Thursday, August 23, 2012

Last day in Evanston

 I can't believe I'm moving out, and will probably not be back in Chicago again any time soon. After running errands today (post office, salon, Whole Foods), I came home to cook dinner and try to use up some of the stuff in my pantry. Although I'm generally rather minimalistic, I'm a hoarder in the kitchen, so it has been difficult to use up all of the food I've accumulated.

I had half a rack of ribs left, so I made Cayenne Cinnamon Baby Back Ribs with Maple Glaze. I was missing a key ingredient -- brown sugar -- but I figured that these would be adequately sweet with just the maple syrup. 

The cast of characters: powdered garlic, cinnamon, paprika, salt, cayenne, maple syrup, and ribs. See, it's super simple.

In a bowl, throw in powdered garlic, cinnamon, paprika, salt, and a tiny pinch of cayenne. This is also where you would add brown sugar if you wanted to.

Rub down the ribs all over the the rub made in the last step. Place ribs on a metal tray covered in two layers of foil...

...and wrap up the ribs in the foil. Bake in a preheated oven at 375 degrees for one hour. 

Remove ribs from the oven and unwrap. Use brush to glaze ribs with maple syrup, and then return to the oven. Turn over to broil and let the ribs cook for a few minutes until the sugar has caramelized. Unfortunately, my oven has no broil setting so I gave up, so it doesn't have a tasty crust.

These were amazing, considering how they didn't need to be marinated, how I omitted the brown sugar, and how my oven doesn't broil stuff. I would totally make it again, using all of the legit steps the next time around once I move into my new apartment with an oven that has a broil sitting). 

Another thing I wanted to clear out were these Bacon Wrapped Chorizo Dates with Piquillo Pepper Sauce, which were a dupe of a signature dish from Avec. I made these awhile back but didn't have the chance to bake them so I froze them for later use. I figured that I wouldn't have another chance to bake them in the future, so I popped them into the oven at 375 degrees for 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, I made the sauce. I didn't have piquillo peppers so I ended up just making a tomato-and-onion puree. So I cooked down a diced onion...

...then pureed it in a blender with some tomato and a pinch of paprika. This went back onto the stove top to simmer. 

The finished bacon wrapped dates. The one in the back middle is legit burnt, but the others were fine. They're not too pretty but they're tasty. All that grease is from the bacon :(

The dates covered in sauce, yummy.

After dinner, I went to an exercise class in downtown Evanston (the last of my Groupons, success!) and then went for a walk around campus to say goodbye.

I can't believe I had the opportunity to live in such a beautiful place for the past few years. I'll be in California for the next week, and then I'll be moving into my new apartment in DC on September 1st. Chicago/Evanston, I'm going to miss you so much.

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