Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

White House ribs, or White House ribs?

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SANDRA Prokolevich had written that she had been searching for a recipe for ribs once served at the White House restaurant on Selkirk Avenue. The two most common versions are published today, and both are very good.

Thanks to Susie Secord of Dauphin, Judy Cowell of Lac du Bonnet, Mary Halliday, Patti Davis, Karen Hiebert, Evelyn Howard, Maureen Grant, and to Marian Kowal, who provided the broiling instructions for sauce version No. 1.

Today we have another request for an Eaton's bakery item. Gretta Isaac asks if anyone might have the original recipe for Eaton's pound cake. Either small loaves or half loaves were available. She writes that there are many pound cakes, but nothing that tastes like the one from Eaton's.

Carol Carver is looking for the recipe for shmoo torte that was published in the Free Press a few years ago.

If you can help with a recipe request, have your own request, or a favourite recipe you'd like to share, send an e-mail to, fax 697-7412, or write to Recipe Swap, c/o Darlene Henderson, Winnipeg Free Press, 1355 Mountain Ave., Winnipeg, MB, R2X 3B6. Please include your first and last name, address and telephone number. (Please note that your recipe may not appear right away, due to space limitations.)

Selkirk Avenue White House ribs (Version No. 1)

540 ml (19 oz) Ben Hur ketchup (or other ketchup)

10 ml (2 tsp) chili powder

5 ml (1 tsp) cayenne

10 ml (2 tsp) white sugar

30 ml (2 tbsp) vinegar

Salt to taste

Bring ingredients to a boil and simmer for 25 minutes. Sauce can be stored in the refrigerator.

To prepare ribs: Cut into 6- to 8-inch sections. Sprinkle garlic salt and pepper on both sides. Place ribs meat side down on broiler rack. Position ribs 10 to 12 inches from top of broiler grill. Broil 10 to 15 minutes on each side. Brush sauce over ribs and broil another 10 minutes.

Alternatively, roast in the oven.

Taste Tester Notes: I used tender pork back ribs for this version and they turned out beautifully. (I don't know that Ben Hur ketchup is still available anywhere -- I just used another quality brand.) Broiling time will depend on your oven. I set my broiler to 550 F and used the second position from the bottom, so ribs were almost 10 inches from the broiling element. I broiled them 10 minutes per side, then generously brushed with sauce and broiled for about another 7 minutes. Watch them so that they don't burn. I used about half of the sauce for 1.35 kg (3 lbs) of ribs.

Selkirk Avenue White House ribs (Version No. 2)

180 ml (3/4 cup) honey

250 ml (1/2 cup) ketchup

60 ml (1/4 cup) butter

15 ml (1 tbsp) vinegar

5 ml (1 tsp) Tabasco sauce

60 ml (1/4 cup) chili sauce

10 ml (2 tsp) dry mustard

30 ml (2 tbsp) brown sugar

15 ml (1 tbsp) soya sauce

1 clove garlic, minced

1.8 kg (4 lbs) pork spareribs

Garlic salt

Combine all ingredients except ribs and garlic salt in a saucepan; bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes.

Cut ribs into slabs and place in boiling water in a deep pot; boil until tender. Drain.

Remove ribs to roasting pan and sprinkle with garlic salt. Roast in oven at 325 F for 1 1/2 hours. After 30 minutes, drain any excess fat and baste with sauce. Baste again at 1 hour, pouring remaining sauce over ribs; bake until tender.

Taste Tester Notes: This makes an excellent sauce. I find most commercial chili sauce quite plain, so I used Thai sweet chili sauce (Asian Family brand, which is available at Sobeys). You can adjust cooking time depending on the tenderness of the ribs. I simmered the ribs in the water for about an hour. As they were already tender and excess fat had been drained, I put them in a small roaster, sprinkled them with garlic salt and topped with the sauce, and baked them with the lid on for just over an hour. I uncovered them and then baked them for about another 15 minutes.

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition October 31, 2007

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