apartment-style ribs and brian’s potato salad

Long story short:
Apartment-style ribs- not quite there yet
Brian’s potato salad- pretty good

Short story long:
Making ribs should be a lot of fun. A really big guy with an apron and chef’s hat should be standing at a grill turning a gigantic rack of ribs while some girls in bikinis play volleyball and then some stuffy guy loosens up and starts dancing and bunch of people fall into the pool. But ribs are a challenge for us. We’re pretty lucky to have a good sized balcony where we can grow tomatoes, eat dinner on a nice night, and put the dog when he’s about to barf. Unfortunately, we don’t have room for a full size grill, so we just have one of those little ones. That works fine for anything that needs direct heat, but it’s a challenge for anything that you cook over indirect heat, and it’s really impossible to cook something big like a rack of ribs with indirect heat on it, because, there’s only so much room and you just can’t get them away from the coals.

So if you live an apartment, you probably need to do your ribs in the oven. I’ve done this twice now and while the ones from the other night were definitely a lot better than the first ones I did, they’re still not there yet. The first time, they got totally dried out and we tried our best to pretend they were good, but the fact is they were awful. So this time, I thought I’d cook them with a little vegetable broth and keep them covered while they were in the oven. That is to say, I went too far in the other direction. These ribs tasted good (especially out of the fridge the next day), but they were way too rich and greasy. So, I still haven’t found that balance. Once I do, I’ll post a recipe.

The potato salad, on the other hand was pretty good and really easy. I probably would have used more mayo, but there was hardly any in the jar. If you’ve ever seen The History of White People in America, we go through mayonnaise like the family in that.

Brian’s Potato Salad
serves 4 or so

3-4 yukon gold potatoes- cut into potato-salad-sized cubes (maybe like an inch)
two big spoonfuls of mayo
1 big spoonful of dijon mustard
half of one small red onion, diced
small spoonful of capers (if you’ve got them)
chopped chives

– In a pot of salted water, boil the potatoes until they are soft but still firm.
– While that’s happening, mix the other ingredients in a large mixing bowl.
– Drain the potatoes, throw them in the bowl.
– Mix it altogether.
– Stick it in the fridge for at least an hour. There you go.

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