Old School

Many years ago, I’d reconnected with a high school friend, Tracy — whether it was on Facebook or not, I can’t recall — and we decided to meet for a drink. She suggested Monty’s.

In the Monty's dining room

In the Monty’s dining room

Monty’s is an old school steak and chop house. It still has the same sign in the same groovy Mad Men font from the 1960s. It used to have several locations, and now it’s down to two — one in Westwood, and one in Woodland Hills, where I had arranged to meet up with Tracy. More

Skinny Girls Bicentennial

I vaguely remember the American Bicentennial. I was a young kid, there were lots of patriotic advertisements on TV and specially minted quarters with a drummer on the back.

I’m pleased to have you here, celebrating the Skinny Girls Bicentennial — our 200th post! (Probably not exactly the right term for a 200th post, but what the heck.) When I first launched Skinny Girls & Mayonnaise a year and a half ago, I got 30 or 40 visitors on a good day, and 8 on a bad day. Now I get 50 on my worst days, and 250 on a good day. I guess that’s growth. More

Ono Island Ribs, Brah

Disregard any statements I’m made in the past about the World’s Best Ribs. These bad boys are ‘ono! (That’s “the best” in Hawaiian.)

I’ve spent a lot of time in the Hawaiian islands. It’s convenient to the West Coast, and my family has a condominium on Maui. And when we’re there, I like to cook.

If you’ve not cooked in the Hawaiian Islands, you’re missing out. Even the most proletarian vegetables — onions and potatoes, for example — become infused with a tropical sweetness when grown in the volcanic soils of the islands. More

The American Series, Pt. IV — The Soul of BBQ

50 million grills will be fired across America on the 4th of July. On many of them, the breasts of chickens who gave their lives for the event will be cooked long periods at a high heat into chalky oblivion. Burgers that held such promise will be transforming into rocky discs while their cooks chat with party guests over a beer. But on the best barbecues, magic will be happening. And I want that to be yours.

When I contemplate what to grill for Independence Day, my imagination travels the great barbecues of our country. More

A New Installment of the World’s Best Ribs

I’m a little bit fickle, I’ll admit, with my continuing declarations about the world’s best ribs. That’s because almost every good rack of ribs is the best ribs I’ve ever tasted. You could rub motor oil on a rack of ribs, grill them, and they’d make my blog. I’m quite sure I’ve declared one rib preparation or another “The World’s Best Ribs” on several occasions in this forum alone. But this time I’m pretty sure I’m sharing the world’s best ribs recipe with you. Well, that is, at least until next time.

Hawaiian preparations are always some of the best with ribs — the smoky, fatty richness of the ribs blending perfectly with the sweetness and complex flavors of tropical fruits. One of the best racks I cook includes a marinade/glaze of coconut syrup, pineapple juice and fermented Chinese black beans. The particular recipe below, prepared in the video above, takes its cue from Korean kalbi. Serve it with the monster good Asian red cabbage slaw to win friends and influence people. For four people:

Hawaiian Soy Glazed Ribs

1 large rack baby back ribs
1/2 cup soy sauce
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 garlic cloves, peeled and grated on a Microplane grater (or minced)
1-inch piece of ginger, grated on a Microplane grater (or minced)
1 tsp sesame oil
a few shakes crushed red pepper
1 tbsp butter

Peel membrane off the back of the rib rack (use a flat head screwdriver to get started). Cut rack into two or three sections. Salt and pepper the ribs while you make the marinade.

Put brown sugar and soy sauce in a small saucepan with a little water. Add garlic and ginger over medium heat, and simmer until the sauce is thickened. Remove from heat, stir in sesame oil and red pepper, then fold in 1 tbsp butter.

When sauce cools, use half to baste the ribs and marinate an hour at room temperature or overnight in the fridge. Heat a gas grill to medium. Put the ribs on the grill and cook for about 20 minutes on each side, basting frequently with the reserved marinade to create a nice glaze. Cut mini-racks into individual ribs and serve with monster good Asian slaw.

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Monster Good Asian Slaw

1/2 small head red cabbage, grated or finely shredded
3 scallions, sliced into 1-inch segments and then slivered lengthwise
1 small carrot, peeled and grated
2 tbsp rice wine vinegar
1 tbsp sugar
1 tbsp grapeseed oil
1 tsp soy sauce
1 tsp sesame oil
1 tbsp mayonnaise
salt & pepper

In a large bowl, toss the cabbage, scallions and carrot. Add remaining ingredients and mix thoroughly. Add salt and pepper to taste. Chill in the fridge until ready to serve.

Beverage suggestion: Kona Brewing Company Longboard Island Lager, a nice fruity viognier from California’s Central Coast (I like Andrew Murray), mai tai, Anchor Steam