Thursday, July 30, 2009

CA Scotch Chick's Surprisingly Low Carb Candied Baby Back Short Ribs

Since the CA Scotch Couple are such gluttons when they are in the presence of great food, they strive to keep their svelte figures by cuttin' out the carbs when they are at home. As a result they are constantly on the search for Tasty Tidbits that will please their palates without tilting the scales. As part of this endeavor, CA Scotch Chick just accidentally created what might be the best darn Brown Sugar Baby Back Ribs ever – and, according to the CA Scotch Couple's back of the envelope calculations, each serving has only 25 grams of carbs. 

What makes this recipe so special is that CA Scotch Chick neglected to read the fine print on the package of Splenda Brown Sugar, which states that 1/2 cup of regular brown sugar is equal to 1/4 cup of Splenda Brown Sugar. In addition, CA Scotch Chick is not known for her light touch, and she applied her "more is better" maxim to this recipe. The rub doesn't just coat the ribs; it is packed on. 

The accidental doubling of the main ingredient combined with the CA Scotch Chick's historically heavy hand resulted an amazing melding of sweet and salt that caramelized as an intensely flavorful crust on the ribs. The other aspect to the dish that really takes it over the top is the addition of little dehydrated minced garlic pieces. These little garlic kernels are embedded in the caramelized crust adding a really nice savory balance to the sweet.

While proper attention to the recipe would bring the carbs down to less than 13 grams per serving, it isn't worth it. The CA Scotch Couple like the accident ten times better than the actual recipe, and assuming one rack of baby back ribs provides four servings (as it does in CA Scotch Chick's house), the result is still a relatively low carb, incredibly delicious Tasty Treat.

So, here it is Ladies and Gents, give it a try and enjoy! Pair it with a smokier whisky to balance out the sweet.

CA Scotch Chick's Candied Brown Sugar Baby Back Ribs

Rub (enough for two racks, if only doing one rack, use half of the rub and store the rest in an air tight container)
1 C Splenda Brown Sugar
1/2 tsp Dried Basil
1/2 tsp Dried Thyme
1/4 C Kosher Salt
1/8 C Black Pepper
1/8 C Chili Powder
1/8 C Dehydrated Minced Garlic

Take the baby back ribs and strip the thin membrane from the back. It isn't as hard as it seems, just work your finger between the meat and the thin sheath and start peeling. Once you get it started, try to peel it so that the entire sheath comes off as a unit. If not, just work your finger under again and take off the rest. Really, even though it seems like a pain, it is worth it.

If you are used to boiling your ribs, don't do it this time. The ribs will be tender without it.

At least two hours before you are to cook the ribs but as far ahead of time as possible (CA Scotch Chick prepares the ribs the night before), cut each slab of baby backs into two sections and lay them in an oven bag in a non-stick roasting pan with their backs up (two sections per big turkey size oven bag, one per little oven bag). Gently rub the coating on the backs. Turn the ribs over. Now, not so gently scoop up the rub with your hand and pack it onto ribs, making sure to coat the edges too. Remember to snag any additional rub that falls off in the bag and find a place on the meat for it. Tie the bag with the handy dandy included tie.

When ready to cook, preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Cut holes in the top of the bag per instructions and bake in the bag for one hour. 

Carefully cut the bag all the way open, peeling it back away from the ribs as much as possible (watch out for the steam). The more of the rib exposed to the final cooking, the crustier the ribs will be. CA Scotch Chick peels it all the way back and tucks it away from the ribs, while attempting to keep any fluid from flowing out of the bag.

Bake with the bag peeled back for an additional 45 minutes. 

Pry out of bag and enjoy! Ribs should be tender, crusty, and oh so salty/sweet. Mmmmm candied meat!

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