Food & Friends Make for a Winning Combination

Written by Anita
July 1, 2009

Food, friends, and a great cause…what could be better? We recently joined Food & Friends at its 19th annual Chef’s Best Dinner and Auction (featured on gregslistdc!). The event brought together chefs, volunteers, and supporters dedicated to Food & Friends’ mission of providing nutritious meals to chronically ill people across the Washington DC metropolitan area. Since 1988, Food & Friends has prepared and delivered nearly 12 million meals to over 18,500 people in need. The evening included a wide variety of tastings from over 50 area chefs. Our favorites included Food & Friends’ own tender BBQ pork ribs (see recipe below!), BlackSalt Fishmarket & Restaurant's smoky wood-grilled big eye tuna belly with spring pea puree and olive persillade and Urbana Restaurant and Wine Bar’s melt-in-your-mouth braised pork belly with sweet candied watermelon and briny pickled ramps. We also couldn’t resist soul-food specials like Posh Restaurant and Supper Club's mini chicken and waffles (fried chicken over a crisp buttermilk waffle, topped with butter and maple syrup) and Georgia Brown’s lobster and grits (moist, butter-poached lobster with creamy Byrd Mill grits, black truffle, house-dried organic tomato, smoked sausage, corn shots, and lobster nage). Sweet treats included an assortment of cupcakes from Hello Cupcake (we love the 24 carrot—a moist carrot cake studded with walnuts and topped with a traditional tangy-sweet vanilla cream cheese frosting) and Willow Restaurant’s chocolate Marquis (chocolate meringue with rich dark chocolate mousse and airy Chantilly cream). Everyone could be a winner by participating in the event’s live auction, silent auction, or raffle. Prizes included lunch with Washington Post food editor Joe Yonan, lunch for four at Vidalia, and a cooking class with The Inn at Little Washington's Patrick O’Connell. Missed out on the fun? Then stay tuned to gregslistdc for information on Food & Friends’ upcoming events, including its Slice of Life holiday pie sale this fall and an evening at Crate & Barrel with door prizes, discounts, and tastings. Want to do your part? Then click here to learn more about volunteer opportunities with Food & Friends or click here to donate.



Food & Friends’ BBQ Pork Ribs Serves 4 For the Ribs: 2 Tbsp. packed light brown sugar 1 ½ tsp. salt 2 Tbsp. paprika (not hot) 1 ½ tsp. chipotle chili powder 1 ½ tsp. ground cumin seeds 1 ½ tsp. ground coriander seeds 1 tsp. ground fennel seeds ½ tsp. black pepper 2 (2-lb) racks baby back ribs 1) Whisk together brown sugar, salt, and spices in a small bowl. 2) Line a 17x12x1 inch heavy-duty baking pan with a double layer of foil, then oil foil. 3) Pat ribs dry and arrange in baking pan. Rub ribs all over with spice mixture and marinate meaty sides up, covered and chilled, 2 ½ hours. 4) Bring ribs to room temperature, about 30 minutes. 5) Put oven rack in middle position and preheat over to 350°F. 6) Cover pan tightly with foil; bake 1 ¼ hours. Remove foil. For the Sauce: 1 ½ cups chopped onion 6 garlic cloves, finely chopped 2 Tbsp. vegetable oil 1 ½ cups ketchup ½ cup balsamic vinegar ½ cup water ¼ cup packed light brown sugar 1 ½ tsp. salt ¾ tsp. pepper 1) Cook onion and garlic in oil in a 2-quart heavy saucepan over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 6 minutes. Add remaining ingredients and simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally, 15 minutes. 2) Puree sauce in 2 or 3 batches in a blender until smooth (use caution when blending hot liquids). Set aside 1 cup sauce for serving with ribs. 3) Prepare grill for cooking over indirect heat with medium-hot charcoal (moderate heat for gas) Grilling Procedures: To cook ribs using a charcoal or gas grill: lightly oil grill rack, then transfer ribs to specified area of rack (with no coals underneath for charcoal, over shut-off burner for gas), reserving pan juices, and grill, covered with lid, basting generously with pan juices and sauce and turning over and rotating ribs every 10 minutes (keep ribs over indirect heat), until tender and browned, 30 to 40 minutes total. Transfer ribs to a cutting board and let stand 5 minutes before cutting into individual ribs. To cook in oven: After baking ribs covered, remove top sheet of foil and continue to bake ribs, uncovered, basting generously with pan juices and sauce every 10 minutes and turning ribs every 20 minutes, 40 minutes total. The turn on broiler and broil ribs, meaty sides up, 4 to 6 inches from heat until browned, about 3 minutes.
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