An indoor barbecue for Memorial Day in the subtropics


Snazzy S’mores

Toasted mocha: Place 1 toasted marshmallow and 1 ounce dark chocolate with espresso between 2 soft snickerdoodle cookies. Press cookies together and allow to cool for a minute before eating.

Sesame caramel: Place 1 toasted marshmallow and 1 ounce caramel-filled chocolate between 2 pieces sesame crisp bread or cracker. Press crisps together and allow to cool for a minute before eating.

Double chocolate grasshopper: Place 1 toasted marshmallow and 1 to 2 mint-filled chocolates between 2 chocolate graham crackers. Press crackers together and allow to cool for a minute before eating.

Salted oatmeal: Place 1 toasted marshmallow, 1 ounce sea-salted dark chocolate and 1 square soft caramel (flattened with your palms) between 2 oatmeal cookies. Press cookies together and allow to cool for a minute before eating.

Alison Ladman , Associated Press

Main dish

The Only Ribs You Need to Know

More information

These ribs are delicious hot, cold, at room temperature or any way you can get your hands on them. They can be boiled, sauced and refrigerated several hours in advance. Bring to room temperature before roasting.

3 racks (7 to 8 pounds total) baby-back pork ribs

1 pound light brown sugar

20 ounces (2 1/2 cups) Dijon-style mustard

1/4 cup low-sodium soy sauce

3/4 cup bourbon

Bring a large (at least 12-cup) pot of water to a brisk boil over high heat. Add ribs, cutting racks if necessary to fit. Once the water returns to a boil, cook about 15 minutes; the meat will not be cooked through.

Use tongs to transfer the racks to a cutting board. Let them rest 5 to 10 minutes, then use a large, sharp knife to cut between the bones, separating the individual ribs.

Wipe out the pot you used to boil the ribs, and add sugar, mustard, soy sauce and bourbon. Place over medium heat, stirring until sugar dissolves. Cook for 5 minutes to thicken. Remove from the heat. Return the ribs to the pot and toss to coat evenly.

Position racks in upper and lower thirds of oven; heat to 400 degrees. Line 2 baking sheets with foil or parchment paper.

Divide ribs between baking sheets; if there’s any sauce left in the pot, use it for basting. Roast about 10 minutes. Rotate pans top to bottom and front to back. Baste with sauce from pot or pan. Roast until the ribs are crisped on the edges and well browned, 8 to 10 minutes. Transfer to a platter. Makes 6 sit-down servings, 12 for a buffet.

Source: Adapted by the Washington Post from Lee Manigault and Suzanne Pollak.

Per serving (based on 12): 610 calories, 32 g protein, 23 g carbohydrates, 39 g fat, 15 g saturated fat, 155 mg cholesterol, 830 mg sodium, 0 fiber, 18 g sugar.

Main dish

Easy Baked Barbecue Chicken Breasts

The recipe can be multiplied, but a larger quantity of chicken may take slightly longer to cook, so be sure to use a thermometer, inserting it deep into a breast from the side.

1/2 cup ketchup

1 to 2 tablespoons adobo sauce (from a can of chipotles in adobo)

2 teaspoons packed dark brown sugar, or to taste

2 tablespoons cider vinegar

2 tablespoons Dijon mustard

1 or 2 cloves garlic, minced

Kosher salt and ground pepper, to taste

1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts without the tenderloin (2 to 3 breasts, each about 3/4 to 1 inch thick)

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

1/2 cup panko bread crumbs

2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme

Heat the oven to 350 degrees. In a small bowl combine the ketchup, adobo sauce, brown sugar, vinegar, mustard and garlic. Season with salt and pepper.

Line a shallow baking dish with foil, leaving enough excess to generously overhang the sides. Spread half of the sauce on the foil in an area just the size of the chicken breasts. Arrange the breasts on top, and spoon the remaining sauce over them. Bring the edges of the foil up and over the chicken and fold it to enclose them. Bake on the middle shelf of the oven for 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a small skillet over medium, heat the oil. Add the bread crumbs, thyme, a pinch of salt and some pepper. Sauté until light golden, 2 to 3 minutes. Set aside.

After the chicken has baked for 20 minutes, open up the foil and spoon any sauce that has fallen off back on top. Sprinkle the crumb mixture evenly over the chicken. Bake, uncovered, until the chicken is just cooked through (160 degrees), another 8 to 10 minutes. Let stand for 5 minutes before slicing and serving topped with any sauce and crumbs that have fallen off. Makes 4 servings.

Source: Sara Moulton for the Associated Press.

Per serving: 240 calories, 45 calories from fat (19 percent of total), 5 g fat (1 g saturated, 0 trans fats), 65 mg cholesterol, 20 g carbohydrate, 0 fiber, 9 g sugar, 28 g protein, 750 mg sodium.

Main dish

Pasta With Chickpeas, Celery and Parsley

This is good warm or at room temperature. Double the recipe if you’re feeding a crowd. Arbol chiles are potent, so adjust the amount to taste.

1 teaspoon salt, plus more for the cooking water

1 1/2 cups celery slices, cut on the diagonal 1/4-inch wide

8 ounces dried penne or other tubular pasta

1/4 cup plus 4 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil

2 cloves garlic cloves, crushed and chopped

2 dried arbol chiles, seeded and broken into small pieces (or dried red pepper flakes to taste)

1 1/2 cups cooked or rinsed canned chickpeas

1/4 cup packed, coarsely chopped parsley

Freshly ground pepper

Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add a generous pinch of salt and the celery; cook 1 or 2 minutes. With a slotted spoon, transfer to a colander and rinse with cold water. Drain.

When the water in the pot returns to a boil, cook pasta according to package directions.

Meanwhile, heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Cook the garlic and arbol peppers, stirring, until garlic is almost golden and peppers start to brown. Stir in celery and cook for 2 to 3 minutes; it should be tender but retain a little resistance. Stir in chickpeas, and season with salt and pepper.

Drain pasta, reserving 1/2 cup cooking water. Return pasta to pot. Add celery mixture and parsley, stirring to combine. Deglaze skillet if necessary with a little of the cooking water and add to pasta. If mixture seems dry, add more cooking water. Makes 4 servings.

Source: Adapted from the Washington Post.

Per serving: 470 calories, 13 g protein, 61 g carbohydrates, 21 g fat, 3 g saturated fat, 0 cholesterol, 570 mg sodium, 8 g fiber, 6 g sugar.

Side dish

Spicy Ruby Slaw

The key to success here is shaving the cabbage as thinly as you can and adding as much ginger as you can handle. The slaw needs to sit at room temperature for at least 1 hour before serving.

1/2 head red cabbage (about 12 ounces)

6 scallions, white and light-green parts, thinly sliced

2 tablespoons peeled minced or grated fresh ginger

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 teaspoons low-sodium soy sauce

1 tablespoon plain rice wine vinegar

Salt and freshly ground pepper

Core the cabbage and shred it finely, placing it in a large mixing bowl (for about 8 cups). Add scallions, ginger, oil, soy sauce and vinegar to the bowl and season with salt and pepper to taste. Toss well. Let sit at room temperature for at least 1 hour before serving. Makes 6 to 8 servings.

Source: Adapted by the Washington Post from Lee Manigault and Suzanne Pollak.

Per serving (based on 6): 70 calories, 1 g protein, 7 g carbohydrates, 5 g fat, 1 g saturated fat, 0 cholesterol, 105 mg sodium, 2 g fiber, 3 g sugar.

In much of the rest of the country, Memorial Day weekend marks the start of the outdoor cooking season. And you can imagine how thrilled they’ll be to get out their grills in places like Minneapolis, where it snowed just a few weeks ago.

In South Florida, of course, it’s a different story. With summer heat and humidity settling in to stay and the hurricane season around the corner, the backyard isn’t a place to linger, let alone party, this time of year.

With that in mind, we’ve assembled an indoor barbecue menu for you to enjoy preparing and serving in air-conditioned comfort:

•  Baby-back ribs: Simmered briefly and finished in the oven, they’re enlivened by a simple, bourbon-spiked sauce.

•  Baked Barbecue Chicken Breasts: Moist and crunchy, they’re deliciously low-fat.

•  Pasta With Chickpeas, Celery and Parsley: A zingy entree for vegetarian guests and side dish for the rest of the crowd.

•  Spicy Ruby Slaw: Loaded with fresh ginger, it provides a burst of flavor and color.

•  Snazzy S’mores: A gourmet riff on a campfire favorite, they’re so good you won’t mind dashing outdoors to toast the marshmallows on the grill — or use a gas burner and keep your cool.

Kathy Martin

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