Lightly sweet, gently spiced pork ribs you can enjoy any time of year; grilled or oven baked. It’s an easy recipe and the do-ahead marinating option makes it perfect for picnics and barbecue parties.

1/2 cup soy sauce
1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon honey
1/4 cup hoisin sauce
6 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
3 tablespoons dry sherry or sweet rice wine
3/4 teaspoon five-spice powder
5 pounds pork spareribs

Medium-hot grill or preheated 400° oven.

To make the marinade place the soy sauce, honey, hoisin sauce, garlic, sherry and five-spice powder in a small bowl and whisk to blend.

Pour half of the marinade into a large non-reactive (glass or enamel) baking dish. Place half the ribs in the dish and turn to coat. Place the remaining ribs in the pan and pour the remaining marinade over all, turning both slabs of ribs to distribute marinade evenly. Cover and allow to marinate at room temperature for 2 – 3 hours or place in the refrigerator over night. If marinating in the refrigerator, allow the ribs to come to room temperature before cooking.

Cook the ribs:
On the grill: place the ribs on the grill, turn and baste occasionally with remaining marinade for about 45 minutes, until cooked.

In the oven: spread the ribs on a rack in a roasting pan and bake for 30 minutes. Baste 2 – 3 times with marinade. Reduce heat to 350° and cook until tender, 40 – 50 minutes.

Yield: 6 servings.

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Grilled kabobs are a favorite way to enjoy summer meals. This tequila and lime marinade for pork is excellent served with a side of rice and a lively margarita!

1/3 cup fresh lime juice
1/4 cup tequila
1/4 cup olive oil
1 tablespoon grated lime zest
6 cloves garlic, minced
2 teaspoons ground cumin
2 teaspoons dried oregano
1 tablespoon salt
2 teaspoons pepper, freshly cracked and ground

Meat and vegetables:
3 pounds pork, trim fat and cut into 1-1/2″ pieces
4 green bell peppers, cut into 1” squares
2 fresh pineapples, cut into 1-1/2″ cubes

Trim excess fat from the pork and cut into 1-1/2″ pieces. Place the cubed meat in a large lidded bowl. In a bowl emulsify lime juice, tequila and olive oil by whisking briskly until thickened. Add the lime zest, garlic, cumin, oregano, salt and pepper and whisk to incorporate well.

Pour the marinade over the cubed pork and cover the bowl. Allow to marinate at room temperature for one to two hours, turning every 20 minutes.

To prepare wooden or bamboo skewers, soak in cold water for 30 minutes. Lightly oil steel skewers. .

String the skewers, alternating the pork, bell peppers and pineapple cubes. Cook over high heat for 1 – 2 minutes on each side. Spray down flare-ups with cold water. Move kabobs to a cooler area of the grill to facilitate even cooking. Reduce heat to medium low and cover the grill to cook for 7 – 10 minutes more.

Check frequently, move to cooler or hotter areas of the grill and turn frequently to cook evenly and avoid burning. You’re looking for a deep golden brown and an internal temperature of 145 to 150 degrees.

When the kabobs have finished cooking, remove to a platter and loosely cover with foil. Allow to rest for 5 minutes before serving.

Yield: 8 servings

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This zucchini and ham recipe is great when you want to get a hot meal to the table in less than 30 minutes. It’s a great way to use leftover deli ham, too!

8 oz uncooked egg noodles
1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, freshly grated
1/4 cup sliced green onions
2 cups (about 2 medium) zucchini
2 cloves garlic
1 cup frozen corn
1/2 pound cooked ham
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper, freshly cracked and ground

Wash and cut the green onions and zucchini into 1/4″ slices. Clean and finely chop the garlic. Cut ham into thin strips.

Cook noodles according to directions. Drain and rinse with hot water. Return to the pot and toss with 2 tablespoons of the butter and half of the Parmesan cheese.

Meanwhile, melt the butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onions, zucchini and garlic. Cook and stir occasionally until the zucchini begins to sweat, approximately 5 minutes. Add the corn, ham, salt and pepper and continue cooking until completely heated through and the zucchini is tender crisp.

Serve over prepared noodles and garnish with remaining Parmesan cheese.

Yield: 6 servings.

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I love a generous portion of vegetable laden frittata for any meal. A budget conscious recipe, it’s an excellent way to use leftover ham. Or, skip the ham and increase your favorite vegetables to make a delicious vegetarian version.

1 cup broccoli florets
3/4 cup fresh mushrooms
2 green onions
2 cloves garlic
1 tablespoon butter
1 cup cooked ham
8 eggs
1/4 cup water
1/4 cup Dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning
1-1/2 cups sharp cheddar cheese
1/2 cup fresh tomato

Preheat oven to 375° Generously grease a 1-1/2 quart baking dish.

If you’re using fresh broccoli, clean and cut the heads into florets. Wash and chop the tomato, slice the mushrooms and onions. Finely chop the garlic cloves. Cube the ham, grate the cheese.

Add the butter to a skillet over medium heat and sauté the broccoli, mushrooms, onions and garlic until tender. Add the ham and heat through. Remove the skillet from the heat and cover to keep warm.

In a large bowl beat together the eggs, water, mustard and Italian seasoning until foamy. Stir in the cheese, tomatoes and broccoli mixture from the skillet.

Pour into your prepared dish and bake for 25 – 30 minutes or until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean.

Yield: 4 – 6 servings.

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Ham and asparagus quiche is a favorite use for leftover ham. Served as breakfast, brunch or supper, quiche can be prepped well ahead of time to give you more time with friends and family.

1-1/2 pounds fresh asparagus or 20-ounces frozen
1 pound cooked ham
2 cups Swiss cheese
1/2 cup onion
6 eggs
2 cups milk
1-1/2 cups buttermilk baking mix
2 tablespoons dried vegetable flakes
1/4 teaspoon pepper, freshly cracked and ground

Preheat oven to 375°. Generously grease 2 9-inche pie pans.

If you’re using fresh asparagus remove the fibrous part of the stalk. Wash and pat the asparagus dry and chop into bit sized lengths. Chop the onion. Grate the cheese.

In a large bowl, beat the eggs. Add the milk, baking mix, vegetable flakes and pepper.

Spread the asparagus, ham, cheese and onion into the prepared pie pans. Gently pour the egg mixture over the asparagus mixture adding half to each pie pan.

Bake for 25 – 35 minutes until lightly browned and a knife inserted hear the center comes out clean.

Yield: 12 servings.

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