Jerk Chicken Burgers + Simple Crunchy Slaw

It's the end of summer and you might as well spend it grilling these spicy little chicken burgers. I'm pretty excited about these.  Spicy and complex.  We served these with a super simple slaw and lime buttered corn.  These should probably be grilled but they can also be cooked in a pan or grill pan.  

Scotch bonnets are hot, hot peppers with a fruity, almost sweet notes that range in colors from green to yellow to orange to bright red.  They can be swapped out for habaneros if needed.  As with all chile peppers, wear gloves when working with these and wash your tools and cutting board when done.  We keep a box of disposable gloves on top of the fridge for chile pepper chopping.  And don't touch your eyes or nose if you've been touching the peppers.  

Makes 4.

Jerk Chicken Burgers 

1 lb ground chicken thighs

1 scotch bonnet pepper, seeded, minced

1/2 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves

2 scallions, white + light green parts, minced

s + white pepper

10 allspice berries, ground

2 1/2 tablespoons soy sauce

1/2 teaspoon nutmeg

zest of 1 lime

1 1/2 teaspoon brown sugar

1/4 teaspoon ground cumin

1 1/2 teaspoon vinegar (white, red wine or apple)

Fold all ingredients together to evenly combine.  Be careful not to over mix, it can alter the texture of the ground meat.  Let mixture marinate in fridge 30 minutes (longer is ok too, up to 8 hours)  

Form 4 patties and grill until done, flipping once.  For proper grill marks, heat part of the grill to high heat, once hot, place burger on grates.  Cook a few minutes until grill marks are present and turn 1/4 way.  Cook about 2 more minutes more, flip, cook and then 1/4 turn.  

Serve with a simple slaw: Whisk 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar with 1 teaspoon mayo until there are no lumps.  Toss with 1 1/2 cup shredded savoy cabbage, 1 1/2 cup shredded iceberg lettuce, 1 shredded carrot and 1 tablespoon caraway seeds.  Salt and pepper, to taste.  Use immediately.




Pork Sandwiches + Barbecue Sauce

So you made that pork shoulder and now you're like " What the hell to do with all this meat?"  Well, first I would tell you to make tacos (yes, in our kitchen, tacos are always the first answer to almost any food question) then I would tell you make this sandwich.  And some coleslaw.  

It's very simple and quick but the home made sauce is what makes these special.  I think this would be a great picnic sandwich.  

Pork Sandwiches + North Carolina-style Barbecue Sauce

For the sauce:

1/2 cup apple cider vinegar

2 tablespoons ketchup

2 tablespoons light brown sugar

1 teaspoon red chile flakes

s + p

For the sandwiches:

rolls or bread

pulled pork, about 1 cup per sandwich

shredded cabbage or coleslaw, optional

Whisk together vinegar, ketchup, sugar, chile flakes, salt and pepper.  (I like to shake it all together in a jar.)  

Toss 1 cup of pork with a scant 1/4 cup of sauce for each sandwich.  Pile onto the bread and top with cabbage or slaw.  



Apple Cider Ribs + Chipotle bbq Sauce


We never eat ribs at home so this seemed a bit like a special occasion.   I used baby back ribs which are a bit leaner (kind of) but spare ribs could also be used.  Half a rack, which is 6 ribs, is good serving size for one person.    

Serves 4. 

Apple Cider Ribs + Basic Rub + Chipotle Barbecue Sauce

2 full racks baby back pork ribs

4 cups apple cider

For the Rub 

3 tablespoons light brown sugar

3 tablespoons course salt

1 teaspoon black pepper

1/2 teaspoon ground mustard

3/4 teaspoon ground cayenne

1/2 teaspoon ground coriander

1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

1/2 teaspoon onion powder

For the Sauce

1 chipotle pepper in adobo

1 1/2 cup ketchup

1/4 cup apple cider

2 teaspoons worcestershire sauce

2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar

1/2 teaspoon onion powder

Unless you're butcher removed it, there's a membrane on the underside of the ribs.  Start at one end of the ribs, slide a knife under the membrane, lifting up and loosening it enough so that you can get a grip on it with a paper towel and pull it off.  It should come of in one big sheet but it it tears, just start again.  Discard the membrane.  It's important to remove the membrane as it becomes very rubbery if left on and cooked.  Who wants that?    

Place the ribs in a large pan and pour in about 4 cups apple cider.  Cover, place in fridge and allow to marinate over night or 6 to 24 hours.  Turn/flip once during marinating.  Remove ribs from cider.  Discard cider.  

Heat oven to 200 degrees.  In a small bowl, mix up all ingredients for the rub.  Sprinkle over and rub into ribs on both sides.  Each rack should be covered in rub.  Wrap each rack up in a large piece of heavy duty aluminum foil.  Roll up edges so ribs are well sealed in the foil.  

Place on a baking sheet and place in oven.  Cook for 3 - 4 hours.  Three hours is enough time but I think 4 is better.  Remove from oven and let rest.  Turn on your oven's broiler and move the oven rack to the highest position.

While ribs are resting.  Get the sauce ready.  Mash up the chipotle pepper into a paste  with a fork or in a small bowl.  Combine all ingredients for the sauce, including the chipotle pepper, in a small sauce pot.  Simmer for 10 minutes.  

Remove ribs from foil and place on baking sheet.  Discard foil.  Baste ribs with warm sauce on both sides.  Place in oven under broiler and cook 15 minutes.   

Remove from oven.  Cut in between each individual rib bone and serve with left over sauce.