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Monday, November 2, 2009

"Ribs" and Potato Skins

Let start of by saying that I loathe fighting with my food; I get no pleasure over gnawing meat off the bone. You get gristle in your teeth and grease all over your chin and it is just not a pretty sight. Since The Husband likes ribs I have come up with a way to make faux ribs that one does not have to struggle to eat. No, I am not talking about soy ribs or some other depravity of the sort, heaven forfend, but pork tenderloins made to look like ribs. I'm not even going to attempt to argue that they don't have the taste of ribs, because they don't but they do make a good substitute.

Above is a shot of my home made barbeque sauce. Honestly I can barely remember what I put in it but it was probably chili sauce with honey, balsamic vinegar, cayenne peper, rosemary and some other herbs and spices.

Here are my faux ribs. Basically you take pork tenderloins, butterfly them and then pound them flat with a meat tenderizer. I applied a dry rub of brown sugar, paprika, onion powder and garlic powder on them before they went into the oven. Obviously, it is better on the barbeque but it's October right now and since I live in the Northern Hemisphere that's not really a choice right now.

I found a recipe for potato skins in a magazine to which I subscribe. I've actually never had them but anything with potatoes and cheese intrigues me so I decided to give them a try.

The potatoes went in the oven for 45 minutes and then I hollowed them out with a spoon. I used to work at coffee shops during High School and University so after spilling hot milk over my hands a million times I now have a rather high pain tolerance in my hands and can do things like pick up potatoes after they've just come out from the oven. That is the legacy of my tuition paying jobs, that and I make can make a pretty mean latte.

After they were hollowed out I sprayed them with olive oil and a mix of cayenne pepper, paprika and salt. They want back into the oven for 10 minutes or so to get crispy.

Once they came out again I stuffed them with cheddar, green onions and turkey bacon. The handle of my cheese grater had broken and I thought it was overkill to take out the food processor hence why I cut the cheese into little chunks. Back into the oven they went for another 15 minutes.

While all of that was going on I basted the pork a few times.

They're starting to more like actual ribs at this point.

Since my potatoes seemed to be menacing to cross the threshold from crispy to burnt I took them out along with the pork.

Even without the benefit of a grill and flames they still developed a nice colour.


Overall my dinner was pretty good. I wish I had used stronger cheddar in the potato skins though since I used marbled and it was pretty mild. I'm not sure if I would make the potato skins again since they are a bit labour intensiver given the final result but they were fun to try at least once.
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