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.
Cooking with Kids
What: Chef John Brandt-Lee and his young daughters Marissa and Ciara show how to whip up simple Italian fare at the hands-on class.
Why: Dishes like balsamic strawberries with ice cream prove there’s life beyond pizza.
When: Tues., 6:30-8:30 p.m.
Where: Avalon, 312 S. High St., West Chester. Reservations (required) at 610-436-4100. Adults, $45; first child, free; each additional child, $20.
What: Music, face painting, and more during the fifteen hours of nonstop fun.
Why: An excuse to let ’em stay up way past bedtime.
When: Sat., 3 p.m.-dawn.
Where: Kimmel Center, 300 S. Broad St. Tickets at 215-893-1999 or online at tickets.kimmelcenter.org. Adults and children 13 and up, $10; children 12 and under, $5.
Zoo Day at Herr’s
What: Visit the petting zoo, plus special games and crafts.
Why: Take a spin around the site to see how tasty spuds are made.
When: Mon., 10 a.m.-2 p.m.
Where: 271 Old Baltimore Pk., Nottingham. For snack tour reservations, call 800-637-6225.
Photo: Courtesy of One Hungry Mama