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Lacy's Lit

Staying Cool in the Summer Kitchen

As I’ve gotten older, I realize I have to manage my energy not my time. So in the summer, I like to prep for the dinner meal in the mornings. That’s the perfect time to wash and chop produce: lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers, pepper, etc. I also make a pitcher of tea for the day. I like mixing marinades and dressings.

Here are few tips to keeping a cool head during the hot and humid evenings of summer.
1. Keep an assortment of breads, cheeses and deli meats handy along with olives, pickles and interesting spreads to create flavorful sandwiches.
2. Make a large pitcher of spa water and tea in the morning so you have something cool to sip on all day.
3. Use small appliances. Most cooks use their slow cooker during the fall and winter but it’s perfect for cooking in the summer. It doesn’t heat your kitchen like a big oven.
4. Take advantage of all the great inexpensive produce and fruits such as corn, tomatoes, lettuces, strawberries, blackberries and mangoes. Mix veggies and fruits in your salads. Add lean proteins such as salmon, chicken breasts and shrimp.
5. Invite folks over for a potluck supper. Summer is the perfect time to catch up with friends over cool salads and grilled meats.

If you are looking for some interesting summer recipes, check out:
“The Summer Shack Cookbook: The Complete Guide to Shore Food,” by Jasper White
“Crab & Oysters,” a Savor the South cookbook by Bill Smith
“Comfort Foods of the South,” by Barry Moody

Here's one of my favorite recipes for summer, Chef Barry Moody’s Spice Delight Oven-Roasted Baby Back Ribs. You can stay cool and comfortable as these cook on in the oven. I like cooking them early in the morning before the heat of the day. After they are cooked, slice into 1-rib portions. That makes them easier to warm in the microwave for dinner.

Ingredients:
2 slabs baby back ribs
1 cup Spice Delight BBQ Rub
2 cups apple juice
2 cups Spice Delight Sweet and Zesty BBQ Sauce

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Rinse ribs and pat dry. Season both sides of the ribs with Spice Delight BBQ Rub. Marinate overnight.

When ready to cook, place ribs on the rack. Sprinkle additional rub on the bottom of the roaster. Pour apple juice in the pan to ensure the ribs are completely infused with the seasoning.

Place ribs on the rack in the roaster and cover pan with lid. Cook 2 1/2 to 3 hours until ribs are tender. If the ribs yield a lot of grease, pour it in an oil separator and return the apple juice mixture to the roaster.

Brush ribs on both sides with Spice Delight Sweet and Zesty BBQ Sauce. To brown, return the ribs to the oven for 20 minutes without the top on the roaster. Place ribs in serving dish. Pour the roasting pan juices over the ribs to add flavor and to keep the ribs moist.

Spice Delight products are sold at Fresh Market
Recipe courtesy of Chef Barry Moody, www.spicedelight.com


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