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Dark and Stormy Ribs - yes Please! 
recipe from foodandwine.com
I wanted to change things up a little bit this month. Cocktails are great and I'm sure as heck going to keep making them, but I get hungry too. What better way to enjoy cocktail than paired with delicious booze infused food. So I did some searching and found just what I was looking for. Now I'm no chef, but cooking with alcohol is my specialty because it's just an excuse to open a bottle of something. 
So, here's what you need 

Ingredients: 
•    1/4 cup kosher salt
•    1 1/2 tsp ground black pepper 
•    1 tsp crushed red pepper 
•    2 Tbsp. granulated sugar 
•    2 racks baby back ribs (3 1/2 pounds) 
•    2 cups ginger beer
•    1 cup dark rum (I used Kraken)
•    1/2 cup lightly packed dark brown sugar 
•    2 Tbsp. soy sauce

I used Kraken because of the intensity of the flavor, it's not overpoweringly sweet, just delicious
Directions:
1. In a small bowl, mix the salt with the black pepper, crushed red pepper and granulated sugar. On a large rimmed baking sheet, rub the seasoned salt all over the ribs and let stand for 2 hours. 
*I added a bit more crushed red pepper, I wanted the end product to have just a little kick to it. 
2. Preheat the oven to 375°. In a bowl mix the ginger beer with the rum, brown sugar and soy sauce. This is when you realize just how good this is gonna be, just look at all that beautiful rum. 
3. Put the ribs in a large roasting pan and pour the rum mixture over. Cook the ribs in the oven for 3 hours, or until tender (turn the ribs halfway through)

4. Pull the ribs from the oven and let rest. Light a grill or preheat the broiler. Transfer the ribs to a cutting board; reserve the cooking liquid. Cut the racks into individual ribs. Grill the ribs over moderately high heat or broil them, turning, until lightly charred on all sides, about 3 minutes. Dip the ribs in the reserved cooking liquid, transfer to a platter and serve.

*I chose to broil mine because we’re in Alaska and it is cold outside and I just didn’t have it in me to fire up the grill. But I was not disappointed. My ribs were so tender by the time I pulled them from the oven I’m afraid I might have lost some on the grill.
You end up using 1 and a half bottles (or cans) of ginger beer, so what’s to be done with that ½ bottle? Well, it seems obvious to me, make a Dark & Stormy cocktail to compliment these beautiful ribs. Dark rum, ginger beer, and a squeeze of lime.
That salad on the side is a Bloody Mary Salad, the dressing is made with Tito’s Vodka. (Recipe: http://www.framedcooks.com/2012/08/bloody-mary-salad.html)
The only thing left to do is eat and enjoy. 

These ribs are fall off the bone tender, and packed full of flavor. There is a mild sweetness and a bite of spice from the rum and the red pepper bite is a wonderful good compliment. All tasters agreed, this is a recipe we'll do again, next time for company. 
 
5 Stars
--MA West
 
Cooking with alcohol can add many fun and delicious elements to your meal. It's also a great excuse to have a drink while you cook or make your weeknight a fancy drink and dinner pairing with just one little added ingredient: Booze. 

Take for example the Dark & Stormy ribs from above. You'd better believe they got paired with Dark & Stormy cocktails. I mean, the rum bottle was opened and there was ginger beer that couldn't be wasted. 

However, there's a bit of a learning curve, (at least there was for me) and if done incorrectly, alcohol in the dinner can be a disaster. **I suggest making sure you leave enough to drink, for when this happens** I'm here to tell you about some things I learned at the beginning that has helped me step up my dinner-time game. 

Meat marinades are an easy way to start, just make sure you give it time to sink in. Replace a bit of the liquid in your favorite marinade recipes with the liquor of your choice. Darker liquor like stouts or whiskeys for dark meat and gin or tequila for lighter meats.Start with smaller amounts and see if you can taste it, then move on up! 

Another safe bet is de-glazing the pan, I recommend this with wine and beer. After you take your meat and veggies out of the pan add in just a bit of the booze (you don't need much, just a couple tablespoons so there's plenty left to drink) scrap all the goodness off the bottom of the pan and then let things simmer and thicken. So much goodness on the bottom of that pan, that it's a shame to let it go to waste. You can use this as a sauce or as the base for something more.

Be brave and try a few recipes. There are so many options out there from standard beer batters and beer soups to a bit more creative boozy mac & cheese, and so, so many meat marinades. Honestly, the possibilities are endless. Let's get cooking! ... and drinkin' 
We've gotten a few new things in, and some classics at great prices - don't forget to come by and check things out this week! 
Brand new to Alaska! Bayou Rum, American made, born in Louisiana. Spiced, Silver, or Satsuma
$21.99
A by Acacia Pinot Noir is our Wine of the Month.Vibrant red cherry, raspberry and dark plum.
$12.99 - You Save $9
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