Dreamy bourbon and Cherry Coke ribs, horseradish deviled eggs, playing' possum icebox pie

Bourbon and Cherry Coke ribs, deviled eggs and icebox pie
Published: Sep. 10, 2016 at 3:24 PM CDT|Updated: Sep. 10, 2016 at 3:29 PM CDT
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Source: WBRC video
Source: WBRC video
Source: Melynda Schauer/WBRC
Source: Melynda Schauer/WBRC
Source: Melynda Schauer/WBRC
Source: Melynda Schauer/WBRC


Dixie Barbecue
Local favorites make it easy for fans from both schools to devour the competition.

Dreamy Bourbon & Cherry Coke Ribs 
Picnic Platter
Horseradish Deviled Eggs
Cherry Preserves * Orange Marmalade * Cheddar Cheese * Saltine Crackers
Pickled Okra * Bread & Butter Pickles * Roasted Peanuts
Playin' Possum Icebox Pie

Dreamy Bourbon & Cherry Coke Ribs 
makes 6 appetizer servings

The barbecue sauce from a Tuscaloosa landmark, Dreamland, delivers a shot of pungent flavor to balance the concentrated southern nectar-based glaze.

1 1/2 cups hickory wood chunks
1 {3-lb} rack pork ribs
Bourbon Chipotle-Thyme Rub
Bourbon & Cherry Coke Glaze
Dreamland Barbecue Sauce

Soak the wood chunks in water for about 30 minutes. Drain.

Place in heavy-duty foil & make a packet.
Poke a few holes in the foil.

Pull the thin membrane from the backside of the ribs.
Slather the Bourbon Chipotle-Thyme Rub liberally on both sides of the ribs.
Let stand 20 minutes.

Place the ribs over indirect heat, about 225 to 275 degrees.
Add the packet of wood chunks to the grill or smoker.
Check the progress every 30 minutes just to be sure
the side closest to the flame isn't cooking too quickly.
Rotate the ribs if necessary.

you're looking for a pink smoke ring in the pork…
pinch the ribs with your tongs after 2 hours
they should be tender enough to give easily with a slight tug
this will take anywhere from 2 1/2 to 3 hours

Meanwhile, prepare the Bourbon & Cherry Coke Glaze.

Before removing from the grill grate,
slather the ribs with the Bourbon & Cherry Coke Glaze.

Cover with the lid & cook for 10 minutes.
Remove the ribs & let stand 10 minutes before cutting.
Serve with additional barbecue sauce, if desired.

Bourbon Chipotle-Thyme Rub
makes about 1/2 cup dry rub sans the bourbon

2 Tbsp brown sugar
2 tsp kosher salt
1 tsp chipotle chili powder
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp dried thyme leaves
1/4 tsp ground pepper
1 Tbsp Kentucky bourbon

Combine the first 6 ingredients in a small bowl.
Stir in the bourbon, forming a paste.
Use as directed.

Bourbon & Cherry Coke Glaze 
makes about 2/3 cup

Prepare this concentrated finishing sauce while the ribs are on the smoker. Adding a smidgen of liquor at the end of the cooking time intensifies the bourbon flavor beautifully.

1 {7.5-oz} can co-cola
1/2 cup cherry preserves
1/4 cup Dreamland Barbecue Sauce
3 Tbsp plus 2 tsp Kentucky bourbon

Cook the co-cola in a small saucepan over Medium-High heat
for 15 minutes or until reduced by 2/3.

Pull the pan away from the stove eye.
Add the preserves, the barbecue sauce and 3 Tbsp bourbon & bring to a boil.
Reduce the heat to Medium & cook, stirring occasionally, 12 to 15 minutes,
or until thickened to the consistency of pancake syrup.

Remove from the heat & stir in the remaining 2 tsp bourbon.
The glaze will continue to thicken as it cools.
Use as directed.

Picnic Platter
Offer guests an array of easy snacks to enjoy throughout the day.

Horseradish Deviled Eggs
Cherry Preserves * Orange Marmalade * Cheddar Cheese * Soda Crackers
Pickled Okra * Bread & Butter Pickles * Roasted Peanuts

Horseradish Deviled Eggs
makes 2 dozen

12 hard-cooked eggs
5 to 6 Tbsp mayonnaise
2 Tbsp Dijon mustard
1 Tbsp prepared horseradish
1/4 tsp table salt
Paprika & freshly ground pepper

Cut the eggs in half & remove the yolks.
Mash the yolks well in a medium bowl with a fork.

Whip in the mayonnaise & the mustard with a fork.
Stir in the horseradish & the salt.

Fill a disposable pastry bag with the yolk mixture.
Snip the end of the bag about an inch from the bottom.

Fill the egg white halves with the mixture.
Refrigerate until ready to serve.
Sprinkle with paprika & pepper just before serving.

Playin' Possum Icebox Pie
makes 8 servings

Devour the completion with an Arkansas statewide specialty that pairs perfectly with barbecue classics. A nut studded shortbread crust is topped with layers of no-bake cheesecake filling, chocolate pudding & sweetened whipped cream. Auburn fans can make the pie their own by preparing it with Macon County pecans located just outside of Opelika, Alabama. For a stunning presentation, sprinkle the pie with toasted pecans & a chopped milk chocolate candy bar just before serving.

1 cup ap flour
1/3 cup finely chopped pecans
3/4 cup plus 2 Tbsp powdered sugar, divided
1/2 cup softened butter
1 {8-oz} package cream cheese, softened
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
2 Tbsp sour cream
Playin' Possum Chocolate Pastry Cream
1 cup whipping cream
Garnishes: Toasted chopped pecans & chopped milk chocolate

Combine the flour, the chopped pecans & 1/4 cup powdered sugar in a small bowl.
Cut in the butter with a fork.
Toss the mixture through your fingers until a crumbly dough forms.

Press the dough evenly into a lightly greased 9-inch pie plate.
Freeze the crust for 15 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Place the crust on a baking sheet & lightly grease the dough with cooking spray.
Line the dough with parchment paper & fill with dried beans.
Bake 10 minutes.

Carefully remove the dried beans and return the pie plate to the oven.
Bake an additional 12 to 15 minutes or until lightly browned.
Remove the crust from the oven & cool completely.

Beat the cream cheese, 1/2 cup powdered sugar & the vanilla
with an electric mixer until blended. Fold in the sour cream with a rubber spatula.
Spread the mixture into the crust. Chill 30 minutes.

Prepare the Playin' Possum Chocolate Pastry Cream.
Spoon the mixture into a bowl & place plastic wrap directly on the surface.
Let stand 5 minutes to cool slightly.

Remove the plastic wrap.
Pour the warm chocolate filling over the cream cheese mixture.
Place plastic wrap directly on the surface & chill at least 8 hours.

Beat the whipping cream & the remaining 2 Tbsp powdered sugar
with an electric mixer until soft peaks form.

Dollop over the Playin' Possum Chocolate Pastry Cream layer just before serving.
Garnish with toasted pecans & chocolate.

Playin' Possum Chocolate Pastry Cream 
makes enough for one pie layer

1/3 cup sugar
4 tsp cornstarch
2 egg yolks
1 cup whole milk
3/4 cup bittersweet chocolate morsels

Whisk together 1/3 cup sugar & the cornstarch in a 2-quart saucepan.
Whisk together the egg yolks & the milk.
Whisk the milk mixture into the sugar mixture.

Cook, whisking constantly, over Medium heat 6 to 7 minutes
or until thickened & bubbly. Cook 1 additional minute.

Turn off the heat & add the chocolate.
Stir it around a bit & whisk until smooth.
Use as directed.

Rebecca Gordon 
Buttermilk Lipstick