Recipe Test Nest » 5 Star » BBQ Ribs & Corn on the Cob
BBQ Ribs & Corn on the Cob

For the 2nd half of my August theme of connecting to my southern roots , I took on BBQ ribs. I also tried to recreate a North Carolina classic cola called Cheerwine…a cherry cola of sorts, any true Carolinian has it among their favorite sodas (and RC Cola). We had a great evening and my wonderful testers were Sharon Franke, Emily Kunz, Jason Bond, Todd Stevens, Russ Hill, Barbara Anglisz and Nick Cordua. Sharon come early to sous chef and also helped take pictures for the evening – thanks Sharon!

Homemade Cheerwine with Muddled Cherry Syrup (3.5 Stars)

I really love a little dash of grenadine and maraschino cherries to liven up a cola. Unfortunately I didn’t have any Cheerwine experts to test it out, but testers did enjoy the drink. Nick loved this and gave it a 5 star. I did like the syrup, but would suggest using whole fresh cherries as a garnish rather than the macerated ones. I also paired it with coke, which does have its own distinct taste, so might be better with a generic cola to give a more unique flavor. Smash 1 lb. cherries with 1 cup sugar.

Crab, Chile and Mint on Sourdough (4.5 Stars)

These were a great choice for an appetizer. A perfect amount of chile and garlic adds good depth. It could use another tablespoon of mint and a tad more lime. The slices were a little too thick and a few guests wanted them right out of the oven. The diverse flavor profile resulted in a little different flavor in each bite.

Gazpacho with Watermelon and Avocado (3 Stars)

This NY Times recipe left a lot to be desired and there were a lot of mixed reviews. Barb didn’t like the watermelon, Emily is not a watermelon fan but liked the watermelon since it added texture and was refreshing. Over all, this dish could have been brighter. The avocado was a great addition as well. Nick and Todd gave it a 5 and others said it should be a throw away. So if you have a fabulous gazpacho recipe that you already love, maybe try to add a little watermelon and avocado to it next time and see what you think.

BBQ Pork Ribs (4 Stars)

I slow cooked these and they were tender, moist and fell right off the bone. The vinegary BBQ sauce was great, Emily said close to a 5 and she is from Kansas – they are picky about their BBQ. I used a store bought honey bbq and added cider vinegar, mustard, brown sugar, Worcestershire, minced garlic and chopped thyme.

Corn on the Cob with Chile and Lime (4 Stars)

Nick loved the sauce. It was a good mix of flavor, but keep it chilled so that it doesn’t melt too much with the hot corn. Sharon suggested rolling the corn in the sauce before serving. The leftover sauce is great on quesadillas.

Frozen Chocolate Caramel Parfaits (5 Stars)

These were AMAZING. The caramel could be stronger. The hot fudge sauce was great. Because the mousselike parfaits are so rich the portions could even be smaller. This is not a quick dessert to make, it does take some time, but definitely worth it.


One Comment (Leave a Reply)

  1. Mary (September 26, 2011)

    Oh Amber that looks good. I want to try that dessert, not that I should add any more to my recipe box as I eat and make way too many but that looks incredibly good.



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