I love the fact that the Pantry is a team effort. But it's not without its challenges.
Sometimes we're not actually sure who's in charge, and there's always the need to make sure we're staying true to the Pantry's voice, and keeping it consistent across many individual styles. We write our menus together, we recipe test together, and, as much as possible, we eat together. That being said, the lack of hierarchy keeps everyone invested and supportive, and means that we get to flirt with so many great cuisines, reflecting the stories and travels of each of us.
I've been itching to cook a Mexican-inspired menu since we opened, but I've been skeptical as to whether there was interest. All of us have been to Mexico, and have had our turn falling in love with the food, but in the United States, Mexican food tends to be relegated to food trucks and taquerias. There's certainly nothing wrong with that, but I wasn't sure how many people would sign up for three and a half hours of feasting when they're used to quick and tasty tacos. We decided to go for it, and boy, were we happy to see this dinner fill the quickest on our summer line up. So yeah, I think we can expect more Mexican-inspired dinners in our future.
Chorizo and queso-stuffed jalapeños
Seared masa cake with shaved snap peas, radishes, and cotija
Grilled corn with Fresno chile-lime aioli and cilantro
Coconut and lime-marinated albacore tuna
Shaved hot and sweet peppers, jicama, and fried sweet potato
Chile and honey-glazed pork ribs with pineapple-radish salsa
Chipotle-braised Anasazi beans with cotija
Wedge salad with avocado, pickled jalapeños, and lime-salt chicharrones
Cilantro and crema dressing
Roasted peach crema ice cream
Cinnamon sugar buñuelos, grilled peach dulce de leche, and candied pecans
Our family dinners are easily one of our favorite things we do here. Big piles of food, bubbles and wine throughout, fun music (we think), and 40 of our neighbors gathering at the table and getting to know each other. We serve as much food as possible family-style, and we relish the chance to get everyone's hands dirty. So when ribs were proposed as the main dish, I let out a resounding YES! Because what better way to get food all over you than with a sticky rack of ribs? Darin developed this recipe for baby back ribs slow-roasted in honey and lime, and then piled high with a pineapple-radish salsa. We made a little extra for us to nibble on throughout the night, but we were secretly pleased when there was barely a rib left. Next time.
- Marinated Ribs
- 5 pounds baby back ribs
- 3/4 cup orange juice
- 1/4 cup crushed tomatoes
- 5 tablespoons tequila
- 1/4 cup honey
- 2 tablespoons crushed garlic
- 1 1/2 teaspoons black pepper
- 2 poblanos, minced
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/8 teaspoon ground clove
- 20g kosher salt
- Honey Glaze
- 1/4 cup honey
- 1 tablespoon hot water
- 1/4 cup fresh lime juice
- 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- Pineapple Salsa
- 1/4 small red onion, finely diced
- 6 ounces tomatoes, seeded and finely diced
- 4 ounces pineapple, finely diced
- 3 ounces jicama, finely diced
- 2 ounces radishes, finely diced
- 1 canned chipotle chile en adobo, finely minced
- 1/4 teaspoon granulated sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- Juice of 1/2 lime
Make the marinade:
Combine the orange juice, tequila, honey, crushed tomatoes, ground pepper, poblanos, cinnamon, cloves, and salt in a blender and pulse until smooth. Marinate the ribs for at least 12 hours in a plastic bag, turning once or twice.
Cook the ribs:
Preheat the oven to 250F°. Make the honey glaze by whisking together all of the ingredients in a small bowl. Line a large rimmed baking sheet with foil. Remove excess marinade from the ribs and arrange them on the baking sheet, meaty side up. Roast for about 2 1/2 - 3 hours, loosely covered in foil, until tender but not quite fall-off-the-bone. Baste the ribs with 1/2 of the honey mixture and roast for another 15 minutes, until browned and glossy. Remove the ribs from the oven and baste again with the remaining honey mixture.
Make the salsa:
Combine all of the ingredients together in a large bowl. Let the flavors come together for at least an hour before serving over top of the ribs.