Memorial Day is the year’s first barbecue event at my home. Family and friends gather to enjoy food, drinks and conversation. Of course, there’s solemnity: my family, like millions of others, served America in the uniforms of the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps and as wartime nurses. Their progeny are grateful for their sacrifices and encourage sharing stories about them when we gather.
We’ve always loved outdoor cooking and dining. Everything truly tastes better when it’s enjoyed in fresh air.
Barbecue Spare Ribs
1 slab pork spare ribs (about 4 pounds)
4-ounces Rub Seasoning
2 bottles, Stubb’s Hickory Bourbon BBQ Sauce
4 ounces smoked paprika
2 ounces sugar
1 tsp salt
1 tps black pepper
1 teaspoon onion powder
Place pork rib slab flat on a clean chopping board. Pull off membrane. Cut off the excess fat and meat. Season both sides of the slab with Rub Seasoning. Refrigerate for at least 24 hours.
Preheat your grill at 275 degrees F, using hickory wood and charcoal.
Place the slab on the grill away from the flame, using indirect heat. Cook the slab for approximately 2 1/2 hours with the curl side up. Flip the slab over to finish cooking for approximately 1 hour or until you get full “bend” in the slab.
For dry ribs: Pull ribs off grill, sprinkle Rub Seasoning over entire slab. Cut between the bones and serve.
For wet ribs: Pull ribs off grill, pour sauce over slab. Cut between the bones and serve.
1/2 cup Logan Turnpike Grits
1/2 cup white corn meal
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tbs butter
2 tsp baking powder
3 eggs, separated
Stir grits into 2 1/2 cups of boiling, salted water, cover, and cook over a low heat for 30 minutes.
Measure out 2 cups of the hot grits and spoon into a mixing bowl.
Stir in butter until melted, then add the egg yolks, thoroughly beaten.
Sift the corn meal, salt, and baking powder together into the mixture and stir in thoroughly.
Beat the egg whites until they stand in peaks and fold into the batter.
Pour into a buttered l 1/2 quart baking dish.
Bake in a preheated 350° oven for 1 hour.
Justin Wilson’s Potato Salad
5 pounds potatoes (new red or mix of white and red)
4 eggs, hard-boiled, chopped
1 cup dill pickle relish
1/2 cup sweet pickle relish
1 cup salad olives , chopped
1 cup onion, chopped fine
1/2 cup celery, chopped fine
1/2 cup parsley, chopped fine
12 ounces mayonnaise
1/4 cup yellow mustard
Salt, to taste
Hot sauce, to taste
Boil potatoes in skins. Let cool then quarter or halve (smaller ones).
Mix mayonaise, mustard, salt and hot sauce in bowl.
Place potatoes and other ingredients in bowl. Add mayo mix and toss.
Let sit in fridge and blend preferably overnight.
Dillard House Strawberry Cobbler
At the Dillard House, this cobbler is served with lightly sweetened whipped cream.
2 cups self-rising flour
2/3 cup shortening
1 1/2 cups plus 6 tablespoons ice-cold water, as needed, divided
1 quart fresh strawberries, hulled and sliced
2/3 cup granulated sugar, plus 2 tablespoons for sprinkling on pastry
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, plus 1 tablespoon melted butter for brushing on pastry 1/2 cup cornstarch
In a large bowl, make pastry by combining flour and shortening. Use a pastry cutter or forks to cut shortening into small flakes, with no flake larger than a pea. Stir in enough cold water, about 6 tablespoons, to form a stiff dough. Wrap dough in plastic wrap and chill in refrigerator 1 hour. May be made 1 day in advance.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease a 10-inch deep dish pie pan.
In a large saucepan, bring strawberries, 1 cup water, 2/3 cup sugar and 1/2 stick butter to a boil over high heat. While strawberries are heating, in a small bowl, slowly pour cornstarch into remaining 1/2 cup water. Be sure to thoroughly dissolve cornstarch.
When strawberries have come to a boil, about 7 minutes, stir cornstarch mixture into strawberries. The strawberries will thicken instantly. Remove from heat and pour into prepared pie pan. Set aside.
Remove dough from refrigerator and roll out until it is paper thin. Using a round biscuit cutter, cut circles of dough and cover the top of the cobbler, overlapping the circles until all the strawberries are covered. Brush pastry with melted butter and sprinkle with 2 tablespoons sugar. Bake for 30 minutes or until cobbler is golden brown and strawberry mixture is bubbling. Allow to cool slightly before serving.
Sir Verde’s Wine and Cocktail Suggestions: We’re drinking American this holiday weekend. Dry Creek 2020 Chenin Blanc pairs seamlessly. For a red wine, serve Dry Creek’s 2019 Zinfandel Heritage Vines. Cocktails: open a bottle of Jack Daniel’s Old No. 7. Serve neat or mixed with Coca-Cola or real Ginger Ale.
Be happy. Bonne dégustation. Love one another.