Tuesday, December 5, 2017

What's the Difference Between Baby Back Ribs and Spareribs?

Pork ribs are always a treat, whether cooked indoors or outdoors, but what kinds of ribs should you buy? Let's take a look at the two most commonly sold types of ribs: baby back ribs and St. Louis-style spareribs.
Baby back ribs
(Image credit: Christine Gallary)

Baby Back Ribs

Other names: pork loin back ribs, back ribs, or loin ribs
Back ribs are cut from where the rib meets the spine after the loin is removed. The upper ribs are called baby back ribs, but not because they come from a baby pig! They're only called baby because they are shorter in relation to the bigger spareribs.
(Image credit: Christine Gallary)
Each baby back rib rack averages 10 to 13 curved ribs that are 3 to 6 inches long and weigh about 1 1/2 to 2 pounds, which feeds about 2 people.
Baby back ribs are very tender and lean but are in higher demand than St. Louis-style spareribs, so they have a higher price tag.
St. Louis-Style Spareribs
(Image credit: Christine Gallary)

St. Louis-Style Spareribs

Other names: breastbone-off pork spareribs
Spareribs are the meaty ribs cut from the belly of the animal after the belly is removed. They are usually trimmed down into the popular St. Louis-style spareribs by cutting away the hard breastbone and chewy cartilage, so the slab is more rectangular in shape.
(Image credit: Christine Gallary)
St. Louis-style spareribs are flatter than baby back ribs, which makes them easier to brown. There is a lot of bone but also a higher amount of fat, making them very flavorful if cooked properly. Each slab usually weighs 2 1/2 pounds or more and feeds about three to four people, although the meatier, the better. St. Louis-style spareribs are cheaper than baby backs ribs.

Cooking Pork Ribs

Both baby back ribs and St. Louis-style spareribs require low, slow cooking time to become nice and tender. They are great for smoking, braising, grilling, or can be cooked in the oven. The ribs also take well to spice rubs and sauces.
Underside of the ribs
(Image credit: Christine Gallary)

Can You Substitute One Type of Rib for the Other?

Baby back ribs can be substituted for St. Louis-style spareribs, but since they are smaller, you will need about 1 1/2 times the amount of baby backs as St. Louis-style ribs.
The larger size of the St. Louis-style ribs means that they take longer to cook, so note that baby back ribs take about 1 1/2 to 2 hours to cook at 300°F, but St. Louis ribs will take 2 1/2 to 3 hours.
(Image credit: Emma Christensen)


How To Cook Ribs in the Oven

Serves 6 to 8

What You Need


4 to 5 pounds pork spareribs or baby back ribs
1/4 cup
Dijon mustard

2 teaspoons
liquid smoke (optional)

1 cup spice rub, like this one
1 cup barbecue sauce, store-bought or homemade
Baking sheet
Aluminum foil
Wire cooling rack
Pastry brush


Prepare the baking sheet: Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and set a cooling rack on top. Lay the ribs on top of the rack in a single layer. This arrangement allows for heat circulation on all sides of the ribs.

Season the ribs: Mix the mustard and the liquid smoke, if using, and brush the ribs on both sides. Sprinkle the ribs with the dry rub and pat gently to make sure the rub adheres to the rib meat. Note: This step can be done the day ahead for a deeper flavor. Wrap the seasoned ribs in plastic wrap and refrigerate.

Broil the ribs: Heat the broiler and place an oven rack a few inches below the heating element. Make sure the meaty side of the ribs is facing up. Broil the ribs for about 5 minutes, until the sugar in the dry rub is bubbling and the ribs are evenly browned.

Bake the ribs: Set the oven to 300°F. Move the ribs to an oven rack in the middle of the oven. Roast for 2 1/2 to 3 hours for spare ribs or 1 1/2 to 2 hours for baby back ribs. Halfway through cooking, cover the ribs with aluminum foil to protect them from drying out.

Brush with barbecue sauce: About 30 minutes before the end of cooking, brush the ribs with barbecue sauce, re-cover with foil, and finish cooking.

Rest the ribs and serve: The ribs are done when a knife slides easily into the thickest part of the rib meat. Let them rest, covered, for about 10 minutes, and then cut between the bones to separate the individual ribs. Serve immediately with extra barbecue sauce for dipping.    


Monday, December 4, 2017

Enchilada Stuffed Spaghetti Squash

Spaghetti Squash is SO healthy.  It's also well liked by my family. 
This recipe has a little Mexican flare, which we all love.

Vegetarian Enchilada Stuffed Spaghetti Squash...A healthy dinner with tons of flavors!  323 cal and 9 Weight Watcher PP | cookincanuck.com #recipe

I cooked the spaghetti squash first in the microwave, which only takes 15 minutes. If you’re partial to roasting it in the oven, by all means do that. You can cook the squash earlier in the day and scoop out all of the strands to use later. This will make dinner prep easy-breezy.

Just before serving, sauté some onions, garlic and red bell peppers, then mix them with black beans, corn and enchilada sauce before scooping the mixture back into the shells of the squash. A couple of minutes under the broiler will make the cheese all melty and golden brown.

Vegetarian Enchilada Stuffed Spaghetti Squash...A healthy dinner with tons of flavors!  323 cal and 9 Weight Watcher PP | cookincanuck.com #recipe

This recipe can easily be made vegan (use vegan cheese) or gluten-free (use gluten-free enchilada sauce, such as Hatch). I went the easy route and used a canned enchilada sauce, but making your own enchilada sauce is pretty darn easy.  

A Helping of Healthy

There are more reasons to eat spaghetti squash besides its taste and texture. It’s a great choice when you’re looking for an easy way to replace more calorie-laden foods.
  • One cup of spaghetti squash contains only 42 calories and 0.5 grams of fat. Pile it on to your plate!
  • It’s a good source of Vitamins A, B6 and C, which are all powerful antioxidants.
  • It’s a great source of potassium, which is good news for people with high blood pressure.
  • If you’re following a low-carb diet, spaghetti squash may become one of your best friends. It has only 10 grams of carbs per 1 cup serving.

Enchilada Stuffed Spaghetti Squash
  • 2 small (2 lb. each) spaghetti squash
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 1 yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 (14 oz.) can black beans (drained & rinsed)
  • 1 c frozen corn kernels, defrosted
  • 1¾ c enchilada sauce
  • ½ tsp salt, or to taste
  • ½ tsp ground pepper, or to taste
  • ⅔ c grated Monterrey Jack cheese
  • 3 tbsp minced cilantro
  1. Using a large, sharp knife, pierce a spaghetti squash in several places.  Place the spaghetti squash in a glass baking dish and cook in the microwave on high for about 15 minutes, turning the squash halfway through cooking.
  2. Before handling, let the squash stand for 10 minutes. Cut it in half lengthwise and scrape out the seeds and fibers.
  3. Using a fork, twist out strands of the spaghetti squash flesh and place in a large bowl. Let stand at room temperature. Save the shells of the squash for stuffing later.
  4. Preheat the broiler.
  5. Heat the olive oil in a large nonstick skillet set over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until tender, about 5 minutes. Add the red bell pepper and cook until just tender, about 2 minutes. Add the garlic and cumin, and cook for 30 seconds.
  6. Stir in the spaghetti squash strands, black beans, corn and enchilada sauce, and cook until heated through, about 2 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
  7. Scoop the spaghetti squash mixture into the spaghetti squash shells and top with the Monterrey Jack cheese.
  8. Place the stuffed spaghetti squash onto a baking sheet and place under the broiler. Cook until the cheese is melted, about 2 minutes.
  9. Sprinkle with cilantro and serve.

Parmesan Ranch Baked Chicken

I LOVE simple.  This is pretty simple.  ~Shelly

Tender, juicy chicken is topped with Ranch dressing, buttery crackers, and savory Parmesan cheese. This is a baked chicken dish your entire family will be begging for!
A subtle Ranch flavor takes a backseat, letting the Parmesan be the star.

  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 2 pounds)
  • 1 cup crushed Ritz crackers (about 24 crackers)
  • 4 ounces Parmesan Cheese, shredded
  • 1 tablespoons dried parsley flakes
  • 2 tablespoons Ranch Dressing
  • 2 teaspoons garlic salt

  1. In a seal-able plastic bag, gently pound chicken until it's uniform in thickness. Slice breasts in half, if desired.
  2. In a food processor, pulse together crackers, shredded Parmesan and dried parsley. (alternatively, you could crush the crackers by hand and stir together with the cheese and parsley.
  3. Spray a 9"x13" pan with cooking spray to prevent sticking. Place chicken in the pan and sprinkle with garlic salt.
  4. Brush chicken evenly with Ranch dressing, then sprinkle cracker mixture on top. Press the cracker mixture into the chicken lightly with your hands.
  5. Bake in a preheated 400 degree oven for about 20 minutes. Tops should be golden brown. If additional browning time is needed, place chicken under the broiler for a couple minutes.
  6. Serve hot.

Serves 6

This recipe found on Yellow Bliss Road

Thursday, November 23, 2017

Lemon Pepper Chicken

1/2 c. all-purpose flour
1 tbsp. lemon pepper seasoning
1 tsp. kosher salt
2 lemons, divided
1 lb. Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts
2 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 c. low-sodium chicken broth
2 tbsp. butter
2 cloves garlic
Chopped parsley, for garnish


Preheat oven to 400°.

In a medium bowl, combine flour, lemon pepper, salt, and zest of one lemon.
Toss halved chicken breasts in the flour mixture until fully coated.
Slice 1 lemon into thin rounds.

In a large skillet over medium high heat, heat olive oil.
 Add the chicken in a single layer and cook until golden on the bottom, about 5 minutes.
Flip chicken breasts.

To the same skillet, add the chicken broth, butter,
garlic and lemon slices and transfer skillet to the oven.
Bake until the chicken reaches an internal temperature of 170° F
and the sauce has reduced slightly, 10 to 15 minutes.
Spoon sauce on top of chicken. Garnish with parsley.

Photos by Ethan Calabrese

Queso Chicken Bake

FRESH boneless, skinless, chicken breast fillets are on sale this week for just $1.99 lb. - Nov 29 to Dec. 5, 2017, at 6 Harter House locations.  Check out our weekly ad flyer to see everything on sale this week.

This Queso Chicken Bake takes a few simple ingredients and blankets them with the rich and creamy cheesiness of queso for a quick and easy one pan meal that your whole family will love.

The whole thing takes only a few minutes to mix together, so it makes a perfect weeknight meal.

You can serve it over some rice and top it off with fresh diced tomatoes, chopped cilantro, and cool sour cream if you’re feeling fancy, but that moist chicken and creamy cheese is all you really need. 

Queso Chicken Bake
1 hour, 15 minutes to prepare serves 6-8

4 boneless skinless chicken breast fillets from Harter House
1 jar (23 oz) salsa con queso
1 can (15 oz. ) black beans, drained
1 can (15 oz.) fire-roasted diced tomatoes and green chilies
1 bell pepper, seeded and chopped
1 cup shredded Mexican cheese blend
1 package (1 oz) taco seasoning mix
Sour cream, to garnish (optional)
Tomatoes, diced, to garnish (optional)
Cilantro, chopped, to garnish (optional)


  1. Preheat oven to 375°F and lightly grease a 9x13-inch baking dish.
  2. Season both sides of chicken with taco seasoning and place in baking dish.
  3. In a medium bowl, combine beans, bell pepper, tomatoes and green chilies, and salsa con queso and stir until incorporated. Pour over chicken, spreading out with a rubber spatula if needed.
  4. Top with shredded cheese and cover dish with foil. Place in oven and bake 30 minutes.
  5. Remove foil and continue baking until sauce bubbles and chicken is cooked through, 10-15 more minutes.
  6. Remove from oven and garnish with sour cream, tomatoes, and cilantro, if desired. Enjoy!
Recipe adapted from The Pinning Mama.

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Classic Yeast Rolls Recipe

I absolutely LOVE yeast rolls.
This classic yeast rolls recipe really hits the spot. Find everything you need to make these delicious rolls at Harter House and Harter House World Flavors.

This recipe is adapted originally from the Farm Journal's Homemade Bread book (copyright 1969!). This is a very good, reliable recipe and really didn’t need much tweaking.

While these are totally delicious, another version can be stuffed with ground beef, pepperoni and cheddar cheese.  I understand, It is mind-blowing.  

Technique-wise, this recipe is really pretty easy.  It's been adapted from a hand-mixed version to a stand mixer version thus making it even more easy to have delicious homemade yeast rolls.  Over 2/3 of the three hours listed as prep time below is inactive time – time that the yeast spends rising.  So while this does take some time from start to finish, it leaves plenty of time for doing things in between like relaxing… or cleaning the bathroom.  Ha.

Since this is a yeast roll recipe, the yeast is a very important component. The yeast is bloomed very simply in warm water. As you can see below in the course of five minutes, the yeast is fed by the water and starts to get bubbly and activated. This reaction is the yeast coming back to life, ready to work on rising the bread dough it’s about to go into.

Something else I like about this recipe is that it uses all purpose flour. No need for bread flour. Which is good because this roll remains a little more tender than breads with bread flour. I also use shortening in this recipe, staying true to the old-school 1960′s bread-making style. If you don’t wish to use shortening, you can use butter instead.

As I said before, this recipe takes a while because the yeast needs to rise twice, for a total of about two hours and fifteen minutes. Below you can see the bread after the first rise and how it looks after it’s been kneaded (step #9 in the recipe). Like many roll recipes, this one calls for the bread to be portioned into rolls before it goes into it’s second proof (yeast rising).

I’m a big fan of butter on bread so I like to butter these rolls both before they go into the oven and after they come out of the oven. The application of melted butter prior to baking helps the roll produce a brown and crisp crust on the outside.  The buttering after baking gives the roll a long-lasting soft, tender crumb.

While this bread can be used as a savory dish accompaniment, my favorite way to have it is slathered with yet more butter on the inside and topped with some homemade marmalade. If you don’t have any on hand, fear not – these rolls taste great with just about any type of jam you can find. If you’re keeping these more than one day, simply pop them into the fridge in an air-tight container and reheat in the microwave for 45 seconds while covered with a damp paper towel. The butter on the outside helps to keep the bread soft and moist, and the rolls actually taste very good reheated that way.

Now that you’re pining for some fresh baked bread, on to the recipe!
Yield: 12 rolls

Classic Yeast Rolls Recipe  This classic yeast rolls recipe produces tender, tasty rolls. These are versatile enough to serve alongside dinner or to eat alone with butter and jam for a light breakfast. Enjoy!

  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 3 tablespoons shortening
  • 1-3/4 ounce package of yeast
  • 1/4 cup warm water
  • 4 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 tablespoons melted salted butter


  1. Combine milk, sugar, kosher salt and shortening in a small sauce pan and just barely heat, until shortening melts. Set aside for the moment.
  2. Sprinkle yeast on the warm water and stir. Allow to sit for 5 minutes so yeast can bloom.
  3. In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the milk mixture and one cup of flour. With the paddle attachment, stir on medium for one minute. Add the yeast/water and egg and stir again on medium until just smooth.
  4. Continue with the paddle attachment on medium speed and add two cups of flour. Mix well and then switch to the dough hook.
  5. Using the dough hook, add two more cups of flour and mix until dough is smooth. It will still be rather sticky.
  6. Turn the dough out onto a clean surface and manually knead in the last half cup of flour. The dough will still be a little sticky but will be workable with your hands. Add more flour if you feel dough is still too sticky. It shouldn't stick to your hands when you're kneading.
  7. Spray a bowl with nonstick spray and place dough in bowl. Flip dough once and cover the bowl with plastic wrap.
  8. Allow to rise in a warm place until doubled, about an hour and a half.
  9. Turn out on a lightly floured surface and toss to coat with flour. Knead about 15 strokes until bread is smooth.
  10. Shape into 2" balls and place evenly spaced apart in a greased pan.
  11. Brush with melted butter then cover again and let rise another 45 minutes.
  12. About 15 minutes before the rolls are ready to go into the oven, preheat to 375 ºF.
  13. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until golden brown. Run a cold stick of butter over the rolls to coat with butter after coming out of the oven.
  14. Turn rolls out onto wire rack and serve hot.

Store leftover rolls in the fridge in an air tight container. Reheat rolls in microwave for 45 seconds covered with a damp paper towel.
Prep: 3 hours  Cook: 30 minutes
3 hours, 30 minutes