A Taste of the Swamp

So what’s for dinner? How about a taste of the swamp? A couple months ago I celebrated my birthday. One of the gifts I received was a homemade spice mix called, “Swamp Dust.” In fact, my friend Marlou and her husband Bill made this mix and I was waiting for the right time to use it. Today just happened to be the day!

The “Swamp Dust” they made consisted of the following: Salt, Basil, Thyme, Oregano, Tarragon, Rosemary, Chile Powder, Black Pepper, Ground Garlic, Onion Powder, and Crushed Red Pepper.

Because we didn’t have BBQ ribs on July 4th at my husband’s request, I figured we could end the holiday weekend with them. I used this “Swamp Dust” spice mixture as a rub for a rack of pork ribs. In fact, I prefer making ribs one way… the way that requires the least amount of effort! Here’s my preferred way of preparing ribs:

pork ribs (baby back, St. Louis style, whatever you like)
spice mix of your choice (homemade or store bought: I used my “Swamp Dust”)

To prepare your ribs, lay out a piece of foil, large enough to wrap your ribs in.
Place your ribs on the foil and generously cover the ribs with the spice mix until its completely coated.
Fold the foil over the ribs and wrap tightly.
You can let your ribs chill for a few hours or as long as overnight.
When you’re ready, you can throw the foil packet of ribs right on the grill or place on a baking sheet and bake. Either way, the heat should be low (300-325 degrees) and you should plan on cooking it for 2-3 hours. (Low & slow is key!)
For those that like BBQ sauce, baste the ribs with your preferred BBQ and broil or grill for a few minutes until its caramelized to your preference. The end result?… Flavorful & tender ribs!

To accompany our Swamp Dusted Ribs, I whipped up a quick Cilantro Butter (1 tablespoon finely chopped cilantro, 2 tablespoon unsalted, room temp butter, pinch of garlic powder, pinch of onion powder, salt & pepper to taste – combine) and I finally made the ever-popular Hot Crashed Potatoes of The Pioneer Woman Cooks. This recipe gave me the, “Hey, why didn’t I think of that?!” feeling because it’s so easy and delicious. Here’s the recipe for Pioneer Woman’s Hot Crashed Potatoes:

New Potatoes (or other small, round potato)
Olive Oil
Kosher Salt
Black Pepper
whatever herb you like (I used garlic & onion powder)

Begin by bringing a pot of salted water to a boil.
Add in as many potatoes as you wish to make, and cook them until they’re fork-tender.
Next, generously drizzle olive oil on a sheet pan.
When the potatoes are tender, place them on the cookie sheet…
…Giving them plenty of room to spread out.
Next, grab your potato masher and gently press down on the potato until it slightly mashes…
Then rotate the masher 90 degrees and finish flattening it. Of course, you don’t want to absolutely smash it into the pan—you want it almost to resemble a cookie. Repeat until all are flattened.
Next, brush the tops rather generously with olive oil.
Next, grab some Kosher salt. You can use regular salt, but I’d really recommend using kosher. It adheres to the potatoes more easily and really flavors them nicely without getting too salty.
Be ye ever as generous with fresh ground black pepper.
Now, you can grab some chives…or thyme…or whatever herbs you have available.
Whatever herb you use, just chop it pretty finely and sprinkle over the top.
Now throw them onto the top rack of a very hot (450-degree) oven, and cook them for 20-25 minutes…
…Or until they’re golden and crispy and sizzling.

And to make them even better, I topped the potatoes with the remaining nacho cheese sauce I had left, garnished with some sliced green onions. It really paired well with the southwestern flavors of the ribs & cilantro corn!


7 Responses

  1. “Swamp Dust”: that’s a mighty cool name for barbecue rub. And the cilantro butter, I’ll take that any day.

  2. I like the Swamp Dust–that looks and sounds delicious?

    And did you love the potatoes like I did? My friend Laura wouldn’t stop talking about them.

  3. This looks so amazing! My husband would love everything 😉

  4. Angie – we *loved* the potatoes! In fact, I think we’re going to stick to making potatoes this way. I love the texture it has and well, everything is better with some cheese 🙂

  5. LOL. Great minds DO think alike. We had ribs last night and leftovers for lunch and supper today… and corn. YUM!!!

  6. I’ll have to try this some time – my rub is a very sweet rub, oozing with brown sugar.

  7. Wow! So simple and they look great! Made me crave ribs just reading this. I have never ever made my own ribs, because Im afraid I cant get them tender, yet carmelized. I think I could do this really easily! I think Im getting some ribs on my next trip to the store.

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