Spring is in the air – finally – and we’ve been wishing for BBQ ribs. It’s still a bit too cold for me to do much BBQing outside – but Oven BBQ’d, Fork-Tender, Fall-off-the-Bone Ribs – sound so good!

One of our local markets has ribs on sale this week and I found a great looking pack! I think if I would have passed by them in the market, they would have jumped in my cart by themselves. These were just screaming my name! LOL

I didn’t have any more than one tablespoon of fat to cut off these. I always clean my ribs up good and pull off the silver skin on the back side. When you eat my ribs – you use a fork – you have no choice!

A nice portion of old-fashioned-style macaroni salad sounded perfect to go with them.

Macaroni Salad

1 lb. cut ziti, cooked al dente
5 eggs, hard-cooked, chopped
2 ribs celery, chopped
Celery leaves, minced
1 small onion, minced
1 medium to large carrot, small dice
Chopped sweet pickles (you can use sweet relish)

Salt and fresh ground black pepper

Mayonnaise

Paprika – for “show”

The secret to a good macaroni salad is to cook your macaroni the right way. Bring the water to a full rolling boil, add salt and wait for it to return to a full boil before adding macaroni. Stir frequently to prevent sticking; drain thoroughly and rinse under cold water until cold.

While the macaroni is cooking, prep the remaining ingredients and place in a large bowl.

When thoroughly rinsed, and well drained, add macaroni to bowl with enough mayonnaise to coat to your liking. Season lightly with salt and pepper to taste – sprinkle paprika on top for “show”. Cover and refrigerate.

And on to my ribs –

After removing any excess fat, tendons and silver skin – I wash my ribs and pat dry. I cut this slab in half to fit in the pan. These were nice and meaty,

I rubbed a bit of olive oil onto both sides of the ribs before seasoning – Kosher salt, fresh ground black pepper, parsley, garlic, onion powder, chili powder, basil, paprika, a bit of my Creole seasoning – covered with foil and placed in a preheated 350* F. oven. After an hour, turn and season the other side; cover and back in the oven. After an additional hour, turn again. Thirty minutes later, turn again – removing foil. Thirty minutes, turn again and slather on the BBQ sauce. Fifteen minutes later, turn and slather the other side with BB sauce. Fifteen minutes later – on the platter for serving.

I made a simple BBQ sauce – ketchup-based, apple cider vinegar, spices, onion, Worcestershire, brown sugar, basically all eye-balled. Combine in saucepan; simmer 15 minutes.

Served with sweet bread and butter pickles.


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