Saturday, December 26, 2009

Ribs 101.7 - Final Exam ... RESTAURANT QUALITY SALAD

Students, today marks the final class session for RIBS 101. It all started with COOKING WITH THE CAPTAIN, the Captain said she wanted to make Ribs for her mother, the Admiral. With the post, Ribs 101 - Class, we are making SPARERIBS !!!; I went onto detail about how a novice can make a GREAT rack of ribs... in the oven, without a dedicated smoker or using a grill.

I chose spareribs for the instructional post for a couple of reasons. First is price. Spareribs are a huge bargain compared to baby back ribs. The per pound price is always at least half the price. But the real bargain comes when you use the trimmed meat or "flap meat" as ingredients in left overs. For the instructional post, I made two racks of ribs. I have now posted 7 meals using my leftovers. I had a lot of fun (and saved a lot of money) making appetizers, side dishes, snacks and main courses during the week. 7 additional menu items all made from the original 2 racks of meat. With today's post on a salad, I am calling an end to the semester. BUT, I have another set of ribs in the freezer, Stay tuned for next semester's classes.

And BTW, I have a small bag of maybe 1/2 cup of diced rib meat left in the freezer. For a brief minute I considered making chocolate chip/rib meat cookies (salty chocolate is all the rage right now). After all, with all the courses I made from the leftovers, dessert has to be a consideration. I am still pondering a rib meat dessert.

We will see.

But first, let's finish this series up with a bang...

A Spinach salad
with hot rib meat and rib meat drippings dressing
topped with a poached egg!

The salad will feature not just rib meat laid on top of lettuce (or in this case, spinach); it will also have a HOT rib meat drippings dressing, topped with a poached egg...

You will need ...

brown sugar
oil (a great time to break out that flavored oil)
vinegar (best quality balsamic or wine flavored)
and I like to top with walnuts.

OK, I have already shown off my poaching egg abilities in this post... the LAST Turkey Leftover Post - AND I POACH an EGG!!!. Click that link for my lesson on how to poach an egg if you have never done one.

So, let's move on to the dressing...

I am a little lean on photos for this, so it's a step by step lesson using your imagination...
  1. Slice up some of the "Flap Meat" leftovers from your spareribs.
  2. In a small skillet, warm up the meat. This will leave behind the drippings and rendered fat. the drippings will be spiced with the rub you used on the original baking of the spareribs. Yes, a few of you are saying to yourselves... "Ahhh, he is making a hot bacon dressing"... Shhhhhhh, don't tell anyone, I want to pretend I am reinventing the wheel here.
  3. Remove the meat, set aside and add a couple of tablespoons of Oil, Vinegar and Brown sugar to the drippings. Mix well and heat till all is hot.
  1. Lay a bed of spinach on your plate.
  2. top with the rib meat
  3. add some walnut pieces
  4. top with a poached egg
  5. drizzle dressing and listen to the Ohhhs and Ahhhs
If you have never had hot bacon dressing (Oops, I mean hot rib meat dressing) drizzled over a poached egg, you are really missing a treat. The soft oozing yolk mixes with the dressing and the meat and the spinach to create a combined mixture of tastes better than the parts.

And thus ends the lecture series for this semester. This post is actually also a part of a new series I will be starting after the first of the year when I try to recreate (dare I say improve) restaurant menu items from my past. I was very pleased with the results of this effort. It was inspired by a meal Jackie and I had at a wonderful small privately owned restaurant. the place seated maybe 20 people. The husband waited tables and the wife was the chef. I enjoy a spinach salad, and order them often. I ordered this without looking at the details, and was very surprised when I was presented a plate very similar to what I made here (she used strips of steak instead of the rib meat, otherwise exactly the same). It was my first time to have a poached egg on a salad, and was the first time for the hot dressing for me. I have eaten out hundreds of times before and since that meal, but when I ponder great salads, this one comes to mind.

Sadly, that restaurant dream did not survive. But in my small way, I hope I honored that chef with my attempts at recreating the dish.

I hope everyone enjoyed their Christmas. Hope Santa was generous...

Look at the beauty under my tree... And I got some gifts as well!

Poor Eng, he has fallen in love with these two reindeer. This is now where he sleeps, and when I try to unplug them, he meows in protest. January 2nd, we are going to break his poor kitty heart.

My wife's lazy good for nothing cat, Chang got off her basket for Christmas morning to see what all the paper rattling was about. Anytime she moves, I consider it a Christmas miracle!

Hope everyone had a safe holiday, and all is clear and easy for your trips home.


  1. very interesting salad - hope you had a great Christmas.

  2. I try to have a salad at least once a year...

  3. Wow! This truly IS restaurant quality. Well done and presented indeed. LOL about the cats. We went to throw out a box, it was a little heavy, one of our cats was weighing down the wrapping paper we stuffed in it. Guess it'll be the cat's box until rubbish day. Can't possibly take it away from her now.

  4. Salad.. it does a body good, especially one like this.

    Your wife looks so lovely! Beautiful tree!

  5. The salad sure sounds tasty! I hope you and your wife had a wonderful Christmas - it looks like a winter wonderland out your window. Stay warm and cozy while you're snowed in!

  6. Those eggs won me over. I know you put lots of work into this and it is great but those eggs are just calling to me.

    Interesting combination.

  7. It sounds like you had a good Christmas! Antime you put an egg on a salad, I am sooo there!

  8. I have never had hot bacon dressing. So for me, you have definitely reinvented the wheel! This looks fantastic. I foresee a lot of salads in my imminent at least try to do some damage control on the days when I'm not gorging myself on chocolate. This one looks fantastic.

    The leg is doing better. Still not perfect. I've been stationary biking to try to stay in shape but I think I'll be back to running by New Year's. Keep your fingers crossed and thanks so much for asking :D

  9. I love the idea of a poached egg on spinach salad with that dressing. HAVE to have it. I think you're going to have to leave up those reindeer year round. :-)

  10. Ah, just like Juno, I see Cheng is also a tree skirt hog!

  11. what a yummy salad! I think it was the egg that got me!

  12. You have out done yourself on this blog .It all looks so delicious. I don't know where to begin ..