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Finger food ideas for your family night


Ribs: Baked not barbecued

Bruce Aidell, author of The Complete Meat Cookbook, advocates ribs as the number one finger food for family night. “Most people think of ribs as a barbecue item,” says Aidell. “But in all of my cookbooks, the ribs are roasted in the oven and it’s the variety in seasoning that gives them their flavour.”

Franco’s Rosticiana Ribs

Serves six

This recipe is from Aidell’s cookbook, The Complete Book of Pork. The recipe was originally given to him by his friend, Franco Dunn, who serves them at his Restaurant Santi in Geyserville, CA.

Franco's Rosticiana RibsIngredients:

  • 1–1/2 tablespoons kosher salt
  • 2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh sage
  • 1-1/2 tablespoons fennel seeds
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 slabs (about 3 pounds each) regular spareribs, or 3 slabs back ribs (about 1-1/2 pounds per slab)


  1. In a small bowl, mix all ingredients except the water and ribs. Generously pat the mixture onto both sides of the ribs. Let sit at room temperature for two hours or wrap the ribs in plastic and refrigerate overnight.
  2. When you’re ready to cook the ribs, preheat the oven to 300 degrees F. Put each slab of ribs fat-side up in a large (10×15-inch) baking dish. Add one cup water to each dish and cover with foil. Cook for 1-1/2 hours and remove the foil.
  3. Increase the heat to 375 degrees F and continue to cook uncovered for another 30 minutes or until the rib meat pulls away from the bone. Remove the ribs from the oven and let rest for 10 minutes. Cut between the ribs and serve immediately.

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