Glazed Baby Back Ribs

My friend Nancy Olin wanted to make this dish for Memorial Day dinner but was going to be out of town until 1 p.m. on the day of the dinner. So she prepared it on the Friday before, froze it, defrosted it when she got back into town and grilled it. I was one of the guests and if she hadn’t told me, I’d never have guessed. The glaze can be used on pork cops, country-style ribs, and chicken.

Serves 6.

2 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon five-spice powder (optional)
1 teaspoon chopped gingerroot
½ to 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
¼ cup hoisin sauce
¼ cup plum sauce
¼ cup oyster sauce
3 tablespoons soy sauce
⅓ cup sherry vinegar

3 racks baby back ribs (about 2 to 2½ pounds each)

1 teaspoon kosher salt
½ teaspoon black pepper
½ bunch scallion greens, chopped, for garnish
¼ cup coarsely chopped cilantro leaves, for garnish

1. To make the glaze: Place all the glaze ingredients in a small saucepan and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Set aside to cool.

2. Preheat the oven to 250 degrees.

3. Place the ribs in a large baking pan and cook for 1½ hours. Drain off the fat and coat with the glaze. Cover and refrigerate overnight.

4. To cook the ribs: Prepare a grill or preheat the broiler.

5. Place the ribs on the grill or on a large baking sheet, sprinkle with the salt and pepper and cook until deeply browned, about 10 to 15 minutes.

6. Cut into 6 slabs and transfer to a heated platter and serve immediately. Garnish with the scallions and cilantro.

From The $50 Dinner Party: 26 Dinner Parties That Won’t Break Your Bank, Your Back, or Your Schedule (Simon & Schuster, 1998)