Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Meyer Lemon Squares

I live in the country, far from the nearest major city. Our grocery store is well stocked but they don't often carry the "fancy" stuff. You won't find micro-greens, truffles or crown roasts there, at least not on a regular basis. Every now and then though I'll pop in for milk and see something out of the ordinary. Something I have always wanted to cook with or try. A couple weeks ago that item was Meyer Lemons. A whole display of them greeted me as I walked in the door. Without even thinking I grabbed a bag and almost danced through the store to the chip aisle (the reason I was there, of course). I had NO idea what I wanted to make, but never having even tried a Meyer Lemon before I wasn't about to let the opportunity pass me by!

They sat in my fridge for a few days as I scoured the internet and quizzed my twitter pals on what they would make. I almost made lemonade just to enjoy the flavour unadulterated, but then decided they deserved a more complex fate. I went to my stash of grandma's cookbooks and found a recipe for lemon squares that sounded perfect. A light shortbread crust with a layer of silky lemon curd using both the juice and grated rind, what better way to showcase the sweet-tart taste of a Meyer Lemon?

Meyer Lemon Squares

1/4 cup icing sugar
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 cup flour
1/2 tsp salt
2 eggs
1 cup white sugar
2 1/2 Tbsp flour
3 Tbsp Meyer Lemon Juice
1 Tbsp grated Meyer Lemon rind


1. Mix the first four ingredients together until crumbly. Press into the bottom of a greased 8" x 8" cake pan and bake for 350˚F for 20 minutes.
2. Grate the lemon rind and then squeeze and strain the lemon juice.
3. Mix the remaining ingredients in a bowl and pour over the baked base. Return the pan to the oven and bake for 20 more minutes. Do not brown!
4. Cool and sprinkle icing sugar over the top and cut into squares.

I just discovered that Meyer Lemons have a season, which is quickly coming to a close. Grab yourself a bag of these yummy beauties and give this a try. If you're like me and can't get your hands on Meyer Lemons (usually!) you can certainly use regular lemons, I would just add a little squeeze of Mandarin Orange juice in addition to the lemon juice to try to mimic the slightly sweeter Meyer Lemon flavour.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Braised BBQ Ribs

I didn’t eat ribs until I met my husband. The thought of gnawing meat off a bone with nothing but my bare hands and teeth kind of creeped me out. It was too messy and quite frankly, a little too “caveman” for me. Then one night we went to my sister-in-law’s for dinner and she made ribs. I’m not one to not eat what’s put in front of me at a dinner party, it’s rude (unless of course I’m allergic or have a severe aversion). So I rolled up my sleeves and resigned myself to the fact I would make a huge mess and probably look ridiculous. But my sister-in-law’s ribs were so tender the meat slid right off the bone and they totally changed my perception of ribs. I got her secrets for super tender ribs and started making them at home. Now they’re my husband’s favourite dinner and we serve them often when we have dinner guests as they’re so easy and incredibly tasty.

I use a mixture of bottled barbeque sauces to save time, if you make your own sauce more power to ya! This is not the traditional way to make ribs, and I’m sure a lot of barbeque aficionados would scoff at my methods, but give it a try and I swear you’ll fall in love with these ribs! (If you want to do these on the grill you could do them in a foil pan and then transfer directly to the grill when it comes time to coat in the BBQ sauce)

Braised BBQ Ribs

Dry Rub

2 tbsp seasoned salt
1 tbsp garlic powder
1 tbsp dehydrated onion
1 tsp smoked chipotle powder


2 racks baby back pork ribs
dry rub mixture
1 1/2 cups Bull’s Eye Barbeque Sauce
1 1/2 cups Diana Chicken and Rib Sauce


  1. Mix together the spices for the dry rub and set aside.
  2. Place the ribs in a large pot and cover with water (I cut them into servings of 4-5 ribs to fit the pot). Bring to a boil and boil for 30 minutes.
  3. Remove the ribs from the pot and place in a shallow pan reserving the water.
  4. Sprinkle some of the dry rub onto each section of ribs making sure to coat them well.
  5. Add some of the cooking liquid to the pan, enough to cover the bottom.
  6. Cover the pan with tin foil and place in a preheated 350˚F oven.
  7. Bake for 2 1/2 hours checking once or twice to add more cooking liquid as necessary (you don’t want to boil them again, but you don’t want to pan to go dry).
  8. Mix together the two barbeque sauces. Remove the tin foil and pour about 2/3 of the sauce over all the ribs to coat. (if the pan goes dry at this point it's fine, don't add more water)
  9. Return to the oven uncovered, after 20 minutes baste the ribs with the remaining sauce.
  10. Cook for another 10 minutes and remove from the oven and serve.