It’s too darn hot to turn on the stove.
And too sunny to spend the afternoon in the kitchen.
Which is why we love food writer, blogger, and mom Stacie Billis’s idea to slow cook our way through the summer.
Slow-Cooked Asian-Style Ribs
Serves four to six
5 lbs. of baby back ribs
2 c. sauce (recipe below)
1. If the ribs still have their silverskin (the white-silvery connective tissue on the backside; some butchers remove this for you), remove it.
2. Slather sauce all over the ribs.
3. If necessary, cut the ribs to fit in a slow cooker and layer them in. Pour any remaining sauce in, too.
4. Turn your slow cooker to the four-hour setting and let it do the work.
5. When done, the ribs will be falling-off-the-bone tender.
6. If you’d like, finish them in the oven or on the grill to achieve crispy edges. Just baste and broil or grill for about three minutes, basting one more time before done.
One Hungry Mama Asian-Style BBQ Sauce
Makes about 2 cups
2 tbsp. vegetable oil
1 tbsp. sesame oil
2 tsp. finely chopped garlic
2 tbsp. tomato paste
3 tsp. finely chopped ginger
½ tsp. five spice
2 tsp. dry mustard
1 c. hoisin sauce
½ c. dry sherry
4 tsp. hot sauce, such as sriracha
½ c. lime juice
1 tbsp. rice wine vinegar
½ c. brown sugar
1/3 c. soy sauce
1. Heat vegetable and sesame oil together in a medium saucepan over medium heat.
2. Stir in garlic, tomato paste, ginger, five spice, and mustard. Cook, stirring all the while, until all of the ingredients combine into a dark red paste, about three minutes.
3. Add hoisin sauce, sherry, hot sauce, lime juice, vinegar, sugar, and soy sauce. Stir to combine.
4. Bring to a low simmer and continue cooking until the sauce reduces by about a third (it should be the consistency of jarred BBQ sauce). The sauce will keep in an airtight container in the fridge for up to five days.
For more mealtime inspiration, check out Billis’s blog online at onehungrymama.com.
Giggle, Giggle, Quack
What: A string of chaotic events unfolds when Farmer Brown puts his city slicker brother in charge of the barnyard (ages 3 and up).
Why: Watch some really beastly behavior.
When: Fri.-July 25.
Where: Dallas Children’s Theater, Rosewood Center for Family Arts, 5938 Skillman St. Tickets at 214-740-0051 or online at dct.org. Adults and children, $14-$25.
Giants of the Savanna
What: Elephants, giraffes, lions, and other African animals roam the new exhibit.
Why: A safari right in the heart of Texas.
When: Mon.-Fri., 9 a.m.-5 p.m.; Sat. & Sun., 8 a.m.-5 p.m.
Where: Dallas Zoo, 650 S. R.L. Thornton Fwy. (214-670-6826). Adults and children 12 and up, $12; children 3-11, $9; under 2, free.
Story Time at the Carter
What: Listen to stories, munch on snacks, and score special bookplates (all ages).
Why: Changing galleries keep it fresh.
When: Thru July 28. Wed., 10:30-11:30 a.m.
Where: Amon Carter Museum, 3501 Camp Bowie Blvd., Fort Worth (817-738-1933). Admission is free.
Photo: Courtesy of One Hungry Mama