As all good things come to an end so did my chances of winning a cookbook during the four-week span of Rick Bayless’s recipe challenge. I tried my best, sometimes a little too much, and the outcome may have been justly reflected. Needless to say, I enjoyed my time in the kitchen trying out new cuisine! Just about every part of this challenge was something I  had yet to try, and this final recipe may have been my favorite; Chipotle-Honey Glazed Ribs.

Per usual Rick tweeted his 140 character recipe, and it went as follows:

“Proc 4 grlc,6T ancho,4t sugr&peppr,5t salt,1t oreg,½t cumin.Rub 4 slb ribs;ovrnite.Bake 300 75 min.Blend:7oz chiptles&3/4c honey.Grill;glaze”

Excited to be making ribs for the first time I couldn’t wait to begin. I know that this is something just about every “dude” has grilled with his buddies while tailgating with their collapsible Coleman grills , but this recipe seemed to have much more of a refined production.  What really got me excited was the simplicity of the sauce; just chipotles in adobo and honey. KC Masterpiece need not apply!

To begin the weekly adventure I headed to our local market. This time I went to Food Star to pick up the ingredients I needed. As a side note: living right outside the city does have its perks sometimes. Food Star has just about every Latin American ingredient you can think of, which is the type of market you can only find in the “‘burbs”. Due to high turnover their butcher’s counter has quite an abundant selection of fresh meats. So it was here that I found the slabs of baby-back ribs (three racks) for a reasonable $13! The only ingredient I had trouble finding was the ground ancho powder. After checking two Latin markets and every chain grocery store in my area I had given up hope until the bf stepped in with a vacuumed sealed bag of it. How he has stuff like this on-hand at all times never ceases to amaze me.

Back in my mad-scientist laboratory I got to work. Waking roommates up to the sound of a whirling food processor as I mixed the ingredients for the dry rub was a welcomed sound I’m sure…Sorry guys! From the initial taste of the rub I knew that this recipe was going to be a success. It was the perfect blend of heat balanced with abundance of salt and the sweetness of the brown sugar. After coating the ribs I left them in the fridge to “marinate” for about seven hours. I think if I make these again I will let them sit overnight.

After I let the ribs cook in the oven at 300ºF for 75 minutes I sort of question the recipe. If left to cook a little longer say, 90 minutes at a lower temperature say, 275º I think that the meat may have rendered a little more fat and become a bit more tender. (There will always be time to experiment at a later date.)  As I removed the ribs from the oven I wanted to eat them then and there, but refrained to go light the grill and get the glaze going.  I set the grill on low and placed the ribs away from direct flame on the top rack, and using my handy silicon pastry brush I coated one side of the rack then allowed the glaze to cook onto the meat. I flipped the meat and repeated this a few more times until the sauce was used completely.

The end result: amazing! The meat wasn’t falling-off-the-bone tender, but still easy enough to eat, and the flavor was abundant. The heat from the canned chipotles balances nicely with the honey. If you’re sensitive to a lot of spice I would advise cutting back on the juice from the peppers and using a bit more honey. This sauce has kick! I have a feeling this ribs will be made several more times throughout football season.

My submitted photo is below. It didn’t get a win but I’m still proud of myself for giving this Twitter challenge a go. If anything I am a lot more comfortable with various types of Mexican flavors. I can see myself eventually picking up a copy of Rick’s newest book: Fiesta At Rick’s to continue to experiment and broaden my horizons in the kitchen. I love that these recipes are all dishes that would compose a fun, festive night with good friends and a few margaritas.  So, congrats to all the winners of this final challenge – it was fun to see everyone’s interpretations, plating, and photography.

If you submitted any photos to the challenge please leave me a comment or a link to your blog. I would love to see what everyone else thought of this experience.  Hopefully more competitions like this will start to pop up as chefs and restaurants use Twitter as a platform for recipe sharing. I have noticed that Eric Ripert (@ericripert) has been posting 140 character versions of some of his recipes as well.

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  1. Sean says:

    I think your ribs look great, particularly the closeup photos of them. Yours look more tender than mine, which you can read about here:

    I loved following this contest for 4 weeks. I’ve never really tried anything like it before so it was a new adventure. The idea of cooking from a Tweet was my favorite part, just because of the challenge.

    I ended up winning in week 4, which was incredible, but I think totally lucky. It was so hard to try and judge what with make Rick pick your photo. There seemed to be almost no rhyme or reason for his decisions. In the end, I actually just decided to do the opposite of what my gut told me.

    This one was probably my favorite too, even if it was searingly spicy. The average Joe should really follow your recommendations on cutting down the heat. Nice job! I’m sure this isn’t the last time Rick will have some kind of Twitter cook-off, so make sure your knives are sharp and ready for the next one!

    • Thanks! I love your photos too and congratulations on your win! I really wish that he had picked me for this last one.

      If anything I ended up with a great tailgate go-to for the future. I hope to see more of these contests around and I know that I will be keeping an eye out for your photos.

  2. Cedarglen says:

    Congratulations to BOTH of you on excellent recipes! Don’t you know it, I’ll use a combination of the two for my next rib experiment. Outstsanding work folks!

  3. Food says:

    Excellent post! I really enjoyed reading it. I will be back for more!

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