Smart Choices Can Go a Long Way with Barbecue

Article excerpt

Smart choices in the kitchen mean you can afford a big spread for a group. Make-ahead prep means time savings are big, too. So dig in!

Three kinds of ribs, three lemonades, two salads, two appetizers and a creative dessert add up to a memorable meal. Who'd guess all this was prepared on a budget?

One basic recipe lets you serve three kinds of ribs. Here's how: Bake the ribs until tender in the oven, then move them to the grill with a choice of glazes and sauces.

Update the standard three-bean salad with a fourth bean -- edamame -- and a bold new dressing that includes mustard, garlic and red wine.

Potato salad is super creamy thanks to the combo of ranch dressing and mayonnaise. It's also super flavorful: The potatoes are roasted with onions and garlic.

Country Ribs

Start with these basic ribs. Add the trio of sauces (or triple one of the sauces) and grill. To serve 12, you will need to repeat this recipe three times.

12 to 15 pounds country-style pork ribs

Water

Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Trim the fat from the ribs. Place 1 cup of water in each of two large roasting pans. (If you don't have two large roasting pans, use two extra-large disposable roasting pans placed on baking sheets for support, or a roasting pan and two 13- by 9- by 2-inch pans.)

Place the ribs in a single layer, meaty side up. Generously sprinkle with salt and black pepper. Cover with foil.

Bake the ribs for 13/4 to 2 hours or until tender. Carefully remove the foil.

For a charcoal grill: Place the ribs, in batches, on the grill rack directly over medium-heat coals. Grill for 10 to 15 minutes, brushing with sauces as directed in sauce recipes.

For a gas grill: Heat the grill. Reduce the heat to medium. Place the ribs on the grill rack. Cover and grill for 10 to 15 minutes, brushing with sauces as directed in sauce recipes.

Serve or transfer the ribs to a slow cooker set on low heat to keep warm.

Makes 4 servings.

Nutrition information per serving (ribs only): 351 calories, 13 grams fat (5 grams saturated), 187 milligrams cholesterol, 53 grams protein, 0 carbohydrates, 0 dietary fiber, 330 milligrams sodium.

Rosemary & Citrus Sauce

1/4 cup fresh rosemary, coarsely chopped

1/4 cup olive oil

2 tablespoons lemon peel, finely shredded

2 tablespoons lemon juice

2 tablespoons orange peel, finely shredded

2 tablespoons grapefruit peel, finely shredded

1/2 teaspoon sea salt or salt

1/3 recipe Country Ribs (see recipe)

Lemon wedges (optional)

In a bowl, combine the rosemary, oil, lemon peel and juice, orange peel, grapefruit peel and salt. Brush half of the mixture on the ribs at the beginning of grilling. Brush the remaining mixture on the ribs during the last minute of grilling. Serve with lemon wedges.

Makes 4 servings.

Nutrition information per serving (ribs and sauce): 481 calories, 27 grams fat (7 grams saturated), 187 milligrams cholesterol, 53 grams protein, 3 grams carbohydrates, 1 gram dietary fiber, 531 milligrams sodium.

Rhubarb-Chipotle Sauce

2 cups (about 8 ounces) chopped fresh or frozen rhubarb

1 small onion, chopped

1/4 cup water

1/2 cup strawberry jam

1/4 cup ketchup

1 tablespoon cider vinegar

1 tablespoon yellow mustard

1 chopped canned chipotle pepper in adobo sauce

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1/8 teaspoon salt

1/3 recipe Country Ribs (see recipe)

Fresh parsley or cilantro (optional)

In a saucepan, combine the rhubarb, onion and water; bring to a boil. Reduce the heat; simmer, covered, for 5 minutes. Add the jam, ketchup, vinegar, mustard, chipotle pepper, garlic, Worcestershire sauce, pepper and salt. …