BBQ Ribs from Trader Joe’s

I’ve always been a big Trader Joe’s fan, as a matter of fact it’s my favorite grocery store in Columbus. There are always new things to try, awesome recipes using their ingredients, it’s just one of those places that just send my creativity vibe haywire from a culinary standpoint. If I have one complaint about the place, it’s that they get rid of some of my favorite things to eat (The Emperor’s New Clove, Chicken Tikka Masala, I’m looking at you!) But since the great grill acquisition of 2008, I’ve been looking much more for stuff that I can throw on the grill and whip up in no time flat. Enter in their BBQ ribs.

BBQ Ribs from Trader Joe's

Enough to serve 3 or 4 people, it couldn’t be easier. Just throw them on the grill for about 15 minutes to heat up, and then brush on some of the reserved BBQ sauce. All of the BBQ rib taste without all of the time or work involved. The ultimate convenience food, and no one is the wiser.

What are your favorite Trader Joe products? Or what awesome dishes do you make using all TJ ingredients?

Barbecued Sausages with Chianti Sauce

I’ve got to say, I usually have a problem with many chef-written cookbooks, in regards to the recipes employing techniques that your average home cook doesn’t possess. Not so with Gordon Ramsay cookbooks – in his Gordon Ramsay Makes it Easy, all of the recipes I’ve tried so far have been straightforward and delicious.

This one is no exception. For this, I used sausages from Thurn’s, but decided to go with his sauce for a change. We did serve it on mashed potato, which paired perfectly. Although it’s hard to see on the sausages, you can make out the sauce on the potatoes.

Sausages with Chianti Sauce

Barbecued Sausages with Chianti Sauce
recipe courtesy Gordon Ramsay from “Gordon Ramsay Makes it Easy
serves 4-6

1 lb, 2 oz (500 g) good quality pork sausages

Sauce:
10 tbsp. (150 g) unsalted butter, chilled and diced
3 shallots, thinly sliced
1 garlic clove, minced
few thyme sprigs
2 cups (500 ml) chianti or similar red wine
1 tbsp. brown sugar
1 tsp. Dijon mustard
splash of balsamic vinegar
sea salt and pepper

Have the sausages ready at room temperature, but don’t prick them (as you want to keep the fat within to base them naturally on the barbecue).

To make the sauce, melt a bit of butter in a pan, then add the shallots, garlic and thyme. Cook over high heat for a few minutes, then add the wine and sugar and bring to a boil, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Boil steadily until reduced by half. Discard the thyme.

Take the sauce off the heat and whisk in the mustard and cold butter, a piece a time. Add the balsamic vinegarand season with salt and pepper to taste.

Barbecue the sausages slowly on medium heat until nicely colored and cooked through. Serve on a bed of herb-flavored mashed potato, with the chianti sauce, and crusty bread on the side.

Grill Lust Fulfilled

You know, it just occured to me I never wrote about whether not we got the ginormous grill that I was lusting after a few months ago. The short answer – why, yes – yes we did.

We’ve gone from this lovely charcoal number:

Old Grill - Sourpuss

to this beautiful monstrosity:

New Grill - Grill and Stove

It’s so damn big that it doesn’t fit into a single picture. Hell, it barely fits on our deck. Here’s a view of the stove and sink area:

New Grill - Stove and Sink

and another one of the fridge:

New Grill - Sink and Fridge

Gotta love Paul’s cheesy Price is Right poses. So what do we think of the beastie? Loves it. Loves it lots. Was worth every single penny. Having a sink and fridge there is invaluable. Being able cook on the stove while grilling? Awesome. My only complaint (if there is one) is that it’s hard on gas – we’ve gone through an entire canister on the grill already, but we have been grilling A LOT. And it did arrive dented, but with all the trouble we had getting it here (i.e. the $300+ shipping charge, plus the extra we had to pay for them to bring it around back), I wasn’t going to sweat the small stuff.

Still love my charcoal grill, but have been using the new grill almost exclusively. I’m trying to figure out how to use the smoker box right now. Stay tuned for lots of grilling recipes this summer.