips and is not my idol! :)

  4. i've never seen or heard of smoked paprika? where can you find it?

  5. I buy mine at Price-Rite...their spice selection is huge! I would try Giant maybe...
    I just found it at PR and it's one of my favorite spices, along with herbes de provence and garlic powder...I know that's not helpful..
    maybe you could check next time you're in York!